Thursday, April 16, 2015
The Martian...you may not want to go to Mars but your should go get this book
The Martian was written by Andy Weir, a debut author who admits to being a Science Nerd. It was first published on-line where readers could get it for free. Next Weir self-published it on Amazon and charged the lowest amount possible, thinking only true science geeks would be willing to pay for it. When he started making money, he was shocked. Not only is the book a literary success it has been picked up by Twentieth Century Fox and a film starring Matt Damon is coming out this November. Read it quick!
As a librarian I am always interested in what genre books belong. This book would be categorized as Science Fiction (Sci-Fi) but that is a misnomer. Yes, the book is fiction in terms of its plot---an astronaut is abandoned by his team on Mars and he is left to his own devises to survive, or more likely die. But the science is not fictional. Every bit of science information in the book is accurate (remember how I said Weir is a Science nerd?) which makes the book fascinating on a whole other level. The book has a fascinating plot which is enhanced by the reality of the science and the math.
When Mark Watney is abandoned by his crew due to a completely credible misunderstanding, he has enough resources to support his life for about six months. The earliest anyone could possibly get back to rescue him is three years. So Watney has to figure out how to save himself and he has to do it himself since communication with NASA was disabled at the same time he was abandoned. Watney has to use his brain and good old ingenuity to survive. Parts of the book read like a really good adventure story with tense scenes where survival is questionable. Other parts, which really make the ultra-science facts bearable, are extremely funny. It is a well-balanced book: science-adventure-humor-ingenuity. What's not to like?
My husband and I started the audiobook of The Martian during our Spring Break trip. I love to listen to audiobooks when I'm driving and my husband puts up with them. For that reason I try to select books he will like when we travel together. R.C. Bray does an excellent job reading the book and doing the character voices. Below is a snippet of the book, the first chapter. Hey, why not get started with the book right now and have a listen (6 minutes.)
Rating: 5/5, some strong language
Audiobook info: The Martian by Andy Weir, read by RC Bray. Podium Publishing on Brilliance Audio, MP-3 format, 2014.