Dark popular Matter: 2021 A Novel outlet sale

Dark popular Matter: 2021 A Novel outlet sale

Dark popular Matter: 2021 A Novel outlet sale

Description

Product Description

A mindbending, relentlessly surprising thriller from the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy.

“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.
 
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.

Review

“You’ll gulp Dark Matter down in one afternoon, or more likely one night… Alternate-universe science fiction [and] a countdown thriller in which the hero must accomplish an impossible task to save his family. There’s always another door to open, and another page to turn.”
New York Times Book Review
  
"A mind-blowing sci-fi/suspense/love-story mash-up."
Entertainment Weekly

“A fast, tasty read with a killer twist. It’s a whole bag of barbecue chips…just sitting there waiting for you to devour in one long rush.”
—NPR.org
 
“A hard tale to shake…makes its characters — and readers — wonder what life would have been like had they made different decisions. Relatable and unnerving.”
—USA Today

"Propulsive... Dark Matter has plenty of heady concepts and phantasmagorical plotting. But it is also beguilingly rooted in [its hero''s] desperate travails, elevating this page-turning adventure into an entirely different dimension."
Entertainment Weekly

“A blockbuster read that channels Michael Crichton… I can’t remember when I last sat down and blew through a book in literally a single sitting.”
—The Verge

“A dazzling book for summer [with] a mind-bending premise, a head-spinning plot that’s dialogue-driven and adrenaline-fueled, and a gut-wrenching climax that gave me goose bumps.”
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Draws on questions and anxieties we all wrestle with in the dark hours...Crouch has invested [sci-fi motifs] with scientific plausibility, and more unusually, with emotional depth."
Wall Street Journal

“Crouch takes a sharp sci-fi premise and infuses it with love…A gripping page-turner [that is] concerned above all with the heart, and what we do to it—or let happen to it—over time. Dark Matter is It’s A Wonderful Life for the 21st century”
—AVClub.com

“[A] mind-blowing speculative-science thriller that throws in an old-fashioned love story for good measure.”
—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
 
"Enormously compelling...the fastest, strangest thriller you''ll read this year."
Mashable.com

"Might be the most helter-skelter, race-to-the-finish-line thriller you’ll read all year, with a clever, mind-boggling final twist."
The Guardian

"A pacy, action-driven SF thriller...terse prose, strong characterisation and clever twists make for a quick, smart, engrossing read."
Financial Times

"A high-tension thriller...always engaging and frequently moving. A strong piece of summertime get-away reading, perfect for those times when the mind wanders to contemplate an alternate reality of endless vacation."
San Francisco Chronicle

“Exciting, suspenseful and frightening, yet also poignant and heartwarming, DARK MATTER is one of the best books of any year…or any reality.”
—Book Reporter
 
“A mind-bending odyssey of parallel worlds and causality [that] unfolds with all the suspense and strength of a more straightforward thriller, building up to a deliciously surreal climax…memorable and well-rounded characters add a big, beating heart to the tale.”
—New York Journal of Books 

"Brilliant. A book to remember. I think Blake Crouch just invented something new.”
Lee Child, New York Times bestselling 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 bestselling author of The Martian
 
"A masterful, truly original work of suspense. Crouch delivers laser-focused prose, a plot that melds science fiction and thriller to brilliant effect, and a touching, twisted love story that plays out in ways you''ll never see coming. It all adds up to one hell of a ride."
Harlan Coben, New York Times bestselling author of The Stranger

"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 bestselling author of the Rizzoli & Isles series
 
“A mind-bending thriller of the first order, not merely a rollicking entertainment but a provocative investigation into the nature of second chances, all of it wrapped in a genius sci-fi package. I dare you to put it down, because I sure couldn’t.”
Justin Cronin, New York Times bestselling author of the Passage Trilogy. 

