The Martian by Andy Weir is one of those books that has been reappearing on my Audible recommendations list for some time now. Every time I logged into audable Matt Daemon’s face would appear on the front cover of the book. I don’t like Matt Daemon, or books about space . So, there is no chance I was going to read this book. Well after some gentle persuasion, a friend at work convinced me to give it ago. It had a spare audible credit and I suppose if it turned out not to be my kind of thing I am sure my Fiancé would give it a go. Well how wrong I was. THIS BOOK IS FANTASTIC! I laughed, I cried, I also for a short period of time convinced myself that I understood Chemical Reaction Engineering (don’t worry a proper academic in Chemical Engineering put me in my place).
Set in the not to distant future this book tells the story of Mark Watney. An astronaut who finds himself stranded on Mars. I am not going to say much more than that. I don’t want to give the story away. What I can say is that this book is fast paced. It is exciting and I found myself on a number of occasions sitting outside of my house, not wanting to turn the book off and go in. This book is really approachable for people who have little or no knowledge of Science and Engineering. Although I cant say how accurate the science in this book is it is not condescending to people who are a lot more intelligent than me and get this kind of thing! The reason for this is all down to the lead characters fantastic sense of humour.
The character of Mark Watney is just fantastic. He reacts exactly the way I would expect someone to react to being left on Mars. Well someone with the training that is, if you left me on Mars I would curl up in a ball of self pity and die. Mark’s story is told through mission logs that he continues to write on a daily basis(or a sol basis to be precise, see I did learn something about space in this book). In these mission logs we learn what Mark is up to, both with spacy type things as well as his new found love for 70s television shows. Mark’s character is very much the guy next door and I guess this is why I warmed to the character from the offset.
This audio book is read by R.C Bray and he does a fantastic job. You can tell exactly what kind of mood Mark is in within the first few words of each chapter. The difference between Mark’s carefree attitude and the rather more stressful atmosphere at mission control is done really well. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about the narration. Not once did I get board and this is quite unusual. I often find myself drifting off and needing to hone back in on what is happening in the book.
If I had one criticism of this book it would be why the hell did they make a movie of this film, directed by Ridley Scott starring Matt Daemon and Sean Bean! This stopped me reading this book for so long. I really shouldn’t have judged the book biased on this but I felt that the story would be predictable and boring and how wrong I was. Lesson learned. I am going to watch the film this weekend and I hope that it proves my concerns wrong but I get the feeling Mark Watney’s sense of humour and fantastic sprit will disappear and I will see America saving the day..once again!
The next audio book I am going to read will be an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It’s Christmas time after all. I don’t think I will include this as its a adaptation.
Hopefully I will get an actual book I have read to you shortly. The Shadow of the Wind is great and I cant wait to talk about!