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The Martian Unpopular opinion time I don't like how this book is written Watney's journals read like a nerdy blog rather than a dramatic survivor's diary It's hard to find something harrowing and traumatic when the protagonist is saying yay a lot and making incessant corny puns 36 pirate ninjas Yay oxygen Lol gay probe lol1 Bad rover no Scooby snack111 LOL craaaaaaap1 For me those aren't funny they're almost embarrassingNo matter what horrible thing is happening to Watney he's sure to pull though but not before laying a smug cutesy zinger on us It sucks all the tension out of any situation which is the complete opposite of what I want in a book that's supposed to be a thrillerNow don't get me wrong Andy Weir is a great technical writer When Watney isn't being a wacky douche he's going on and on about some technical or mechanical or biological process that with me not being a scientist usually goes over my head And that's fine I have no fault with a book that's factually complicated like that In fact it's really admirable and cool that Weir is able to pool all of his expertise into a book about survival on Mars That being said other aspects of the book suffer According to the author's bio on the back of the book Andy Weir was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age fifteen and has been working as a software engineer ever since He is also a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics orbital mechanics and the history of manned spaceflight If I can stereotype here it shows My guess is that he doesn't really know how people behave or interact in the real world The dialog is stilted and awkward The characters are all one dimensional and flat They almost seem like an afterthought The emotional and psychological trauma rendered by all these near death experiences and complete and utter isolation What trauma There's no mention of that anywhere Watney is apparently that cool and awesome of a guy as evidenced by all his canned laugh track one liners and grating sarcasmBut hey maybe that doesn't bother some people obviously considering that people actually watch The Big Bang Theory and they're in for a technologically driven funny space thriller Because I have to admit it's a terrifyingly cool premise It just wasn't what I was expecting I was hoping for an emotionally taxing horrifying survival drama but instead got a cutesily witty astrophysics manual Just because something is nerdy doesn't automatically mean that it's good Adult science thrillerLove it love it A meticulously researched briskly paced and surprisingly funny story about an astronaut left behind on Mars presumed dead who must now figure out how to survive and let the folks back on Earth know he is alive and needs rescue This is hard science science fiction Parts of it read like really complicated but amusing word problems juggling mass and time and weight etc But all of that adds to the realism You can tell Andy Weir loves his space exploration and knows a ton about it He totally had me convinced anyway The Martian is a fast read and the main character’s irrepressible sense of humor will have you cheering for him as he tries to survive against impossible odds I will also never eat another potato again Long story If you’re looking for a fast paced believable space adventure set in present day this is your book First off welcome to 2015Let's kick this year off with a review of a book about a guy who deserves to survive than anyone I've ever known This book has been lurking around in my Goodreads feed gaining hype and all the positive reviews from my friends eventually got too much for me so I had to check this out for myself I'm glad I gave inThe Martian has so many good things going for it First and foremost it is a classic tale of survival against very huge odds In this book Mark Watney becomes one of the first people to walk on Mars but after an accident causes him to be believed dead and abandoned by his crew it looks like he will be the first person to die there Like Cast Away x a million Mark must battle extremely foreign territory the likelihood of starvation and the possibility of technical failuresIt's pretty hard to see an outcome where he isn't totally screwedThe best thing about this book is the juxtaposition between the very scientific nature of everything Mark must do to survive gave me a renewed level of respect for how damn smart astronauts have to be and his absolutely wonderful personality Mark maintains his sense of humour throughout every hardship he faces it's pretty much impossible to not be charmed by himHere are some uotes “The screen went black before I was out of the airlock Turns out the “L” in “LCD” stands for “Liuid” I guess it either froze or boiled off Maybe I’ll post a consumer review “Brought product to surface of Mars It stopped working 010”“As with most of life's problems this one can be solved by a box of pure radiation” This book is part serious science fiction part an hilariously dark comedy that imagines a horrifying situation infused with humour and the overwhelming human