The Martian

The Martian

A Novel

Book - 2014 | First edition.
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Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. 

Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. 

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. 

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills--and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit--he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, [2014]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781101905005
Branch Call Number: WEI
Sci-Fi W PBK
Characteristics: 369 pages :,map ;,24 cm


From Library Staff

One of the most popular Sci-Fi reads of the decade, this title is also available in large print, eBook, and audiobook CD formats.

Ranked #7 in the Books category. Also available in large print, eBook, and audiobook CD.

List - Judge a Book By It's Cover
HoopIT Mar 18, 2015

I would like to say that Matt Damon's face, while fine enough in it's own right, is not the cover for this book when I added it!

loonylovesgood Jul 04, 2015

This would make a good movie! Captivating and hard to put down (I read it in two days). A bit overly scientific in parts but at least that makes it more realistic!

suzuannengo Apr 27, 2015

This book was amazingly good. I wasn't sure I would be able to read all the technical jargon, but the humor on every page really made this book enjoyable. It kept me on the edge of my seat!

From the critics

Community Activity


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Mar 02, 2020

Interesting story, reads like a screenplay. Enjoyed the humour.

ArapahoeTiegan Feb 18, 2020

The audiobook read by Wil Wheaton is brilliant. The main narrator is very sarcastic and Wheaton read that perfectly making me laugh out loud constantly.

Feb 03, 2020

This is a futuristic retelling of a "Robinson Crusoe" story with a marooned astronaut on the planet Mars. There are more twists and turns in this extra-terrestrial story than in the path of a rover vehicle traversing the cratered surface of Mars. The author provides a map of the surface of Mars described in the novel. Elements of the story are technical but the non-nerd reader may spring over these paragraphs (in Mars' low gravity) without losing the core concerns of the marooned astronaut to have air, water, food and shelter. Read the novel before watching the excellent movie.

Oct 24, 2019

Mars is no match for a roll of duct tape and some ingenuity!

The Martian is an incredible tale of strength, endurance, ingenuity, and the human spirit in the face of extreme adversity. I've watched the movie twice and I feel Matt Damon NAILED the part of Mark Watney, who is very much like a Martian MacGyver. I have to admit that at times my eyes started glazing over as I read mathematical solutions Mark was figuring out while solving the mountain of problems he faced, but then the humor would grab me every time. I especially loved this part:
HOUSTON: Admittedly, they are very invasive modifications, but they have to be done. The procedure doc we sent has instructions for carrying out each of these steps with the tools you have on hand.
WATNEY: You're sending me into space in a convertible.
HOUSTON: There will be HAB canvas covering the holes.
WATNEY: So it's a ragtop. Much better.

Mark Watney is my very favorite geek.

Sep 25, 2019

Really grabs the attention. I already saw the movie twice but the book is more detailed of course and some important parts result differently. Had to look up all the NASA stuff while reading and there were a lot of acronyms I had to write down to keep with the flow of the story.

Sep 03, 2019

Loved the book, very info dumpy if you know what I mean, but then again it has to be if you want a good understanding of the story. Still very good book definitely will recommend.

Aug 01, 2019

Gripping... that's all I can say.

IndyPL_SteveB May 09, 2019

A fascinating realistic SF novel for Space geeks and a lot of other readers. No bits of fantasy in this; no aliens, ESP, or intergalactic wormholes. This puts the “science” in Science Fiction.

Astronaut Mark Watney is trapped on Mars. A terrible windstorm has damaged the base and the crew is trying to leave the planet. As they dash for the evacuation vehicle, Watney is hit by flying equipment and blown too far away to find. The rest of the crew has to assume he is dead so they leave. But he survives and he’ll have to stay that way for as long as 4 years before the next expedition can get to him. The rest of the novel is pure science and tech as he figures how to feed himself, keep up production of water and oxygen, (among many other needs) and keep from going crazy. It’s *Robinson Crusoe* but with no Friday or pets.

Weir has created a main character with a sense of humor and a creative sense that holds our attention. We also see the NASA employees back on earth as they begin to realize that Mark is still alive and the other crew members of the Mars mission as they realize that they have left a live person behind.

Jan 17, 2019

Very entertaining! I couldn't put it down! If your a space nerd it is a must read! Even if your not it is still fun.

Dec 28, 2018

Plot. Scientifically realistic and a snarky hero who will stop at nothing to return home.

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Oct 27, 2019

black_penguin_774 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Oct 17, 2019

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Apr 26, 2019

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Aug 18, 2018

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librarybox thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 16 and 50

Aug 08, 2017

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Oct 19, 2016

ranahamze1 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

red_flower1008 Jul 13, 2016

red_flower1008 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jun 15, 2016

red_fox_1260 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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Add a Quote
Feb 03, 2020

"Once I'd shut everything down, the interior of the Hab [living unit] was eerily silent. I'd spent 449 sols [Mars days] listening to its heaters, vents, and fans. But now it was dead quiet. It was a creepy kind of quiet that's hard to describe. I've been away from the noises of the Hab before, but always in a rover or an EVA suit, both of which have noisy machinery of their own. But now there was nothing. I never realized how utterly silent Mars is. It's a desert world with practically no atmosphere to convey sound. i could hear my own heartbeat." (p. 284)

Tualatin_JoH Aug 28, 2018

"He must rely on his own resourcefulness to survive. He begins a log of his experiences. His philosophy is to "work the problem", solving each challenge in turn as it confronts him."

