The Martian: a book review

Read a review of the book 'The Martian' to practise and improve your reading skills.

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Reading text

Read the review of the book The Martian below.

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Review: The Martian

The Martian tells the story of Mark Watney, an astronaut on the Ares 3 mission to Mars. After a terrible storm almost destroys the ship and the base, the crew of his ship believe he is dead. 1) _____. Alone on the red planet, he has to survive until the next mission to Mars arrives.

While this novel is fiction, in some ways it feels like non-fiction. It is very scientific and packed with details about survival on Mars. Watney is a botanist and engineer, and he begins to grow food and produce water in his artificial camp. How does he do this? 2) _____.

The author is Andy Weir, and this is his first published book. In it he has created a realistic character. There is a lot of humour in the story, and the reader can identify with the emotions (although no one can really imagine what it's like to be on Mars). Watney admits at the beginning that he is in deep trouble, but he never gives up. 3) _____. Instead, what The Martian gives us is a realistic look at an intelligent person alone on a planet and trying to survive.

The majority of the plot takes place on Mars and is written in the form of Watney's journal entries. 4) _____. Unfortunately, the other characters in the book (his fellow crew members, the scientists at NASA on Earth) do not get much development and so they often feel one-dimensional.

I should also mention that the book is thrilling to read. You will be on the edge of your seat until the very end. 5) _____. It's good not only for space travel fans and scientists but for anyone who is looking for a unique and exciting story. The Martian was so popular that it was made into a film starring Matt Damon in 2015, but I recommend reading the book first.

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Language level

Submitted by LamVanPhuong on Mon, 15/11/2021 - 15:25


actually, i don't usually read book but i want to recommend Harry Potter. although, it was made into a movie but I recommend you read the book first then watch the movie later

Submitted by amit_ck on Tue, 02/11/2021 - 19:17


"A solar panel CONSISTING of photo-voltaic cells is mounted, facing the sun, on a RAISED pole well above the ground."

Why there isn’t “is” before CONSISTING?
Why this verb is past though this sentence is present tense “RAISED”?

Hello amit_ck,

The verb 'consist' is a stative verb which is not used with continuous aspect. If you wanted to use it as a regular (finite) verb then you would say 'a solar panel which consists of...'

In this sentence 'raising' is a participle. It forms the head of a participle clause describing the solar panel. You can read more about participle clauses here:…

'Raised' is not a past verb form here. It is an adjective describing the noun 'pole'. You could replace it with other adjectives 'high', 'wooden', 'blue' etc.

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Dariusz on Sat, 23/10/2021 - 00:05


I recommend the book 'Iron John'. It's good especially for men but not only. This book tells the story of how the boy becomes a man. Although the book is fiction, in some ways it feels very scientific and packed with details from real meal life. The reader can easily identify with the character of John. This book is written in the form of a guide but isn't one-dimensional.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Wed, 20/10/2021 - 12:44


At this I'm never read any book out of my course. But I will read a book in a month.

Submitted by iEdd on Thu, 22/07/2021 - 18:43

I would recommend "A Farewall to arms" by the great Ernest Hemingway. It was a recomendation from my father when I was 18. That changed my life. The horror of the war, the love trying to survive and the death as a traggic event. Human condition in a pure state.

Submitted by German on Thu, 18/03/2021 - 00:55

I would recommended the book called "essay on blindness" (Ensayo sobre la ceguera) by José Saramago. It is a good novel about a illness where the people that keep contact with a person the people become in blind people but there is a women that was inmune and she can help to her husband and another persons

Submitted by ahmad 920 on Wed, 17/03/2021 - 16:06

I am rereading the first book an it is the forty Rules of Love and i recommend it.

Submitted by Andrea Valencia on Tue, 09/03/2021 - 17:47

I recommend reading the book "Love in the Time of Cholera" it is a passionate love story. The novel is written with an exquisite literary language.

Submitted by Asni on Thu, 04/03/2021 - 00:20

Although I'm not very fond of reading books, I would like to mention one that was very helpful to me. I was having an utterly emotional disorder, a mixture of stress, sadness, despair and disappointment. All those strong and negative feelings affected me in a big way. Eventually, after a quite long and constant internal fight against my own pain and heart darkness, I could cope with them, take control over my emotions and regain my smile. The book is called Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns. It is fascinating and I really recommend it to everyone, not only to people going through some psychological or emotional crisis.

Submitted by Abrarhussain on Mon, 22/02/2021 - 00:53

I would recommend A Midsummer Night's Dream. This comedy play written by William Shakespeare .Four Athenians runaway to the forest only two have Puck the fairy make both of the boys fall in love with the same girl.

Submitted by Dmytro on Wed, 17/02/2021 - 14:50

I'm not a book lover and read usually not too much but I can highly recommend reading the book that extremely impacted me. It is called The Financier. It's a novel by Theodore Dreiser. One of the most exciting books I have ever read.

Submitted by Davis on Mon, 08/02/2021 - 23:27

I would recommend the book "Who moved my cheese?" a story about four characters who live in a maze and learn to deal with unexpected change.