desire to stay alive It's hard to imagine that anyone who picks this up won't find themselves dragged into Mark's world desperately needing to know what will happen to himBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr 'Crap My astronaut crewmates accidentally left me behind on Mars I'm fucked I'm going to die Oh wait I just thought of something highly logically unlikely and technically complicated that I am sure to pull off without a hitch because did I mention that I am Plucky and Ingenious It sure is a good thing that I am super talented Yay That worked I'm not dead Next chapter But wait Disaster has struck Shit happens when you're stuck alone on Mars Whatever shall I do OMG I just had a great idea It's a good thing I'm so naturally optimistic because it sure would make for a bummer book if I ever showed any signs of being depressed or having any kind of mental deterioration after spending nearly two years in total solitude Nah I've got the fightin' spirit I can create a life support system out of duct tape What does Mars actually look like Is there anything interesting from a scientific perspective about it Who cares I'm busy growing potatoes in shit and watching Three's Company Did I mention that disco sucks'RepeatFor a whileI do not get the hype 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 thereAfter 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 even 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 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 uit — he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him I have never wanted so badly for the characters in a book to be real I want to meet them all the way I want to meet the president or Taylor SwiftThis story is perfectly told It is perfectly paced it is brilliantly written it is beautifully craftedAndy Weir does this incredible thing where he make the reader feel the isolation that Mark Wagner feels and he does it so subtly we don't even realize that he's doing it until it's doneThe Martian completely captivated me I couldn't wait to find out what happened next and I never wanted it to end I go so emotional at the end so good I'm so happy that I randomly decided to pick this book up I did find that the story dragged a bit towards the end and some of things went over my head a little bit but for the most part this was a fantastic read ”So that is the situation I’m stranded on Mars I have no way to communicate with Hermes or Earth Everyone thinks I’m dead I’m in a Hab designed to last thirty one days If the oxygenator breaks down I’ll suffocate If the water reclaimer breaks down I’ll die of thirst If the Hab breaches I’ll just kind of explode If none of those things happen I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death So yea I’m fucked”When I read the line “kind of explode” I couldn’t help thinking of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Total Recall face contorted eyes bulging as the oxygen deprived atmosphere of Mars was about to detonate his head I’ll wait for the next mission to a blue planet thank you very muchMark Watney Mars astronaut has a lot to worry about It is hard to say if he has to worry about than Douglas uaidHauser Arnold’s character in the movie At least he doesn’t have people trying to kill him on Mars In fact when his fellow astronauts left he effectively becameEMPEROR OF MARSIt might be the shortest reign in history ”Mars keeps trying to kill me”He amends that thought with ”Mars and my stupidity keep trying to kill me”Watney is far from stupid He scavenges like a futuristic version of Robinson Crusoe from the left over debris of the Hermes crew’s hasty departure The incident that “ended” Watney’s life had them in a panic ”Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated”He finds a whole memory stick of seventies sitcoms to keep him occupied and importantly stuff to keep him alive Watney becomes the first farmer on Mars He knows he doesn’t have enough food to last until the next mission to Mars is scheduled so he has to improvise Luckily the crew was to be there over the Thanksgiving holiday and for morale purposes NASA sent along potatoes with those all important eyes intact ”My morning piss goes in a resealable plastic box when I open it the rover reeks like a truck stop men’s room I could take it outside and let it boil off But I worked hard to make that water and the last thing I’m going to do is waste it I’ll feed it to the water reclaimerEven precious is my manure It’s critical to the potato farm and I’m the only source on Mars Fortunately when you spend a lot of time in space you learn how to shit in a bag And if you think things are bad after opening the piss box imagine the smell after I drop anchor”When he finds a way to communicate with Earth in one of his spectacular MacGuyver moments they tell him that he is going to have to drive to another site where there is a rocket ship already delivered waiting for the next mission He will drive on terrain that looks like this The ship is in Giovanni Schiaparelli’s crater Watney being Watney has a few juvenile observations about his arrival