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The Martian - I LOVED it!

(52 Posts)
macnab Mon 02-Nov-15 14:19:38

I know its not new, and I know its not a literary work of art but I just absolutely loved it. I really liked the main character and was rooting for him from the start.

I will now go and watch the film of it to swoon over Matt Damon see how it compares but for anyone who's not yet seen the film and would like an easy but gripping read, I'd thoroughly recommend this book.

SecretSquirr3ls Mon 02-Nov-15 22:10:18

Sorry, but after 2 chapters I was bored to tears. Couldn't care less whether he lived or died and gave up.
I had hoped to enjoy it as a friend recommended it to me.

CoteDAzur Tue 03-Nov-15 21:58:24

I loved it, too. It was like a really geeky 24. On Mars. Problem solving on every page. Brilliant! grin

CoteDAzur Tue 03-Nov-15 22:00:27

If you don't care about whether an astronaut left alone on Mars lives or dies, what do you care about in books?

BrianButterfield Tue 03-Nov-15 22:10:37

I loved it too, and it's not my sort of thing usually. It was actually recommended to me by a y11 boy who told me he read it, went back to the start and read it again, and that's why I tried it!

TyrionLannistersShadow Tue 03-Nov-15 22:12:03

Brilliant book, I loved it too. I couldn't put it down.

AnyFucker Tue 03-Nov-15 22:12:33

I loved it and so did my DH and two teens

Unheard of !

Morgan Tue 03-Nov-15 22:18:54

Same here Anyfucker - we all read it after seeing the film last week . We never like the same books smile

mmack Wed 04-Nov-15 00:24:27

I haven't read the book but I finally saw the film at the weekend and enjoyed it very much. I liked the way they stuck with the science and didn't have many weepy bits. Is the book a difficult read? My 12 year old loved the film and I might get him the book as a stocking filler for Christmas.

Clobbered Wed 04-Nov-15 00:26:08

I loved the film, although I gather it's had some pretty bad reviews. I thought it was brilliantly entertaining and would definitely like to read the book too.

AnyoneButAndre Wed 04-Nov-15 00:32:24

I think a 12 year old might well enjoy the book. It's got "language" but apart from that it's entirely suitable. My 11 year old loves the film apart from the surgery bit.

ChipsandGuac Wed 04-Nov-15 00:44:52

I watched the movie and then read the book. Loved both. And loved seeing Matt Damon doing what he's good at.

VimFuego101 Wed 04-Nov-15 01:00:35

I really liked the book. I was a bit underwhelmed with the film, I'm not a big fan of Matt Damon.

CoteDAzur Wed 04-Nov-15 06:39:04

Forget "language", a 12-year-old would not actually understand much of the book with lengthy calculations on chemistry - How to produce Oxygen and in which quantities etc

AnyoneButAndre Wed 04-Nov-15 06:53:58

Depends on the 12 year old. I imagine a lot of the adult readers skimmed the more technical aspects anyway.

CoteDAzur Wed 04-Nov-15 07:08:49

I certainly hope not. The science is what makes The Martian different and interesting.

Persononally, I would not give a 12-yr-old a book large chunks of which she has no hope of understanding. There is no rush. Wait a few years and give her this book when she is studying physics & chemistry, and inspire her with it.

strawberrypenguin Wed 04-Nov-15 07:12:21

Yep I loved it. Really good - looking forward to another book by the author. The film was a good adaptation and I enjoyed that too.

mmack Wed 04-Nov-15 08:52:47

I might buy it and read it myself first. My DS just turned 12 so he hasn't done Chemistry at school yet but he does love maths and space so he might have a bash at it. He finds it hard to find books that interest him.

macnab Wed 04-Nov-15 08:53:43

I wonder what else I'm missing out on. I only read the book because the film is out and generally if a film is based on a book, the book is better. Anyone care to recommend an equally enthralling book?

I didn't find the 'science' bits too overwhelming, I admit some of it went over my head but I got the jist of it, and I expect a reasonably intelligent 12-yr old would too.

atticusclaw2 Wed 04-Nov-15 08:58:56

Its a fantastic book. I read it, gushed about it to DH who also then read it and loved it. We are trying to get the PIL to babysit at the weekend so that we can go to see the film.

CoteDAzur Wed 04-Nov-15 09:16:53

I don't think it is about intelligence but knowledge which a 12-year-old just won't have simply because he hasn't studied the subjects yet. Stuff such as:

- Oxygen is easier to find on Mars than you might think. The atmosphere is 95% CO2.

- Soil bacteria are used to winters. The get less active and require less oxygen to survive.

- The planet's famous red color is from iron oxide coating everything. So it's not just a desert. It's a desert so old it's literally rusting.

- The primary satellite dish had broken off and it took the reception antennae with it.

- Sensing the drop in pressure, the suit constantly flooded itself with air from my nitrogen tank to equalise. After a while the CO2 absorbers in the suit were expended. That's really the limiting factor in life support. Not the amount of oxygen you can bring with you but the amount of CO2 you can remove. In the Hab, I have the oxygenator that breaks apart CO2 to give the oxygen back.

- The suit moved into an emergency mode the engineers call "bloodletting". Having no way to separate out the CO2, the suit deliberately vented air to the Martian atmosphere, then backfilled with Nitrogen. Between the breach and the bloodletting, it quickly ran out of Nitrogen. All it had left was my oxygen tank. So it did the only think it could to keep me alive. It started backfilling with pure Oxygen. I now risked dying from Oxygen toxicity, as the excessively high amount of Oxygen threatened to burn up my nervous system, lungs, and eyes.

I was reading sci-fi as a 12-year-old but that was Asimov, Heinlein, and Clarke - scientifically correct but mostly about philosophical ideas about the future, not detailed scientific explanations like the above which nobody has a hope of understanding without a minimum knowledge of chemistry and physics.

CoteDAzur Wed 04-Nov-15 09:18:05

"I wonder what else I'm missing out on."

I can give some sci-fi recommendations, if you are interested smile

macnab Wed 04-Nov-15 09:33:49

I don't really like sci-fi CoteDAzur sorry!

But with regards to your post quoting from the book, I still don't think that not fully understanding those particular paragraphs would prevent you from getting the general jist of what's going on. In fact, a lot of it explains things, so people might actually learn something wink

Its a bit of chemistry, we're not talking Stephen Hawking's physics here!

I don't think you need to understand much science to enjoy it. I still didn't enjoy it though - I thought it was adolescent and boring. I finished it (too scared of Cote to abandon it!) but I thought it was pretty dreadful.

CoteDAzur Wed 04-Nov-15 09:39:57

Well, The Martian IS sci-fi grin and you say you loved it?

I was 17 when I read Stephen Hawking's A Brief History Of Time. It is not impossible to read as a teenager. However, I had studied quite a bit of mathematics and physics until that point.

In any case, try giving The Martian to a 12-year-old who has no notion of chemistry or physics and let us know how it goes.

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