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I previously read this book on my Kindle and was so excited to see it was out on audio. This is one of the most enjoyable reading/listening experiences ever. It is different from the more typical science fiction. It is actually science AND fiction, combined with lots of humor and suspense. For me, it has everything !
I was initially disturbed when I heard the narrator's voice and reading style. It did not seem to fit the Mark Watney I read about and knew. However, as the book progressed, I think Bray slid comfortably into the role and did a masterful job of capturing the personality of our hero. He certainly added to the listening pleasure.
This book contains lots of technical jargon and hard science, yet it was put into simple enough terms so that I could easily follow the gist of what was going on. I would think this story would appeal not only to sci-fi loving engineers but to anyone who enjoys contemporary, realistic science-based fiction which, unfortunately, can be difficult to find during this period of zombie and vampire mania. And did I mention the humor?
Very highly recommended!
158 of 186 people found this review helpful
Andy Weir's The Martian is a pure gem of a listen. Mark Watney, an astronaut who is part of an early Mars mission has been left for dead as his crew-mates were forced to abort their mission. Mark however has survived that initial catastrophe and is forced to go "Robinson Crusoe" to survive on a world intent on his demise. Eventually, NASA figures out that Watney is still kicking, but there is little they can do to assist. Watney battles the odds and works his way through one creative solution after another to survive and escape his potential fate as the first human casualty on Mars.
The time frame is the near future with little or no "new" science. The tale can become a bit "geeky" with explanations and calculations, but that is a major appeal of the story. Weir succeeds in crafting a believable series of events that create dramatic tension that ebbs and flows from start to finish. Watney is never out of the woods (or craters), but every new situations just comes out of nowhere. All along, Watney's composure and humor makes for an endearing character as he relates his experiences in a diary fashion. The supporting cast of Earth-side NASA personnel and Watney's Mars crew-mates are realistically portrayed with banter that comes off as genuine.
The narration is simply outstanding with an excellent range of voices and a tone that matches the tension inherent throughout the story. This will be a quick listen as the writing stye and delivery make for a can't put down quality.
273 of 330 people found this review helpful
A journal (logbook), written by the chap left behind? Yes, this could have been a bore - but it so wasn't!! The sheer tenacity of the man, plus his seemingly endless capacity for humour makes this a very enjoyable listen.
Even his repeated calculations didn't overly bore me, as they added to the anticipation (or dread). Couldn't help but root for him every step of the way.
I have no clue as to whether the scientific aspects / space stuff is realistic or not - it didn't matter to me - it just all added to the fun.
Excellent narration, and very well suited to the main character.
32 of 33 people found this review helpful
This story is just fabulous. The hero is one of the most engaging characters I have read for a long time. He is stranded alone in one of the most inhospitable environments imaginable and yet you could still believe he is capable of pulling this off. This is from a mixture of determination, brilliance and an amazing sense of humour. There is masses of technical information but this didn't put me off. Instead it served to illustrate the hostility and utter strangeness of Mars. I also got a real sense of the fact that it is actually rather a long distance from Earth and probably not that easy to colonise. Perhaps we should take better care of our own planet instead.
I loved this book and the narrator was perfect. I understand a film is being made and I will go and see it but I do think this audible version will be a hard act to follow.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Only for sci-fi fans. It gets pretty technical at times. Nevertheless, I'm no astronaut but I was thoroughly convinced by the science in this book. Laugh out loud funny at times.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Martian?
Well geez...I don't want to give anything away. There are some classic one liners.
What does R. C. Bray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
Truly incredible. Hard to believe it was one person at times. His timing was impeccable. At times I was sitting on the edge of my seat due t the tension. I don't think it would've been the same experience if I read the book.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I don't have that kind of concentration but yes, I think it is suited to this style of listening. It would be perfect for drive from Sydney to Brisbane.
Any additional comments?
Language is fairly coarse. Science is pretty technical. Kind of reminded me of the movie Gravity except on Mars. Weir has created a great character. Bravo.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
Be warned, once you press play prepare to give up your life for the next 10 or so hours.
A great mix of humour and drama. The jeopardy is compelling and the attention to detail on the writing is staggering.
The performance is well pitched as well.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful