The Martian Book Pdf ePub

The Martian

4.40630,672 votes • 66,455 reviews
Published 11 Feb 2014
The Martian.pdf
Format Hardcover
Publisher Crown
ISBN 0804139024

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?

"The Martian" Reviews

- The United States
Sun, 03 May 2015

I go so emotional at the end, so good!

- The United States
Sun, 21 Sep 2014

'Crap! My astronaut crewmates accidentally left me behind on Mars! I'm fucked! I'm going to die! Oh wait! I just thought of something highly logically unlikely and technically complicated, that I am sure to pull off without a hitch, because did I mention that I am Plucky and Ingenious? It sure is a good thing that I am super-talented! Yay! That worked! I'm not dead! [Next chapter] But wait! Disaster has struck! Shit happens, when you're stuck alone on Mars. Whatever shall I do? OMG, I just had a great idea! It's a good thing I'm so naturally optimistic, because it sure would make for a bummer book if I ever showed any signs of being depressed or having any kind of mental deterioration after spending nearly two years in total solitude! Nah, I've got the fightin' spirit! I can create a life support system out of duct tape! What does Mars actually look like? Is there anything interesting from a scientific perspective about it? Who cares! I'm busy growing potatoes in shit and watching Three's Company! Did I mention that disco sucks?'
For a while.
I do not get the hype.

