The Martian

The Martian by Andy Weir

The MartianImagine writing a book. Then imagine shopping it around to publishers and no one takes your bait. So, you decide to self-publish. People start reading and talking and loving your book. It gets legs. Then Random House wants a piece of it, and so does Hollywood. In one week, you sign deals with one of the world’s largest publishing houses and Matt Damon will star in the movie version of your book. Your little book that no one originally wanted. That’s the story of Andy Weir. Software Developer by day turned publishing superstar overnight. Below is our story of his breakout success, The Martian.

Lara: So, I am going to admit that this book was kind of on my radar, because of all the buzz and hoopla, but then I heard about all the science and Mars, and maybe even aliens, and I lost interest. Then one of my dear friends, who only reads two books a year based on recommendations I give her, said I had to read it. Ugh. I do try to read at least one book that falls outside of my comfort zone each year. I figured this fit the bill.

Jennifer: Well, this book sounded pretty interesting to me, but the big push was that one of MY friends, who typically loves what I love, loved this one. So, we read it.

Dear friends. Oh, dear friends. Jackie. You. I’m talking to you. I didn’t like it. Oh, how I didn’t like it. This guy, Andy Weir, no doubt a smart science guy—and I’m married to a smart science guy—got very, very lucky. He wrote this awful book and, yes, it got legs. Lara, you tell us what it’s about.

Lara: It’s a great premise. Mark Watney, a Botanist and Mechanical Engineer, is one of the crew members of the Mars Ares 3 mission. After something goes wrong, Watney is presumed dead and the Ares crew is en route back to earth.

The only problem: Watney is alive.

Okay, there are more problems. The next mission to Mars isn’t scheduled for another four years. No one knows he’s alive. He doesn’t have enough food to live that long. Our Martian embarks on the “Mark Watney doesn’t die project.”

Glimmers of hope arise when Mindy Park, an Orbital Engineer with NASA’s Strat Conn team, notices Watney in her work observing Mars. After reporting this news to Dr. Venkat Kapoor, the Mars Mission Director, who in turn takes it to NASA Director Teddy Sanders, the race to save Watney becomes a political firestorm and national obsession. The book is told in alternating chapters of Watney’s space logs, conversations at NASA headquarters, and news briefings.

Jennifer: Well, problem number one. It takes a while for NASA to get involved. For quite a long time, we’re just with Mark. And it’s B-O-R-I-N-G. Problem number two. Enter NASA. It’s still B-O-R-I-N-G. From what I understand, the author went to great lengths to make this book as scientifically accurate as possible—relatively speaking, of course. But there are passages and passages of writing about how to preserve air and how to grow potatoes, and what to do with spacesuits. And I’m, all, like, neat. For about ten minutes.

Lara: I thought some of the potato-growing was interesting. And how he was trapped with only disco music and Seventies TV episodes left behind by his former crew mates. The science-y stuff got to be too much. And I question if everyone who read this book read every line of all the science-y stuff. It’s smart stuff. I think it’s too smart for many. Certainly me.

Jennifer: Actually, this reminds me of this one semester, way back when. I was a Teaching Assistant and I taught Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” (the story, not the book). I was rattling on about how his use of concrete detail had the effect of showing, rather than telling. All the rookie TA stuff. And then this one student turned in this rip-off story the following week about life in the navy, and he loaded it with details about ships and measurements and the like—and the story was awful—and it was probably entirely my fault, but here we are: Weir has written this “scientifically accurate” story about the fantastical, but it’s dull.

Then, of course, there’s the issue of language. Show me one lovely passage of prose, Lara. Just one.

Lara: I wouldn’t describe his prose as lovely. But he’s got a great opener that grabs you:

“I’m pretty much fucked.”

Jennifer: This is something lots of newbies think is fun and exciting to do: begin a story with the f-word. Allow me to write another great opener: Fuck me. I’m stuck on Mars. They’ve left without me.

Lara: But this isn’t your book. You can open your own book however you want. There’s a number of chuckle-worthy moments, like when he has to supplement the potato-growing experiment with his own waste for fertilizer.

“My asshole is doing as much to keep me alive as my brain.”

When NASA is able to communicate with him:

“Now that NASA can talk to me, they won’t shut up.”

And about the free-time. What had to be an unbearable amount of free-time.

“You may be wondering what else I do with my free time. I spend a lot of it sitting around on my lazy ass watching TV. But so do you, so don’t judge.”

Jennifer: The guy is deep.

I know you think I don’t love it because it’s not literary enough for me. I’m going to deny this. I am, though, going to point to the protagonist, who is entirely too glib about his plight. As the lone survivor, stuck on Mars (I was totally hoping for an alien, by the way), for years—years, folks—this guy was way too okay. In one passage, Mark—our always upbeat man—says,

“I don’t even know what to say. This was an insane plan and somehow it worked! I’m going to be talking to someone again. I spent three months as the loneliest man in history and it’s finally over.”

