I just finished listening to and subsequently restarting The Martian. Audiobook, of course, and I highly recommend it.
When I first heard about the movie version of The Martian I figured it would be fairly similar to Apollo 13, one of my favorite movies growing up. (I was raised by computer engineer sci fi nerds, what can I say.) Nothing I heard past that point really convinced me that this movie would be a comedy. Then I got my hands on the novel, and oh my god. I have never misjudged a book by its cover so much in my life.
In short, it was hilarious. What I was expecting, and tbh what the movie provided a lot more than the book did, was your basic scramble-rescue mission story. What made the book wonderful was that it was really more the story of one man surviving, using humor to cope with the facts that he’s most likely fucked, Murphy’s Law is a thing, and he’s the only person on the planet.
Some (non-spoiler) examples:
- “Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. ‘Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.’”
- “Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.”
- “I guess you could call it a ‘failure,’ but I prefer the term ‘learning experience.’”
- “I started the day with some nothin’ tea. Nothin’ tea is easy to make. First, get some hot water, then add nothin’.”