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on 13 February 2016
I've got to say that despite all the "tech talk" at times, I really enjoyed this book. Mark Watney is funny, inventive and definitely the type of guy you want around in an emergency. The scenario - being trapped alone on a planet - is terrifying to even contemplate, but through a series of ingenious well thought out idea's our hero manages. The only downside for me personally was I felt that I was sometimes "overpowered" by the sometimes incessant "tech talk". It tended to distract me from the real story -what was happening to Mark- with jargon I didn't really need to know every small mathematical detail. It was fine in the beginning but I found it a little wearing towards the end. Hence 4 stars instead of 5.
Overall a great story that is beautifully crafted.
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on 3 December 2015
One of life’s mysteries is: do you read the book first or see the movie first. In this case I saw The Martian in the first week of release and enjoyed it vey much . . . . but what of the book?
I can easily say I enjoyed the book more. Naturally there was much more detail in the book and should you read something you don’t quite understand, you can go back and read it again. There was a bit of that going on and looking things up on google also happened from time to time.
But what was interesting was this feeling I had that “The Martian was a true story ! I know that’s stupid but I couldn’t help think it was some kind of real life adventure. It makes you wonder if humans will ever get to Mars.
The author Andy Weir did a great job on researching the details of space travel, current and in the future. I know many authors have staff to do the research on matter of history but did Andy so the same. I imagine it would have tacked an extra year on the project if Andy did all the research himself. A good question for Raf to ask should he get the chance.
I would definitely recommend The Martian to a friend.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 June 2015
Loved this book from start to finish. Humorous, snarky and insightful. I felt I had learnt so much about space travel by the end of this book. It definitely makes you think about the screening process and training astronauts must go through when they go on missions. I loved the mental strength of the character and will definitely have to go back and re-read the book again.
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on 31 October 2015
I never thought that I'd love this book as much as I did. From the beginning and to the end I was transported to Mars and back to Earth as I felt myself observing every move and every sequence with such clarity, it was ridiculous! This book is so well written that the it is in the detail of the story that makes the story so enjoyable to read.

I've struck luck lately in my selection of books that I've read. I highly recommend this book, even if you're not into sci-fi.

I also went and watched the movie, after I read the book and the movie did the book justice, IMO.
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on 15 March 2017
Great book, easy reading...highly recommended!
Tech heads will get a kick out of all the research, facts, figures and ingenuity contained within. For the most part I can't fault any of the figures/research (as I wouldn't have clue whether they are correct or not), but having an electrical background, I found some of the electrical content lacking in accuracy of both terminology and real world application. This makes me wonder how accurate some of the rest of the books facts and figures are, that aside, who wants to be the guy sitting back going "As If!!!". All or none of the the story may be plausible, but that is beside the point I guess. It's a bloody good book and thats all that really matters. Very keen to actually watch the movie now.
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on 16 February 2017
I loved the way this book reads, it's unlike any other book I have read (I don't read that much so go easy on me) reading it felt more like a conversation, like I was listening to my Opa's war stories or interviewing someone for a documentary. It flowed so easily. It had me laughing, gasping and just generally loving it! Couldn't put it down!

Scifi nerds and anyone who enjoys survival and space would love this.

In the words of our fearless leader "Persistence pays off, you know- it's like what I always say, ask anyone, I always say this. But you wont see it because of that FAKE NEWS! Good work."

8 emu's out of 8.
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on 7 August 2015
i looked this up after hearing about the movie starring Matt Damon. Rather than writing a story about a far fetched Martian experience, this one is about what our neighbouring planet is believed to be like. There is now a whole lot of scientific knowledge and jargon about a Mars and this is used very effectively throughout the story. I looked up some of the stuff and it does exist. The storyline is strong, and the main character is a likeable rogue. I enjoyed this tale.
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on 9 July 2015
What a great read. Not entirely sure about the science, but who cares when the manifest fortitude of one man, and the whole world's resources are aimed at saving a single life. If there was anything that the Red Planet did not throw at him in the way of disasters, Andy could not think of it. He tried writing every possible misfortune. I think that this is a good demonstration of perseverance and lateral thinking by the hero. I enjoyed the book a lot, and read it completely in three sittings.
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on 16 March 2015
This is one of those books that you either love or hate the style in which it has been written. It took a little while to get use to the "log" but the story is so well presented and the plot so plausible that you have a problem putting the Kindle down to do real world things. A very enjoyable experience if you like technical talk with humour, and life and death "what could possibly happen next" adventure. A very gripping read where you feel you know the main character and wonder what happens next in his life.
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on 5 April 2014
Every time I read a hard sci-fi, which is not often mind you, based in space I expect an alien to come out at some point. When I first came across The Martian, knowing it was definitely set in space (going by name and cover), I immediately thought space-based story with possible alien sighting. Then I looked further into the story and realised it had nothing to do with aliens.

This was the decision maker for me. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good sci-fi with aliens, but how often do you come across one where the protagonist is some poor guy who got stuck in space? I know I’ve never read a space-based sci-fi without at least one alien.

The Martian follows the story of Mark Watney who is stranded on Mars. No one can get to him any time soon, he can’t get anywhere, and there’s no radio contact available. Poor Mark. Naturally, in the back of my mind, there’s the question of whether it will be a boring read. What exactly can Watney get up to, to make a reader want to keep reading?

I surprisingly, to me at least, found the story fascinating and engaging. There’s a whole lot of things Mark Watney can do while stranded on Mars and it came across as very authentic with the amount of detail in relation to his activities. The story is in journal format, at first, and then switches between Watney’s journal, events on Earth and at NASA, events on Hermes (the mission ship), and correspondence between everyone involved.

During Watney’s journal he goes into detail about the whys and the hows, which might sound boring, but it’s infused with the character’s great sense of humour. Mark Watney is now one of my favourite protagonists. He has been added to the list. I found myself laughing, at home and in public, and I’m a hard one to get laughing. I’m not talking about those quiet little laughs you try to keep to yourself either. I’m talking about outbursts that get people to abruptly stare at you in a quizzical sense.

As much as I loved it, sometimes the detail did go over my head. There were times when it was more than my brain could comprehend and other times when I wasn’t in the mood to read it. I still read it though. I wanted to enjoy the protagonist’s humour. I thought the ending was on the preachy side, but that just may have been me. There’s a large focus on the science of the science fiction, but it’s understandable when you realise this marooned character needs to focus on something. His focus, what drives him forward and shuts out denial, affected me to the point where the ending felt jarring to me.

I’m not disappointed in the ending though. Personally I could have gone without the extra reflection, but the rest was great. The whole story was great. I found myself riveted no matter what and by the end of it, even though the situation would be horrendous, I found a small part of myself wishing it had actually taken place. It would be awesome to know a man like Mark Watney is out there after surviving temporary Martian status.
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