“The kind of book the word "thriller" was coined for -- a shooting star through multiple genres, posing fundamental questions about identity and reality before revealing itself as, at its core, a love story.  Smart, fast, powerful, and ultimately touching."
Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Guilty Minds and Suspicion
 
"An addictive read! When the quantum mechanics kick in (no kidding!), hold onto your horses -- you''re in for an intelligent, breath-taking ride."
John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of The Fall and The Oath
 
“Blake Crouch yet again proves himself to be a master. Nonstop pacing, fascinating characters and an ingenious concept all come together flawlessly in a crescendo of pursuit, danger, and romance all the way to a surprising and satisfying slam-bang conclusion.”
Barry Eisler, New York Times bestselling author of the John Rain series 

“Excellent characterization and well-crafted tension…the rousing and heartfelt ending will leave readers cheering.”
Publishers Weekly

“Suspenseful, frightening, and sometimes poignant.”
Kirkus

“Crouch keeps the pace swift and the twists exciting. Readers who liked his Wayward Pines trilogy will probably devour this speculative thriller in one sitting [as will] those who enjoy roller-coaster reads in the vein of Harlan Coben.”
Booklist

About the Author

Blake Crouch is best known for the Wayward Pines trilogy, which has sold more than a million copies and was adapted into a prime-time event series on FOX. He lives in Colorado.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof***

Copyright © 2016 Blake Crouch

I love Thursday nights.

They have a feel to them that’s outside of time.

It’s our tradition, just the three of us—family night.

My son, Charlie, is sitting at the table, drawing on a sketch pad. He’s almost fifteen. The kid grew two inches over the summer, and he’s as tall as I am now.

I turn away from the onion I’m julienning, ask, “Can I see?”

He holds up the pad, shows me a mountain range that looks like something on another planet.

I say, “Love that. Just for fun?” “Class project. Due tomorrow.”

“Then get back to it, Mr. Last Minute.”

Standing happy and slightly drunk in my kitchen, I’m unaware that tonight is the end of all of this. The end of everything I know, everything I love.

No one tells you it’s all about to change, to be taken away. There’s no proximity alert, no indication that you’re standing on the precipice. And maybe that’s what makes tragedy so tragic. Not just what happens, but how it happens: a sucker punch that comes at you out of nowhere, when you’re least expecting. No time to flinch or brace.

The track lights shine on the surface of my wine, and the onion is beginning to sting my eyes. Thelonius Monk spins on the old turntable in the den. There''s a richness to the analog recording I can never get enough of, especially the crackle of static between tracks. The den is filled with stacks and stacks of rare vinyl that I keep telling myself I''ll get around to organizing one of these days.

My wife, Daniela, sits on the kitchen island, swirling her almost­ empty wineglass in one hand and holding her phone in the other. She feels my stare and grins without looking up from the screen.

"I know," she says. “I’m violating the cardinal rule of family night."

"What''s so important?" I ask.

She levels her dark, Spanish eyes on mine. "Nothing."

I walk over to her, take the phone gently out of her hand, and set it on the countertop.

"You could start the pasta," I say.

"I prefer to watch you cook."

"Yeah?" Quieter: "Turns you on, huh?"

"No, it''s just more fun to drink and do nothing."

Her breath is wine-sweet, and she has one of those smiles that seem architecturally impossible. It still slays me.

I polish off my glass. "We should open more wine, right?"

"It would be stupid not to."

As I liberate the cork from a new bottle, she picks her phone back up and shows me the screen. "I was reading Chicago Magazine''s re­ view of Marsha Altman''s show."

"Were they kind?"

"Yeah, it''s basically a love letter." "Good for her."

"I always thought ..." She lets the sentence die, but I know where it was headed. Fifteen years ago, before we met, Daniela was a comer to Chicago''s art scene. She had a studio in Bucktown, showed her work in a half dozen galleries, and had just lined up her first solo exhibition in New York. Then came life. Me. Charlie. A bout of crippling post­ partum depression.

Derailment.

Now she teaches private art lessons to middle-grade students.

"It''s not that I''m not happy for her. I mean, she''s brilliant, she de­serves it all."

I say, "If it makes you feel any better, Ryan Holder just won the Pavia Prize."

"What’s that?"

''''A multidisciplinary award given for achievements in the life and physical sciences. Ryan won for his work in neuroscience."