- Wilkes Barre, PA
Fri, 02 Jan 2015

I’m pretty much fucked.
Ok, show of hands. How many of you have uttered these exact words? (or words to that effect). Not everyone? I see we have some liars out there. How many have said them at least twice? Three times? Four? Those with hands still up, you probably need to make some adjustments to your approach, find a safer line of work, hobbies that do not entail long drops, stop trying the weekly specials at McBlowfish, or seek out people to date who are into less extreme…um…sports. These are the opening words of The Martian. Astronaut Mark Watney is definitely more screwed than most of us have ever been. Dude missed his ride and there will not be another along for, oh, four years. Supplies on hand were only meant to cover a few weeks, maybe months. And that Martian atmosphere is definitely no fun, lacking stuff like, oh, breathable air, and a reasonable range of temperature. It does, offer, however, extremely harsh (good for scouring that burned on gunk from sauce pans) and long-lasting (as in months) dust storms. And if that was not enough he faces an array of other challenges.
unfriendly locals
No, Kibby (the 12-year-old kibitzer who infects my brain), no Mars Attacks brain beasts, or that other guy, even though I know he is your favorite. Real challenges. For example, the music he has for his stay consists of disco. The viewing options include 70s TV. Most of us might give serious consideration to minimizing the guaranteed pain, frustration, starvation and inevitable death by, maybe, taking a short hustle outside sans that special suit. It would be a very, very short last dance. Watney is either a cock-eyed optimist or an idiot. I'm going with the former, as he is indeed made of the right stuff. He is armored and well supplied with the sort of can-do designer genes that might make the rest of us feel like the can’t-do sorts we are. He is the poster boy for positive attitude. It does not hurt that he is way smart, with expertise in a wide-enough range of things scientific to matter. It does not hurt that he is an engineer who gets off on taking apart, putting back-together, figuring out, thinking through, testing, trying, and pushing envelopes. But his crew is headed home, and what hope is there, really?
The Martian tells of Watney’s attempt to survive in a literally alien environment, using only the tools on hand and his wits. It is a gripping story with one of the most adorable heroes you are likely to encounter, on this planet or any other. (No, Kibby, not a kitten) How could you not root for a guy who scrapes through Thanksgiving dinner for potato parts to plant for food? Of course, one might think “been there, done that,” particularly as 1964’s Robin Crusoe on Mars offered a retelling of Daniel Defoe’s classic tale in a more contemporary notion of a remote locale. A 1905 novel used a different classic traveler in the same sort of format.
Of course those tellings had a lot more in common with the Barsoom of Edgar Rice Burroughs as seen by Frank Frazetta than they do with the vision we have of the Red Planet today, or, say, reality.
Or is it?
One of these was a shot of you know where. The other was taken at Death Valley, which was used, BTW, in the filming of Robinson Crusoe on Mars
Most of the tale is spent on Watney’s very compelling attempt to survive, going through all the challenges he faces trying to make air, preserve and maybe generate water, make his food last, get some sort of communication set up, deal with things like exploding air-locks, biblical level dust-storms, toppling ground-transport vehicles, you know, stuff, most of it life-threatening. The other end of things is how the folks on the ground deal with this GInornous OOPS. There are technical elements, of course but more interesting, for me, were the political considerations. To tell the crew or not? Imagine how bummed out, embarrassed, and guilty you might be on that ship (the Hermes) returning home, knowing you had left one behind. Might it affect your ability to take care of necessary business for the next bunch of months? Another question is whether to tell the public, and if so, when. How about getting help from other space-capable nations? Are any international dealings simple? There is also some in-house (NASA) staff maneuvering that is wonderful to see.
Andy Weir
In her fabulous book on writing, Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott writes
Having a likeable narrator is like having a great friend whose company you love, whose mind you love to pick, whose running commentary totally holds your attention, who makes you laugh out loud…
Probably the greatest strength of The Martian is the narration of Mark Watney. He is engaging and funny, optimistic and capable. I suppose there are some who might find him lacking in sharp edges, but I thought he worked great.
Matt Damon as Mark Watney, enjoying the view – from the film.
The new earth-based shooting location was Wadi Rum, Jordan. I am sure they did plenty of color adjustments in post, but boy-o-boy does this place look like an alien landscape.
Yes, really, there is too much scientific detail. It is not that it is beyond the comprehension of a lot of readers (although it will skip by a fair number) it is the share of time, the number of pages, the sheer volume of obstacles to be overcome, and the very detailed explanation of so many of them that tilts the book a bit too much towards the MacGyver demo. Weir writes very well about the other elements of the story. Repetition of DANGER, WILL ROBINSON, with the subsequent amazingly clever repair du jour, does get a bit old after a while. I had to fight an urge to scan at times.
But that is really it. Otherwise, The Martian is an absolute delight to read. Watney is lovable as well as capable, and makes excellent use of his sense of humor to look on the bright side of life, in a very dark circumstance.
Whether he makes it out on time or not (not gonna spoil that one) you will cheer him on, hope for the best, and fly past those pages with considerable, if maybe not interplanetary, speed. Is there life on Mars? There will be while you read this book.
Review posted – 1/16/15
Updated and trotted out there again on release of the film - 10/2/15
This review has been cross-posted on my site,
Publication date – self-pub in 2011 – Bought, edited and published by Crown 10/28/2014
PS - Saw the film on 10/9/15 and it kicks ass! Go see it if you haven't already. It is very true to the book, with the improvement of not getting bogged down in details, has a great cast, looks amazing and does a fantastic job of promoting science.
