Apart from the four-letter words, “The Martian” is a science teacher’s dream text: a gripping story that hinges on the hero’s ability to solve a series of complex problems, using his knowledge of physics, chemistry, astronomy and math to stay alive on a hostile planet.
There are more than 160 swear words in Andy Weir’s sci-fi thriller “The Martian,” including two memorably deployed F-words in the novel’s first three sentences.
The profanity did not strike Weir as excessive when he wrote the book nearly a decade ago. After all, the story’s narrator, astronaut Mark Watney, is stranded alone on Mars with a dwindling supply of food and a rescue mission that is four years away — circumstances that warrant constant cursing.
But shortly after the book came out, Weir started hearing from a subset of readers who objected to the obscenities.