I think I read this before as a kid, but even if I hadn't, it's impossible to approach this book and expect much in the way of surprises. As enjoyable as the story is, it seems kind of surprising how completely it has soaked into the communal consciousness.
I can't tell if that's because of or in spite of how incredibly passive the book is. Essentially, none of the narrators or other main characters really do much of anything. The Martians are the primary actors, rendering everyone else completely impotent, but the reader is offered absolutely nothing in the way of forging a relationship with them. That's certainly (and brilliantly) realistic, but it also creates a strange and uncomfortable distance between the reader and the story.
Eh. What am I babbling on about. This is a summer movie, years ahead of its time.