The Martian Audiobook
By: Andy Weir
Narrated by: R.C. Bray
Published by: Podium Publishing 03/22/2013
10 hrs and 53 mins
Whispersync for Voice-ready
The Martian is not a book or audiobook that I would’ve picked up on my own. I would like to thank Marcela (@BookaholicCat), Carmel (@RabidReads) and Hot Listens’s very own Loupe for hounding me until I listened to this book. I’m so glad that I did and I will highly recommend that you listen before it comes out in the theaters in November. It is starring Matt Damon as Mark Watney.
The Martian is basically about a NASA mission to Mars. There is a storm that comes through and the mission is aborted. Mark Watney, the mission’s engineer and botanist, was left behind when everyone left Mars. Everyone was convinced that he was dead after he was knocked out during the storm. When Watney wakes up and learns what happens, he has to figure out how to survive.
Watney is a very interesting character. He is like MacGyver (once again, thanks to Marcela for that reference, but once I heard it, I couldn’t get it out of my head). The way he is able to make something out of nothing, is pretty remarkable. When he makes a mistake, he has a pretty funny panic attack, but then he recovers pretty quickly and gets back to how to solve the problem.
Once NASA figures out that they’ve left a living person on Mars, things really start to pick up. It is great to see how NASA really comes together to save this one person. Red tape that disappears to help bring Watney home. Plus the really tough decisions that had to be made. They had to think about the crew on the way home, Mark Watney left alone on Mars and the public here on Earth.
I loved the science. I don’t know how much of it was truly real and would work if put to the test, but the author and narrator made me believe that everything that happened was entirely possible. There was also some math involved, and while it was pretty intense, don’t let that scare you off. I just took that he knew more than he did about it and took what he said as fact and didn’t let it bog me down.
Mark Watney was a great character. Throughout a completely impossible situation, he kept a level head the majority of the time and tried to figure out what he needed to do to survive. One of my favorite scenes is when he first gets communication (done through written cards and photos, no voice) with NASA and NASA asked him for a photo op without much more information. Watney decides to go out in his spacesuit, the camera in question was outside, he writes “Heyyy!” and does a thumbs up. The PR person at NASA was unamused. That was pretty much Watney’s sense of humor, in a nutshell.
Once again, I can’t recommend this story enough. It is not something I ever would’ve picked up if it weren’t for the ladies who highly recommended it. Now, I’m going around and recommending it everyone I see. I don’t know how it would be to read, because the narration is done so well and I really think it helped bring the story to life. Please don’t let the sci-fi genre scare you off. It is so much more than that. While this is a science fiction story, the sci-fi is mostly a mission to Mars. Outside of that, it is a story of survival.
Photo of Andy Weir
ANDY WEIR was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age fifteen and has been working as a software engineer ever since. He is also a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. The Martian is his first novel.
R. C. Bray is an Audie-nominated and Earphones Award-winning narrator with over 150 titles to his credit.
He lives with his gorgeous wife and two beautiful daughters in New England.