=============================EXTRA STUFF
Links to the author’s personal and FB pages.
5/24/16 - Weir wrote a short story prequel to The Martian, called Diary of an AssCan. I posted a review this week. It includes a link to the story, so you can read it for yourself.
Andy Weir’s second novel, Artemis, while, IMHO, not quite up to this one, is also pretty darned good.
August, 2016 - At the Hugo awards Weir wins the John W, Campbell award for best new writer, and the screenplay for the film wins for Best Dramatic Presentation, long form
The Martian Chronicles on Gutenberg
Gullivar of Mars by Edwin Lester Linden Arnold on Gutenberg
For a real Martian experience check out NASA’s Mars page
For a realer Martian experience, and ideal for those trying to keep one step ahead of creditors and/or the law, you might want to consider applying to be on a Mars mission, no joke. There is more on this project below but the above link is for the selection process, just in case you don’t mind a strictly one-way journey.
A nifty article from the NY Times (10/5/15) about the woman at NASA responsible for seeing to it that we do not bring Earth germs you-know-where - Mars Is Pretty Clean. Her Job at NASA Is to Keep It That Way. - by Kenneth Chang
I bet you thought I’d forgotten these guys. No chance! I just ran out of time to figure out how to stuff them into the review. So, sorry, I am stuffing them here. That sounds so wrong.
If you want to experience Mars while still on earth, it is indeed possible
A general National Geo article on Mars
Planetary.Org has an excellent list of all Mars missions to date, and some that are in process
When you are checking your ancestry some of that unusual DNA might come from a place, far, far away. Two scientists look at the unfortunately named notion of Panspermia, [spoilers removed] which addresses the possibility that the genesis of life on Earth had its opening act elsewhere.
If you want to know Who goes to Mars for the waters, the answer is yes
And speaking of Eau d'Ares, a nifty article on the presence of H2OMG you know where, in the 9/28/15 article in the NY Times - by Kenneth Chang. Thanks to my pal, Henry B, for this refreshing item.
8/31/16 - Another recommendation from the intrepid Henry B. Planning any long trips, HB? - How to Win Friends and Influence People (on Fake Mars) by Katie Rogers
- New York Times
Downhill streaks indicate water has flowed - image from NY Times who got it from NASA who got it from JPL
Here is a nifty article from The New Yorker, on work being done to cope with inter-planetary cabin fever. Moving to Mars: Preparing for the longest, loneliest voyage ever by Tom Kizzia - from the April 20, 2015 issue
9/12/16 - If, like Quint, you think we're gonna need a bigger boat, to get to Mars that is, Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin company may have just the thing - Meet New Glenn, the Blue Origin Rocket That May Someday Take You to Space - By Daniel Victor for the New York Times
9/27/16 - New York Times - Elon Musk’s Plan: Get Humans to Mars, and Beyond - by Kenneth Chang
10/25/16 -National Geographic is producing a documentary series about our favorite red-tinted neighbor (no, not the lady across the way who got too much sun. Put those binoculars away NOW). Coverage in the latest issue includes a whole passel of things Martian. Enjoy. - Mars: Inside the High-Risk, High-Stakes Race to the Red Planet
From the August 2017 National Geographic - This Is What a Martian Looks Like—According to Carl Sagan - By Natasha Daly
Painting by Douglas Chaffe - from the above NatGeo article
9/17/17 - Washington Post re-printing an AP story - Mars Research Crew Emerges After 8 Months of Isolation - Caleb Jones
12/16/17 - NY Times Sunday Review - Tim Kreider offers his take on why we should go Red - Earthlings, Unite: Let’s Go to Mars
5/4/18 - NatGeo - Interesting piece on the latest Martian explorer, Insight - Are Marsquakes Anything Like Earthquakes? NASA Is About to Find Out - by Nadia Drake
Illustration of Insight deployed - Photo by Lockheed Martin, NASA, JPL-Caltech
All right. We’re all done now. You’d better get going or Marvin will lose his cool
Oh, sorry Marvin, just one more thing, lists.
Abbott and Costello go to Mars
The Angry Red Planet
Bad Girls From Mars
The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars
Capricorn One
Devil Girl From Mars
Empire of Danger
Escape From Mars
Flight to Mars
Ghosts of Mars
Invaders from Mars
The Last days on Mars
Lost on Mars
Mars Needs Moms
Mars Needs Women
Mission to Mars
Race to Mars
Red Planet
Red Planet Mars
Robinson Crusoe on Mars
Rocket Man
Roving Mars
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
The Terror from Beyond Space
Total Recall
TV Programs
Is There Life on Mars – PBS
My Favorite Martian
Life On Mars – British
Life on Mars – American
Mars One – Proposed - (check this one out)
Race to Mars
2312 – Kim Stanley Robinson
The Barsoom Series by Edgar Rice Burroughs
----- A Princess of Mars on Gutenberg - and my review
-----The Gods of Mars
-----The Warlord of Mars
-----Thuvia, Maid of Mars
-----The Chessmen of Mars
-----The Master Mind of Mars
-----A Fighting Man of Mars
-----Swords of Mars
----- Synthetic Men of Mars
-----Llana of Gathol
-----John Carter of Mars
Blades of Mars – Edward P. Bradbury
C.O.D Mars – E.C. Tubb
The Caves of Mars – Emil Petaja
Children of Mars – Paul G Day
City of the Beast – Michael Moorcock
The Daughter of Mars – Thomas Keneally
The Empress of Mars – Kage Baker
First on Mars – Rex Gordon
Icehenge – Kim Stanley Robinson
Life on Mars – Jennifer Brown
Life on Mars (a different one) – Jonathan Strahan
The Long Mars – Terry Pratchett
Mars – Ben Bova
Mars is my Destination – Frank Belknap Long
Mars Plus – Frederick Pohl
The Mars Trilogy – Kim Stanley Robinson
-----Blue Mars
-----Green Mars
-----Red Mars
Marsquakes – Kevin F. Owens
The Martian Chronicles – Ray Bradbury
Masters of the Pit – Michael Moorcock
Moving Mars – Greg Bear
No Man Friday – Rex Gordon
Old Mars – George R.R. Martin
Packing for Mars – Mary Roach – ok, not a novel
Podkayne of Mars - Robert Heinlein
Prelude to Mars – Arthur C. Clarke
Priests of Mars – Graham McNeill
The Road to Mars – Eric Idle
The Sands of Mars – Arthur C. Clarke
Sebastian Of Mars – Al Sarrantino
Shadow Over Mars – Leigh Brackett
Sin in Space – Cyrill Judd (Cyril M. Kornbluth and Judith Merril)
Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert Heinlein
Urania – Camille Flammarion
White Mars – Brian Aldiss

