January 1937. Jack Miller has just about run out of options. His shoes have worn through, he can't afford to heat his rented room in Tooting, and he longs to use his training as a specialist wireless operator instead of working in his dead-end job. When he is given the chance to join an arctic expedition, as communications expert, by a group of elite Oxbridge graduates, he brushes off his apprehensions and convinces himself to join them.
As the young men set sail from a gloomy Britain on the verge of war, Jack feels the overwhelming excitement of not knowing what lies ahead. Little can he imagine the horrors that await him in their destination, Gruhuken, a place that cannot escape the savage echo of its past.
©2010 Michelle Paver (P)2010 Orion Publishing Group Limited
Yes, years from now when I've forgotten enough details to be scared again. I love books that are well written and truly frightening. It is such a hard thing to find. Dark Matter was nearly perfect. The cold, isolated setting, the blurring of the lines between the supernatural and insanity, made it just believable enough to be truly creepy. It was very well imagined, never rushed or overly fanciful, and not very predictable (as far too many horror and mystery novels are).
I am not sure when this book was originally published but the feel of it is from the old school of literature where drawing a mental picture of events and building the story with beautiful detail was necessary. By the time you finish this book you feel like you have been more than a reader, but a member of the expedition. Some people felt that the book was dull and drawn out, I felt that the plot development in this story was as good as it can get, it is not an action story, and if you go into it looking for that kind of story you will be disappointed, what you are getting is great literature and a chilling story, really there are some sections of the story that are able create a ripping amount of tension. The narration is fantastic as well adding to the tension that builds to a bold climax. The author has a great talent of describing the scene and bringing the reader into the story.
I liked the story, at times, even in a gym full of people, the hairs on the back of my neck would stand on end, and I would get goosebumps. We need more!! I wanted more ghost in this one too, but the history of the area was great. The narrator did a good job with the story.
Member since 2004 Audible not 2014! Either that or I've bought an awful lot of books in one year.
I really like a good claustrophobic ghost story and this had all the right ingredients and was obviously quality writing and voice acting but....
I was left feeling really rather flat and went through it rather dutifully rather than enjoying it or being affected by it.
I'm pretty much in the minority here and not really sure why it didn't work for me. Pity really, I just found it slightly dull.
I would because I can do other things as well as read a book.
The suspense. You were always waiitng for the thing to get him
I'm not sure, but he is amazing.
Dark Matter fits too well to rename the book.
Amazing book. I loved how it held you in suspense the whole time. And watching the changes in Jack as he writes in his journal.I will be recommending this book to my friends and family. I am always after them to join Audible all the time.
A Must Listen! Amazingly, the author wrote it without one cliché, and each adverb and adjective needs to be respectfully absorbed and assimilated. And JEREMY NORTHEM, best narrator yet! Beautiful English voice with perfect timing and inflection.
I could listen to this book again and again...
At times remeniscent of Poe's Tell Tale Heart, this one is a great traditional ghost story. The setting is eerie and the first person narrative format gives the listener a window into the character's paranoia and panic. Jeremy Northam did a fantastic job narrating this one!
This book was a total surprise for me. The author is blessed with the ability to drive the story with atmosphere and gloom. The story is simple enough on the surface: Man goes to arctic with a team, man must survive the arctic and some unknown presence. But where this novel succeeds so well is the presentation of the environment and the character's reactions to that environment. I was drawn in so completely to that world that I found myself thinking of ways to get out of the predicament. The protagonist is likeable and sympathetic. The dread slowly builds until it is almost unbearable. I am surprised by the chill I got a couple of times, as this is something rare for me. I consider myself a jaded horror lover, but, whether the writing or the narration, I was 'gotten' a few times.
I would say that the crafting of the atmosphere was similar to "The Terror" by Dan Simmons. Only a shorter, quicker read with a better payoff. The description of the cold and the hardships the men faced in that barren, secluded area only added to the desperation and sense of isolation. I found myself just as interested in the mechanics of survival in an environment most of us will never see. The dog as a companion worked well and lessened the fear that the main character was slowly going insane from freezing, cabin fever, imagination based on local legend, and oatcake overdose and that, instead, there was something really wrong. The burn was slow at first and then gained speed until it reached an, ultimately, satisfying (at least for me) ending.
I can say I loved this book. I have not read any other works by the author, but will when her historical fictions have a twinge of the supernatural. This book started slowly and some may be put off by the initial story/character setup. It is not fast paced or action driven, at least at first, but when the thrill comes, it comes out of nowhere and puts you on edge for the rest of the book.
This is a very fine novel, beautifully and evocatively written. Jeremy Northam's superbly atmospheric narration makes it a terrific audiobook, in both senses of the word. Far more than a ghost story set in the Arctic, it is a profound meditation on loneliness, darkness, fear, love, loss, memory and death. Without being in the least sentimental, it is a deeply moving story, movingly read by a great actor.
