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Publisher's Summary

"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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8,178
  • 4 Stars
    5,001
  • 3 Stars
    1,637
  • 2 Stars
    342
  • 1 Stars
    144

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    8,776
  • 4 Stars
    4,022
  • 3 Stars
    1,008
  • 2 Stars
    171
  • 1 Stars
    75

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    7,389
  • 4 Stars
    4,335
  • 3 Stars
    1,699
  • 2 Stars
    450
  • 1 Stars
    178
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 09-19-16

Schrödinger's box gets opened. Meh steps out.

"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.

76 of 91 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MxZAE11
  • MOUNT VERNON, IN, United States
  • 12-01-16

Absolutely loved it!

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!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Genius Protaganist is an Idiot

Has Dark Matter turned you off from other books in this genre?

I love Science Fiction! Unfortunately, Blake Crouch assumes his readers have never read or watched anything else in the Sci-Fi genre before. There is literally nothing original in this story.

Any additional comments?

The main character is supposed to be this genius scientist, but he acts like a complete idiot. As a reader, I could see everything coming from a mile away, but the super smart scientist couldn't figure anything out until it hit him in the face.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • J.
  • Long Island, NY
  • 11-14-17

My First Audible Novel

I could not move past the way the narrator used a breathy falsetto for every female. Drove me BATTY.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Didn't really Matter

The narrator was the star of this audio book...a novel that has been very highly touted. I found it very very interesting at the start and thought it was going to be excellent. However, as the story unfolded, it also unraveled into such silliness, it was hard to take seriously. There's not question the author did his homework and discussed some really cool physics but it was not enough offset the derailment of the book.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Good premise, poor execution

What would have made Dark Matter better?

The protagonist, with his given background, should have realized in chapter 2 what takes him until chapter 13 to realize. In fact, the antagonist, again with his expertise, should have predicted this whole scenario and taken a very simple, single step to prevent it.

Would you ever listen to anything by Blake Crouch again?

Probably not.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The story was very predictable. The protagonist and the antagonist would have *known* the results would have happened and taken very simple steps to prohibit the story from moving beyond the beginning.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The initial premise is a good one; there were other ways the story could have gone that would have made it not just more logical, but more interesting.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Believable Multiverse

Where does Dark Matter rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I write reviews on maybe one in ten books I read or listen to. This one is exceptionally well researched and perhaps to all but a quantum physicist, quite frighteningly believable.Dark Matter goes beyond the physics and opens an exploration of what we are to each other, given the many times humans make small decisions that have large impacts. I count this among the top few dozens of all hard science fiction stories I have enjoyed, mainly because the story is memorable and the problems that it poses are considered long after the last great scene.

What other book might you compare Dark Matter to and why?

Well it's certainly not time travel, that much is made clear. And yet, many of the problems encountered are the same as in time travel books. So I'll go with Frittz Lieber's The Big Time, even though that classic was intended to be a comedy.

Have you listened to any of Jon Lindstrom’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I'm not aware I have. The delivery, timbre and cadence was just right.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There were parts that were very sad. I need to read it again. The special love that the protagonist couple shares is very sweet, and not often portrayed so poignantly in science fiction. This was unexpected and quite lovely.

Any additional comments?

Buy it!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • Kansas City, MO, United States
  • 08-05-16

Another Book Where the Ratings Lie

Any additional comments?

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.

190 of 244 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lindsay
  • Denver, CO, United States
  • 01-18-18

Maybe this would be better as a movie?

Would you try another book from Blake Crouch and/or Jon Lindstrom?

I don't think I'll try another book narrated by Jon Lindstrom or Blake Crouch. It's hard to say if I didn't enjoy Blake Crouch's writing style, or if it was Jon Lindstrom's narration that I disliked, or perhaps its the combination of the two that put me off so much.

What was most disappointing about Blake Crouch’s story?

The concept is interesting, but too theoretical for me. The protagonist felt a little to perfectly flawed, which is always a pet peeve of mine. I also was put off with the intimate scenes. Again, maybe that was a combination of the narrator and the author, but I couldn't stop rolling my eyes during those parts.

What didn’t you like about Jon Lindstrom’s performance?

What I didn't like about Jon Lindstrom's performance was his voice for women. His narration felt sort of cheesy over all. I also hated the intimate scenes. I felt like I was listening to someone's dad detail personal stories and it grossed me out.

What character would you cut from Dark Matter?

Jason's former colleague. He's mentioned in the beginning and then nothing. He's pretty useless to the plot.

Any additional comments?

Maybe this would be better as a movie since it is so theoretical. Maybe I'm not the right audience for this book. I really didn't enjoy this book at all and only finished it because it was for a book club.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Overhyped and a little predictable.

This was harder to get through than I had imagined. I kept getting stuck around chapter 7-9. If you think Dr. Who meets a star trek episode you are not far off. I would have liked if the characters had lingered more in the individual worlds instead of racing through.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful