Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Narrator: R. C. Bray
Audiobook Length: 10 hours, 53 minutes
Genre: Science Fiction
Origins: Mine. All mine.
Release Date: 13 February 2014
Bottom Line: This one is moving into my top ten all-time favorite novels.
“Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive – and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old ‘human error’ are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills – and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?”
Thoughts: I freaking love this story. I just finished the audio and could easily sit down and read the print version again in one sitting. There is nothing about this story that bores me or bothers me. It makes me laugh. It makes me cry. It makes me proud to be human. The Martian really is That. Good. (I was much more eloquent the first time I reviewed it.)
While the print format is wonderful, especially given so much of Mark’s commentary is through his log book, there is something truly magical about Mr. Bray’s performance that launches the novel into the stratosphere of awesomeness. He is Mark Watney in all of his blustering, lonely, brilliant, and smartass glory. More importantly, he becomes the rest of the cast as well. Everyone in NASA and JPL become fully realized characters under his skillful narration. His accent usage is slight but very effective, and it becomes so easy to forget that this is just a story.
I do not gush about novels that much, but The Martian is one novel about which I have been gushing to friends and family for over a year. I have multiple copies in various formats of the novel and will eventually succeed in getting as many people as possible to read it. It really does have a little bit of everything for a wide variety of readers, but most importantly, it is just a fantastic story with amazing writing and some of the best lines one will find in a modern novel. Just do yourself a favor and go out and read it; you will not be sorry you did.