"Perfect in every way! I couldn't stop listening!"
Yes, definitely! Great story, amazing narration, just real good entertainment!
The sense of reality and the perspective (Jack's diary).
With that voice, every character. But if I had to choose, probably Jack Miller.
Yes, and I did!
Jeremy Northam should narrate more books! Amazing voice!
"Has all the elements of a brilliant ghost story"
This is a book I have since bought for family and friends and they all completely understand why have raved about it. Not only is it genuinely scary it also tells a moving love story. This is one to read in the winter with the curtains drawn and the wind howling around the house.
This was a lugubrious tale somewhat in the tradition of an nineteenth century classic thriller. Set in Greenland, it tells of a group of scientists thrown together on a lonely maritime outpost and of an unpleasant mystery which unfolds during their time there. Although it is a while since I heard this book, thinking of it now sends a tingle up my spine as the sinister atmosphere of this claustrophobic tale really got under my skin. This was despite having listened to it on a coach packed full of year 10 students as we travelled to France on a school trip!
"Spine Tinglingly Scary"
Dark Matter is one of only a handful of 'Horror' genre books I have read.
I must admit I had my doubts about the book to begin with as I had heard it was very descriptive and sometimes that puts me off. However in this case the descriptiveness is more than necessary and the narrator deals with everything beautifully.
The Arctic world created in Dark Matter is key as the author creates a wonderful environment that quickly turns from a beautiful frozen landscape into a dark, lonely, ice filled desert.
The tension builds so delicately in this book but by the last few chapters I could feel my heart thudding madly as the writer spun a web of words that scared the hell out of me!
As soon as I finished listening I insisted my partner listen to it. He is not a big fiction fan but he absolutely loved it and has gone on to recommend it to just about everyone!
I can't stress enough that this book is worth sticking with, some people have described it as slow but I think it is more of a builder - and without all that groundwork the end wouldn't be quite so terrifying. At first I thought this isn't scary but it creeps up on you and all of a sudden you're petrified and can't go to sleep! Ha-ha!
This book is Brilliant!
Goodness, absolutely hooked. This story is calmly dramatic, if such a thing can exist. The narrator told this story with such feeling, that I was there, in the snow, all alone with only the dogs.
I have done a search for more by the author and have just bought the series Chronicles of ancient darkness. I'll see how it goes. I'll also do a search on the narrator Jeremy Northam, because it was his telling of the story that did it for me.
"Good old fashion spooky"
This was a great listen I downloaded it one day and by the next I had finished it! . I couldnt bear to put it down Got a whole lot of ironing done without even noticing!! I had to know what each chapter would bring.
An old fashion spooky tale rather than blood and gore
"In to the Darkness"
This is quite possibly my favourite audio book of all time. I listen to it in one sitting about three years ago and have re listen to it at least ten times since.
The tension is built steadily, the narration is perfect and the main character is eternally endearing.
I have bought 4 copies of the text to give to family and friends and they have all enjoyed it and were very spooked. I have also bought myself a copy to loan out to people that express an interest in ghost stories.
I can’t recommend this audio book enough.
"OMG I am half way through and I am gripped"
I feel for these guys. I can feel the cold. I dont know what is going to happen next and its making me anxious....its great stuff, the kind of story Jules Verne would have been too scared to read.
"Wonderfully haunting; one you won't forget!"
Yes definitely; I think this is one of those books that you can reread or listen to again and again and find something different in it each time. It's a story with mileage.
Isaak the husky; what a legend. Faithful, brave and just so adorable. I thought the human characters were well described and fleshed out. I liked the trapper who comes to stay with Jack for a few days and thought his character was quite true to the Scandinavian nature. Brusque but kind he seemed exactly like the sort of person you need on an icy expedition. I also thought the 'ghost' was very well done; the backstory made me feel some sort of empathy for it although it's subsequent actions made me feel conflicted towards it.
Wow this narrator was wonderful; his tone, prosody, the extremely natural way he spoke made me feel like Jack was sitting in the room with me telling the story over a crackling fire and hot chocolate. Please do more readings!!
Yes and I found it very annoying to have to stop and start to accommodate, you know, life.
This was a wonderfully dark, haunting tale that excelled in building up a creeping sense of unquiet, unease and mounting paranoia. I love the author's approach to making you think about elements of the narrative style through the central character, Jack, questioning why the book had opened with the dredging of a corpse from a river. The author makes good use of foreshadowing, an unreliable narrator and plenty of description to give the reader/listener a disturbingly realistic imagining of how icy wilderness and creeping solitude could ultimately turn a man mad...
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