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"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.
70 of 82 people found this review helpful
What would have made Dark Matter better?
The protagonist, with his given background, should have realized in chapter 2 what takes him until chapter 13 to realize. In fact, the antagonist, again with his expertise, should have predicted this whole scenario and taken a very simple, single step to prevent it.
Would you ever listen to anything by Blake Crouch again?
What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?
The story was very predictable. The protagonist and the antagonist would have *known* the results would have happened and taken very simple steps to prohibit the story from moving beyond the beginning.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
The initial premise is a good one; there were other ways the story could have gone that would have made it not just more logical, but more interesting.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful