If I’m being perfectly honest, this is more of a “I just plowed through this book in less than two days and oh man you guys have got to add it to your list” Tuesday than a true “To Be Read” Tuesday. I downloaded Andy Weir’s The Martian to my Kindle (I know, shocking: a book nerd publishing professional giving her money to Amazon. Shhh. I also live in an apartment in a city where space is a premium and I blow through books far too fast to ever have the room to store them, nor was I blessed with the gift of patience to wait for them at the library) early Monday morning while I got ready. By the time I dragged myself back into the office after lunch outside, I was totally hooked.
The Martian depicts the story of an astronaut abandoned on Mars by his crew who presume him dead as they flee the planet during a massive sandstorm. The one issue I had getting into the story was that I was picturing Matt Damon as our intrepid hero, Mark Watney. If you watch any TV, take public transportation, or have an internet connection (which, if you’re reading this…), you’ve undoubtedly noticed that the movie version of The Martian, starring–you guessed it–Matt Damon releases this Friday, October 2nd. We have all been so inundated by images from the movie, that it was a bit difficult to put those aside and visualize the story. The way The Martian is told–mostly through diary-esque log entries by the protagonist–we don’t really get a description of Watney, making it easy to plug in whatever visual we think matches his character’s vivid personality.
Once past character visualization issues, I was entirely enthralled by the epic journey Andy Weir weaves. Mark Watney’s journey is not the only interesting story when it comes to The Martian. Originally a self-published work, Andy Weir decided to post it as a Kindle download on Amazon simply because it is easier to access then downloading a file from his personal site then loading into your reader of choice. The story spread like wildfire. From there, it was picked up for print publication and the movie rights were purchased. Quite the leap! As we see more and more of these self-pub-to-print-pub stories play out, I’m very curious to see how the trend will affect publishing strategies in the future.
Will you dive into The Martian before the movie comes out this Friday? Going by my experience, you’ve got plenty of time to read it before this weekend.