In the margins, I must’ve gotten bitter, because I wrote, “I’ve seen lonelier.” In other places, when Mark is offering his persistent good humor, I wrote, “I like this, but I don’t buy it.” I don’t buy Mark. And the premise of surviving such loneliness is the interesting thing here; it’s utterly untouched by Weir.

Lara: Here’s the thing. The book is fantasy. Not in the genre way. It’s not intended, nor does it ever claim, to be deep. But you can tell it will translate well to the big screen. To have Weir go into the loneliness would be too heavy for the book. But I agree with you. He was too flippant. And while I am sure the astronaut profile includes someone who can handle significant adversity while maintaining a level head, his perkiness was unrealistic and off-putting.

Actually, some of my favorite parts of the book involved Mitch Henderson, the Ares 3 Flight Director, who bucks protocol and political correctness in order to save Watley. And, of course, Annie Montrose, the salty tongued, PR head for NASA. The dialogue Weir wrote for each of them will easily translate to the screen.

At the end of the day, I liked The Martian. I didn’t love it. I think the movie might be better.

What’s Next!

We had planned to review Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, but Lara couldn’t do it. It felt to her like there’s too much scandal around the publishing of this book. It kind of breaks her heart. So, check back next month when we talk about a couple of books by self-proclaimed human guinea pig, A.J. Jacobs, specifically, The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically. 

Happy reading, Snotties!

_______________________________________________________________________

Can’t get enough of Snotty Literati? Follow us on Facebook!

