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47 of 50 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not As Great As The Hype Would Have You Believe
I confess I read this because I loved the idea of it, and I'm excited for the upcoming film. With that in mind, this should be read with the full knowledge that it was a self published book first.

The Martian is fun and compelling, but it's not particularly well written. The main character, Watney, has the obnoxious comedy of a redditer, and we're told he's...
Published 3 months ago by Jilly


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47 of 50 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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129 of 141 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not As Great As The Hype Would Have You Believe, 25 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: The Martian (Kindle Edition)
I confess I read this because I loved the idea of it, and I'm excited for the upcoming film. With that in mind, this should be read with the full knowledge that it was a self published book first.

The Martian is fun and compelling, but it's not particularly well written. The main character, Watney, has the obnoxious comedy of a redditer, and we're told he's very charming but given no evidence of it in the text. Bearing with the character for most of the book might be a bit of a struggle for some, especially when the characters you meet in the third person are each a cardboard cutout from the typical action movie. There are action movie beats sprinkled liberally throughout the narrative, such as the 'he's going for Pathfinder' scene in Houston, so if that sort of thing sticks in your craw I wouldn't go for it.

While the Martian has been praised for its hard science, it has a couple of misses on psychological sciences and biology - Watney doesn't suffer nearly enough for my liking, and I would have loved to see a more detailed study of being isolated on Mars.

But don't let me put you off, it's very fun and enjoyable. Definitely give it a shot if you're a sci fi fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stranded, 10 Mar. 2014
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Martian (Hardcover)
Astronaut is left, assumed dead, on the surface of Mars. Except he’s not. And now he is stranded.

So this is a tale of survival on Mars with our unlucky astronaut trying to find a way to survive until the next manned probe lands. It is a tale of invention, ingenuity and a tiny bit of science. But it is also a tale told with self-depreciating humour and the science is generally told in a way that doesn’t make your brain hurt.

Having said that, just as I was thinking it would be a long book of just survival and ingenuity, we start to get the aspect from Earth as they realise a man has been left behind and the full horror of the situation becomes apparent.

It is a clever and original novel. I will admit that there were bits of the science that went slightly over my head, but potential readers should not be put off my either my ignorance or fear of a science packed book. This is about the will to survive and the skills and mental attitude that are required if you happen to be stuck on Mars. It should almost be required reading for teenagers to not only entertain them, but teach them the value of science.
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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
2.0 out of 5 stars Who cares...., 22 Feb. 2015
By 
Maffy "Maffy" (South Coast, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Martian (Paperback)
I had high hopes but like many others the technical details soon become mind numbing, I was always hoping the storyline would soon be switched to that on earth. The writer spent so much time constantly showing us how clever he was with all the scientific stuff that he never really developing the characters. I didn't really care if he survived or not... In fact at times I was hoping he wouldn't.

I expected some darker twist and turns, surely your mental state would deteriorate after that long stranded on Mars? but no, Watney just solves problem after problem and there is no real suspense until the last few pages, (let's face it, you know he gonna survive all the initial problems as there so much book left to read)

For a book so heavy in technical detail it's surprisingly dumbed down, with that and constant problem solving when describing the book to my wife I could only compare it to our Daughters tedious Dora the Explorer books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing unless you love your tech, 9 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: The Martian (Kindle Edition)
I started reading this book with the hope that it would provide some good psychological suspense, as well as of course providing a tempting story line with plenty of twists and turns.

The story is a good one, even if the way in which the main character (Mark Watney) becomes stuck on the planet is somewhat hard to believe. However the book lacks any insight into the mind of the man, his thoughts and description of Mars, or any kind of real human feeling. I am aware that Mark Watney's account is supposed to read like a journal, but even then that is hard to accept given his jokey language and almost constant bonhomie, even in the face of some tremendous challenges and stark loneliness.

If you love technical details and are prepared to follow it closely I think you will enjoy. Personally I skim read all the tech. If you are after something that scratches a little further beneath the surface then perhaps this book is not for you.
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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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