Dark Matter: A Ghost Story Kindle Edition
|Length: 255 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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Top customer reviews
When I began reading it, I got the mistaken idea that it was going to somehow resemble Frankenstein (Shelley), because it began with a letter and is composed as a series of journal entries, which start with the main character beginning a journey to the far north. However, any resemblance to Frankenstein (a novel I hated), quickly faded as the story picked up. It's well-written, but in a very simple style. Perfect for what it's supposed to be.
I enjoyed this novel, and found that I could not read it right before bed. However, it doesn't compare to Paver's Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series, which is incredible. It's young adult, but so well-constructed that any adult fan of good literature will enjoy them as well. I highly recommend the audiobooks, read by Ian McKellen.
I won't go into a summary of what the story is all about, as many reviewers have done that and I can't top their efforts. However, what I will say is that I don't agree with the impression of the main protagonist being seen as a whiny academic, lamenting the loss of a wonderful future in physics and the like. To me, I could relate to his sense of disappointment and failure. If you had the chance to start over, to get that chance again, you'd be rushing to the Arctic in a heartbeat, just for your dream, but it's a shame, such a shame, how things turn out in the end, because I didn't want the protagonist to suffer.
Overall, the writing was great. Sometimes it rhymed, which I really don't think should happen in a story so eerie and bleak, but the style is consistent, intimate, and strange, revealing quite a bit about the way such places affect you, if you're out there all alone. If you purchase the Kindle edition like I did, you'll get an Afterword and interview section at the end of the book. It helps you discover how the writer could record the Arctic landscape with both clarity and realism - she went to Spitsbergen herself, sailed in the Arctic summer, hiked in the dark with and without a headlamp, and spent some time with the huskies, just like Jack, Gus, and Algie. Everything she wrote about was taken from her experience, as well as from reading accounts of other people's expeditions. I think this is why I could believe what she wrote.
I like the setting too, just after the Great War, just before the dawn of World War II. It isn't modern, so you have to imagine what it's like to live in a time without mobiles and internet, and what a cabin in the Arctic must be from the character's descriptions. I had trouble understanding what a Stevenson screen looked like and had to Google an image, but everything else was very clear, especially those moments where the haunting starts to feel real and not just a concept you can swiftly dismiss.
I didn't know this, until now, how terrible it is to know what happens afterwards. I felt, once the protagonist escaped from the haunting at last, that I shouldn't have known how his life went from there. I just didn't want to know, not after all that, and I say this not because I was bored and thought that the story had reached a decent climax - no, I thought this because it left this weight in my heart, left me with this absence of a beautiful thing which had just been introduced then snatched abruptly away.
Most recent customer reviews
Highly recommended for anyone who loves a good ghost story.