Dark Matter by Blake Crouch – 342 pages
“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.
My Review: 4 stars
Dark Matter is an odd combo of science fiction, thriller and love-story all rolled into one hard-hitting book. I was wary of this title, as it isn’t in my usual reading wheelhouse. My husband, who reads very little and is trying to take up the pastime as we are fully ingratiated into ‘emptynesthood’, was my guinea pig for the book. I knew if he enjoyed it, I was certain to as well. This was a great book for us both to read because it offered lots to discuss, imagine and ponder.
I’ll admit that I thought the whole science part would be a little tough for me to grasp and that the many dimensions of the same person would be difficult to imagine, but the author did it with ease. His use of short, succinct sentences were perfect for this type of novel. It read very much as a Twilight Zone episode. It was the exploration of the impossible made quite possible.
There were just enough well realized characters to keep it simple versus the science and alternate beings of the same person. I found the theme of what you’re thinking affects what happens to you to be a monumental moral takeaway. The book also had me wondering about what makes a person a person. Which attributes make your core being, always be your core being?
I literally read this book as a movie reel in my head and have the entire cast sorted out. It really made this book come to life for me plus the setting of Chicago didn’t hurt my imagination, as I know the city well. It had a wonderful ending, realistic and with enough of an opening for a potential sequel.
For book clubs looking to get out of their comfort zone or any reader for that matter, this book would be a great choice that is certain to offer great discussion.
Quotes I liked:
Is it possible to outthink yourself?”
-“I can’t help thinking that we’re more than the sum total of our choices, that all the paths we might have taken factor somehow into the math of our identity.”
-“We all live day to day completely oblivious to the fact that we’re a part of a much larger and stranger reality than we can possibly imagine.”
-“If you strip away all the trappings of personality and lifestyle, what are the core components that make me me?”