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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

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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 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.

66 of 78 people found this review helpful

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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.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew
  • Little Rock, AR, 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.<br/><br/>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."<br/><br/>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.<br/><br/>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.<br/><br/>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.

184 of 238 people found this review helpful

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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.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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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!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Disappointing, then mildly disappointing. Yay?

What would have made Dark Matter better?

Better character development, more interesting characters, less cheese.

What was most disappointing about Blake Crouch’s story?

Anyone who knows anything about sci-fi knows what's going on very early, and it takes most of the book for the main character to get it... but wait, he already got it just didn't tell us. /eyeroll.

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

Not that I can remember. The narration was good enough, it wasn't his fault the characters were boring.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment, until the end, then a little excitement, but still disappointing.

Any additional comments?

I'm pretty good at letting my expectations stay neutral... but I have to say, listening this reminded me of why Da Vinci Code was so popular and so lame. I like the concept, I know it's hard to write about this subject and make it work... but honestly you can't just let your good concept float your story without stepping up your structure and narrative.<br/>**Spoilers**<br/>First off. The naive family love angle was struggling for real purchase. If your reader is going to take everything the author says at face value, fine... have at it... "Dan Brown generic handsome character has complex life with equally beautiful archivist because I say so, GO!" But I was barely convinced of his second hand love for his wife and kid. Too simple, I didn't live in his shoes long enough, I didn't feel his affection, I didn't sense the every day, I just heard about it whenever the main character whined that it was gone. Without the REASON for him to care, I questioned everything he did, and the story could not carry that amount of scrutiny.<br/>Then there's the main concept, it's well worked out, with the multiple hims, himming. That's where I finally stopped rolling my eyes. The bad guy was just a generic bad guy, but the bad him was a desperate version of himself. Well done. His helper girl was forgettable, but I liked that she left him, well done, was not expected because I was expecting something more generic. He was always saving her anyways because the author made her fragile. Anyways, at this point you're like at the last 1/5 of the book. Yeah, you spent that whole time being told how sad this guy was and listening to this SCIENTIST be completely irrational and stalkery.<br/>The book ended ok which is why I didn't give it lower scores. Not satisfying, but ok. Yes, lets leave it all up to the kid we've known for like 7 pages.<br/><br/>So yeah, if you like being spoon fed your drama, you'll like this. If you like multiverse stories no matter what they're about, you'll like this. But if you're wanting a meaty thriller with a cool concept, deep emotion and equally deep characters, go listen to something else. I truly hope Blake Crouch takes his time and gives his next story better legs to stand on.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Familiar Story told in a New Way

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

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. <br/><br/>What makes this one different is how the multiverse works and the heros...or hero...but I can't say more without spoiling it.

21 of 29 people found this review helpful

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Sci-Fi for the Selfie Generation

Any additional comments?

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.

26 of 38 people found this review helpful

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Great "what If"

When I first starting listening to this book, I didn't think I would like the narrator, but he had a great listening beat and could make his voice sound different for each character. I have always been interested in "what ifs" as long as it is not life threatening, but this story did carry some parts to that point. The science theory and fiction were a great connect. I gasped out loud at times and had moments of endearing too. I have enjoyed all of the books I have listen to by Blake Crouch.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Marcus
  • TWIN LAKES, WI, US
  • 09-20-17

Kept me Going

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes

Would you recommend Dark Matter to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes

What does Jon Lindstrom bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Authentic feel of the lead character and his feelings.

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

It made me think about what I would do in the leads situation.

Any additional comments?

Great Performance and great overall. I love books that make me think and ideas combined with stories in which I had no clue where the author was taking me next. He did this very well. It kept me reading, but I never put the book down and was dying to continue. I was always able to set it down and pick it up without the feeling of NEEDING more. But it did keep me entertained so I would buy again

1 of 1 people found this review helpful