The Martian: a book review

The Martian: a book review

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

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and do the exercises.


Reading text

Read the review of the book The Martian below.

Then do the exercises.

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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Average: 4.3 (23 votes)

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

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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.

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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 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.