Dark Matter (Blake Crouch)

27 May 2020

Dark Matter

'Are you happy in your life?'
Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.
Before he awakes to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.
Before the man he's never met smiles down at him and says, 'Welcome back.'

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.

Please note that the discussion of Dark Matter on the 27th of May will be online. Details will be sent out to the mailing list.

Average Rating:

Sean Aaron (1 July 2020 10:33)

I enjoyed it for the quality of the writing and going against expectations with the climax. There are definitely things you can pick apart, but as stories if this type go I enjoyed the fact that it wasn’t utterly predictable.

Sinclair Manson (17 June 2020 20:42)

I was mostly annoyed by this book, for various reasons. It's tone seemed to be that of an 80s thriller, whereby the issues raised were pretty much secondary to the inevitable fight to the death between Good Jason and the Evil Jasons. Jason's background lacks depth and the secondary characters are flimsy. The two chapters from Daniella's point of view near the start of the book seem vestgial. The idea that Jason could be as ruthless as Evil Jason based on a single decision made in adulthood seems psychologically unlikely. The splitting of reality seems to go so far but then peters out. Why aren't there an infinite number of Daniellas? How can a single Good Jason even win? Surely there must be versions where each of them won. Most fundamentally, if each choice we make generates two new realities, then our choices are arbitrary and our course through life is random. You may as well flip a coin to make any decision, since another version of you will make the opposite decision at the same time. Isn't it more feasible that our choices rooted in our identities and our experiences, and are not really choices at all?