A Layman’s Perspective of The Martian

the martian*Taking a break from my tag week to tell you how great The Martian is!*

(and rambling on about how I don’t usually read Sci Fi)

Now this was a fabulous book. All the way through, I just kept thinking “YES!” It was fist pumpingly good. Honestly, even with all the rave reviews, I had not expected it to be as good as it was.

That’s probably due to the fact that it’s Sci Fi and therefore not something I usually read. But I was glad I gave it a chance. And, since my brain is not attuned to Sci Fi at all, all the twists and turns the plot took were delightfully unexpected. But these plot twists weren’t just surprising- they were also heart-warming insights into the nature of shared humanity and human endurance. Which was a beautiful. And I definitely had not expected that.

On top of all that- it was funny as well. The characters really shone through with the humour. In terms of the writing, I thought it was pretty solid. The only thing is, not being a massive Sci Fi nerd, I found myself skimming quite a bit of the super-sciencey bits. Although, even as a layman, I was entertained for huge parts of it, so I can’t criticise it too much for that.

Since I’m not familiar with the genre, there’s not much I can say about how it measures up in comparison to others like it, but I can tell you from a complete layman’s perspective that this is well worth reading. In fact, it reached for the stars, so I feel a bit funny awarding it bananas. Sorry I have no good puns for this, I’m all spaced out. (Did I mention I don’t read Sci Fi? Just kidding!)

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

half bananahalf bananahalf bananahalf banana  half banana

How about you? Are you an expert than can give a more insightful interpretation?

Or are you a layman like me, but somehow swept up in this phenomenal book?

Let me know in the comments below!

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35 thoughts on “A Layman’s Perspective of The Martian

  1. Kat Impossible says:

    I LOVE THIS BOOK SO FREAKING MUCH! I am not a huge SciFi buff or science nerd, however I do know that Weir researched everything by himself and even the NASA had to admit that his work is really accurate (except for the initiating storm – Mars atmosphere is pretty thin, so while a strong storm could whirl around some dust, it wouldn’t carry a whole antenna or satellite dish).
    So glad you enjoyed it 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Claire | Art and Soul says:

    Absolutely. This is a book I recommend to everyone. And when they tell me they don’t read sci-fi I tell them it doesn’t matter. This isn’t sci-fi, it’s the story of a very likeable guy in a dangerous situation facing impossible odds and the other likeable people trying to save him. It’s great stuff.
    I skimmed some of the incredibly hard science because when he started getting into the chemistry I lost him! (hated chemistry at school). Besides, I didn’t really care how exactly he was going to make water, I just wanted to know if he was going to kill himself in the attempt!
    Such a good book. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Yeah exactly- I can be persuaded to read most things, even if they’re outside my comfort zone. I thought this would be one of those books I read, and understood why it was popular, but didn’t really get into. But this story in particular just had so much heart, I fell in love with it. And the tension is incredible 🙂
      Yeah me too (I hated all science at school, except medical physics for some reason). Yeah, that was the awesome thing, even when I wasn’t interested, it still had me on the edge of my seat because of all the drama!
      Completely agree!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Donna says:

    I think my first and only sci-fi experience is Doctor Who. I am not a huge fan of the genre, maybe because I haven’t found the right books! Now that I’ve read your review, I’d like to give The Martian a try 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Yeah, nor am I. I occasionally watch Sci Fi (like Doctor Who, though I stopped years ago) but I really never read books cos I’m usually put off by all the jargon, but this one was unusual, cos the plot and writing style is so good. I recommend it for other non-Sci Fi people 🙂

      Like

  4. Maria says:

    So glad you liked this one!! It was such a cool and exciting read. I didn’t have a good understanding of much of the science-y stuff, but even without that, it’s a really enjoyable read.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Codie says:

    I don’t read Science Fiction often either, but I do enjoy the genre. I’m just soooooo excited that the hype surrounding this book isn’t just hype, but fact. It’s great that you enjoyed it, and awesome Layman’s Review (that’s great)!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jessreadingnook says:

    I’m on the waitlist at my library for this book. I’m number 53 (I’ve been on it since December 1st), and I can’t wait to read it. I don’t read a lot of science fiction, so I’m glad that someone else who doesn’t normally read sci-fi liked it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nicola Alter says:

    Great review!! I had very similar feelings about this book, and was also surprised and moved by the way it explored the nature of shared humanity and human endurance.

    I used to also never read sci-fi books (despite loving sci-fi movies) but I decided to give the genre a go a couple of years ago. It’s books like The Martian, Ready Player One and Ender’s Game that made me fall in love with it – now I read both fantasy and sci-fi (and occasionally other things 🙂 ).

    As for the sciencey stuff, I listened to The Martian as an audiobook so skimming wasn’t an option! I tried hard to understand the technical bits but only really got the gist of it. Made it feel very authentic though – as in, “I have no idea if what he’s saying is legit but it certainly sounds legit”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Yeah exactly! I want to try the other two books as well. I’m open to read other sci fi, it’s just usually something I pick up, read a few pages, then go, “nope- not for me”.
      it definitely did- although he could’ve been making up words for all I knew- it wouldn’t have made a difference (although I’ve been assured that he didn’t and that most of the book is accurate)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nicola Alter says:

        Yeah I also get turned off by some sci-fi books – anything that’s too macho-military-adventure-ish (i.e. just men running around shooting aliens and having adventures without much of a plot) or too old-school space-opera-ish (i.e. launching straight into a info dump about alien races, planets, political factions and religions etc) is usually not for me. E.g. I’d put ‘Consider Phlebas’ in the first category, and ‘Dune’ in the second category. Many people love ‘Dune’ but I personally wasn’t thrilled by it and gave up on the second book in the series after a few pages. But I’ve encountered great sci-fis that were more my thing, so I just try to steer clear of the others!

        Liked by 1 person

        • theorangutanlibrarian says:

          Oh one hundred percent! A lot of the time I just can’t be bothered with that- particularly with the exhaustive world-building. I particularly hate it in sci fi cos it uses sciencey mumbo jumbo to convince you it’s real, when for me, I feel like a lot of the time they’d just be better off saying “it’s ***magic***”. Because I really don’t care about the intricacies of how things work- such as exhaustive explanations on how they got their spaceship to fly or something. I. Just. Don’t. Care. I’ve realised now though that it just depends on whether it’s a good or bad book- like you I’m finally discovering there’s some good sci fi out there 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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