It only lasted a couple of hours but it was pretty cool to be at the top. I just wish being #1 meant you sold tons of books, but it's only 4 or so, plus about 1800 pages read from Kindle Unlimited.
And now today's entry...
After it came out last October I watched The Martian in theaters and really enjoyed it--I rated it as the second most-enjoyable movie I watched in theaters that year behind only Star Wars. I wanted to read the book but it was like $9 on Kindle, which was too rich for my blood. Eventually, though, it went on sale and I had the chance to read it.
The book and movie are largely the same, though the book has much more detail. They both deal with Mark Watney being stranded on Mars and managing to survive numerous disasters with science and pluck. Eventually his crewmates are able to come back and pick him up in a daring rescue.
When talking about books versus movies people so often take one side or another. In my Page to Screen A to Z Challenge posts I didn't usually bother with taking one side or the other. Some people are book snobs and will just assume any book is better than any movie. I'm a realist and recognize that most people don't want to spend the hours and hours it takes to read a book. So in a lot of them I said the movie gets the main points across in a lot less time.
The Martian is another one of those where the movie gets most of the main points across. But since it's a castaway survival story, the book provides a lot more detail, just like Life of Pi. Do most people really need that extra detail? Not really. Actually, unless you're a science or engineering nerd a lot of that detail about growing potatoes or retrofitting the rover for a long-range trip would probably bore the shit out of you.
There are three major difference between the book and movie.
- In the movie there are no obstacles when he drives from his camp to where the NASA rocket for the next expedition is waiting. In the book it's far more involved. Not just souping up his rover, but there's also a dust storm that he has to cleverly navigate his way out of. Also as he nears the rocket site, he catches a bad patch of Martian soil and flips the rover over. That would have made that portion more exciting than a montage with a David Bowie song, but the decision was probably that the movie was already too long and that would just make it longer.
- In the book, Commander Lewis stays in the ship during the whole rescue and Watney doesn't really get to use his "Iron Man" idea of poking a hole in a finger of his suit to fly up to where the ship is waiting. In the movie Commander Lewis overrides everyone to go out and pick up Watney and he uses the Iron Man technique. The former I think because they were paying Jessica Chastain a bunch of money and wanted her to actually do something. The latter probably because it looked cool.
- The book ends when he's back on the ship. The movie ends with him back on Earth and teaching survival skills to potential astronauts. This was probably added so the audience wouldn't be like, "Did he get back to Earth or not? Wah! Wah!"
It'd probably be a lot easier to agree that both of one thing are equally horrible--like the 2016 presidential nominees.
BTW, the movie of The Martian premiered on HBO a few weeks ago so you can probably catch a rebroadcast or use HBO Go or HBO Now (or whatever it is) if you haven't seen it yet. Or it might still be at Redbox.