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Dark Matter: A Novel Hardcover – July 26, 2016
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"Killers of the Flower Moon" is a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history. See more
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An Amazon Best Book of July 2016: Blake Crouch is back with a science-fiction thriller that is fantastically terrifying. His story of Jason Dessen, an instantly relatable husband and father, quickly sucks you in as you follow him to an innocent evening at a local bar where circumstances abruptly shift and Jason begins a battle to make sense of a series of mind-bending realities that provoke past fears, both realized and unknown. Dark Matter will not just hold your attention cover to cover, but will continue to confront you far past the last sentence. --Penny Mann, The Amazon Book Review
From Publishers Weekly
Excellent characterization and well-crafted tension do much to redeem the outlandish plot of this SF thriller from Crouch (the Wayward Pines trilogy). Jason Dessen, a quantum physicist, once had a brilliant research career ahead of him. But after a girlfriend’s unexpected pregnancy and the birth of a son, this future was derailed. Now Jason is a professor at a small Chicago college, content with his warm and loving family life until he’s abducted into a world in which his quantum many-worlds theory has become a fully realized technology for inter-dimensional transfer. In this world, Jason didn’t marry his girlfriend and never had a son. Jason is determined to get back to his family and his own world, but nefarious powers in the alternate reality conspire to stop him from revealing the criminal lengths they have gone to create the world-hopping technology. Crouch makes little attempt to justify the underlying science fiction MacGuffin, but a rousing and heartfelt ending will leave readers cheering. Agent: David Hale Smith, Inkwell Management. (July)\n
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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.
With this theory in place, the author has penned a thriller, with his subject discovering how to navigate the multiverse and access different and perhaps more desirable realities, even confronting his own alternate reality self in an effort to effect a “reality swap” of sorts.
This is a very fast read, consumable in two or three days. The science is certainly challenging from a conceptual standpoint, though not necessarily vital to understanding the story, which is a pretty standard, run of the mill thriller.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that there is an extremely significant “plot hole” that develops near the end of the novel which is incompatible with the author’s multiverse theory. Nevertheless, the book is engaging and thought provoking.
This book is stunning. And so critically important. Without a doubt, one of the best books I've read in 2016, in the top 5 at LEAST. I hadn't bothered reading its reviews before I picked it up. My love of Wayward Pines drove me to get this. I am so grateful that I read it. I cannot imagine any reader walking away from this book feeling any less affected than I am. It is one of those stories whose events, characters, and ideas will live on in my mind long after this review becomes buried under dozens and dozens of others. Not since Library at Mount Char have I read a book that left me feeling this way. Just amazing...from its first page, to its last. Thank you again, Mr. Crouch.