Submitted by Iordache Constantin on Sun, 24/01/2021 - 15:54

Even though I've read many books, I would recommend "Humboldt's Gift" by Saul Bellow because it is translated in many languages, including romanian, hence it can be read by anyone. There are also plenty of books written in Romanian, which can have a very complex grammar even for native Romanians. One of them would be Mihai Eminescu's volume "Poesii".

Submitted by Minh on Mon, 18/01/2021 - 05:01

Reading books is my cup of tea. Therefore, I read all kind of books. However, I am keen on reading business books because these books are interested in me. I would recommend one of novels which is valued in life " Think and Grow rich " of Napoleon Hill. I hope you can achieve some ideals from it.

Submitted by Thinthinmyoe on Mon, 11/01/2021 - 09:19

I would like to recommend about the book named Look To The Mountain by LeGrand Cannon,Jr .It is written about the young boy and girl who are trying to find out new fields.The boy is strong, brave and honest.Finally, they are successful.This book is so exciting and interesting.

Submitted by Ehsan on Mon, 21/12/2020 - 08:37

unfortunately, I don't like novels, science-fiction, and books like that. I prefer to read books that are related to applied sciences. I mean the books we can use in our life, activities, and work. these books can be economic, computer science, historical and etc. if I want to say some instances, they can be " Rich dad poor dad", "Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets", "The Art of Thinking Clearly" and etc.

Submitted by farhad zada on Sun, 20/12/2020 - 06:09

I would recommend a short story 'Berenice' by Edgar Allan Poe. I think it's for whom like reading, thinking, and being confused about schizophrenia.

Submitted by Geray on Sat, 21/11/2020 - 15:08

I would recommend the book "The Shining" from Steven King. In my opinion this book is really excited and interesting. In this book, King show us pretty good dialoqes and characters. But for me it's very protracted and in some moments I want to sleep and it was just bored. But totally, book is awesome. Excellent job by excellent author.

Submitted by danisep on Sat, 17/10/2020 - 19:19

This year I haven't read a lot I have just reading about Python, a computacional language, by the way Python course by Eric Matthes is a great book to learn python and build basic knowledge in code, by other hand I recommend to read momo by michael ende it's about, the time and a girl that know listen and how busy jobs and some taks can stole our time lifes.

Submitted by senes19 on Sun, 04/10/2020 - 10:54

I would recommend 'Dalai Lama Principles' that i am reading now. It is suggested especially to the new mother's and fathers. It is written according to the Dalai Lama's philosophy. When you have a baby, what should you do at first and then. You should read before think about having a child. It has very attractive point which you will look after to raise a child.

Submitted by Nehir on Fri, 18/09/2020 - 12:42

I would recommend the book from John Green. It's name is Looking For Alaska. It is a romance book and it is sooo good. But also so tragical. I cried at the end of the book. It tells love between two student in a student resedence. Actually, we can't know did Alaska like Pudge. :)

Submitted by Roblox on Thu, 10/09/2020 - 13:55

I recommended a book written by Hamka. He is a famous author and scholar in Indonesia. The sink of Van der Wijck was the popular book of his. It has been modified a lot in the movie. I would start with a book better than a movie.

Submitted by naru on Sun, 16/08/2020 - 11:47

I would like to recommend the book named "library wars" in English titles. This novel was published in 2008 and written by Arikawa hiro. This series was adapted into live action movie and comic and loved by people of all ages. As main content, It is dipicted the imaginary world be prohibited reading books as law. And It's about war between goverment and library seeking freedom. It's not SF novel but also romance novel. If you have a opportunity, please read it.

Submitted by Hennadii on Thu, 06/08/2020 - 11:03

As a bibliophile, I read lots of books and clearly easily can find something to recommend. From the recent books, I recommend reading awesome Kate Fox's book named "Watching English". The author is an English social anthropology who made a huge research of "typical" English behavior. I know that all the national stereotypes are quite nonsense and you can't judge a person by his nationality (you know, Germans are pedantic, Brits are prim) but, man, no matter if this book tells at least a bit of truth about residents of Albion (I think it does and a lot) it's anyway very funny.

Submitted by Winterson on Sun, 02/08/2020 - 01:57

Hi, everybody... I recomend a beautiful story in spanish called "El libro salvaje", the author is Juan Villoro, It is a story about a child spends his holidays in his uncle´s library. It´s a good story for love more the books

Submitted by Sharif Tayyebi on Mon, 20/07/2020 - 13:43

I am reading a book about human rights education which was published by the Office of United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights. So, unfortunately I haven't read novel or story books to recommend to others. But, I am reading the second part of that book and it is truly a good one in the area of human rights education. Therefore, I would like to recommend it for all who are interested in the field of human rights, specifically in human rights education. I know that all members of this site aren't going to read this book, but if they study I am sure they will learn a lot. On the other hand, human rights is a core concept in the world and in international relations between governments, so the reader will be aware of the importance of human rights in States policies. Thanks, Tayyebi

Submitted by Julia19 on Fri, 03/07/2020 - 09:26

This year I've been reading a lot of different books. I think I haven't ever read so much books as at this year. And I'm very happy that I find a few books, that made me to live with the characters their lives together. It was comprehensive immersion on their growing, troubles, happiness and many others things. These all about my favourite books- " Gone with the wind" and "Singing in the blackthorn". Both of these boos have a long-life plot and the history causing tears.

