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2014, 387 pages
(or 9 audio CDs)
Listening to an audiobook versus reading the book (whether in e- or paper format) can be hard. The reader’s accent, intonations, pacing and expression have to be just right in order to recreate the novel’s voice. So when I say that this was an exceptional audiobook, and that listening to the book was more enjoyable for me than reading it, please understand how much of a compliment that is.
Mark Watney is stuck on Mars. His crew, believing him dead in a storm that forced their early evacuation, is on its way home. He doesn’t have enough food to last until the next Mars mission lands. He can’t communicate with Earth. What Mark does have on his side are his wit, his skills as a botanist and engineer, and his refusal to give up. Confronting one obstacle after another, he never gives up on his hope of being rescued, even as his time on Mars starts running out.
I have to confess that when I started reading this book (scheduled to be released as a movie in November) I was not intrigued by the story. However, when I started listening to it, I loved it. This is the first audiobook that has ever made me laugh out loud multiple times (and I’ve listened to a number of them). The combination of Weir’s writing and R.C. Bray’s deadpan narration was perfect, and I ended the story missing Mark Watney and wanting more. I’m eagerly waiting for both the movie and Weir’s next novel.