29 Feb 2016


The Martian by Andy WeirTHE MARTIAN by ANDY WEIR.

INNER FRONT COVER BLURB: I’m stranded on Mars.

I have no way to communicate with Earth.

I’m in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.

If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death.

So yeah. I’m screwed.

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter 2: Log Entry: Sol 7}: Okay, I've had a good night's sleep, and things don't seem as hopeless as they did yesterday. 

(Please excuse me for not sharing the first sentence of chapter 1 with you but I choose not to share expletives here. TT)

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 148}: They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially "colonized" it. So technically I colonized Mars.

SOURCE: A library book read read for the Arkansas Book Club of which I'm an international member (Read Kelly's account of the meeting here, her thoughts on the book here). Sadly I was unable to get hold of the book in time for the meeting but still decided to read/review it.

MY THOUGHTS: I hate to use the word bored but alas its the only word that adequately sums up my thoughts on what I thought was one of the dullest books I've read in a long, long time. 

The author's tendency to run and run and run with an idea incredibly tedious. 

The repetitiveness of 'the martian', main protagonist, Mark Watney's 

  • finding a problem, 
  • worrying about his imminent death - and my goodness, with so many sentences (especially in the early chapters) beginning with a certain four lettered profanity followed by 'I'm dying' (or words to that effect) I quickly found myself praying for his demise 
  • only, after much mathematical calculation and chemical periodic tables, to find a solution (one which funnily enough often seemed to involve duct tape as as we are informed 'turns out even NASA can't improve on duct tape') 
almost more than I could endure.

Altogether badly written, I don't know if it was only this edition (published in 2011 by Del Rey) but I found myself quite surprised by the number of typing errors etc. And that's to say nothing of the repetitive use of language - for goodness sake the author didn't even vary in his choice of swear words.

Character wise. 

I'm always impressed with authors that rely on one character (and lets face it though there are other characters The Martian is largely reliant on, well, 'the martian') and manage to do it well but I'm afraid for me Andy Weir didn't quite pull Mark Watney (or indeed any of the secondary characters) off. His failure to even attempt to channel any real human emotions into Mark disappointing to say the least.


Gina R said...

Oh my...and I had high hopes for it as the movie was actually pretty good! Better luck next read around! thanks for sharing!

Kelly said...

Oh no!! I'm so sorry it was such a disappointment for you. I loved it! (as you know)

I can only hope our future picks turn out to be more positive for you.

Sherry Ellis said...

Sorry this one wasn't good. There was a movie made called, The Martian. I wonder if it was based on this book.

Tracy Terry said...

It was Sherry.

Suko said...

Tracy, thank you for your honest review of this book. Coincidentally, we just watched this movie Saturday night. (Hubby gave it 3 Stars, I gave it 3.5 stars.)

Tracy Terry said...

Fairly certain I wasn't going to watch the film, I'm beginning to waiver though I feel it will be a long while before I can gather any real enthusiasm.

Brandi Kosiner said...

Aw, sorry to hear that it wasn't up to what it could be...

Anonymous said...

Having enjoyed the film, I don't think I'll read the book!!

Literary Feline said...

I'm sorry you didn't care for this one, Tracy. I have heard there's a lot of math in it, which doesn't interest me too much (although it thrills my husband). I really enjoyed the movie and given how many people I know who have sung this book's praises, I am curious about it. It's not one I am rushing to read though.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh sorry you didn't like it. I've been wondering if I should audiobook it before seeing the movie, but I may just watch the movie instead.

I love how someone explained the movie as having to rescue Matt Damon again. LOL

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

Following Kelly's glowing review of both the book and film, the latter is definitely hubbie's viewing list, although not being even slightly interested in science fiction, I have no real urge to discover this story in either medium!

'The Martian' is a perfect example of why I find book reviews so subjective and why I really don't like recommending books too often. What one person really relates to and enjoys, another might feel totally disconnected with.

I do try to keep my reviews objective and not too personal, but that is always a challenging strategy to adopt.

Thanks for being so totally honest :)


PS. I have obviously come in right at the end of the saga with the toe, so I am not sure what it is that you have had done. However I do hope that you managed to get your shower the other day and that it helped you to get back something of your old mojo :)


Shooting Stars Mag said...

I believe the book was self-published, so the author might not have done much editing on it. I wonder if it's been edited now though. I hope newer versions are a bit easier to read. I'm not interested in the book but I DO want to see the film.

Melliane said...

AH I'm sorry it wasn't more than that but it's complicated when you can't connect and that you have one character

Brian Joseph said...

I have not seen this but I want to.

I will keep your commentary in mind when I do see it.

I can see how a single character film but be difficult to hold one's attention.

Charlie (The Worm Hole) said...

Sorry to hear you didn't like it Tracy. I'm kind of hoping the errors were down to the edition you read - perhaps the film tie-in was re-edited? - because there are so many high rated reviews you'd think it might have been more known.

Natasha Hill said...

I loved the film so I really need to read the book - from the bits and pieces you shared I already know I'm gonna enjoy it, but then it's right up my street - I love sci-fi and seeing characters overcome challenges so it'll rpobably click with me. Sorry you didn't like it Tracy - I have heard so many good things about it, but then if it doesn't gel, it doesn't gel. Have you seen the film yet? - Tasha

New Release Books said...

Sounds like an enjoyable story.

kimbacaffeinate said...

I listened to the audio and absolutely loved it, sorry this one fell short for you.

Barbara Fisher said...

Thanks for your honest review Tracy – this was on my must-read list, but I’ve just removed it. Why waste time on something not up to scratch when there are so many brilliant books waiting to be read.

Tracy Terry said...

Please don't let me put any of you off from reading this. A purely personal point of view, I know this book has been well received and loved by many others, Kelly included.

The Bookworm said...

wow, that is too bad. I definitely want to watch the film. It's interesting to see a single character really carry a movie or book. That's hard to pull off.

Alexia561 said...

How disappointing to hear that this one was boring, as I've heard such good things about the movie! I'd probably feel the same way, as I get annoyed when an author becomes tedious. Hope your next read is better!

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I read this one and really enjoyed it. I read that the self published copy came out in 2011 and it was re-released in 2014 after being edited and updated. I wonder if that made a difference, as you mentioned the copy you read came out in 2011. I saw the movie and liked it too (it is pretty similar to the book- though I saw the movie first).

Hope you enjoy your next book better. :)