Tag: Self-Published

Andy Weir – The Martian | Review

Title: The Martian

Author: Andy Weir

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 372

Rating: 4.5*/5

 

Andy Weir - The Martian

Andy Weir – The Martian

 

I guess I made a mistake with this one because I watched the movie before I read the book. I actually think that the movie was a pretty good adaptation of the book and that they did a good job of representing it. Sure, that meant there were  no surprises in store for me when I read the novel, but that didn’t really hamper my enjoyment.

I probably don’t need to spend time explaining the plot of this book because it’s been talked about a lot. What I will say is that people are right when they talk about Watney’s sense of humour in it, and I was particularly impressed by the fact that it was originally self-published before being picked up by a mainstream publisher.

It turned out to be a super enjoyable read, and the only real problem that I had with it was that some of the more technical parts got a little boring and kind of slowed it all down, so I ended up skimming over them. But at the same time, I also think it was necessary to give the book an authentic feel, and from what I can understand all of the science is well-researched and entirely possible.

 

Andy Weir

Andy Weir

 

So for me at least, The Martian is worthy of the hype, but I’m also not surprised that Artemis received mixed reviews. Weir’s writing style really works with this kind of book, but I’m not convinced of how versatile it would be. But if you judge this book for what it is, it’s just a decent sci-fi novel with mainstream appeal. And the fact that it has mainstream appeal means that you’re pretty likely to enjoy it if you pick it up.

I’m also pleased to say that even though I’d already seen the movie, the book was still a lot of fun. I particularly enjoyed the references to Watney reading Agatha Christie to keep himself sane and while I initially found them jarring, the switches in perspective to what was happening on earth actually added a lot to the story. I enjoyed it. Go read it some time.

 

Mars

Mars

 

Click here to buy The Martian.

 


David M. Friedman – Wilde in America | Review

Title: Wilde in America

Author: David M. Friedman

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 322

Rating: 9/10

 

David M. Friedman - Wilde in America

David M. Friedman – Wilde in America

 

Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review

Okay, I’ll admit that at first I was worried that this was going to be a difficult read – how could it not be, with a title like ‘Wilde in America: Oscar Wilde and the Invention of Modern Celebrity‘? But I needn’t have worried – this turned out to be an awesome read, hence the high rating.

The book effectively follows Wilde’s travels across America, where he arrived as a nobody and left as an international superstar, in a journey which the author compares to people like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, who’ve become famous just for being famous, by manipulating the media and being seen as leading socialites.

After all, when Wilde landed in America, he’d sold less than 500 copies of his first (self-published) book of poetry, and while he had been a mover and a shaker in London’s burgeoning social scene, he wasn’t exactly famous. Friedman’s insightful book traces the journey that Wilde made, showcasing along the way what exactly it was that he did and why it worked so much.

 

David M. Friedman

David M. Friedman

 

It does touch upon the tragic circumstances of Wilde’s eventual fall from grace right at the end, but this is more a celebration of the living Wilde than a celebration of his memory. In some ways, it’s almost like a biography, even though it doesn’t focus on the whole of his life – it’s just that Friedman manages to capture Wilde’s personality so perfectly that you feel like you know him by the end of the book.

He also doesn’t believe Wilde’s hype, despite the fact that he’s clearly an admirer of his work, and that helps the reader to build up a clearer picture of what Oscar was actually like – a shrewd marketeer.

 

I suspect this may be a Photoshop

I suspect this may be a Photoshop

 

Click here to buy Wilde in America.

 


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