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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Martian
Mark Watney is one of the astronauts on the Ares 3 mission to Mars. Unfortunately, when the Ares 3 mission leaves, Mark is left behind, presumed dead. The fact that he isn’t dead comes as a bit of shock to him at first, and then he is left pondering how, or even whether, he can survive. He knows there is another mission planned but calculating his food supplies...
Published 2 months ago by Keen Reader

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ok
A LOT of technical data to read through. In fact that was most of the book so it was a bit like a text book. The story was fascinating though and worth ploughing to the end. I'd love to see the film.
Published 6 months ago by la890


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Martian, 13 April 2015
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Mark Watney is one of the astronauts on the Ares 3 mission to Mars. Unfortunately, when the Ares 3 mission leaves, Mark is left behind, presumed dead. The fact that he isn’t dead comes as a bit of shock to him at first, and then he is left pondering how, or even whether, he can survive. He knows there is another mission planned but calculating his food supplies and other equipment he doesn’t believe he can survive until the Ares 4 mission lands, and even if he does the scheduled landing site is far away; how could he even get there if he is still alive? Keeping a detailed log of his days on Mars he struggles to set up some way firstly to keep himself alive, and only then does he consider communications. Can he contact anyone? What can they do to help him, even if he gets through?

In between, Mark attempts to keep his spirits up; each of the astronauts had personal music, movies, tv series on entertainment systems, so Mark can keep himself entertained wondering why Sherrif Rosco doesn’t just go to the Duke farm and arrest the boys when they’re not in the General Lee. It’s not until we’re about 50 pages into the book that we leave Mark’s log entries temporarily, to go to Earth, where at Mission Control they are commemorating his death. From there, the book alternates between both locations.

I really liked Mark as a character; he’s clearly intelligent; a botanist and an astronaut, he has the know-how and is enough of a geek to give things a go; after all, he has nothing to lose and everything to gain if he can find ways to survive. He has an irreverent sense of humour and this comes across in his log entries. Having never been stranded on Mars, I have no idea how it may impact on a person’s mindset; but I felt that the log entries Mark creates are indicative of a man who is a survivalist, but has a touch of pragmatism in him as well. I don’t really know why some reviewers have complained about the bad language in the book; there really wasn’t very much so that it became an issue, and I think I’d swear if I was stranded on a planet that was doing its darnedest to kill me too. It seems to me that some reviewers have not taken into account the mental, emotional and physical strain that we have to imagine the character undergoing in this situation, coupled with his sheer will to survive and prove the odds wrong.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book; following Mark’s log entries explaining his thinking through solutions to his problems. I think these log entries were partly a way for Mark to ‘think out loud’ as he worked through each issue and as such they give us a really good view into his mindset. I found myself cheering with each triumph, and feeling crushed with each blow. The incident with the airlock some way into the book nearly made me weep with frustration. A great book; I can’t wait for more books by this clearly talented author who has written what I found to be an intelligent and thought-provoking sci-fi novel.
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138 of 151 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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53 of 58 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Martian, 13 April 2015
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Mark Watney is one of the astronauts on the Ares 3 mission to Mars. Unfortunately, when the Ares 3 mission leaves, Mark is left behind, presumed dead. The fact that he isn’t dead comes as a bit of shock to him at first, and then he is left pondering how, or even whether, he can survive. He knows there is another mission planned but calculating his food supplies and other equipment he doesn’t believe he can survive until the Ares 4 mission lands, and even if he does the scheduled landing site is far away; how could he even get there if he is still alive? Keeping a detailed log of his days on Mars he struggles to set up some way firstly to keep himself alive, and only then does he consider communications. Can he contact anyone? What can they do to help him, even if he gets through?

In between, Mark attempts to keep his spirits up; each of the astronauts had personal music, movies, tv series on entertainment systems, so Mark can keep himself entertained wondering why Sherrif Rosco doesn’t just go to the Duke farm and arrest the boys when they’re not in the General Lee. It’s not until we’re about 50 pages into the book that we leave Mark’s log entries temporarily, to go to Earth, where at Mission Control they are commemorating his death. From there, the book alternates between both locations.