Emily May
- The United Kingdom
Wed, 03 Dec 2014

First off, welcome to 2015!
Let's kick this year off with a review of a book about a guy who deserves to survive more than anyone I've ever known. This book has been lurking around in my Goodreads feed, gaining hype, and all the positive reviews from my friends eventually got too much for me - so I had to check this out for myself. I'm glad I gave in.
The Martian has so many good things going for it. First and foremost, it is a classic tale of survival against very huge odds. In this book, Mark Watney becomes one of the first people to walk on Mars but after an accident causes him to be believed dead and abandoned by his crew, it looks like he will be the first person to die there. Like Cast Away x a million, Mark must battle extremely foreign territory, the likelihood of starvation, and the possibility of technical failures.
It's pretty hard to see an outcome where he isn't totally screwed.
The best thing about this book is the juxtaposition between the very scientific nature of everything Mark must do to survive - gave me a renewed level of respect for how damn smart astronauts have to be - and his absolutely wonderful personality. Mark maintains his sense of humour throughout every hardship he faces - it's pretty much impossible to not be charmed by him.
Here are some quotes:
“The screen went black before I was out of the airlock. Turns out the “L” in “LCD” stands for “Liquid.” I guess it either froze or boiled off. Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. “Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.”
“As with most of life's problems, this one can be solved by a box of pure radiation.”

This book is part "serious" science-fiction, part an hilariously dark comedy that imagines a horrifying situation infused with humour and the overwhelming human desire to stay alive. It's hard to imagine that anyone who picks this up won't find themselves dragged into Mark's world, desperately needing to know what will happen to him.
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- Dodge City, KS
Mon, 24 Feb 2014

”So that is the situation. I’m stranded on Mars. I have no way to communicate with Hermes or Earth. Everyone thinks I’m dead. I’m in a Hab designed to last thirty-one 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 yea. I’m fucked.”

When I read the line “kind of explode” I couldn’t help thinking of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Total Recall, face contorted, eyes bulging as the oxygen deprived atmosphere of Mars was about to detonate his head.
I’ll wait for the next mission to a blue planet thank you very much.
Mark Watney, Mars astronaut, has a lot to worry about. It is hard to say if he has more to worry about than Douglas Quaid/Hauser (Arnold’s character in the movie). At least he doesn’t have people trying to kill him on Mars. In fact, when his fellow astronauts left he effectively became:
It might be the shortest reign in history.
”Mars keeps trying to kill me.”
He amends that thought with:
”Mars and my stupidity keep trying to kill me.”
Watney is far from stupid. He scavenges like a futuristic version of Robinson Crusoe from the left over debris of the Hermes crew’s hasty departure. The incident that “ended” Watney’s life had them in a panic.
”Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.”
He finds a whole memory stick of seventies sitcoms to keep him occupied and more importantly stuff to keep him alive.
Watney becomes the first farmer on Mars. He knows he doesn’t have enough food to last until the next mission to Mars is scheduled so he has to improvise. Luckily the crew was to be there over the Thanksgiving holiday and for morale purposes NASA sent along potatoes with those all important eyes intact.
”My morning piss goes in a resealable plastic box. when I open it, the rover reeks like a truck-stop men’s room. I could take it outside and let it boil off. But I worked hard to make that water and the last thing I’m going to do is waste it. I’ll feed it to the water reclaimer….
Even more precious is my manure. It’s critical to the potato farm, and I’m the only source on Mars. Fortunately, when you spend a lot of time in space, you learn how to shit in a bag. And if you think things are bad after opening the piss box, imagine the smell after I drop anchor.”