Aug 18, 2018

“ “What must it be like?” He pondered. “He’s stuck out there. He thinks he’s totally alone and that we all gave up on him. What kind of effect does that have on a man’s psychology?” He turned back to Venkat. “I wonder what he’s thinking right now.”
Log entry: Sol 61
How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.”

Aug 07, 2016

Yes, of course of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped.

You know what? "kilowatt-hours per sol" is a pain in the ass to say. I'm gonna invent a new scientific name. one kilowatt-hour per sol can be suck at this...I'll call it a "pirate-ninja"."

As with most of life's problems, this can be solved with a box of pure radiation.

Jul 06, 2016

"Six days into what should be the greatest two months of my life, and it's turned into a nightmare." - Mark Watney

Jan 26, 2016


Nov 19, 2015

The cast in space:

“Beck said (to sister Amy.) “Everyone has multiple roles. I’m the doctor, the biologist, and the EVA specialist. Commander Lewis is our geologist. Johanssen is the sysop and reactor tech. And so on”
How about that good-looking guy … Martinez?” Amy asked. “What does he do?”
“He pilots the MDV and MAV.” Beck said. “He’s also married with a kid, you lecherous homewrecker.”
“Ah well How about Watney? What did he do?”
“He’s our botanist and engineer. And don’t talk about him in the past tense.”
“Engineer? Like Scotty?”
“Kind of.” Beck said. “He fixes stuff.”
“I bet that’s coming in handy now.”
“Yeah, no shite.”

Nov 19, 2015

More Dilbert-like humor:

They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially ‘colonised’ it. So technically, I colonised Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong!

I need to ask myself, 'What would an Apollo astronaut do?' He'd drink three whiskey sours, drive his Corvette to the launchpad, then fly to the moon in a command module smaller than my Rover. Man those guys were cool.

Me: “This is obviously a clog. How about I take it apart and check the internal tubing?”
NASA: (after five hours of deliberation) “No. You’ll freak it up and die.” So I took it apart.

“How did I end up in this situation? I’m the district sales manager of a napkin factory. Why is my daughter in space?”

Nov 19, 2015

Dilbert-like humor (2 of 3):
People have been using human waste as fertilizer for centuries. It’s even got a pleasant name: “night soil.” … My asshole is doing as much to keep me alive as my brain.

The worst moments in life are heralded by small observations. The tiny lump on your side that wasn’t there before Coming home to your wife and seeing two wineglasses in the sink. Anytime you hear “We interrupt this program…”

I did turn the heat back on (I’m not insane), … Waking up to frigid weather felt surprisingly nostalgic. I grew up in Chicago, after all.

The screen went black before I was out of the airlock. Turns out the “L” in “LCD” stands for “Liquid.” I guess it either froze or boiled off. Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. “Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.
I started the day with some nothin’ tea. Nothin’ tea is easy to make. First, get some hot water, then add nothin’.

Nov 19, 2015

Dilbert-like humor (3 of 3):

WATNEY: Look! A pair of boobs! -> (.Y.)

Also, I have duct tape. Ordinary duct tape, like you buy at a hardware store. Turns out even NASA can’t improve on duct tape.

“Venkat’s got a doctorate in physics, Tim,” Bruce said. “You don’t need to explain transmission time to him.”
Tim shrugged. “You can never tell with managers.”

It’s a strange feeling. Everywhere I go, I’m the first. Step outside the rover? First guy ever to be there! Climb a hill? First guy to climb that hill! Kick a rock: That rock hadn't moved in a million years!

“How are our monkeys?” “The children are fine.” She smiled.

If I can’t trust NASA, who can I trust?

I got really bored, so I decided to pick a theme song! … There are plenty of great candidates: “Life on Mars?” by David Bowie, “Rocket Man” by Elton John, “Alone Again (Naturally)” by Gilbert O’Sullivan.
But I settled on “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees.

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Add Notices
Aug 18, 2018

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Definitely full of action and very intense.

Aug 18, 2018

Sexual Content: Humorous mentions only

Aug 18, 2018

Coarse Language: The main character isn’t at all shy to express his anger through profanity.

Apr 12, 2018

Other: Several characters take our LORD's name in vain.

Apr 12, 2018

Coarse Language: F-Bomb on the 4th word. But it definitely is not alone.

Nov 06, 2015

Coarse Language: The first word of the book is an expletive and the author doesn't shy away, though they aren't pervasive

Jun 13, 2015

Coarse Language: Profanity throughout


Add a Summary
Jun 28, 2015

NASA has the ability to send maned spacecraft to Mars and back, unfortunately one of the astronauts gets left behind and is mistaken for dead. Watney, now stranded on a hostile planet with limited resources attempts to make contact with NASA while faced with starvation, mechanical failure and any number of things that could kill him.

Jun 13, 2015

Very nerdy and sciency. Full of wonder. The quick humor, fast-paced action, and cool-factor made it hard to put down and completely unforgettable

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