I really liked Mark as a character; he’s clearly intelligent; a botanist and an astronaut, he has the know-how and is enough of a geek to give things a go; after all, he has nothing to lose and everything to gain if he can find ways to survive. He has an irreverent sense of humour and this comes across in his log entries. Having never been stranded on Mars, I have no idea how it may impact on a person’s mindset; but I felt that the log entries Mark creates are indicative of a man who is a survivalist, but has a touch of pragmatism in him as well. I don’t really know why some reviewers have complained about the bad language in the book; there really wasn’t very much so that it became an issue, and I think I’d swear if I was stranded on a planet that was doing its darnedest to kill me too. It seems to me that some reviewers have not taken into account the mental, emotional and physical strain that we have to imagine the character undergoing in this situation, coupled with his sheer will to survive and prove the odds wrong.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book; following Mark’s log entries explaining his thinking through solutions to his problems. I think these log entries were partly a way for Mark to ‘think out loud’ as he worked through each issue and as such they give us a really good view into his mindset. I found myself cheering with each triumph, and feeling crushed with each blow. The incident with the airlock some way into the book nearly made me weep with frustration. A great book; I can’t wait for more books by this clearly talented author who has written what I found to be an intelligent and thought-provoking sci-fi novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Martian, 13 April 2015
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Mark Watney is one of the astronauts on the Ares 3 mission to Mars. Unfortunately, when the Ares 3 mission leaves, Mark is left behind, presumed dead. The fact that he isn’t dead comes as a bit of shock to him at first, and then he is left pondering how, or even whether, he can survive. He knows there is another mission planned but calculating his food supplies and other equipment he doesn’t believe he can survive until the Ares 4 mission lands, and even if he does the scheduled landing site is far away; how could he even get there if he is still alive? Keeping a detailed log of his days on Mars he struggles to set up some way firstly to keep himself alive, and only then does he consider communications. Can he contact anyone? What can they do to help him, even if he gets through?

In between, Mark attempts to keep his spirits up; each of the astronauts had personal music, movies, tv series on entertainment systems, so Mark can keep himself entertained wondering why Sherrif Rosco doesn’t just go to the Duke farm and arrest the boys when they’re not in the General Lee. It’s not until we’re about 50 pages into the book that we leave Mark’s log entries temporarily, to go to Earth, where at Mission Control they are commemorating his death. From there, the book alternates between both locations.

I really liked Mark as a character; he’s clearly intelligent; a botanist and an astronaut, he has the know-how and is enough of a geek to give things a go; after all, he has nothing to lose and everything to gain if he can find ways to survive. He has an irreverent sense of humour and this comes across in his log entries. Having never been stranded on Mars, I have no idea how it may impact on a person’s mindset; but I felt that the log entries Mark creates are indicative of a man who is a survivalist, but has a touch of pragmatism in him as well. I don’t really know why some reviewers have complained about the bad language in the book; there really wasn’t very much so that it became an issue, and I think I’d swear if I was stranded on a planet that was doing its darnedest to kill me too. It seems to me that some reviewers have not taken into account the mental, emotional and physical strain that we have to imagine the character undergoing in this situation, coupled with his sheer will to survive and prove the odds wrong.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book; following Mark’s log entries explaining his thinking through solutions to his problems. I think these log entries were partly a way for Mark to ‘think out loud’ as he worked through each issue and as such they give us a really good view into his mindset. I found myself cheering with each triumph, and feeling crushed with each blow. The incident with the airlock some way into the book nearly made me weep with frustration. A great book; I can’t wait for more books by this clearly talented author who has written what I found to be an intelligent and thought-provoking sci-fi novel.
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ok, 15 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Martian (Kindle Edition)
A LOT of technical data to read through. In fact that was most of the book so it was a bit like a text book. The story was fascinating though and worth ploughing to the end. I'd love to see the film.
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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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