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Dark Matter | [Michelle Paver]

Dark Matter

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 an 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (268 )
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4.5 (214 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Madeleine London, United Kingdom 02-12-11
    Madeleine London, United Kingdom 02-12-11 Member Since 2015

    Audiobook addict.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    959
    ratings
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    96
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    Overall
    "Incredible!"

    Dark Matter is in the best tradition of the 'creeping dread' British horror genre, in the manner of M.R. James. The first person narrative is nuanced and very compelling. The novel is a well-researched fictional history of an expedition in the 1930s to a haunted Norwegian bay, far above the arctic circle. Beyond the main stories are themes of poverty, class and hero worship which give the story incredible depth.

    The narration by Jeremy Northam is flawless.

    27 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maryse Quebec, QC, Canada 12-30-10
    Maryse Quebec, QC, Canada 12-30-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
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    "Dark Matter by Michelle Paver"

    As a first experience with audiobooks, listening to Dark Matter narrated by Jeremy Northam is an eye opening experience. The story, quite simple really, is riveting. A touch of irony here and there makes it all the better. Of course, Mr. Northam could read a phone book and make it interesting but the story is so compelling that he quickly becomes "just" the narrator of a very good story.
    I enjoyed the experience very, very much and quite recommend it.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 06-12-13
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 06-12-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    124
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    Story
    "Not as good as it could have been"

    Great idea, great characters, good narrator, slow story, I kept wanting to jump ahead. It held my attention well at first but I struggled to pay attention to the narrator about half way through.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Sydney, Australia 03-28-11
    Sam Sydney, Australia 03-28-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
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    "Ominous, dark, creepy and wondrous"

    This is a grand and at the same time deeply claustrophobic adventure. The setting, between the great wars, is perfect for the precise and scientific exploration of haunting and horrid, menacing presence.

    Dark Matter succeeds as an intelligent, evocative and visceral ghost story and its central metaphor remains strong and intact, evolving and gaining depth as the deeply personal narrative unfolds.

    Jeremy Northam is superb and reveals how great and majestic a craft narration can be.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Schwarzkopf 03-27-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    6
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    "dark, intimate"

    Jeremy Northam is superb in his narration. Most of the text is in the main character's mind, rather than spoken aloud. Northam's take on this book really brought to light the idea that the character is speaking to himself. The narration brought this book to life.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharron Hamilton, ON, Canada 04-03-12
    Sharron Hamilton, ON, Canada 04-03-12 Member Since 2015

    I LOVE haunting, atmospheric writing that plays in your head like a movie. I adore books of a mysterious, suspenseful and creepy nature. I am a big fan of Horror/Zombie/Apocalypse and other genres which center on Mystery and strong character development.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absolutely an amazing writer-VERY creepy!!!"
    Would you listen to Dark Matter again? Why?

    YES.YES.YES. If you are looking for a creepy, atmospheric haunting with strong character development and an engaging, original story then grab this one!!! This author KNOWS scary. Her ability to write had me absorb every word, the atmosphere she creates is incredible and the fear that accompanies isolation and darkness is executed perfectly in her writing.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jack is a reclusive, defensive ass...yet I bet anyone could relate on some level, I did.


    What about Jeremy Northam’s performance did you like?

    Best narrator I've heard yet! He carries the words well, perfectly.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The bear post.....oh God and the window checking. I don't want to spoil anything!!!


    Any additional comments?

    I picked this book based on reviews and I couldn't be more satisfied. I even loved the ending----how many horror writers can successfully pull those off??? I'm a big critic that way. This author has just made it to my top #2 and trust me I read a LOT of horror!!! SO GOOD!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Ypsilanti, MI, United States 04-27-11
    Kimberly Ypsilanti, MI, United States 04-27-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    241
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    "Thoroughly Ingrossing."

    Wonderfully creepy and surprisingly claustrophobic tale. Narration is superb. Very well written. I highly recommend this book to anyone with a love of ghost stories.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Malmo, Sweden 04-04-11
    Peter Malmo, Sweden 04-04-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent and haunting."

    I have never read anything by Michelle Paver before so this was a pleasent surprise. A chillng ghost-story set in the most desolate and isolated enviroment imaginable and with characters that really feels alive. I'm usually not very fond of novels written in diary-form but Michelle Paver's prose pulls it through all the way to the ghastly ending.

    I recommend the book to anyone interested in good ghost-stories and will certainly look up her other works as well.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brett Charlotte, NC, United States 08-19-13
    Brett Charlotte, NC, United States 08-19-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Great Horror Story!!"

    An Exhibition to the high artic seems fated to end poorly even before it starts. An uneasy Norwegian captain who knows more than he will acknowledge; all but three of the team struck down before even landing; and gruesome artifacts of other unsuccessful enterprises found on the bay shore at which the team plans to overwinter, all seem to point at the reality that nobody wants to acknowledge: this place is haunted. Shortly after the team arrives uneasiness sets in and through some unfortunate circumstances Jack is to be left for a short time alone to man the station. This is in October 1937 and the sun has already set for the last time of the season. Events are told through the entries in Jack's journal and slowly we watch Jack lose control as terror seeps into every action and every perception. How long can he hold the fort until the others come and save him? He has a radio, dogs and even has a visitor but ultimately the winter is setting in and the ice will soon settle the question of his rescue. Meanwhile every month comes the moonless sky and the nothingness that threatens to consume him.