at the crater ”Tomorrow night I’ll sink to an all new lowLemme rephrase thatTomorrow night I’ll be at rock bottomNo that doesn’t sound good eitherTomorrow night I’ll be in Giovanni Schiaparelli’s favorite holeOkay I admit I’m just playing around now” The science is unbelievable and since Andy Weir was a fifteen year old prodigy and is obviously still extremely bright in middle age I have to believe him that he has this all figured out Watney injects humor as he explains his innovative scientific brilliance which at times had my eyes glazed over trying to keep up So even as you are getting overwhelmed by the science Weir will elicit an eye roll from the sophisticated reader He might even inspire an outright chortle if you are of the low brow variety of humor lovers I must be of the pan humor variety as he elicited a wide range of sniggers snorts and raised eyebrows from me ”I tested the brackets by hitting them with rocks This kind of sophistication is what we interplanetary scientists are known for”The one thing that might save your life on Mars Earth or any other planet you might want to visit is something that NASA didn’t invent “Also I have duct tape Ordinary duct tape like you buy at a hardware store Turns out even NASA can’t improve on duct tape” Watney worships duct tape and given the hairbrained ideas he puts into practice he needs miles and miles of it It turns out duct tape has a variety of uses for providing additional support We are such an ingenious species Weir convinced me that Watney could live on Mars for over a year while awaiting rescue With mangled euipment a harsh unforgiving terrain and the ever present one thing going wrong depression that Watney has to overcome everyday this reader started feeling the pain of failure and the elation of success right along with him As the world learns he is alive humanity began rooting not for the American to live but for the human species to triumph In the 1970s when I was old enough to watch what NASA was doing and marvelled at our ability to do the impossible It was a time when absolutely anything seemed achievable We’d had leadership that insisted that we needed to go to the moon We still built things now it feels like the monuments of our times are being built other places I do think we all miss having a common goal Something that we all feel we are a part of something larger than ourselves With a space program gutted and the idea of a manned mission to Mars staggeringly expensive it makes me realize how lucky I was to grow up in a time when it really felt like the impossible was possible I’m probably the last of the optimists who still believes that we have to go see it; we have to put our footprint on it; we have to scatter our debris around and say ‘yes we were here’ We need a Mark Watney to be lost on Mars so we have something to cheer for that brings us together as a species Besides book reviews I also have started writing movie reviews These can be found at my blog i have finally seen the movie so i added some notes at the bottomthis book is basically just a really long SAT uestion and i so hope the movie is just matt damon sitting at a table doing euations for two and a half hours oh but first as promised here are the photos of me being an astronaut this past weekend zooooom i am orbiting the eeeeeeaaaarttthh i did a really good job at astronauting and i didn't need to do math even once although i started experiencing cramped space madness after about 6 hours so i doubt i'm going to mars anytime soonso many people i know LOVED this book and so many people i know HATED this book and as is usually the case with rabidly divisive books i find myself smack in the middle perplexed but pleased by the passion on both sides it's a fine book a pretty good balance of things i enjoyed and things i enjoyed lessthings i enjoyed lessthe reason i don't read a lot of sci fi is because my grasp on sci is pretty slippery and this book is one long celebration of math and chemistry and physics and etc and also airlocks i don't like airlocks which is a weird thing to not like i suppose but the same way Moby Dick; or The Whale bored me when melville fangirled over rope for a million pages this one izza lotta descriptions of spacecraft bits and the mechanics of airlocks and stuff that's wicked important if you are being an astronaut but is boring to me reading about it and i totally glazed over whenever anything had to be secured onto an airlock and depressurized but what's really frustrating is that for all the attention to detailaccuracy when it came to the math i assumei trust the book's pretty flippant with the psychology watney is all relentless optimism and unflagging can do attitude and dick jokes with very few signs of depression or fear that isn't phrased in the form of a joke weir tried to blanket over this lack of meltdown with that brief mention that watney is the class clown whose jokiness becomes heightened under stress but seriously there are tears in any given episode of project runway than in this book about a man abandoned on mars and left completely alone for 2 years facing ever