Saturday, February 28, 2015

Audiobook Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir (Facebook)
Genres: Science Fiction, Adventure, Thriller
Format: Audiobook (Amazon | Audible)
Format: R. C. Bray (Audible)
Length: 10 hours and 53 minutes
Release Date: February 11, 2013

Book Club (Feb Book of the Month): Nerds and Novels (SoCal Chapter)

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there.

It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission 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 get 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. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

FIRST IMPRESSION:: From the very first sentence, I knew I was going to love this book.

THE STORY:: This wasn't a book I selected for myself, and honestly not something I would have picked up. Which would have been a shame because I absolutely loved this book. This fact is definitely a kudos to Andy Weir for being able to relay a ton of information in an entertaining and non data-dumping fashion. Seriously. The content was 95 percent technical and 5 percent humor, which as it turned out, was the perfect balance for me.

I'm not going to lie. At first, I found shear amount of math and science quite disconcerting. I'm in no way an intelligent gal, but I haven't been on school for a very very long time and have rarely, if ever, had cause to do math at the down to the milliliter. But by the end of the book it wasn't so bad. Hell I must have learned something. Scratch that, I learned a lot. Ah, the power of books; teaching you things in the most enjoyable way.

In all seriousness, I actually came to find all of the math and science very interesting. Which was a cool revelation because I haven't paid too much attention astronauts in the NASA-related fictional books. Through some creepy aliens in the mix, and I'd be all over it. But yay, new genre to explore. Winning!

What was key to making the story work for me, however, was Mark's personality. He was sarcastic and humorous and his struggle for survival was something I could easily cheer for. This was a very interactive experience; I gasped and I cheered the whole way through.

It was absolutely perfect; wouldn't change a thing!

R.C. BRAY is my new favorite narrator. I was captivated from the second I pushed play. He brought all the characters to life and was absolutely brilliant. I'm already searching his body of work for a long series so I can enjoy his work for quite a while.

“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.”
― Watney

“If ruining the only religious icon I have leaves me vulnerable to Martian vampires, I'll have to risk it.”
― Watney

“[11:49] JPL: What we can see of your planned cut looks good. We’re assuming the other side is identical. You’re cleared to start drilling. [12:07] Watney: That’s what she said. [12:25] JPL: Seriously, Mark? Seriously?”

“Me: “This is obviously a clog. How about I take it apart and check the internal tubing?” NASA: (after five hours of deliberation) “No. You’ll fuck it up and die.” So I took it apart.”

“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 yeah. I’m fucked.”

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