The combination of a well crafted story and RC Bray’s narration make this a very enjoyable experience.
That is a difficult question in a book that is filled with memorable moments that begin when Whatney comes to on the planet only to discover that he’s been left behind and ends when he is pulled aboard the Hermes and is finally safe after more than a year and a half of being marooned and defying the odds. I don’t think that’s a spoiler. I mean, there would not be much point in writing a book like this if the hero dies in the end despite everyone’s best efforts to rescue him. Unless, of course, you want to the lesson to be that going to Mars would be stupid because someone will die despite the will to live and thrive and overcome the odds.
I love R.C. Bray’s narration. He brings power and emotion to the story that the listener can hear and feel. When Whatney is scared you can feel it. When he is frustrated, it’s palpable. When he is being sarcastic, and he often is, the listener can hear the sarcasm dripping in his voice like sap running down a maple tree. Whatever the emotion that the dialogue calls for R.C. Bray provides perfectly.
I don’t know if I had any “extreme” reactions to the book, but I often caught myself holding my breath until Whatney figured out a way to get around whatever was trying to kill him this time. I experienced feelings of relief when he did overcome the obstacles thrown in his path. So I definitely did have some palpable reactions to the story. I just don’t know if I would think of any of them as extreme.
This is an excellent story to either read or listen to or both (which is what I did). I had to read the book because of all the buzz that is going around right now about the movie and Matt Damon playing the lead role. Like most movies I most likely won’t see it until it comes out on DVD and BluRay, but I will see it, and I will be constantly comparing everything in to the book and the audio book. Let’s see if the movie can build as much tension as the author of the book did aided by R.C. Bray’s narration.