Friday, January 27, 2017

Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Published July 26th 2016 by Crown

“If there are infinite worlds, how do I find the one that is uniquely, specifically mine?” 


“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 bestselling 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.


“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.” 

Oh. My. God.

This was me throughout the book, right from the very first chapter. 

And this was me near the end. 

Dark Matter is so artfully written, the plot so amazingly crafted; there really is not much scope for dislike at all. It was a total nail biting page turner from start to finish. And there's this sense of doom and paranoia that the author creates, that was palpable throughout the book. I was constantly at the edge of my seat, clutching my iPad with shaking fingers, almost afraid to find out what was to happen next.

And it made me feel oh-so-small, like an insignificant little blot compared to the infiniteness of the universe (or in this case, the 'multiverse'). The book begins with our MC, poor Jason Dessen, being abducted and tossed into an alternate reality that is nothing like his own. It's a topsy turvy place where he's a legendary genius but without his beloved family. And this is where shit hits the fan. Teemed up with an unlikely ally, Jason tried to make it back home- a job that is much more difficult than it sounds. The author writes Jason's rage, helplessness and determinedness very beautifully. I was moved by his suffering, by the very idea that he couldn't reach home, that he was trapped amidst infinite possibilities, unable to figure out which one is his.

The author has also written all the scientific explanations very thoughtfully. Everything makes sense and nothing is out of place. It is neither too abstract nor too detailed, but just the right amount. I also loved the entire concept of people being the sum total of their choices and the choices they might have made. 

“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.” 

The entire idea of an infinite reality tree, sprouting new branches every time a person is confronted with multiple choices was mind bogglingly awesome. Then there was also the irresistible but extremely questionable idea of having a clean slate. If somehow you could switch realities, having seen the consequences of an apparently wrong choice, would you? Or is it better to live with your choices and learn? That was a real toughie! And it led to me having sympathy for the negative characters in the book too, because regret is a very tangible thing, and I totally got where the crazy desperation was coming from. 

This book was scientific, mysterious and emotional rollercoaster and it rendered me breathless with it's pace and intensity. Highly recommended for everyone! 

And one last quote perhaps?

“It's a troubling paradox -I have total control, but only to the extent I have control over myself.” 

**slinks away to contemplate life, universe and everything.**

1 comment:

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