Dark Matter

352 pages

Published July 10, 2016 by Crown.

ISBN:
978-1-101-90422-0
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4 stars (182 reviews)

One night after an evening out, Jason Dessen, forty-year-old physics professor living with his wife and son in Chicago, is kidnapped at gunpoint by a masked man, driven to an abandoned industrial site and injected with a powerful drug. As he wakes, a man Jason's never met smiles down at him and says, "Welcome back, my friend." But this life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife; his son was never born; and he's not an ordinary college professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something impossible. Is it this world or the other that's the dream? How can he possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could have imagined--one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe. …

13 editions

Review of 'Dark Matter' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

He did this to me. No. It's way more fucked up than that. I did this to me.

I went in with zero knowledge of what this book was about and it blew my socks off. I was captivated by the book. I disrupted my routine for several days to read more than I typically would. This book could find itself get upgraded to five stars but for now it's a strong 4.5.

If you strip away all the trappings of personality and lifestyle, what are the core components that make me me?

I like playing with the thought of experiment of what would happen if you woke up with a clone. Would you set them to tasks around the house while you enjoyed your free time? Would you duel to be the only one?

My understanding of identity has been shattered...

Multiverse has been popularized in media over the …

Review of 'Dark Matter' on 'GoodReads'

3 stars

Спойлеры ай гесс.

Ваша личность определяется чередой решений, которые вы принимаете на протяжении своей жизни, постулирует Блейк Крауч.

Что ж, одно из этих решений — считать ли научной фантастикой очередную книгу, щеголяющую буквальной интерпретацией эффекта наблюдателя в квантовой механике. Да, немалая роль в Dark Matter отводится субстанции, заглушающей очаги формирования сознания в префронтальном кортексе, и помогающей таким образом предотвратить нарушение квантовой когеренции в объектах макроскопических масштабов (да-да, в путешественниках между мирами).

Если у вас после прочтения предыдущего абзаца не начали скрежетать зубы — что ж, Dark Matter удивительно цепкий и крайне компетентно написанный, хоть и достаточно идиотский, триллер-pageturner... где-то первую четверть своего объёма. Далее мне только и оставалось гадать, какой ещё очевидный мысленный эксперимент автор ввернёт в книгу. Парадоксальным образом, это оказалось достаточно увлекательным занятием: читать Dark Matter достаточно интересно, хоть и совсем не по тем причинам, на которые, вероятно, делалась ставка.

Собственно, главная проблема книги для меня — …

Review of 'Dark Matter' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Book starts with a fairly straightforward premise which I immediately grasped, and it was clear what had happened almost immediately although the protagonist didn't figure it out till much later. But despite what seemed like a predictable start that's been tackled many times in science fiction writing, the inevitable resolution to the protagonist's problem became much more complex and nuanced than any other time I've seen this premise tackled and about half way through the book I couldn't put it down again. If spoilers bother you then I strongly recommend you just read the book without reading any further reviews. But without any spoilers I'll just say the book uses quantum theory to raise some very interesting philosophical questions around regrets for paths not taken, how a person can change based on life choices, and what identity of self really is in the end. I will definitely be thinking about …

Review of 'Dark Matter' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Great premise that asks a fundamental question: what could have been? Mr Crouch does a fine job of creating a tense, Michael Bay-type script around the concept, but I was hoping for more. Another layer of introspection, a bit more character depth. For example, the book flips to the protagonist's wife twice, but never spends time there except to make the end sequence more plausible. Amanda, the sidekick, is a one-dimensional and serves only to prop up Jason. The book is a blur of single. sentence. paragraphs. that try to create a sense of pace but are ultimately exhausting. Three stars for a good premise -- and a convincing ending -- but 30% more words and a hair of patience could have really brought this to life.

Review of 'Dark Matter' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This is an amazingly good & exciting read. The interplay between basic physics (Schrödinger's cat) and human psychology is quite intriguing. The novel is full of surprises. I'll try to set the stage for the novel with a couple of quotes:
"Don't believe everything you think..." -and-
"Be true to yourself."
I highly recommend this 'thriller'.

Review of 'Dark Matter' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I didn't expect to like this book so much.

I've never read anything else by Blake Crouch. I figured this would be a fun, light, thriller. At the end of the first chapter, I figured I knew where the story was going, and I was right. Along the way, though, the book also asks some questions about what defines our personality and what makes us unique in the world.

I usually give 3 stars for books that are good but not great, and four stars for books that I really want to recommend to people. I really almost gave this one four stars. I'm going with three because Crouch's writing style -- lots of short, choppy, sentences -- is annoying. I wish I could give three and a half.

Review of 'Dark Matter' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

Just read Recursion instead.

The Macguffin at the heart of the book is pretty much the only thing that kept me going as it's an interesting take on multiverse hopping.

Unfortunately, the story that's wrapped around it is a pretty miserable middle age crisis melodrama, where a mediocre white guy gets to justify doing a bunch of crimes. Of the two named women in the book one is raped and the other just written out of the story. I don't recall a single non-white character being established.

It feels like a wasted opportunity as there is some interesting philosophy of identity and morality to be explored in this space but this is swept aside so that the supposedly super genius protagonist can take forever to work out what is made obvious to the reader from the start.

Can't wait for the movie.

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