The Martian: Audiobook Review

This book recording was read by Wil Wheaton.

The Martian* audiobook was written by Andy Weir and narrated by Wil Wheaton.  This science fiction book is in the form of astronaut Mark Watney’s log, six days after his arrival on Mars, when he is left there for dead.  Mark is an engineer and botanist with incredible skills for MacGyvering just about anything, which is important, because he faces pretty much every possible Martian challenge aside from little green men. His sharp sarcasm and unwillingness to quit make this a fast-paced page-turner from beginning to end.

I’ve attempted to make this review as spoiler-free as I possibly can. Any information specific to the story doesn’t go any further than what you’d see in its description on Goodreads, Audible, or Amazon.

The Good Stuff About The Martian Audiobook

This was a fascinating, emotional thrill-ride. The Martian* was believable all the way through. Weir’s astounding skill for writing a relatable, likeable, and very human character while also making highly technical science fun and fascinating, never dipped.

The Martian Audiobook Review

The Martian audiobook was one of those stories that was so good that I was more than willing to sacrifice sleep to find out what would happen next.

I loved how real the experience felt while listening to it. I’m definitely not a science or engineering expert. Far from it. I’m a fiction author! That said, I do have an interest in science and space, and I was convinced enough by the descriptions of Watney’s inventions and strategies that I never felt as though I was actively suspending my disbelief.

The Not-As-Good Stuff

I am really struggling to come up with a downside to The Martian audiobook.  I thoroughly enjoyed both the story and the performance.  This is easily one of my favourite all-time audiobooks, which is why I chose it as my first book review. I wanted to go easy on myself. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to go easy on myself and say that I really can’t think of anything I didn’t like about this book.

Wil Wheaton as Narrator of The Martian

Weir did an incredible job making Watney witty, snarky, sarcastic, bright, and optimistic, but Wil Wheaton brought the character to the next level in his narrating performance.

I listen to audiobooks all the time.  Basically, if I’m not writing, I’m listening. I suffer from regular insomnia and mental health disorders that lead to painful ruminations. Audiobooks help me to get through distressing ongoing battles with my own mind. According to the audible app, I’ve listened to 3 months, 12 days, 17 hours and 55 minutes’ worth of audiobooks since I first subscribed at the end of 2020. And that’s only about half of my listening time, because I also listen to audiobooks that I borrow from my library. I feel confident that I know a good narrator when I hear one.

Wheaton absolutely became this character.  He did an astoundingly good job giving Watney a voice in what I can only imagine was exactly the way it was intended to be read.  Every emotion, every subtlety, every breath was perfectly placed, performed, and timed.

After listening to The Martian audiobook, the first thing I did was look up other audiobooks read by Wil Wheaton.

Closing Thoughts

I highly recommend The Martian audiobook read by Wil Wheaton (make sure he’s the reader. Apparently, there’s another version out there somewhere by another narrator. That’s not the version this review is about). I’ve listened to this book at least a dozen times now, which is something I don’t often do, so that’s telling about the quality of the story and the performance of the narrator. 

In fact, I talked about it so much that I convinced my mother to read it. She’s not really a sci-fi fan, but she loved this one too.  We both agree that we miss hanging out with Mark Watney now that the story is over. You really do feel like you’re with him for the ride, so it’s one of those books that feels like you’re saying goodbye to a friend when it’s done. I felt lucky that the audiobook version of The Martian I have includes Diary of an AssCan short prequel (also read by Wheaton) as a bonus. It felt like I got a bit of an extra Watney fix.

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Published by Julie B Campbell

Julie B. Campbell is a Canadian fiction author and co-author (with Amanda Giasson) of the Perspective series books ("Love at First Plight", "Second Wind", "Third Time's a Charmer", and "So On and So Fourth"). Julie has also written children's books such as "The Elephant-Wolf" and "Finding Manda's Sunshine", as well as her most recent kids' title "An Ogre Ate My Sparkles!". She is a rosacea blogger and YouTuber under the name Rosy JulieBC.

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