Apart from reviewing Ready Player One awhile ago, I haven’t really delved into book reviews. This isn’t to say I rarely read books, as I have been an audible subscriber for the past 5 years and I have over 90 books in my library on it. Of those, there are maybe 5 or 6 that I haven’t listened to yet, mainly because they’re either new or insanely long (I’m looking at you, Stephen King, Mr 40+ hours per audiobook!). I only really feel the urge to review a book when it really surprises me, and The Martian did exactly that. Don’t worry, I won’t diatribe long, especially since I don’t wanna give anything away.
Awhile back, I discovered RPO, and felt obligated to spread it to just about everyone I know. One of those people is responsible for making me check out The Martian. From the blurb I read about it, I really wasn’t all that intrigued. In fact, I thought this would be a snooze-fest, similar to what I encountered when I dealt with Heinlein. Yeah, I know, he’s one of THE science fiction writers, but his writing style kinda sucked. Sometimes it’d be a great page turner, while other times if felt like I was being dragged through sand. So imagine my surprise when I got into The Martian and found myself hooked from chapter 1. The book, if you’ve never heard of it, is about an astronaut who became stranded during a manned mission to Mars in the future. Shit happened, his crew had to leave him, and he had to figure out how to survive until the next planned mission arrived…4 years later. The journey the reader is taken on is one of science, fear, failure, success, and a multitude of other happenings and emotions. The vast majority of the book is from the stranded astronaut’s (Mark Watney) point of view, while the remainder is mostly NASA, with some other smatterings thrown in.
The book itself is very science oriented. He talks a lot about the equipment they have, the stuff he does, and the chemistry, botany, physics, etc involved. While this sounds boring as fuck (and to some, it might be), I found this all awesome! How? Well, I’m glad you didn’t ask. Because Watney is a fucking awesome character. He’s smart, clever, and absolutely hilarious. His humor totally makes the story as great as it is, made even more spectacular by the fantastic talent of R. C. Bray, who performed the audiobook. His performance was incredible, and the Audie award they won for it was well deserved. Anyways, apart from Watney, the other characters of significance in the book were well fleshed out and excellent. I really did end up on the edge of my seat for parts of it, and never really felt like anything was overdone or underdone. As someone who took lots of science classes almost 20 years ago, the science involved was pretty accurate, as far as sci-fi goes. Some bits had some holes in it, but you’d really have to know certain things to point them out, so it didn’t really detract for me.
I could go on and on fellating this book, but for fucks sake you should just go and read that shit now! Stop reading my tripe, it’s garbage in comparison. Sure, it ends with everyone dying, but it’s still a great book…shit, I mean SPOILER ALERT!
In closing, all I really need to say is that, in my opinion, my friend and I are now even…Enjoy!