"Is it a big deal?"

"Million dollars. Accolades. Opens the floodgates to grant money."

"Hotter TA''s?"

"Obviously, that''s the real prize. He invited me to a little informal celebration tonight, but I passed."

"Why?"

"Because ifs our night."

"You should go."

“I’d really rather not."

Daniela lifts her empty glass. "So what you''re saying is, we both have good reason to drink a lot of wine tonight."

I kiss her, and then pour generously from the newly opened bottle.

"You could''ve won that prize," Daniela says.

"You could''ve owned this city''s art scene."

"But we did this." She gestures at the high-ceilinged expanse of our brownstone. I bought it pre-Daniela with an inheritance. ''''And we did that," she says, pointing to Charlie as he sketches with a beau­ tiful intensity that reminds me of Daniela when she''s absorbed in a painting.

It’s a strange thing being the parent of a teenager. One thing to raise a little boy, another entirely when a person on the brink of adult­ hood looks to you for wisdom. I feel like I have little to give. I know there are fathers who see the world a certain way, with clarity and confidence, who know just what to say to their sons and daughters. But I''m not one of them. The older I get, the less I understand. I love my son. He means everything to me. And yet, I can''t escape the feel­ing that I''m failing him. Sending him off to the wolves with nothing but the crumbs of my uncertain perspective.

I move to the cabinet beside the sink, open it, and start hunting for a box of fettuccine.

Daniela turns to Charlie, says, "Your father could have won the Nobel."

I laugh. "That''s possibly an exaggeration."

"Charlie, don''t be fooled. He''s a genius."

"You''re sweet," I say. "And a little drunk."

"It''s true, and you know it. Science is less advanced because you love your family."

I can only smile. When Daniela drinks, three things happen: her native accent begins to bleed through, she becomes belligerently kind, and she tends toward hyperbole.

"Your father said to me one night-never forget it-that pure re­ search is life-consuming. He said ... " For a moment, and to my sur­prise, emotion overtakes her. Her eyes mist, and she shakes her head like she always does when she''s about to cry. At the last second, she rallies, pushes through. "He said, ''Daniela, on my deathbed I would rather have memories of you than of a cold, sterile lab.''"

I look at Charlie, catch him rolling his eyes as he sketches. Probably embarrassed by our display of parental melodrama.

I stare into the cabinet and wait for the ache in my throat to go away.

When it does, I grab the pasta and close the door.

Daniela drinks her wine.

Charlie draws.

The moment passes.

"Where''s Ryan''s party?" Daniela asks.

"Village Tap."

"That''s your bar, Jason."

"So?"

She comes over, takes the box of pasta out of my hand.

"Go have a drink with your old college buddy. Tell him you''re proud of him. Head held high. Tell him I said congrats."

"I will not tell him you said congrats."

"Why?"

"He has a thing for you."

"Stop it."

"It''s true. From way back. From our roommate days. Remember the last Christmas party? He kept trying to trick you into standing under the mistletoe with him?"

She just laughs, says, "Dinner will be on the table by the time you get home."

"Which means I should be back here in ..."

"Forty-five minutes."

"What would I be without you?" She kisses me.

"Let''s not even think about it."

I grab my keys and wallet from the ceramic dish beside the micro­ wave and move into the dining room, my gaze alighting on the tes­seract chandelier above the dinner table. Daniela gave it to me for our tenth wedding anniversary. Best gift ever.

As I reach the front door, Daniela shouts, "Return bearing ice cream!"

"Mint chocolate chip!" Charlie says. I lift my arm, raise my thumb.

I don''t look back.

I don''t say goodbye.

And this moment slips past unnoticed.

The end of everything I know, everything I love.