Submitted by Ayaan on Tue, 09/06/2020 - 08:56

This review has really helped me and i will read such books in the future

Submitted by syah on Tue, 02/06/2020 - 08:48

I don't really like read novel. But, I prefer to watch their film that read their novel. I also interested in science-fiction genre like The Martian. I really recommend Interstellar Film by Cristopher Nolan. That was the great film that I ever watch.

Submitted by Nihal_ on Thu, 28/05/2020 - 12:46

I didn't read science fiction books before, but I will read this book soon. I read a few books in English like Wonder, The fault in our stars, and To all the boys I've loved before.

Submitted by Gelashvili Nika on Sun, 17/05/2020 - 14:12

I recommended Litle Prince wrote by Antuan de sent Egsuperi famous french writer. This book tells as, a story about a little kid with a different view of world and also a pilot ho travel in this kid universe

Submitted by Muhammad Bagir on Fri, 15/05/2020 - 05:45

If you ask a fiction, i would recommended Sophia"s World written by Jostein Gaarder. It's a good book, really.

Submitted by DW on Tue, 05/05/2020 - 09:38

Recently I am reading a serial novel, “Harry Potter”. I have just finished the first book “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” and watched the film as well. It is a sweet childhood memory for me!

Submitted by manemusayelyan on Sat, 02/05/2020 - 11:20

Hi everyone I you're fond of adventure, I would like to recommend any book of Agatha Christie. For instead, The murder of Roger Ackroyd. I assure you that you will be on the edge of your seat until the very end.

Submitted by OlaIELTS on Wed, 22/04/2020 - 15:23

I would recommend 'The Martian'.

Submitted by Helen Mg Mg on Mon, 20/04/2020 - 08:07

I am hardly reading books.But now I am trying to read.So,I borrow the books from BC library.They are great.

Submitted by Julija05 on Wed, 08/04/2020 - 18:59

Can someone explain me how JOURNAL ENTRIES is things we write in diaries? Is it something in common with newspaper or magazines? Thanks!

Hello Julija05

Both 'journal' and 'diary' have several meanings. Both can refer to a book in which you write down your thoughts or feelings and things you have been doing.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

JOURNAL ENTRIES are individual pieces of writing that forms your personal journal, where you can freely express each of the entry with thoughts, rants, reflections, and pour out feelings.while, a DIARY is a place where you record events, experiences and other personal things that interest you. You can write about whatever you like.
Journal entries are most used in the field of accounting.It means accountants write each transaction into journals,in other words "they keep track of everything".And in this example also,main character kept track of evertying in his diary everyday.

Submitted by Daria19 on Thu, 26/03/2020 - 18:07

I really liked the book "The Martian".A very interesting plot fascinates. Everything is written correctly and beautifully.I would recommend this book to all science fiction lovers.

Submitted by jazmin marquez on Thu, 26/03/2020 - 16:07

I don't like science fiction novels, I prefer realistic literature. So, I would recommend One Hundred Years of Solitude or Cien Años de Soledad, in Spanish. This book was written by Gabriel García Márquez and it is interesting because in it Márquez tells the story of many generations of the Buendía family. This book combines things from the Colombian reality and fiction, so it is representative of the literary genre called: magical realism.

Submitted by Beatrice Sakamaki on Wed, 25/03/2020 - 09:32

The book, I really liked it. I guarantee everyone will like this work)

Submitted by NICOLE096 on Tue, 24/03/2020 - 19:26

"The Martian" — a fascinating, easy and funny despite the horror the situation, the book. The story captures, read in one breath and leaves a pleasant aftertaste. I can recommend the novel "The Martian" to all fans of science fiction. The book is interested with a dynamic ending and i think many will like it.

Submitted by huyentran on Thu, 20/02/2020 - 01:51

before I actually read fewer books, but the one I read and would recommend is "without a family". It's the best book I've ever read and I probably won't forget it. The book is about a kidnapped boy and a poor family who adopted him. The boy who cared for him loved him, she always gave him good things, but his foster father didn't love him because he only received money when the boy grew up because he believed that his family The baby is a wealthy family. Unfortunately, in an accident, the boy's adoptive father broke his leg and could not continue to work, so they sold him to a circus. In the journey with the circus man, he learned a lot. He learned how to write, sing and live modestly, preserving quality. At the end of the book, he finally has a family.

Submitted by HelianG on Sat, 23/11/2019 - 02:19

I do not read books very often but I think that "el Libro negro" Is a superb book, the writer is a famous YouTuber called Dross, it is a mix of 4 stories which tell us how bad the life may come to be.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Tue, 08/10/2019 - 19:36

I don't like science fiction novels, but I prefer some films, which are inspired by these books, as "2001 A space Odyssey".