When he finds a way to communicate with Earth in one of his more spectacular MacGuyver moments they tell him that he is going to have to drive to another site where there is a rocket ship, already delivered, waiting for the next mission. He will drive on terrain that looks like this:
The ship is in Giovanni Schiaparelli’s crater. Watney being Watney has a few juvenile observations about his arrival at the crater.
”Tomorrow night, I’ll sink to an all-new low!
Lemme rephrase that…
Tomorrow night, I’ll be at rock bottom!
No, that doesn’t sound good either….
Tomorrow night, I’ll be in Giovanni Schiaparelli’s favorite hole!
Okay, I admit I’m just playing around now.”

The science is unbelievable and since Andy Weir was a fifteen year old prodigy and is obviously still extremely bright in middle age I have to believe him that he has this all figured out. Watney injects humor as he explains his innovative scientific brilliance which at times had my eyes glazed over trying to keep up. So even as you are getting overwhelmed by the science Weir will elicit an eye roll from the more sophisticated reader. He might even inspire an outright chortle if you are of the low brow variety of humor lovers. I must be more of the pan-humor variety as he elicited a wide range of sniggers, snorts, and raised eyebrows from me.
”I tested the brackets by hitting them with rocks. This kind of sophistication is what we interplanetary scientists are known for.”
The one thing that might save your life on Mars, Earth or any other planet you might want to visit is something that NASA didn’t invent.
“Also, I have duct tape. Ordinary duct tape, like you buy at a hardware store. Turns out even NASA can’t improve on duct tape.”
Watney worships duct tape and given the hairbrained ideas he puts into practice he needs miles and miles of it.
It turns out duct tape has a variety of uses for providing additional support. We are such an ingenious species.
Weir convinced me that Watney could live on Mars for over a year while awaiting rescue. With mangled equipment, a harsh unforgiving terrain, and the ever present, one more thing going wrong, depression that Watney has to overcome everyday, this reader started feeling the pain of failure and the elation of success right along with him. As the world learns he is alive humanity began rooting not for the American to live, but for the human species to triumph.
In the 1970s when I was old enough to watch what NASA was doing and marvelled at our ability to do the impossible. It was a time when absolutely anything seemed achievable. We’d had leadership that insisted that we needed to go to the moon. We still built things, now it feels like the monuments of our times are being built other places. I do think we all miss having a common goal. Something that we all feel we are a part of, something larger than ourselves. With a space program gutted and the idea of a manned mission to Mars staggeringly expensive it makes me realize how lucky I was to grow up in a time when it really felt like the impossible was possible. I’m probably the last of the optimists who still believes that we have to go see it; we have to put our footprint on it; we have to scatter our debris around and say ‘yes we were here’. We need a Mark Watney to be lost on Mars so we have something to cheer for that brings us together as a species.
Besides book reviews I also have started writing movie reviews. These can be found at my blog

