When the Oscar nominees were announced, my mother and I set to work watching the Best Picture films. We struggled through The Revenant and sat enthralled by Spotlight and squirmed throughout Room. We watched them all—all, that is, except for The Martian.
We deftly avoided The Martian because—you can probably see this coming—I wanted to read the book.
And the only problem with this was that…I was reading four other books at the time. Four! Oh school.
While sitting boredoutofmymind in traffic one day, however, the solution was painfully clear: I should try an audiobook. Youtubers praise them, bloggers are mad about them.
So I tried it. And I am oh so glad that I did. The 300+ page book, of course, became a ten hour long story, but this is my only complaint. For I truly enjoyed hearing about Mark’s adventure from his own perspective, and the narrator’s voice became his voice to me.
So yeah, the audiobook, my first actual novel audiobook, was excellent. But I’m also pretty sure it was so great because the story and characters themselves were too. Bravo, Andy Weir.
The Martian is such a good story—no matter what form it is told in or read from.
For those who don’t know, The Martian in a nutshell: really funny spaceman and crew travels to Mars, something goes wrong, crew leaves funny spaceman on Mars because they think he’s dead but spaceman really survives keeps surviving until he almost dies like five times and finally Earth realizes he’s alive and then they communicate and—Okay that’s all you get. No spoilers, right?
I loved Mark. I liked his optimism, his sarcastic sense of humor, his love of duct tape. I admired his “I better get to work so I don’t die on a planet by myself” attitude. I enjoyed every joke about disco, every panic-filled stream of curse words.
The story was constantly exciting—something kept going wrong, a canvas kept tearing, things kept depressurizing. And yet Mark never gave up.
The scienceaustronautchemistbotanist lingo and tech speak were plentiful, sure. A lot of people who reviewed the book thought that it was “so boring” because of this. However, I didn’t think that it was too much. I appreciated the fact that all of the science and math was accurate. The author? Yeah, he’s like a legitimate computer programming math wiz. I thought all of this information, in fields so foreign to me, was truly fascinating. I think I learned a little bit too.
I made it through the book in a couple of weeks, diligently and eagerly listening to Mark’s misadventures as I drove to and from work and school. I watched the movie the very next night. It too was excellent: well-paced, great characters and casting, exciting, funny. And very, very Oscar worthy. I would know, I’ve seen all of this year’s Best Picture noms now!
Anyway, I genuinely enjoyed the book and the movie and I would highly recommend it to anyone who asks (or doesn’t).
Book: 4/5 stars
Movie: 8/10 stars
(Side note, I completely ship Johannsen and Beck and want to read the story from solely their POV. They literally fall in love in space and everything. Bless you Hollywood for adding the ending where they are happily married and have a baby but oh my goodness.)