The Martian, by Andy Weir, has been lurking around my Goodreads news feed for months. When I initially saw it, I realized it is a sci-fi novel, dismissed it (since I don't really care for sci-fi), and went on about my merry way. During the summer, I looked it again while searching for a book to satisfy the category of "A 2014 Goodreads Choice Winner" for a reading challenge I participated in. Remembering that it was a sci-fi novel, I chose another book instead. Then, about 3-4 weeks ago, I saw the trailer for the movie adaptation starring Matt Damon. Well, let me tell ya, I love me some Matt Damon and immediately knew that I HAD to see the movie. I'm one of those people who really, really likes to read the book before seeing the movie (in most cases), so The Martian landed on my radar but I still wasn't ready to commit. After reading several fellow bloggers reviews of the book, especially a few that expressed how much they loved the book even though they don't particular care for science fiction, I decided to jump in feet first. I listened to The Martian on audiobook format and all I can say is WOW! I absolutely loved it!
As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, I love underdogs. I love rooting for them, I love seeing them succeed. Mark Watney, the main character in the book, is an underdog if there ever was one. Left on Mars by his crewmates after being mistakenly thought for dead, Watney must tackle numerous obstacles in order to survive alone on the red planet. I thoroughly enjoyed his resourcefulness, his determination and drive, and above all, his continued sense of humor even during the most dire situations.
Despite the abundance of science and math used in the book, it didn't hinder my comprehension or my flow of reading/listening. Most of the time, after a lot of scientific material was presented, a quick "layman term" explanation was provided. It was provided in a way that sounded very conversational and not forced. Given that most of the book is told from Watney's perspective in the form of log entries, it sounded very natural to me (not that I have a lot of experience in the authenticity of space log entries).
I highly recommend The Martian. You do not have to be into science fiction in order to enjoy this book. I must admit, however, that I don't think I would've enjoyed The Martian as much as I did had a read it in traditional print format. The vocal artist who provided the narration for The Martian, R. C. Bray, did an outstanding job, giving energy and life to Mark Watney's voice, sense of humor, wit, and smartass nature.
My rating: ★★★★★
The movie was excellent! There are some differences between the book and the movie, but for the most part the movie plot follows that of the book. The changes that were made, in my opinion, were simply due to time. There's no way they could cram pack everything Mark Watney experienced in the book into a 2 hour and 22 minute movie. Matt Damon's performance was stellar and the visual effects were stunning! I also liked the additional "Where Are They Now" video clips at the end as the credits rolled (something that was not in the book). I would highly recommend the movie as well.
Have you read the book and/or watched the movie? What did you think about either of them? Thanks for stopping by!