Last year I started a job with a substantial commute – at least 90 minutes drive in the morning, 70 minutes home if I was lucky. As a result, I discovered audiobooks. I had never really been able to successfully listen to the entirety of an audiobook before – I had tried and failed with Moby Dick, and just didn’t feel as involved when I was using my ears rather than my eyes.
However, I am now a complete audiobook convert, and that’s pretty much thanks to The Martian, written by Andy Weir, narrated by R.C. Bray.
The Martian is enthralling. The vast majority of the book is the narration of Mark Watney – an astronaut stranded on Mars. I am intrigued by how this will be evolved in to a film a the majority of the novel is Watney’s monologues in the form of diary entries.
There is quite a chunk of science in this book, but it is written so accessibly that it’s generally just a joy. It can get a little heavy going at times though, but it helps you grow to understand Watney’s predicament further and realise the peril he is in.
There is tension, excitement and anguish in the novel, all encased in Weir’s fantastic creation of a likeable, fully realised character. There are some characters who rather grate around the edges – Mindy Park, for one, but that may have been due to the audiobook readings rather than their actual characters!
Generally speaking, I loved this. It was easy listening, and completely removed any irritation at being stuck in traffic – it meant I got to hear more of a very engaging story!