Dark Matter

  • by Blake Crouch
  • Narrated by Jon Lindstrom
  • 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"Are you happy with your life?"
Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.
Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.
Before a man Jason's never met smiles down at him and says, "Welcome back, my friend."
In this world he's woken up to, Jason's life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.
Is it this world or the other that's the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could've imagined - one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.
From the author of the best-selling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human - a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we'll go to claim the lives we dream of.


What the Critics Say

"Brilliant. A book to remember. I think Blake Crouch just invented something new." (Lee Child, New York Times best-selling author of the Jack Reacher series)
"Exceptional. An exciting, ingeniously plotted adventure about love, regret, and quantum superposition. It's been a long time since a novel sucked me in and kept me turning pages the way this one did." (Andy Weir, New York Times best-selling author of The Martian)
"Wow. I gulped down Dark Matter in one sitting and put it down awed and amazed by the ride. It's fast, smart, addictive - and the most creative, head-spinning novel I've read in ages. A truly remarkable thriller." (Tess Gerritsen, New York Times best-selling author of the Rizzoli & Isles series)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Another Book Where the Ratings Lie

Any additional comments?

Oh wow, do NOT get this book. Honestly, just get Where the Hell is Tesla? by Rob Dircks. It's the same book/story except good.

The most grievous sin of this book is the physicist protagonist is so dumb that he should be nowhere without a chaperone. To avoid spoilers, imagine Groundhog Day. Now imagine if Bill Murray couldn't figure out he was repeating the same day over and over again, even given the overwhelming amount of evidence. This goes on in Dark Matter until the 44% mark, I know because I noted it. Then the next 40% or so is that meme where a cartoon dog is drinking coffee in a burning room and saying, "This is fine."

You will not be able to relate to the idiot of a protagonist. You will root for him to lose, because he deserves it. The science isn't there, because the whole setup just spawns so many plot holes. That's why this book gets three stars, because it is like a bad movie. It is fun to sit there and point out all the flaws and wonder about our hero's intelligence.

Speaking of, this book insults the listener's intelligence by existing, but beyond that, the last few pages explain the whole theme! I guess Crouch really wanted to make sure we understood the point he was trying to make.

I do not recommend this book, I recommend Where the Hell is Tesla? Seriously, it's the exact same book but written tongue in cheek instead of trying and failing to be serious.

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- Matthew

Our Identity and our choices make us special

In time machine novels (which this is not), there are always two kinds of stories. One just assumes the time machine exist and uses it as a vehicle to tell the story, the other kind is the one that gets down into the weeds and explains what is really going on and what the paradoxes would be and so on. This story is not about time travel, but is about space travel and this one definitely falls into the first camp were the multiverse gateway pretty much just exists and the story itself is what is most important.

The author really is mostly interested in telling a story about how what it means to have an identity and how our choices matter. Every choice we make leads to the creation of potentially new reality with its own universe. Who we are is a sum of all the previous decisions we've made and also a dot product of the matrix of the choices that everyone in our world have made before us. Our identities are determined by the world we're thrown into and it's up to us to realize that our understanding about our own understanding can lead us to want a world where we just might not belong.

This story uses the Copenhagen Interpretation (CI) of quantum physics, a version of 'scientific anti-realism',which means events at the quantum level don't exist until they are observed (or cohere, or interact with other particles). Reality is not real until it is observed by an observer or coheres. Also, with that he'll take the interruption to the most extreme version of 'scientific realism' namely Hugh Everett III's Multi-World Interpretation (MWI), the point of view that actually takes away the observer from the CI and applies Occum's Razor leading to the elimination of having to have an observer and creating a new universe where every thing that is possible will happen with certainty. (For some reason the author didn't credit Hugh Everett III but pretty much mixes and explains the CI with the MWI).

The book was perfect book for me and my wife to listen to together on a long car trip. She found the story exciting (same as I did), and wasn't bothered by the lack of science know how within the story itself. For the life of me, I don't know why the book was called "Dark Matter", because Dark Matter (the glue that holds galaxies together, or has Neil deGrasse Tyson calls it, "Fred", the place holder for the currently unidentified matter transparent to light) doesn't play a role in the story.
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- Gary "l'enfer c'est les autres"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-26-2016
  • Publisher: Random House Audio