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4.5 out of 54.5 out of 5
13,067 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

Mark Daniels
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Well written, but misses the hard SF mark
Reviewed in the United States on August 6, 2018
There is a point in the story where the author speaks about something that seems almost real but is unmistakably not. It gives off a vibe that repels and disgusts. For me, this story is one such example. It is well written. It tells a complete story. It contains hard... See more
There is a point in the story where the author speaks about something that seems almost real but is unmistakably not. It gives off a vibe that repels and disgusts. For me, this story is one such example.
It is well written. It tells a complete story. It contains hard SF that is presented in a reasonably sound manner. The author is clearly an accomplished and skilled writer. And this story screams false. I apologize, the rest of this review may sound arrogant, but there is no other viewpoint from which to express my misgivings except as a reader who has already thought about quantum alternative universes and can relate to someone who might be smart enough to come up with the physics to reach them.
Unfortunately, the protagonist is a physicist, who in one version of his life creates a device to transport people into alternative realities. In another, he choses family over career and ends up a middling physics professor. This other life lived is upended one night when he is kidnapped and sent through the device his other version of himself invented. Unfortunately, the family man version of himself never thinks. He doesn''t react with any intelligent thought when he is kidnapped. He never starts thinking. The protagonist should perhaps have been an investor instead of a brilliant physicist. That might have read as truer to life.
Most readers and most movie goers are not exceptionally smart, so perhaps this excruciating flaw may not detract from the novel for them. It may not detract from the novel for you. But hard SF is written first and foremost for smart people to evaluate how new advances might play out. If you are one of those people, you may find yourself thinking with irritation early on that the protagonist isn''t behaving intelligently. It never gets any better. He never thinks like a physicist.
However, the story is sound. The writing is good. The story is thought provoking. Perhaps you will find the story engaging. There is a lot to like. But there is this streak of wrongness that you might find revolting. Try a sample. If you aren''t put off by what you can read up front, perhaps you won''t have any problem with any of it. If you do, beware, it won''t get any better.
I chose to give the book three stars because it is word-crafted with skill. I might have given it an even lower rating because of the false behavior of the protagonist. However, not everyone will read this story and get the same vibe. And if the physicist''s behavior doesn''t strike you as false, you may really enjoy this story.
185 people found this helpful
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Richard G. Calo
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Truly Awful
Reviewed in the United States on October 16, 2018
Everything about this book is awful. We can start with the print edition I bought. A typical mass market sci-fi paperback has 400-500 words per page. This is necessary if you''re going to "take it seriously." This one barely makes the 200 mark. That tells you the publishers... See more
Everything about this book is awful. We can start with the print edition I bought. A typical mass market sci-fi paperback has 400-500 words per page. This is necessary if you''re going to "take it seriously." This one barely makes the 200 mark. That tells you the publishers already know something''s missing here, but they''re still trying to pass it off as solid sci-fi. Now, if we get past this, we come to the writing itself: it''s drivel. Characterization is exceptionally poor, world-building is completely absent, there isn''t a single interesting turn of phrase in the whole thing and the author''s grasp of style is less than rudimentary. And if you can make it to the end, which is a black hole of boredom, it descends into confusion and plain stupidity with a speed I find baffling.

I don''t normally leave bad reviews. But there''s a lot of good reviews here and frankly, I can''t understand why, other than poor, and I mean, like, really poor judgment on the reader''s part. That''s unfortunate - because there is truly great writing out there. We don''t have to settle for this drivel. Shame on the publisher, who not only brings this to market, but pushes it, while the sheep all follow along.
149 people found this helpful
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Quimberly
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I''ve never read a book quite like this one
Reviewed in the United States on November 3, 2017
I''ve never read a book quite like this one. I''ve never experienced something so fantastically real or mind-bendingly normal. This book balances precisely between two extremes: It can be viewed through the lens of science fiction just as easily as realistic fiction, but it... See more
I''ve never read a book quite like this one. I''ve never experienced something so fantastically real or mind-bendingly normal. This book balances precisely between two extremes: It can be viewed through the lens of science fiction just as easily as realistic fiction, but it is only through the perfect blend Crouch has concocted between the two that we get such a well rendered dissection of the human mind.

"Are you happy with your life?" There''s your tag line, the pitch to the reader. Can any of us truly say we''ve lived life without any regrets? If you can then perhaps this book is not for you, but if you''re like any normal person who spends day to day dealing with the consequences of life''s little choices then Dark Matter''s concept should speak to you. Opening with a seemingly random kidnapping Dark Matter quickly spirals down a path that bends the line between choice and consequence just as easily as reality.

