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Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Martian - Book or Movie?

My husband and I went to see "The Martian" at our local theatre. Although the movie was good, the book was much better. Not that I mind watching another team of people working feverishly to rescue Matt Damon, but the movie left a lot out and also may have left questions with those who didn't read the book.

For example, Damon easily grew his Martian potato farm after digging through a trunk for a few bags of poo and starting a small fire inside his MAV. It wasn't easy, but by the same token, the movie goer doesn't get the true feel for all of the math, science, labor, and thought that went into stranded astronaut, Mark Watney's, multiple projects. Nor did the viewer understand how much Watney hated potatoes after eating them every sol for every meal.

If all Watney ate were potatoes, wouldn't he develop a huge belly like the starving children with protein deficiencies or a pirates's black bruised scurvy? No, Because the reader knows that he had lots and lots of multiple vitamins to keep him healthy. What he lacked was raw calories. Thank goodness he was a botanist who could grow these.

Watney's trip to the future site of the next Mars mission was easy peasy on the screen. No major sand storms to interfere with his solar panels and tip over his vehicle. No back aches from the manual labor to prepare. Where was the cool bedroom he'd made in the book? Heck! Once Damon found an easy way to communicate with Earth, he never lost it. The movie was entertaining and interesting, but it lacked the obstacles and understanding that one gets from reading the book.

Although author Andy Weir claims to be the ultimate science geek who enjoyed working out the ins and outs of a mission to Mars, he feared the science discussions would bore the average reader. I, however, am that average reader who is not interested in math nor science yet never grew bored with his book. After all, how can one get bored with a book whose first line is, "I'm pretty much f*cked," and the first page grabs the reader with the knowledge that he's absolutely right!

Go on and see the movie, but before you do, read the book.


Laika said...

Most of the times the books just are better than the films:)

Rhonda Albom said...

There are very few, if any movies that are better than the book. Movies take away our imagination.

Cascia Talbert said...

I haven't seen that movie or read the book. I agree that usually the book is better than the movie. Have a great weekend!

Binky said...

The problem is usually time-wise. A 2 hr movie is really a short story, not a novel. A novel would probably be 4 or 6 hours long.

messymimi said...

The book is always better, and thanks for the recommendation.

mail4rosey said...

I'd like to see the movie. But first, I'll def. read the book. :)

Karren Haller said...

I have not heard of the movie or book, but I agree that if reading a book before the movie there is a lot left out. I like books better.

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