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The Martian

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The Martian Cover

ISBN13: 9780553418026
ISBN10: 0553418025
Condition: Standard
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Awards


Staff Pick

An absolutely riveting adventure about an astronaut stranded on Mars and what he must do to survive. White-knuckle, nail-biting sci-fi adventure at its best. You will never look at a potato the same way after reading this.
Recommended by Mary Jo, Powells.com

Astronaut Mark Watney is on an expedition to Mars, but it doesn't go so well: a malfunction leads to an emergency evacuation, during which he is presumed dead. But Watney isn't dead; he's very much alive and determined to stay that way... though he's condemned to a life of deep-space Macgyver-like struggles and insufferable levels of disco music from his station's library. In the process, Watney shows readers the power and meaning of a single human life, even when that human life is stuck on a rock in space and swears worse than my mother.
Recommended by Jordan G., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills — and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit — he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Review:

“Brilliant…a celebration of human ingenuity [and] the purest example of real-science sci-fi for many years.…Utterly compelling.” Wall Street Journal

Review:

“Terrific stuff, a crackling good read that devotees of space travel will devour like candy…succeeds on several levels and for a variety of reasons, not least of which is its surprising plausibility.” USA Today  

Review:

“An impressively geeky debut…the technical details keep the story relentlessly precise and the suspense ramped up. And really, how can anyone not root for a regular dude to prove the U-S-A still has the Right Stuff?” Entertainment Weekly

Review:

“Gripping…[features] a hero who can solve almost every problem while still being hilarious. It’s hard not to be swept up in [Weir’s] vision and root for every one of these characters." The Onion AV Club

Review:

"An excellent first novel...Weir laces the technical details with enough keen wit to satisfy hard science fiction fan and general reader alike [and] keeps the story escalating to a riveting conclusion." Publisher's Weekly (starred)

Review:

"Riveting...a tightly constructed and completely believable story of a man's ingenuity and strength in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds." Booklist

Review:

"Sharp, funny and thrilling, with just the right amount of geekery...Weir displays a virtuosic ability to write about highly technical situations without leaving readers far behind. The result is a story that is as plausible as it is compelling." Kirkus

Review:

"Weir combines the heart-stopping with the humorous in this brilliant debut novel...by placing a nail-biting life-and-death situation on Mars and adding a snarky and wise-cracking nerdy hero, Weir has created the perfect mix of action and space adventure." Library Journal (starred)

About the Author

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 15 comments:

W S Krauss, August 7, 2015 (view all comments by W S Krauss)
Imagine you're an astronaut, a botanist and a mechanical engineer. Now imagine you are on a mission to Mars. On your sixth day on Mars, a severe storm threatens the mission and the crew of six must abort and leave immediately. The ascent vehicle (the MAV) is about to tip over. As you and the crew make your way to the MAV, you are struck by an object and knocked unconscious. Your commander tries to find you but cannot see through the storm. Your biostats are flat; they presume you are dead. They must leave immediately or there will be no escape for the five remaining crew members.

And then you wake up. Somehow, you have managed to survive. But you are alone on Mars. Somehow you must figure out how to survive.

Exciting, riveting, and scientific, yet very readable and accessible, the novel sweeps us along on a tale of survival against all odds. Mark Watney shares his thoughts with us through the log that he keeps, as much for himself as for NASA or those who will find it if he perishes. We follow along as he solves problems, makes mistakes and, through it all, keeps his humor intact. Limited by the tools at hand, we witness this ingenious man as he struggles to survive until he can be rescued or dies. As with all grand human endeavors, we hope for his survival and the acquisition of knowledge that his survival will ensure.
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Sheila Deeth, July 22, 2015 (view all comments by Sheila Deeth)
Andy Weir’s The Martian offers a convincing look at the near future, with earth’s first steps toward manned investigations of Mars. The protagonist is a scientist, well-trained and well-informed. Unfortunately his training can’t stop him being left for dead in an unforeseen accident. So now he’s alone on an alien planet, with the next manned mission not due until long after his food runs out. Reading his journal of measuring needs, calculating possibilities, and facing nature’s fury is fascinating and fun. It’s all written in a convincing voice, with compelling and wholly believable misfortunes, and an insistent sense of hope.

