"Are you happy with your life?"
Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.
Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.
Before a man Jason's never met smiles down at him and says, "Welcome back, my friend."
In this world he's woken up to, Jason's life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.
Is it this world or the other that's the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could've imagined - one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.
From the author of the best-selling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human - a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we'll go to claim the lives we dream of.
©2016 Blake Crouch (P)2016 Random House Audio
"Brilliant. A book to remember. I think Blake Crouch just invented something new." (Lee Child, New York Times best-selling author of the Jack Reacher series)
"Exceptional. An exciting, ingeniously plotted adventure about love, regret, and quantum superposition. It's been a long time since a novel sucked me in and kept me turning pages the way this one did." (Andy Weir, New York Times best-selling author of The Martian)
"Wow. I gulped down Dark Matter in one sitting and put it down awed and amazed by the ride. It's fast, smart, addictive - and the most creative, head-spinning novel I've read in ages. A truly remarkable thriller." (Tess Gerritsen, New York Times best-selling author of the Rizzoli & Isles series)
I'm surprised people are so hostile about this book. My three stars reflects that it was an average, entertaining, non-waste of time read. Maybe people expect too much from what is, I assume, supposed to be pulpy science fiction. I was entertained. The science, while certainly not qualifying for "hard" sci-fi, was at least rational and reasonably well explained.
It's a book about the decisions one makes in life, the impacts a simple choice can have. The frailty of the human condition. This is certainly not a new concept or theme, but it's executed reasonably well here. Yes, some aspects get played out to a silly extreme, but it's also not necessarily wrong. And to address one reviewer's statement that it was egocentric... well, no kidding. We're all the heroes of our own story and think, no matter how much we may attempt otherwise, that the universe does revolve around us. And, in taking this book's premise at face value, it literally is the point- the chaotic nature of each decision causing a split off of new universes has the additional reality that for every person new universes are splitting constantly. Thus the concept of an infinite number of universes since each split is affected by all the other simultaneous splits occurring... perhaps this is simply too much for some to comprehend.
I understood the title to be a reference to the great unknown mysteries of existence- in the universe or our own lives. Also, to the reviewer who suggested "Where the Hell is Tesla?" ignore him, that was a terrible and incredibly stupid book.
It was entertaining brain candy, nothing more or less. Fun concepts and an engaging delivery. Worth the time, but don't expect a masterpiece.
I'll never get over Macho Grande
The corridor scenes and journeys into the multi-verse were the best parts of the book. The sense of dread was done really well, along with the evil lab and how to escape it. This should have been the heart of the story.
The author's constant thoughts about Daniella take up 80% of the book. Charlie is just an afterthought. The lovemaking scenes were cliche and annoying.
I think someone else mentioned this, but the women would have been better depicted with just the narrator's normal voice, or an actual second female narrator. The change of the narrator's voice to a high-pitched voice was just completely distracting and cheesy.
Find a better story here on Audible.
1 Star -- Terrible 2 Stars -- Bad 3 Stars -- Mediocre 4 Stars -- Great to the right person. 5 Stars -- Superb, you must pick this up.
Oh wow, do NOT get this book. Honestly, just get Where the Hell is Tesla? by Rob Dircks. It's the same book/story except good.
The most grievous sin of this book is the physicist protagonist is so dumb that he should be nowhere without a chaperone. To avoid spoilers, imagine Groundhog Day. Now imagine if Bill Murray couldn't figure out he was repeating the same day over and over again, even given the overwhelming amount of evidence. This goes on in Dark Matter until the 44% mark, I know because I noted it. Then the next 40% or so is that meme where a cartoon dog is drinking coffee in a burning room and saying, "This is fine."
You will not be able to relate to the idiot of a protagonist. You will root for him to lose, because he deserves it. The science isn't there, because the whole setup just spawns so many plot holes. That's why this book gets three stars, because it is like a bad movie. It is fun to sit there and point out all the flaws and wonder about our hero's intelligence.
Speaking of, this book insults the listener's intelligence by existing, but beyond that, the last few pages explain the whole theme! I guess Crouch really wanted to make sure we understood the point he was trying to make.
