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The Martian

The Martian

A Novel

Book - 2014
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"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?" -- from publisher's web site
Publisher: New York, N. Y. : Crown, 2014
ISBN: 9780804139021
Characteristics: 369 p. : map ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

Surprised to see this on a gardening list? Wait until you read it and find out what the protagonist does to survive when his food rations run low!!

#61 The Great American Read

Stranded on Mars by a dust storm that
compromised his space suit and
forced his crew to leave him behind,
astronaut Watney struggles to survive
in spite of minimal supplies and harsh
environmental challenges that test his ingenuity in
unique ways.

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.

Sci-Fi Light: The Martian is a man vs. nature survival story, but the nature/environment here is Mars, and the man is a wonderfully snarky and resourceful scientist.

From the critics

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Feb 28, 2021

This book was well written with an intriguing plot line and interesting characters. As I am not a space or science buff it taught me a lot of new terminology and facts I was not aware of. Although the terminology could be a bit daunting at time, I found this book to be much better than the movie and highly recommend it to those considering reading it.

Jan 27, 2021

I really enjoyed this book, and would strongly reccomend it, especially to fans of sci-fi novels. While it deals with complex topics such as space travel and surviving on Mars, the information is relayed to the reader in a way that makes it easier to understand. Mark Watney is a funny and relatable character, and provides comedic relief from the otherwise serious subject matter. Overall it's a very well-balanced book, and the story is so compelling I found myself not wanting to put the book down!

Dec 23, 2020

A thrilling science-fiction novel, The Martian builds upon the scenario of a failed expedition to Mars, with an astronaut—Mark Watney—left on its surface. Though assumed to be dead, Watney miraculously lives, and strives to survive in hopes that a rescue mission may arrive. Luckily, Watney is equipped with skills that will be beneficial to his survival, such as botanical and engineering knowledge. When NASA realizes that he is alive, scientists strive to find a way to bring Watney home, and before long a rescue expedition is planned. Will Watney be rescued successfully? If you want to find out, the answer’s revealed in the book. There are lots of mood shifts in this novel, as the author cleverly inserts negative situations for Watney. Reading about the astronaut’s failures is frustrating, but they also allow for a constant thrill, which I enjoyed. I’d recommend this book to persistent readers wanting a thrilling adventure, as the astronaut’s shortcomings can be quite stressing to read.
Age rating: 13 and up for reading level and mild swearing

Dec 08, 2020

This book was a book about an astronaut who got stuck in space as his crew was forced to abandon him. The majority of the book was about how the astronaut ,who was named Mark Watney, survived on Mars without starving or getting killed by other things. I loved how he was able to grow crops on Mars and was also able to get back to Earth even though he had to go through numerous difficulties. A lesson this taught me was that one should never give up, as Mark never gave up even though it seemed impossible that he was going to survive. The word choice of the book was also very interesting and also helped create imagery and helped me visualize what was happening in my brain. This book is one of my favorite books and I would recommend it for sure. However, only people over the age of 12 should read this book as there are several cuss words that are not appropriate for kids who are below this age.

Dec 03, 2020

Love this book. The first time I read this book was a hard start, but after a while you kinda get hooked. Weir does great work having us understanding the main character's situation. The description made me feel as if I was right there with him. I really enjoy the science that goes into detail about the whole mission as well. Loved this book finally just purchased it at a local independent store. I love boring the audio for long trips. This is the kind of book I can read again and again.

Aug 13, 2020

Mark Watney is probably the least special astronaut. He isn't the first person on Mars, on the first ship to mars, or even in the first ten trips to Mars. It takes only one dust storm, however, to make Watney the most famous Mars astronaut ever, when he is stranded on the surface alone and without hope of rescue for months. Fantastic book, a real page turner. It has enough technical lingo for the hard-core sci-fi fan, but has the suspense and humor to keep the average reader hooked. I read this book from front to back over a few days. I went into this book expecting a space age, robinson crusoe spin-off, but got much, much more. The only possible concern would be the frequent use of curse words. I would recommend this book to anyone vaguely interested in science fiction and adventure/suspense type books. @mittopic of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Publci Library

