The Martian – Book Review


So why did I read The Martian twice this year? And watch the film several times?

Is it because it’s witty and funny?

Or because it’s about someone surviving against the odd on an inhospitable planet?

Or maybe I just like all the clever tricks he uses to survive?

I’ll give you a hint, it’s all of the above.

A friend recommended my The Martian and I wasn’t sure what to expect. The film had just come out but I hadn’t seen any trailers or anything. However within several pages  I knew I was going to like it.

This is a book that’s set in quite a serious settings (he does get stranded alone on Mars after all), but it never takes itself too seriously. This is helped enormously by Mark Watney’s personality, his sharp wit and humour cheer everyone up when his crew is still around, and it’s the only thing which gets him through being stranded there alone.

But he’s not alone, he’s got you! That’s how it feels anyway. Through things like video and log entries it feels like you’re with Mark through every triumph and disaster, keeping him company while he tries to find a way home.

I can imagine there might be some parts of this book that are a bit tedious to some readers. There are times when he goes into a lot of technical detail, and while it’s not necessary to understand everything he’s talking about (I’m not a scientist!), having to wade through those parts could get frustrating. They aren’t usually too long however and hopefully great quotes like this should help make it worthwhile:

I am definitely going to die up here … if I have to listen to any more god-awful disco music.”

Yes, Mark is stuck on Mars and the only music available is Disco…not good.

If you do connect with Mark, and I’ll bet that most of you will, then you’ll find the book keeps you rooting for him the whole way. I won’t spoil anything about the ending but with how invested you are in Mark by the end, it’s nail-biting (not the easiest thing while trying to turn pages).

It’s also very near future so I wouldn’t even class it as science fiction, more of an adventure novel. Also, if you’re still unsure, feel free to watch the film. It’s a really good adaptation and it will hopefully make you eager to read the book which adds more detail, and humour!

I hope you enjoy the book or whatever you are reading. Until next time!