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Audiobook Review

The Martian

Andy Weir
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average rating is 5 out of 5
average rating is 5 out of 5

Excellent, Unforgettable, Best of the nest

Very good, thoroughly enjoyed, 

Good, Solid, Enjoyed many aspects


The Wheaton Supremacy: Wil Wheaton is quietly taking over the world and he's doing it one audiobook at a time.


🎧 Wil Wheaton is quietly taking over the world and he's doing it one audiobook at a time. The first time I listened to The Martian, it was read by R.C. Bray. But I noticed a new version by Sci-Fi royalty Wil Wheaton and obviously had to give it a go. Mr Wheaton has some forty Audible titles under his belt, among them the works of Ernest Cline and John Scalzi.

🎧 It is perhaps my love of all things science fiction that explains why it feels like he's narrated all my recent listens. And look, I have no complaints. I would happily listen to Wheaton read the back of a paint can. I'm just saying he has a plan and only Stephen Fry can stop him (I see you, Mr Fry with your 215 Audible entries, some of which you've written).

👉Total sidebar: There seems to be a trend of re-recording successful audiobooks with big name narrators. The Handmaid's Tale, The Hunger Games, The Importance of Being Earnest (Stephen Fry), all have undergone this treatment. It's great fun to compare and contrast and I think a sign that publishers are really embracing the audiobook format. On the other hand, it would be great to see unknown or lesser known narrators elevated by these stories in whose success they played a part.

And Now, The Main Feature: Bring Him Home

💜 This is one of the most emotional books I've ever listened to, in large part because main character Mark Watney is so very lovable. Thus, I was avidly invested as I experienced the rollercoaster of his extraordinary story. I laughed, I cried, I bit my lip and my heart got a workout for which it was woefully unprepared.

🧡 The plot is phenomenal. It has enough tension to keep it interesting, but every hurdle is considered and authentic. That brings me on to the science. Software engineer Andy Weir really is the space nerd he professes to be, but he is also meticulous. The detail in this is granular. But the genius is in how Weir makes that detail entertaining. Not many writers could make me care so much about hydrogen and potatoes.

💚 This has a mix of wry humour and science fiction that I loved in the Stargate series, albeit much heavier on the science side. The film adaptation is faithful to the book and Matt Damon was an amazing Mark Watney. I am however ready to amend this once Wil Wheaton takes over that role.


🎧 Both Wil Wheaton and R.C. Bray are excellent in this. Interestingly, they have similarly deep voices, with Bray's slightly sharper, gruffer in tone. Wheaton is slightly more successful in delivering on comic moments overall, but there were instances where Bray did so better. Both deserve their five stars.


No spoilers for this one. Maybe next time!
Click For Spoilers

The Martian


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?

Wil Wheaton, who has lent his voice to sci-fi blockbusters like Ready Player One and Redshirts, breathes new life (and plenty of sarcasm) into the iconic character of Mark Watney, making this edition a must-listen for both longtime fans of The Martian and new listeners alike.
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