I assume that by now we all know the story of this book, or at least the general idea from the movie’s trailer. That was an awesome movie, and for once, the book is even better, but for the same reasons. There’s Mark Whatney’s infectiously positive attitude and great sense of humour; the fact that he is always explaining to us through his logs what he is planning to do, how it will work, and what could go wrong; the random references to pop culture, etc. And it leaves no doubt that Whitney would have no problem whatsoever living through quarantine. Earth to reader… come in reader. Do not pick up this book. You need to get some sleep tonight. Ten out of ten.
@R2-D2 of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Jul 29, 2020

Astronaut Mark Watney becomes one of the first people to walk on Mars. His crew is
forced to evacuate without him, thinking he is dead, when a dust storm separates them. Mark is stranded on Mars, with no form of communication to Earth, fighting for his survival. His supplies will run out shortly, but he is more likely to die because of the unknown environment on Mars. One small mistake could cost his life. But Mark is ready to give up. His scientific knowledge and background gives him hope of surviving in the harsh world and getting back home. But it won’t be easy.

The Martian by Andy Weir is an amazing science fiction novel that is set a few years in
the future when mankind has the technology to send humans to Mars. The novel has some
offensive language, but it should be no problem to mature readers. There is lots of
scientific/technical terms and process talked about throughout the book, so it may be confusingat times to some readers. Understanding these may be a challenge, but it is not vital to keep upwith the storyline of the book. Overall, I’d highly recommend this book to readers that are veryinterested in space and science fiction in general. It kept me looking forward to turn the page, and I’m sure it will be the same for others.

Jul 10, 2020

2012 - 4.40

Hillsboro_RobP Jun 16, 2020

A reasonable candidate for best science fiction story ever. Andy Weir is great at two things: rocket science and snark. You can probably imagine how well those two things go together. Mark Watney, the protagonist, is crazy brilliant and hilarious. This novel is fantastic on all levels. Weir has a promising career ahead of him, and a very much appreciate the research that went into making this amazing book.

Apr 23, 2020

An approachable and laugh-out-loud funny science fiction story. Lots of science, but it's easy to skip those details if it isn't your thing, and still enjoy the book. Lots of humor from the main character, Mark Watney, as he faces being stranded on Mars with supplies running low. Even readers who don't normally gravitate to this genre will be entertained.

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Add Age Suitability
May 22, 2020

kselmser thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Apr 19, 2020

CORI D. MORRIS thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Oct 27, 2019

black_penguin_774 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Oct 17, 2019

blue_dog_40342 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Apr 26, 2019

BudgiesNbooks thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Aug 18, 2018

EDRICK WONG thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Apr 12, 2018

green_cat_3454 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Aug 08, 2017

jacobkendunn thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Oct 19, 2016

ranahamze1 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

red_flower1008 Jul 13, 2016

red_flower1008 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Add a Quote
Dec 15, 2020

As with most of life's problems, this one can be solved with a box of pure radiation.

Feb 03, 2020

"Once I'd shut everything down, the interior of the Hab [living unit] was eerily silent. I'd spent 449 sols [Mars days] listening to its heaters, vents, and fans. But now it was dead quiet. It was a creepy kind of quiet that's hard to describe. I've been away from the noises of the Hab before, but always in a rover or an EVA suit, both of which have noisy machinery of their own. But now there was nothing. I never realized how utterly silent Mars is. It's a desert world with practically no atmosphere to convey sound. i could hear my own heartbeat." (p. 284)

Tualatin_JoH Aug 28, 2018

"He must rely on his own resourcefulness to survive. He begins a log of his experiences. His philosophy is to "work the problem", solving each challenge in turn as it confronts him."

Aug 18, 2018

“ “What must it be like?” He pondered. “He’s stuck out there. He thinks he’s totally alone and that we all gave up on him. What kind of effect does that have on a man’s psychology?” He turned back to Venkat. “I wonder what he’s thinking right now.”
Log entry: Sol 61
How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.”

Aug 07, 2016

Yes, of course of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped.

You know what? "kilowatt-hours per sol" is a pain in the ass to say. I'm gonna invent a new scientific name. one kilowatt-hour per sol can be suck at this...I'll call it a "pirate-ninja"."