    This is a wonderful piece of horror fiction that slowly ratchets up the tension and uneasiness. It is unsettling yet compelling and was a true “page turner” that I almost listened to completely in one sitting. As I read I wondered: “which is more horrifying: the ghost we see or the ghost we create in our minds?”, “How much of our sanity is linked to the things we call reality – light, color, other people, sound?”, and “Are their things that we don’t understand or want to acknowledge that exist beyond this reality?” Jack must balance these questions with other forces pulling on him, such as rationality, duty, loyalty, honor, and love.

    I felt the length and the pacing of the story were perfect. In these days where every novel is part of a trilogy or massive in length, it was refreshing to encounter a tight little story as complete and satisfying as this one. I highly recommend this for fans of horror or psychological thrillers. To me this story had elements of “The Shining”, “The Thing”, and “The Turn of the Screw.”

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Book Fan Virginia 07-07-11
    Book Fan Virginia 07-07-11 Member Since 2008

    Ima

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good ghost story"

    This was a pretty good ghost story. Not a ton of action, but the plot builds up nicely to the end. Story is well written with plenty of details and flow to keep you listening well after you stop your car. Recommended.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
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  • Amazon Customer
    Ireland
    7/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "evocative and memorable"

    I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it - it was scary and moody - it made me want to run and hide at times - Jeremy Northam is an excellent narrator - making the characters live and breathe! my husband listened to it after me and he loved it too.

    I will definitely read/listen to any other books by the author Michelle Paver.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kathryn
    Durham, United Kingdom
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Arctic noir"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom
    6/30/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ruby Ormerod
    Suffolk, UK
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Absolutely excellent"

    As a dedicated thriller/horror/suspense reader, I am not easy to please, but Dark Matter ticked all the boxes. Cleverly plotted, beautifully written, chilling...my partner and I talked about it for days after we finished listening to it, and he doesn't usually like chilling tales. Everything about this story was credible, absorbing and yes, rivetting. Five star!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    Bournemouth, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Suspense and atmosphere"

    For me, this is something close to the perfect audio book. Great narration and brilliantly written by Michelle Paver, I was truly transported out onto the desolate tundra and was alone with the stories lead character Jack Miller. It was very relaxing and easy to engage with listen; the story at times becomes very tense which is part of the fun. I learnt about an area of the world I previously knew so little about, and have since recognised places on a world map mentioned in the book. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Julie
    Hull, United Kingdom
    4/9/13
    Overall
    "Dark Matter Fabulous gripping book"

    DARK MATTER BY Michelle Paver.

    Narrator Jeremy Northam's telling of the book is brilliant he captures all the atmosphere of the places he goes to and it made me quite nervous to carry on I’m so pleased I did. I have since listened to it 3 times and each time I’m totally captured by the story.

    A young man Jack has fallen on hard times. He applies and gets a job as a wireless operator on an expedition to the Arctic with a group of geology graduates. He is quite excited and apprehensive about the trip.

    They arrive at the campsite, dropped off by the ship that has brought them and even before it leaves he sees someone or something near to a bear pole and an uneasy feeling starts to creep in. He soon realises this island Gruhuken is haunted.

    When the long nights descend on the arctic things start to go wrong and things beset his colleagues and they have to leave one by one . He is left alone except for the huskies and he knows something else walks this Island.

    He hears footsteps and sees a man outside the window near the bear pole and it always looks like it’s coming closer to the hut. The dogs are jittery and nervous. He has nightmares and longs for the ship to come collect him when the frozen sea melts. But something gets in ....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sp
    St John, United Kingdom
    2/23/13
    Overall
    "Do not listen to this on your own in the dark"

    Excellent story , excellent narration - very satisfying listen which stays in your mind during and afterwards!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Espen
    Kleppesto, Norway
    12/7/12
    Overall
    "Unexpectedly delightful brilliance"

    I'm not really into this kind of novel, but noticed some of the reviews here and, happily, bought it.



    The narration really shines, and manages to add that special something to the story.



    Wish I could un-hear it to enjoy it again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • James
    Wincanton, United Kingdom
    11/27/12
    Overall
    "Frightening and absorbing"

    Michelle Paver has written a truly frightening ghost story. The tension builds slowly throughout the book and her writing is ably assisted by Jeremy Northam's excellent narration. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Orph
    Ipswich, United Kingdom
    11/13/12
    Overall
    "Unexpected delight!"

    Was recommended this novel by a friend and was a bit cynical - but wow - loved it - draws you in, slowly, to a genuinely creepy atmosphere -and by the end I was unableto switch off - I had to know what happened - great audiobook too - reallysympathetic and nuanced performance by the narrator! highly recommended if you liked things like the Woman In Black!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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