- Woodside, NY
Wed, 30 Sep 2015

i have finally seen the movie, so i added some notes at the bottom.
this book is basically just a really long SAT question. and i so hope the movie is just matt damon sitting at a table doing equations for two and a half hours.
oh but first, as promised, here are the photos of me being an astronaut this past weekend.
i am orbiting the eeeeeeaaaarttthh!!
i did a really good job at astronauting and i didn't need to do math even once! (although i started experiencing cramped space-madness after about 6 hours, so i doubt i'm going to mars anytime soon.)
so many people i know LOVED this book. and so many people i know HATED this book. and as is usually the case with rabidly divisive books, i find myself smack in the middle, perplexed (but pleased) by the passion on both sides. it's a fine book - a pretty good balance of things i enjoyed and things i enjoyed less.
things i enjoyed less:
the reason i don't read a lot of sci-fi is because my grasp on sci is pretty slippery. and this book is one long celebration of math and chemistry and physics and etc. and also airlocks. i don't like airlocks. which is a weird thing to not like, i suppose, but the same way Moby-Dick; or, The Whale bored me when melville fangirled over rope for a million pages, this one izza lotta descriptions of spacecraft bits and the mechanics of airlocks and stuff that's wicked important if you are being an astronaut but is boring to me reading about it and i totally glazed over whenever anything had to be secured onto an airlock and depressurized.
but what's really frustrating is that for all the attention to detail/accuracy when it came to the math (i assume/i trust), the book's pretty flippant with the psychology. watney is all relentless optimism and unflagging "can do" attitude and dick jokes, with very few signs of depression or fear that isn't phrased in the form of a joke. weir tried to blanket over this "lack of meltdown" with that brief mention that watney is the class clown whose jokiness becomes heightened under stress, but seriously - there are more tears in any given episode of project runway than in this book about a man abandoned on mars and left completely alone for 2 years facing ever-escalating dangers and setbacks.
and the writing is definitely problematic. there is so much repetition, and so many times watney starts off a paragraph with "remember" as in "remember when i mentioned this-and-that?? well, now it is coming back into play in this situation razzmatazz!" it's not great for narrative flow, and it's a little insulting to assume your readership can't remember things that happened during the course of the book. and this tic is doubly perplexing when you "remember" (remember???) that watney's entries are ostensibly directed at other astronauts/scientists who wouldn't need science explained to them, and certainly wouldn't need the prod to remember it.
the ending is bad and too abrupt. there's not much else to say about that.
but there are also things i enjoyed:
i love survival books, so all the high-stakes DIY macgyver "lemme fix it with glue!" stuff was entertaining, when it didn't require me to recall stuff i learned failed to learn in high school. i also love lateral thinking puzzles, so i appreciated watney's process of arriving at unconventional solutions to problems i will never face. bonus points for when the fix was some unpretty punk rock janked-up solution, especially when it freaked out the scientists on the ground. and i like watney's blithe attitude - to a point -
To them, equipment failure is terrifying. To me, it's "Tuesday."
i preferred it when he was being cowboy-practical to when weir was forcing the humor. which - i know a lot of readers have a problem with the quality of the humor, but as someone who says "that's what she said" pretty often daily, the juvenile nature of the humor didn't bother me, and i did giggle at his consumer review of his laptop:
Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.
but it just felt like wherever weir could stick a joke, he'd stick a joke, and it became over-bedazzled with humor. although, considering this book treats watney's situation as reality t.v. for those still on the ground, and reality t.v. tends to amplify its participants with "must be entertaining at all times" fervor, this isn't entirely inappropriate after all.
another frustration i had was how much i enjoyed all the stuff that was happening on the ground and in the Hermes. it was much more interesting than equation-boy and his boob-doodling, and it was better-written: the humor was more successfully integrated, the characters were more convincingly human, and that's frustrating because it shows he can do it. so that's a "thing i enjoyed" buried under a complaint, i guess. but i did genuinely enjoy all the non-mars scenes, and when it would cut back to watney, i would groan like it was a bran chapter in ASOIAF.
so that's me: middle-of-the-road karen who sees the book's flaws, but mostly enjoyed reading it.
tl;dr: a fun book interrupted by math.
so, i saw the movie a couple of days ago, and i can finally weigh in on a comparison of the two. i'm definitely glad i read the book first, but at the end of the day, i'm not sure if there's an answer about which is "better."
book wins:
some of my favorite harrowing "OH NO" moments from the book did not make it into the movie (like that sudden realization which sends him scurrying outside for a long time), and also some of my favorite solutions were absent (hair). and while there were way fewer perilous moments in the movie, there was a zillion times more emotional response to the problems that did occur. which is points for realism, but watching people cry or otherwise emote on the big screen is as boring and time-wasting as reading about math, so one negates the other. but overall, the most interesting stuff got cut from the movie - stuff on mars, stuff on hermes, stuff on ground, etc.
movie wins:
having a montage to look at while math goes on and on in a voice-over is way more interesting than me kidding myself reading the math paragraphs several times like suddenly i'm gonna get it. also, matt damon delivers the jokey bits in a way that seems natural, and there are fewer jokes overall. (although in some cases, they cut the wrong ones. #aquaman) and i guess that iron man scene. that was pretty cool.
so it's kind of a tie. the movie is basically the cliffs notes version of the book - it gives you the basic gist of it, but you'll miss out on some really great scenes if you are like "book??? too boring tl;dr." and if you just read the book you won't get to see the airlocks in all their glory.
i want to see this movie, but i know it'll kill my motivation to read the book, so it looks like this puppy is gonna have to be my airplane book this weekend. as a bonus, with my window seat i can pretend that i am an astronaut myself, albeit a really incompetent one.
i apologize to my seatmates in advance.
book - check
astronaut ice cream pellets - check
and off we go!
come to my blog!

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