escalating dangers and setbacks and the writing is definitely problematic there is so much repetition and so many times watney starts off a paragraph with remember as in remember when i mentioned this and that well now it is coming back into play in this situation razzmatazz it's not great for narrative flow and it's a little insulting to assume your readership can't remember things that happened during the course of the book and this tic is doubly perplexing when you remember remember that watney's entries are ostensibly directed at other astronautsscientists who wouldn't need science explained to them and certainly wouldn't need the prod to remember it the ending is bad and too abrupt there's not much else to say about thatbut there are also things i enjoyedi love survival books so all the high stakes DIY macgyver lemme fix it with glue stuff was entertaining when it didn't reuire me to recall stuff i learned failed to learn in high school i also love lateral thinking puzzles so i appreciated watney's process of arriving at unconventional solutions to problems i will never face bonus points for when the fix was some unpretty punk rock janked up solution especially when it freaked out the scientists on the ground and i like watney's blithe attitude to a point To them euipment failure is terrifying To me it's Tuesdayi preferred it when he was being cowboy practical to when weir was forcing the humor which i know a lot of readers have a problem with the uality of the humor but as someone who says that's what she said pretty often daily the juvenile nature of the humor didn't bother me and i did giggle at his consumer review of his laptop Brought product to surface of Mars It stopped working 010but it just felt like wherever weir could stick a joke he'd stick a joke and it became over bedazzled with humor although considering this book treats watney's situation as reality tv for those still on the ground and reality tv tends to amplify its participants with must be entertaining at all times fervor this isn't entirely inappropriate after allanother frustration i had was how much i enjoyed all the stuff that was happening on the ground and in the Hermes it was much interesting than euation boy and his boob doodling and it was better written the humor was successfully integrated the characters were convincingly human and that's frustrating because it shows he can do it so that's a thing i enjoyed buried under a complaint i guess but i did genuinely enjoy all the non mars scenes and when it would cut back to watney i would groan like it was a bran chapter in ASOIAF so that's me middle of the road karen who sees the book's flaws but mostly enjoyed reading ittl;dr a fun book interrupted by math so i saw the movie a couple of days ago and i can finally weigh in on a comparison of the two i'm definitely glad i read the book first but at the end of the day i'm not sure if there's an answer about which is better book winssome of my favorite harrowing OH NO moments from the book did not make it into the movie like that sudden realization which sends him scurrying outside for a long time and also some of my favorite solutions were absent hair and while there were way fewer perilous moments in the movie there was a zillion times emotional response to the problems that did occur which is points for realism but watching people cry or otherwise emote on the big screen is as boring and time wasting as reading about math so one negates the other but overall the most interesting stuff got cut from the movie stuff on mars stuff on hermes stuff on ground etcmovie winshaving a montage to look at while math goes on and on in a voice over is way interesting than me kidding myself reading the math paragraphs several times like suddenly i'm gonna get it also matt damon delivers the jokey bits in a way that seems natural and there are fewer jokes overall although in some cases they cut the wrong ones #auaman and i guess that iron man scene that was pretty cool so it's kind of a tie the movie is basically the cliffs notes version of the book it gives you the basic gist of it but you'll miss out on some really great scenes if you are like book too boring tl;dr and if you just read the book you won't get to see the airlocks in all their glory i want to see this movie but i know it'll kill my motivation to read the book so it looks like this puppy is gonna have to be my airplane book this weekend as a bonus with my window seat i can pretend that i am an astronaut myself albeit a really incompetent onei apologize to my seatmates in advance book checkastronaut ice cream pellets checkand off we gocome to my blog


About the Author: Andy Weir

ANDY WEIR built a career as a software engineer until the success of his first published novel THE MARTIAN allowed him to live out his dream of writing fulltime He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects such as relativistic physics orbital mechanics and the history of manned spaceflight He also mixes a mean cocktail He lives in California Andy’s next book ARTEMIS is


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