The Martian

Astronaut Mark Watney, presumed dead by his fellow astronauts, is left behind on Mars—slightly injured, but very much alive. He has a place to live, two vehicles, and six spacesuits to choose from. But he has no way to communicate with his colleagues, who are now en route to Earth, nor anyone else on Earth. He also lacks the food he’ll need to stay alive for four years, which is when the next manned Mars landing is scheduled. Handily, though, Mark is a botanist and a mechanical engineer, with skills that turn out to be critical to his survival. The science-heavy first disc may be a struggle for some, but things improve when the action switches to NASA’s attempt to confirm Mark’s death. The book then alternates between Mark’s adventures on Mars and NASA’s scramble to get him home. Mark’s story is told in the form of log entries, and they are often very, very funny. Being on Mars alone is definitely not for sissies, and Mark faces one calamity after the next as he carries out his plan to stay alive until he is rescued. This is Weir’s first novel, and narrator R. C. Bray gets it just right in depicting Mark as both an unassuming smart guy and a smart aleck. You’ll find this clever, entertaining audiobook in the science fiction section.

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