Where this book truly shines is Crouch''s masterful manipulation of science. Forced into a reality unlike anything he has experienced we follow Jason Dessen''s impossible journey through worlds and self discovery. Literally. But you don''t need to be a physics major to understand the balance here. There are concepts discussed that are probably foreign to those with even the most illustrious bachelors degrees and yet they are discussed and molded in such a way that even while fully present they fail to distract or discombobulate. They instead exist as a physical representation of minds most illusive concept: choice.

Dark Matter is such a hard book to critique, not because there are problems with it and not because it is perfect without flaw, more because it''s so tightly wound together that discussing a single portion is enough to spoil it. This is a book where critiquing the characters or the setting or even the ending will get you no where because it''s not about any of that. It''s about the journey. It''s about the path not taken, it''s about self. Self understanding, self loathing, self regret, selfishness, and finally self acceptance.

But just as I spend this time talking about the cerebral portion of the book I will do it an injustice if I fail to mention the physicality of it. It''s a subtlety cerebral book. More overt is the fast paced dash Jason makes as he tries to make it back to everything he''s lost. It''s nonstop movement with twists and turns that while unpredictable are wholly right. A reader can choose to focus on this portion just as easily as they can relate to the thought behind it. It''s the reader''s mindset that determines which point is more important. A person who is not interested in science fiction can easily find a foothold in the realism expressed, while a nerd can choose to follow the physical manifestation of the Schrodinger cat paradox through to its conclusion. Are you more interested in Jason''s physical or cerebral journey? Are you here for both? It''s hard to say.

How do you critique life? You don''t. You make choices and you make the best of them. Reading Dark Matter is a choice. For me it was good one, wholly unexpected but rather refreshing and filling. Reading it is a choice I hope a lot of people will make in the future, but what you get out of it is entirely up to you, based on your life and your choices.
133 people found this helpful
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Kyle Conner
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Unoriginal, Overhyped, and Overrated
Reviewed in the United States on May 21, 2019
I struggled with the rating throughout the last 240 pages of this novel. It started out as a four-star read for me (even potentially five-star worthy)-- truly, it''s compulsively readable in the beginning, and I could not put it down. But then, Jason''s decisions started... See more
I struggled with the rating throughout the last 240 pages of this novel. It started out as a four-star read for me (even potentially five-star worthy)-- truly, it''s compulsively readable in the beginning, and I could not put it down. But then, Jason''s decisions started grating my nerves, and it became a three-star book. Before the disappointingly predictable end, it would have managed a two star rating from me, but c''est la vie and all that. I''m certainly in the minority with this book; I have yet to see many other one-star reviews. So, here''s a jumbled reasoning behind my low score:

This book is essentially the TV show Sliders and the lazy amalgamation of countless other (better) Sci-Fi shows/literature. Really, I''ve seen this story many times over, and while not executed in the same manner as Dark Matter, the concept of a multiverse is frequently used across the spectrum of science fiction (and other genres) literature, television, film, and various other mediums.

