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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick, Interesting read
This novel has a great premise, which is in many ways it greatest strength. Weir is great at delivering technical information in his writing style, and a great part of the text is quite technical. But it's succinct, and is never bogged down with advanced vocabulary. However, if you are not looking for a story that talks a lot about the technicalities and issues of space...
Published on 18 April 2013 by Amazon Customer

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, original survival thriller
Desert island survival in a vacuum on a deserted planet. Meticulously researched, at times it gets caught up as it delights at solving puzzles and creating survival gear out of presumably realistic components.
However you don't for a second doubt Watney's resourcefulness, composure or perceptiveness.

As a thriller at heart, it makes room for its...
Published 6 months ago by Don Hebbon


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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick, Interesting read, 18 April 2013
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This review is from: The Martian (Kindle Edition)
This novel has a great premise, which is in many ways it greatest strength. Weir is great at delivering technical information in his writing style, and a great part of the text is quite technical. But it's succinct, and is never bogged down with advanced vocabulary. However, if you are not looking for a story that talks a lot about the technicalities and issues of space travel and inter-planetary exploration, this book is not for you.
The story itself is good, switching between the main characters life on mars, and the events of those back on earth adds a refreshing change of pace at key points which keeps the reader engaged. Do not expect a deeply philosophical approach to difficulties faced by a lone human on a barren world, you wont be getting it. Life alone on Mars is described by Mark Watney, a likable and quick witted botanist, who likes to keep things simple, and humorous.
All in all, this book will interest the sci-fi fan, and will appeal to the casual reader, such as myself, looking for a new and refreshing story.
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131 of 143 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get out of that without moving, 5 Feb. 2013
By 
William J. Fox "KillerBill" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Martian (Kindle Edition)
NASA has set up a chain of expeditions to Mars but very soon after landing the third one is aborted and the scientists have to leave. Unknown to them their dead companion, who is not actually dead, finds himself stranded on Mars with little hope of surviving until the next scheduled mission. Air and water are not the problem but he does not have enough food despite being left with the resources to accommodate six explorers.

Right from the start this is a gripping page-turner and no matter how hard Mark Watney strives to survive Mars works just as hard to kill him. All the time I was willing him to succeed only to have yet another believable crisis threatening his continued existence. In my opinion you will not find a better thriller set on Mars or elsewhere. I had not previously heard of the author and cannot remember how I ended up buying his book to read on my Ipad, but it was a good day. Highly recommended, excellent value for money, and I look forward to reading other work from Weir.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, original survival thriller, 3 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: The Martian (Kindle Edition)
Desert island survival in a vacuum on a deserted planet. Meticulously researched, at times it gets caught up as it delights at solving puzzles and creating survival gear out of presumably realistic components.
However you don't for a second doubt Watney's resourcefulness, composure or perceptiveness.

As a thriller at heart, it makes room for its impressive nuts and bolts at the expense of some thematics, especially on a level of character development, but as the set backs stack up and the plot manoeuvres deftly to the climax, it entertains and more than makes up for its procedural shortcomings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Martian MacGyver, 7 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Martian (Kindle Edition)
Martian MacGyver
This is one of the most entertaining reads I’ve had in a while. For those of you looking for a Star Wars style adventure with futuristic technologies then this isn’t the book for you. For those interested in a space story told within the restraints of real, actual physics then it most definitely is.
Mark Watney is a resourceful astronaut who finds himself accidentally stranded on Mars, abandoned by a crew who believed him dead. Because of orbital mechanics they can’t return for him, and because of planning restraints NASA can’t organise a rescue mission for a long, long time.
Unfortunately for Watney the one thing he doesn’t have is time. He has to survive on his engineering and botanical skills alone, and by utilising the various items his mission left behind on the surface. It doesn’t help that he’s the only living organism on a dead planet devoid of food and oxygen and heat; the most isolated human in the universe.
He tells his story in diary form and I warmed to his character very quickly due to his attitude and sense of humour. I even laughed out loud on occasion at his turn of phrase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, 27 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Martian (Kindle Edition)
A great story, cross between Apollo 13 and Gravity, definitely movie material. Nearly gave it 5 stars as it was very gripping and a good read. The one minus for me was the main character is rather one dimensional. Although I grew to like him, and the humour had me crack a smile a few times, I felt the need to write in some prose of my own. Perfect setting for philosophical arguments in his head, for looking out at the stars and wondering which dot may actually be his home planet. Mars must have some beauty about it, even if only the setting sun, or a view of its two moons, anything! And surely his situation would make him cycle through a plethora of human emotions - anger, sadness, downright depression, bitterness, hope, misery, despair, acceptance, fear, loneliness, cycling round with some good days in between? Instead he seemed mostly to crack jokes or swear at things!

Still, I would highly recommend this book, and if you don't understand the science, ignore it.....the story is good enough to please engineers and sci fi fans alike. Enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Apollo 13 meets Scrapyard Challenge and Top Gear., 23 Dec. 2014
This review is from: The Martian (Kindle Edition)
Described as Apollo 13 meets Castaway, it's more like Apollo 13 meets Scrapyard Challenge and Top Gear.

This is way out of my normal genres, but Apollo 13 is one of my favourite films, so I was willing to give it a whirl.

The story is a simple one, an astronaut left on Mars by accident has to survive using his ingenuity and the remaining equipment.

