- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 8 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: July 26, 2016
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01CUKUN90
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Dark Matter: A Novel Audiobook – Unabridged
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What did I just read??
Truly mind-blowing, Dark Matters asks the reader to remember a time in their life where they made a decision that set them on track to who they are now, a moment that has defined them. If given the chance, would they make that same decision or…? If you knew the second chance offered you the wealth and prestige you let slip from your grasp, would you take it? And—deal breaker for me—what if the family you created and loved was not a part of that second chance? Last question, would you regret your final decision?
It makes you think, doesn’t it?
Filled with lots of scientific gobbled-gook that I had to skim over, Dark Matters is a hell of a book. I mean, I did learn about Schrondinger’s Cat. So many twists. So many monkey wrenches. So many times my eyes popped open wide as I said “NO WAY!!”
It’s a crazy, crazy book that just speeds along like a train looking to wreck. Highly highly recommend for time travel nerds, sci-fi geeks, thriller freaks, conspiracy theorists and Blake Crouch fans everywhere.
Before I read this story, I found it terrifying to know that there may very well be an infinite number of alternate me's on an infinite number of alternate universes.
After having read this story, I now appreciate this me and this world more than I ever have. I'm unapologetic about who I am, and who I am not.
This isn't a story about time travel, although it has some of the trappings of one: a futuristic teleportational device, and a disenchanted main character obsessed with what would have been.
Rather than traveling to the past or the future, Jason Dessen opens the door—literally—to the present. Alternate presents, in alternate Chicagos, from alternate universes.
Throughout the second half of the story, Jason tries to return home, after having been abducted and thrown into an alternate universe.
It's the universe he's always dreamed of. The one where he's an internationally renown quantum physicist. The one where he's the boss of his own company. The one where he's reached his fullest potential as a scientist.
But it's also the one where he never got married to the love of his life. It's the one where he never had his one and only son. It's the one where he has no family.
It's this universe that Jason attempts to find—through grueling trial and error.
I can't give anything more away without ruining the story for future readers, but I can give you what I believe to be the moral of the story: live in the present moment, because that is where your true identity lies.
The second quarter of the book lags, with Jason evading capture more times than necessary to advance the plot. (Twice he narrowly escapes through a bathroom. One lavatory getaway is plenty.)
I give Dark Matter 40 Jason Dessens out of 50. Read the book, and you'll understand my rating system.
I loved the opening -- great writing, good characters -- and then the setup & tension. Crouch is a compelling and talented writer in terms of crafting a sentence, character, or scene. Where he loses it is in the bigger picture: holding the plot together over the story arc; keeping the pacing & story from going off into the cornfields (there's a kind of painfully long detour where the protagonist Jason goes a bit native in a homeless-hobo kind of way that you can't wait until it's over); and a lot of elements that feel forced and/or with really inadequate laying-the-groundwork-for (e.g. lots of surprisingly unpleasant alter-egos, surprisingly nasty compatriots in the initial alt-'verse, and others).
My biggest gripes, though, are: (spoiler alert):
(a) it's made clear in a few milliseconds that the guy's an expert on the physics of alternate realities -- yet we're not expected to figure out what's going on for many, many pages.
- and -
(b) the last third of the book starts to feel as though it's constructed almost entirely of single-paragraph sentences.
Like a sports column.
Which gets irritating.
But goes on for page after page.
For no reason.
Other than suspense.
Overall, it really felt like Crouch was under deadline, or didn't quite know how to wrap it up smoothly (a common flaw), or was thinking about a movie option (as others have suggested), or something. Many a book's had a great opening and then petered out with the dreaded "last third" curse -- this is definitely one of them. I really wish it *hadn't* -- I loved the first third, but had I not been on a plane, I wouldn't have made it to the end. :-(