The story’s told mostly from the castaway’s point of view -- a document left for posterity should he not survive. Interleaved, as time progresses, are tales from the astronauts who left him behind, from the media, and from the earth-based scientists who have to deal with the media feeding frenzy after disaster.

There are occasional typos and errors, but for the most part the science feels sound, and the novel soars with its sense of basic realities and man’s need for, as well as thirst for knowledge. I love the earth-based scenes with their balance of media, politics, possibilities, and behind-the-scenes cooperation -- prepare to have your faith in human nature at least partially restored. I love the humorous insights into what an astronaut might watch on TV. And I love the sense of real science saving real life.

Gritty, complex, compelling and scarily authentic, this is real science fiction at its best, and a really great read.

Disclosure: I bought it to read on a plane, not a spaceship, and I really enjoyed it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
mccaly28, July 7, 2015 (view all comments by mccaly28)
I have to say that overall this book was fantastic. There's a few things that I didn't love about it, but it's a great read.

First what I didn't like about the book - the shifting in point of view was confusing. There's really nothing that distinguishes when the perspective is going to change and there seemed to be some random perspectives that were in italics that didn't seem to fit. I read the kindle version but there were times I was wondering some things got italicized as action and others didn't. Second, while I'm not one to harp on the personality of characters the overbearing sarcasm at times of Watney when interacting with other characters. Also some of the other characters in general - while there was some good representation it felt like there was a lot of really general female characters and the way that the NASA and JPL staff also felt very superficial and sarcastic in terms of trying to bring a man back from Mars. Granted the story is not about the people back on Earth but there's very little development or perspective from anyone that seems involved with the ground side of the mission and it felt overly comical or forced at times.

That being said this book is funnier than I expected. I think the premise was fantastic and even as Watney tried and failed and tried again I was sucked in to the intensity and what was at stake from the start. Sure there are some things that aren't particularly realistic but with the dark humor and facing of our mortality and the idea of achieving human travel to Mars the whole thing ties together so well and really captures the drama of human survival.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780553418026
Author:
Weir, Andy
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Adventure
Subject:
Science / Adventure
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20141028
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
8.01 x 5.2 x 0.88 in 0.68 lb

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The Martian Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Broadway Books - English 9780553418026 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

An absolutely riveting adventure about an astronaut stranded on Mars and what he must do to survive. White-knuckle, nail-biting sci-fi adventure at its best. You will never look at a potato the same way after reading this.

"Staff Pick" by ,

Astronaut Mark Watney is on an expedition to Mars, but it doesn't go so well: a malfunction leads to an emergency evacuation, during which he is presumed dead. But Watney isn't dead; he's very much alive and determined to stay that way... though he's condemned to a life of deep-space Macgyver-like struggles and insufferable levels of disco music from his station's library. In the process, Watney shows readers the power and meaning of a single human life, even when that human life is stuck on a rock in space and swears worse than my mother.

"Review" by , “Brilliant…a celebration of human ingenuity [and] the purest example of real-science sci-fi for many years.…Utterly compelling.”
"Review" by , “Terrific stuff, a crackling good read that devotees of space travel will devour like candy…succeeds on several levels and for a variety of reasons, not least of which is its surprising plausibility.”
"Review" by , “An impressively geeky debut…the technical details keep the story relentlessly precise and the suspense ramped up. And really, how can anyone not root for a regular dude to prove the U-S-A still has the Right Stuff?”
"Review" by , “Gripping…[features] a hero who can solve almost every problem while still being hilarious. It’s hard not to be swept up in [Weir’s] vision and root for every one of these characters."
"Review" by , "An excellent first novel...Weir laces the technical details with enough keen wit to satisfy hard science fiction fan and general reader alike [and] keeps the story escalating to a riveting conclusion."
"Review" by , "Riveting...a tightly constructed and completely believable story of a man's ingenuity and strength in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds."
"Review" by , "Sharp, funny and thrilling, with just the right amount of geekery...Weir displays a virtuosic ability to write about highly technical situations without leaving readers far behind. The result is a story that is as plausible as it is compelling."
"Review" by , "Weir combines the heart-stopping with the humorous in this brilliant debut novel...by placing a nail-biting life-and-death situation on Mars and adding a snarky and wise-cracking nerdy hero, Weir has created the perfect mix of action and space adventure."
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