I do not recommend this book, I recommend Where the Hell is Tesla? Seriously, it's the exact same book but written tongue in cheek instead of trying and failing to be serious.
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
"I suppose we're both just trying to come to terms with how horrifying infinity really is."
-- Blake Crouch, Dark Matter
On the back of this book is a blurb by Lee Child where he says: "Brilliant. A book to remember. I think Blake Crouch just invented something new."
Then problem here is this book isn't new. I'm not saying it isn't good. It is a fine book. It is a screenwriter writing a book about science. We get line or two about the multiverse, some thoughts about game theory. The narrator talks with vague, and broad-strokes about Schrödinger's cat, the Copenhagen interpretation, the multiverse, and even a bit of quantum entanglement. But beyond the superficial use of quantum mechanics this novel seems all slickness with no soul.
Too me it is a degraded copy of a better book. The better, more literary version of this book was written by Stephen Peck and is called A Short Stay in Hell. Steven Peck is a scientist (Professor of biomathematics and entomology. Peck's novel is more literally, scary, and came out about four years. I should be clear here. I'm not saying Crouch ripped Peck off. There are many ways to use infinity and the desire to return home in a SF novel. I'm just saying that Dark Matter, for me, was the dead cat of the two in the box.
It seemed too Hollywood. Too made to be optioned. I am sure (as sure as Crouch's film and TV manager and entertainment attorney) that it will be made into a movie. Perhaps, Tom Hanks will star in it. It just isn't a great book. When it gets made into a movie, I'll shell out the $12 to see it, I just think Peck's novel was better, more philosophical, had a better grasp of the fundamental science of large numbers, and didn't sell out the end to a pitch-packaged, happy ending.
I'd love someone else to read both and tell me I was wrong, but I don't think so. I've opened both doors, experienced both worlds. The differences are as glaring as the difference between a house and a home. One was SF beauty, this was just a cold, slick, uncanny valley. I know I'm in the minority here. Most of my friends who have read this loved it. I don't know. It just seemed too predictable, too soft, too secure in its protagonist. History, and I guess in multiverse fiction too, gets written by the winner. I guess what I'm saying is I'd rather have read a book written by Jason2, 3, 4 or 70.
I haven't read the print version but given the complex theory that drives this story, I think the audio version would be easier to digest - at least for me.
The concept of many parallel universes is intriguing. Who wouldn't want to explore a parallel world where another version of yourself existed?
The presentation of the main character was very solid. The whole story is seen through this character's eyes and the character had depth and was very genuine.
I think the first time that Jason walked down the endless corridor of possibilities that existed in the black cube had the biggest impact. Jason realizes for the first time that his chances of getting back to "his universe" are very, very slim. Also, when he begins to understand that he is "creating" all these alternate realities just by thinking of them was also very effective.
This story lives or dies on the concept of the multiverse - i.e. the possibility of limitless parallel universes. The only problem I had with this story was that the author was tied very tightly to all the nuances of current theoretical thinking in this regard. Maybe that element could have been more restrained for the sake of the story. However, it was a challenging concept and the story moved along very well. I enjoyed it but some might be put off by the emphasis on the theoretical concepts the story uses.
I actually struggled to start this book and tried listening multiple times. I didn't like the combination of the writing and the narration. Finally I made it though the first hour and I was hooked. I grew to enjoy both the writing and narration. This is excellent science fiction, with action, romance and some serious thought into the science of it all. I highly recommend!
If you've ever read/listened to "The Fall" by R. J. Pineiro or "Where the Hell is Tesla?" by Rob Dircks, then this story will feel very familiar. The idea of an event that puts you in an alternate universe has been done many before.
What makes this one different is how the multiverse works and the heros...or hero...but I can't say more without spoiling it.
No - decent story that could have been half as long.
I won't seek him out.
I liked the story but many times it felt too wordy, like the story was written too short and the author was forced to double the word count. I literally yelled "we get it!" during the chat room conversations.
Narcissistic fantasy. Not only does the universe revolve around you, there are an infinite number or universes that revolve around you. And you are your own worst enemy. Never fear though, you are also the best possible version of you too. Navel gazing ad nauseam.
Amazing scientific concept and well explained (I think.... I am not a physicist) story line kept me engaged. A good listen
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