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Dark Matter: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 354 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
-- 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 Goodreads 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."
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