Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Review | The Martian, by Andy Weir

What You Need To Know:
Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Number of Pages: 369
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Fiction
Standalone/Series: Standalone
Publisher: Crown
Publication Date: 11th February, 2011

The Plot:
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 the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars' surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years 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's not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills — and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength – he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.

As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive – but Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.

My Thoughts:
This book was nothing like I expected. I have heard only good things about the film with Matt Damon in it so I was really excited to get my hands on this book. But here is an unpopular opinion: I had this book. It was so poorly written. Watney's journals reminded me of a geeky science blog; something that Sheldon off of The Big Bang Theory would say but in a less lovable way. I know it was because he would have to have written down a detailed journey for any one who found it some time later to let them know what happened. But to me that was so boring. But that wasn't it. I think Weir has the worst writing style I've read in a long long time.

"I'm pretty much fucked. 
That's my considered opinion. 

I can understand why a lot of people have loved this book. It is a thrilling survival story with a hearty dose of humour, with a smartass main character, but I just found nothing that would keep me interested. I read it on the plane journey home from New York and I knew that I wanted to finish it because of how rated it was. But really I didn't like it.

"It's true, you know. In space, no one can hear you scream like a little girl."

Some people say that Mark Watney is a smartass, loveable and brave character. Personally, I can't stand him. He was trying to be funny and honestly it was not funny at all. Maybe because I personally don't think he's written very well so he didn't come across very favourably in my mind. Yes there was the odd line that was slightly amusing. But he was so poorly written that I just didn't enjoy him, or his words.

"LOG ENTRY: SOL 61 How come Aquaman can control whales? They're mammals! Makes no sense."

The main fault I felt with this book, because the idea was rather good I'm going to admit that, was the execution of the writing. No doubt this is an excellent film but reading it was dull. There was a lack of description of the area because of the writing of the logs which meant that I was unable to image what was going on. I had no visual image of the characters so I was unable to feel pity for them because they were not realistic in my eyes.
I really don't understand why this book has had so much praise. If it hadn't been for the intriguing idea I most likely would have given it less stars. But I did enjoy the idea of the plot. That was the only reason I stuck with it.
Really I can't be the only one who thinks this, right?

I'm guessing that you already know what rating I'm going to give this book. Realistically I think it should be 1.5 stars but I don't do halves so 2 stars it is. And that's me being generous!

Book Total of 2016 - 16