As with most of life's problems, this can be solved with a box of pure radiation.

Jul 06, 2016

"Six days into what should be the greatest two months of my life, and it's turned into a nightmare." - Mark Watney

Jan 26, 2016


Nov 19, 2015

The cast in space:

“Beck said (to sister Amy.) “Everyone has multiple roles. I’m the doctor, the biologist, and the EVA specialist. Commander Lewis is our geologist. Johanssen is the sysop and reactor tech. And so on”
How about that good-looking guy … Martinez?” Amy asked. “What does he do?”
“He pilots the MDV and MAV.” Beck said. “He’s also married with a kid, you lecherous homewrecker.”
“Ah well How about Watney? What did he do?”
“He’s our botanist and engineer. And don’t talk about him in the past tense.”
“Engineer? Like Scotty?”
“Kind of.” Beck said. “He fixes stuff.”
“I bet that’s coming in handy now.”
“Yeah, no shite.”

Nov 19, 2015

More Dilbert-like humor:

They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially ‘colonised’ it. So technically, I colonised Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong!

I need to ask myself, 'What would an Apollo astronaut do?' He'd drink three whiskey sours, drive his Corvette to the launchpad, then fly to the moon in a command module smaller than my Rover. Man those guys were cool.

Me: “This is obviously a clog. How about I take it apart and check the internal tubing?”
NASA: (after five hours of deliberation) “No. You’ll freak it up and die.” So I took it apart.

“How did I end up in this situation? I’m the district sales manager of a napkin factory. Why is my daughter in space?”

Nov 19, 2015

Dilbert-like humor (2 of 3):
People have been using human waste as fertilizer for centuries. It’s even got a pleasant name: “night soil.” … My asshole is doing as much to keep me alive as my brain.

The worst moments in life are heralded by small observations. The tiny lump on your side that wasn’t there before Coming home to your wife and seeing two wineglasses in the sink. Anytime you hear “We interrupt this program…”

I did turn the heat back on (I’m not insane), … Waking up to frigid weather felt surprisingly nostalgic. I grew up in Chicago, after all.

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.
I started the day with some nothin’ tea. Nothin’ tea is easy to make. First, get some hot water, then add nothin’.

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Add Notices
Aug 18, 2018

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Definitely full of action and very intense.

Aug 18, 2018

Sexual Content: Humorous mentions only

Aug 18, 2018

Coarse Language: The main character isn’t at all shy to express his anger through profanity.

Apr 12, 2018

Other: Several characters take our LORD's name in vain.

Apr 12, 2018

Coarse Language: F-Bomb on the 4th word. But it definitely is not alone.

Nov 06, 2015

Coarse Language: The first word of the book is an expletive and the author doesn't shy away, though they aren't pervasive

Jun 13, 2015

Coarse Language: Profanity throughout


Add a Summary
Apr 23, 2020

When a disastrous dust storm ruins the first manned mission to Mars, the crew assumes botanist Mark Watney is dead and leaves him behind as they flee the planet. After Watney regains consciousness, returns to base, and treats his own wounds, he must figure out how to survive without being able to communicate with anyone on Earth. He soon figures out how to generate water and grow his own food, which will allow him to survive until the next crew arrives in 4 years.

Back on Earth, NASA discovers Watney is alive through satellite images and begins developing a plan to rescue him. Watney builds a solar-powered rover in hopes of traveling to the next landing site (it also allows him to contact NASA), but disaster strikes when his base is damaged and his crops die. This forces NASA to find a quicker solution involving the return of his crew, but the plan is dangerous for both Watney and the other members of the Ares 3. Troubles continue to plague Watney, but thanks to his constant ingenuity, the rescue is ultimately a success.

Jun 28, 2015

NASA has the ability to send maned spacecraft to Mars and back, unfortunately one of the astronauts gets left behind and is mistaken for dead. Watney, now stranded on a hostile planet with limited resources attempts to make contact with NASA while faced with starvation, mechanical failure and any number of things that could kill him.

Jun 13, 2015

Very nerdy and sciency. Full of wonder. The quick humor, fast-paced action, and cool-factor made it hard to put down and completely unforgettable

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