Want to read more from Jennifer? Check her out at www.jenniferspiegel.com 

Want to see what Lara is up to? Go to www.onelitchick.com

Leave A Comment

  • pussey video trailers
  • father daughter arab sex video
  • laos girls xxx
  • mature young boy fitsh movies
  • free amateur video your
  • moms soccer sex videos
  • best free pics of japanies
  • girls next door fuck
  • chanelle hayes glamour pics
  • Teens i thong panties
  • free xxx orgy
  • mom blackmailed by son for sex
  • mature women galleries naked
  • girl teen tube
  • seat belt projectile teen video england
  • watch movie the deep throat
  • ebony girls with hairy pussy pictures
  • sexy vietnamese girls
  • gaging black teens
  • very young filipina girls
  • beach sex pussy
  • petite fleur tango composer
  • big tits striptease tube videos
  • video free nude teen
  • sexy ass lesbian anal licking
  • free anal download xxx
  • Raylene richards lesbian video
  • unusual free pics
  • fuck guava pussy
  • Iran sex fuck
  • asian sin city cheri d
  • the hottest young teen in
  • hardcore fantasy sex stories
  • free videos tna
  • xxx mature old mom
  • girls with small butt
  • lesbian sex wrestle i
  • monologues for auditions for teen girls
  • free naked pictures of couples fucking
  • mom young son fuck
  • teen girl with ncie ass
  • hot spanish girls get butt fucked
  • bigg butt
  • huge black aerolos movies
  • young girls in tiny skanky outfits
  • woman with small tits videos
  • free oral sex vid
  • teen home made sex
  • granny bitch pics
  • free hairy mature pussy thumbnails
  • horny and lovin it young girls
  • sexy mature fuck
  • First time fucking pussy
  • Hot nude hunk
  • cute teen posing galleries
  • busty girl uniform sex
  • black fuck tubes
  • ebony squirting lesbians
  • cowgirls leather
  • anal sex desensitizing cream
  • h cup boobs picture
  • xxx free teen thumbnail galleries
  • Kate winslet the reader sex scene video
  • How to prolong masturbation
  • free pics black booty
  • guy gets blowjob at party
  • lesgian mature movies
  • japanese naked women strippers
  • free amateur lesbians orgy movies
  • women enjoying orgasm during sex
  • black mama butt
  • penny flame vids
  • huge dick slamming pussy
  • cartoon movie archive
  • bysex group gang bang
  • wifey fuck hog
  • cheerleader teen girls
  • glamour of sweden girls
  • sofia escorts sex massage girls
  • xxx tube sex teen
  • b cup size boobs pics
  • black girl has orgasm video
  • ebony home made
  • chubby young naked nude babes
  • mexican high school girls sexy
  • Halle berry pictures nude
  • mature nylons videos
  • free teen pissing videos
  • free gushing pussy downloads
  • Best lesbian sex positions
  • squirting asian lesbian
  • old men sex movies
  • teen russian lesbian
  • throat young powered by vbulletin
  • real forbiden young xxx
  • Ramba teen sex
  • full video teresa hien
  • food pussy insertions
  • video of man fingering himself
  • Hannah harper interracial
  • home made wife videoes
  • amateur female sex videos
  • free shitting girl movies
  • true home sex video
  • free interracial glory hole movies
  • fee hentie movies
  • Girl indian sex
  • Pakistani big tits
  • big nipples sex
  • sex hentai girls
  • south indian couples having sex
  • mtv real world girls nude pics
  • long dick fucks wife mother
  • young boys mature mom
  • ebony teen fucks white guys
  • Sexy laker girls
  • pics girls young legal hardcore
  • pictures of black roses
  • sexy facebook girls myspace sluts
  • tricked into anal sex wife
  • amateur sex video gallerie
  • girls to orgasm
  • black unicorn sex
  • girls orgasm video trailers
  • red tube college sex party
  • free young black whores
  • ass anal hd movies updated
  • latino teen fuck
  • hot girls ride cock after party
  • babe get naked video
  • men fuck movies free
  • sexy young girls who love cum
  • men having sex in the butt
  • hardcore college pussy
  • littele girl sex
  • horny young lesbo girls
  • great tits sex
  • free candy ass fuck movies
  • petite asian female teen
  • free pics girls old men
  • juliana young playboy pics
  • tits webcam boobs
  • tiny hott young teen vids
  • young hardcore pussy
  • big boobs young
  • amateur girl learns to suck cock
  • amateur pussy lips
  • girls laying naked
  • homemade facial video
  • sexy women swimming naked
  • amateur crossdressers for sex
  • babysitter xxx married fuck
  • xvideos mega boobs
  • ipod free videos forum
  • wives who suck dick
  • naked wives mastubat
  • local asian sex
  • free internal pussy creampie movies
  • jap girls sex
  • sandra bullock butt pics proposal
  • hairy big nipples girls
  • Teen blonde dancing
  • Couple having sex on the beach
  • gropedgirls in japan
  • young girl sucking dick
  • sexy blonde mexicans
  • japanese actresses sex video
  • hardcore and pictures
  • shemales fuck shemales videos
  • black lactating nipples
  • wifes first black cum
  • world champion xxx deep throat
  • young teen bikini camel toe pictures
  • videos of hot teenage girls striping
  • butt inplant videos
  • Incest sex tapes
  • black belts karate video
  • libby true teen babe pics
  • black and white drawings sexy women
  • marry younger wife bad
  • quito sex videos
  • Mongolian girls sex
  • free amateur interracial cuckhold movies
  • petite milf galleries
  • guide to anal sex for women
  • japanese teen shemales nudes
  • petite skinny teen
  • nudity mature girls
  • young native nude girls
  • mom teaches daughter sex videos
  • video shaving pussy ass
  • bang bros interracial videos
  • kiie xxx
  • sexy oiled girls
  • amateur anal attempts torrent
  • male blowjob video
  • oral olymics streaming videos
  • girl massaging her ass
  • young naked teen boy videos
  • sleeping party girls sex pictures
  • nun sex lesbian
  • Vidio sex kamasutra
  • white naked girls big thighs
  • teen cumshots slutload
  • watch free online transexuals fucking girls
  • jap lesbian
  • haley williams naked picture
  • mature teen video
  • free shemale movies vids
  • naked girles videos
  • Raw ass fucking
  • girls seduced by lesbians
  • your amateur pron video
  • New sex positions videos
  • xxx anal free video
  • hardcore lesbian dvd
  • teen under having sex
  • threesome videos homemade
  • Big ass lesbien
  • her first oral sex tube
  • sex ed class rainbow party
  • pics of young naked girls
  • amuater teen videos
  • funny dirty sex pics
  • Sexy little pussy
  • Teen tits in bras
  • big black cocks fucking tiny teens
  • thick juicy pussy lips
  • Small tits images
  • all naked young boy pics
  • Winx club sex pics
  • Naked girls cumming
  • rough sex naked castings
  • sex toys uk huge butt plug
  • guys girls high school
  • big hipped white girl teen ass
  • mature femdom bdsm free galleries
  • girls taking naked pictures
  • mature moms black men
  • pregnant bride sex pics
  • metacafe naked japanese
  • old with young lesbians
  • chae young naked
  • britt and taylor lesbian handjob
  • free sex xxx hentai
  • free sexy asian
  • hot young old videos
  • watch interracial movies for free
  • hottest and blonde sexy xxx vedios
  • amateur romantic sex
  • egyptian girl sex
  • party hardcore japanese
  • blonde anal lesbian
  • Sexy hot blonde lesbians
  • free fuc video
  • italien teen sex pics
  • naked young ueropean girls
  • sand used in movie pitch black
  • taco mature hairy pussy
  • hot sexy girls in fights
  • fucking my bbw wife video
  • posted amateur graphy
  • ass nude black female pictures
  • Indian actress nude pics
  • petite ribbed tank
  • college girls rules cumshot anal