Mark Watney, the abandoned astronaut, is both humourous and human. His human frailties and mental strength are portrayed very well and the tension holds up throughout as some ideas go to plan and some go awry. Apparently Matt Damon has now been cast in the film role.

My main criticism would be that some of the prose is too tech heavy, and I must admit that whilst I could follow the tech talk up to a point but I found it inaccessible at times.

That being said the book is a great read and holds the tension just when you expect it to flag
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really entertaining space survival story, 20 Aug. 2014
By 
Baz (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Martian (Kindle Edition)
I'm not a big fiction fan, particularly science fiction. Most of my reading is non-fiction, with a few novels here and there. However, I came across "The Martian" and was immediately intrigued, reading the first chapter or two there and then. It's an excellent story.

To set the scene: in the near future NASA has established the Ares Program to send astronauts to Mars. Mark Watney, the titular Martian, is the lowest-ranking member of the third mission. A few days after his Ares 3 crew lands on Mars, they are forced to abandon their mission. Unfortunately, Mark is seriously injured on the way to the escape vehicle and is left behind, the rest of his crew and NASA back home believing he's dead. He has no means of communicating with Earth. He has no means of getting off the planet. His supplies of food and water will last almost a year; the next Ares mission is due to reach Mars in 4 years time. And so his battle to survive begins.

Andy Weir has done a great job of making Watney someone the reader really cares about. Watney comes across as the kind of person you'd want to have around in a crisis. Not just for his technical abilities and inventive improvisational skills, but his upbeat nature and sense of humour. You find yourself really caring about him and willing him to succeed, despite knowing little of his back story. Despite his vast knowledge of chemistry, physics, engineering and botany he never seems like a know-it-all, possibly because of his many setbacks and near death experiences. I was crying with laughter at some points as he recounts his his day to day survival in log entries.

I really hope that "The Martian" gets picked up by a studio and filmed. And I really hope Andy Weir writes another book.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tense and thrilling, snide and sarcastic - Mark Watney is science geek heaven (and my new crush), 18 Oct. 2014
By 
K. J. Noyes "Katy Noyes" (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Martian (Kindle Edition)
What a find! Occasionally Richard and Judy surprise me with an unusual choice that turns out to be a piece of undiscovered gold.

Who would have though that a story billed as 'Castaway meets Apollo 13' would have nearly made me late for work?! But science won me over, science and space thrills.

It's simple enough to convey: a team working on Mars is surprised by a dust storm. One of the team is lost with a hole in his suit, the others told to evacuate. Leaving him behind, he wakes up later to discover his situation. His team think him dead, NASA think he's dead. He's on his own.

Absolutely HOOKED. And I'm not ashamed to say that I have a huge crush on botanist/engineer Mark Watney. Huge. He narrates the story as journal entries from Mars, as problem after problem must be overcome - his suit, water, heat, food just for starters. Each time his sense of humour only heightens the tension as you see just how terrifying it must be there for him to make light of it later.

It's a book with a LOT of science in it. I won't pretend to understand more than 1 in 10 of Mark's explanations and solutions, but it doesn't matter. The overall terror, the human story, the excitement mean you can follow Mark's progress without having to catch all the terminology.

It does feel well-researched though. You do feel you can picture Mars: the cold, the barren landscape, the loneliness.

Mark's story changes from Castaway's one-man-trial partway through to more Apollo 13 as the NASA side of the tale begins to filter in and awareness of his 'alive' status arises. Earth's reaction is well detailed. NASA's plans and frantic meetings feel real, the desperation to save this lone man and the millions poured into it touching.

And yet Mark keeps his irreverent sense of humour as he reaches ever closer to a lonely death.... Just how will it end?

I was on the edge of the bed desperately turning pages to get there. I loved the writing, the back-and-forth Mars-to-Earth narration. I loved Mark's cobbled-together and insane plans. I loved the tension and space talk (even if I didn't follow it all). You do not have to be a techie to enjoy this.

I've already got a few library customers to order this. They better stay away from Mark though :)

Looking out for the author's next book. Excellent way to get noticed, Mr Weir.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read but has it's flaws., 29 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: The Martian (Paperback)
This was a bit of a tough one to review. Many aspects just aren't believable, there are a series of minor plot flaws that left me thinking "why would you do that?" especially in one particular situation where the character has access to multiple space suits and instead of following common sense opts to make a bad decision that obviously comes back later to be a minor issue. It took me two attempts at starting this book before I could get past the dialogue and style of writing from a supposed astronaut, it's just not believable. That being said, I can see why the author chose this style of writing - it would be much less enjoyable otherwise.

With that said - it's still absolutely worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read I have not stopped recommending it to friends and strangers, 14 Feb. 2015
By 
Mr. G. Bridgeman-clarke "Graham BC" (Rayleigh, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Martian (Paperback)
I am not into science fiction but after hearing so much positive feedback on this novel I decided to buy.

What a treat. I loved it and didn't want the book to end. Its a story about an astronaut left on Mars and his bid to live long enough to get off. There is loads of technical stuff in the book but so well explained and the prose is excellent. I followed through with the ideas and the equipment used and never got lost, as I do in other Sci-Fi books I have read.

Its funny in places and I love the initial contacts between Earth and Mars and found myself laughing out loud on the train several times.

For me its a great read and I have not stopped recommending it to friends and strangers. It is that good!
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