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.

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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

Entertaining

I'm surprised people are so hostile about this book. My three stars reflects that it was an average, entertaining, non-waste of time read. Maybe people expect too much from what is, I assume, supposed to be pulpy science fiction. I was entertained. The science, while certainly not qualifying for "hard" sci-fi, was at least rational and reasonably well explained.

It's a book about the decisions one makes in life, the impacts a simple choice can have. The frailty of the human condition. This is certainly not a new concept or theme, but it's executed reasonably well here. Yes, some aspects get played out to a silly extreme, but it's also not necessarily wrong. And to address one reviewer's statement that it was egocentric... well, no kidding. We're all the heroes of our own story and think, no matter how much we may attempt otherwise, that the universe does revolve around us. And, in taking this book's premise at face value, it literally is the point- the chaotic nature of each decision causing a split off of new universes has the additional reality that for every person new universes are splitting constantly. Thus the concept of an infinite number of universes since each split is affected by all the other simultaneous splits occurring... perhaps this is simply too much for some to comprehend.

I understood the title to be a reference to the great unknown mysteries of existence- in the universe or our own lives. Also, to the reviewer who suggested "Where the Hell is Tesla?" ignore him, that was a terrible and incredibly stupid book.

It was entertaining brain candy, nothing more or less. Fun concepts and an engaging delivery. Worth the time, but don't expect a masterpiece.
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- Charlie

Schrödinger's box gets opened. Meh steps out.

"I suppose we're both just trying to come to terms with how horrifying infinity really is."
-- 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 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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- Darwin8u

Book Details

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