Let''s just get this out of the way now: I hate Jason Dessen. His character bothered me to the moon and back. Jason is irrationally selfish in many of his decisions, ones in which he could potentially screw over and ruin everything, but he does so anyways. It''s certainly not written with the intention to make him look bad, and he doesn''t do anything maliciously, but his character stills comes off as ridiculously dumb. He''s also pretentious, but of the most dangerous sort: the subtle, almost too douche-y to notice, kind. And he''s a bit of a pseudo-hipster. Sorry, but he is. He drinks triple shot Americanos. He imbibes lots of wine in his BROWNSTONE (which are worth MILLIONS!!) in Chicago with his hot Spanish wife. He shops at Whole Foods (and comments on how it "smells like a hippy" he used to date--the author clearly didn''t intend any readers to point out how much of an offensive statement this is). Jason received a substantial inheritance, which makes he and his family pretty well off. And I must admit that (most) characters in literature that are wealthy and privileged tend to tick me off. I guess if I''m being honest, it''s a deep-seated bitterness that they''ll never want for anything mundane or commonplace like anyone in the lower-middle/lower class. It''s not all privileged characters I come across, though, but the ones that say and do offhanded stuff like Jason, without much or any acknowledgement of how idiotic they sound when talking about such things. He''s just a "smart", rich white dude who the author wants to have come across as his version of the cool, selfless Everyman. Jason also smokes pot a few times a year (because I guess it''s too conformist these days to smoke it all the time, or not at all)... but more to the point, he decides to indulge after he''s been drinking, and in the midst of a whole storm of trouble. Because that makes so much sense-- to get completely stoned after all that happened. So, why the hell not, right? *I shook my head so thoroughly in annoyance here, I put a crick in my neck. Every time Jason did something against his better judgment, I rolled my eyes (which now hurt from the effort). He lost all credibility for being this genius physics professor when he consistently made moronic decisions (which are too numerous to list, and I want to avoid as many spoilers as I can).

There''s a moment late into the book that really bothered me, where Jason recounts first seeing Daniela (his wife) at a party. He notices her chatting up some guy in "tight jeans", who a friend told him sleeps with everyone. And so based on a rumor, and the fact that he BELIEVES Daniela is in an uncomfortable position, he gets, ya know, super masculine and jealous and angry. Of course, he has to "rescue" this woman and claim her for himself. And so he does.
1. Slut shaming goes both ways.
2. Don''t assume she needs another man to swoop in and ((claim the prize)) save her.
3. You admit to "cockblocking", and you essentially put yourself in the position to woo her and have sex with her, which makes you ultimately worse.
4. I hate you so much, Jason, you pathetic POS.
It may seem like I''m nitpicking, but I don''t care. He exerts an attitude that is off-putting to me.

*Slight spoiler alert here* A side character comes into play not far into the book, and they ultimately join Jason on this "adventure." But after a while together, they part ways, and this character is never mentioned again. You. Just. Don''t. Do. That. I cared more about them than Jason and his idiotic quest, anyways. All he did was whine and act like a damn child, putting lives at risk. I just find it inappropriate to bring in someone new to the story if you''re only going to drop them like a hat completely.

There''s really not much more I care to say about this book other than I am glad to be moving on. It did not live up to the hype by any means. The unoriginality, pathetic MC, forgettable + ultimately forgotten side characters, amateurish and clichéd dialogue, and disappointing conclusion led me to the decision of a one-star rating. I wanted to like Dark Matter, I really did. And at the start, it was growing on me... but I see now that that growth was a strangling vine.
66 people found this helpful
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JohnGuad
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The protagonist doesn''t make sense
Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2018
Hip, cool, smart, city dweller totally into jazz, loves Thelonious Monk, Coltrane, Miles Davis. Trite. Boring. Played out. A million other fictions are using that same exact character format for their protagonist, why can''t we have something a little more original? How... See more
Hip, cool, smart, city dweller totally into jazz, loves Thelonious Monk, Coltrane, Miles Davis. Trite. Boring. Played out. A million other fictions are using that same exact character format for their protagonist, why can''t we have something a little more original? How about a main character that is a country music fan? Or a Europop enthusiast? Why jazz? So I''m not a jazz fan, not a city dweller, hate smarmy hipsters ... already a few pages in and I cannot even begin to relate with the main character.

Put that aside, my own prejudices there, and let''s address the actual story. Okay, so you wake up disoriented, don''t know where you are, what day/time it is ... you are met by a bunch of people who all seem to know you, they know your name, talk to you like they have known you for years ... your first reaction? Also, let''s point out our protagonist is an intelligent man, a renowned scientist, a man of logic and understanding. So ... does he ask questions? Where am I? What happened? Who are you?

NO, he runs away like a scared child. WTF? Utterly unrealistic behaviors written into this character ... I trudged on, chapter 2, any better? No. Chapter 3? No. I couldn''t take it any more. Just terrible characterizations and bad action scenes. I cannot, will not, finish this story. The premise promised so much, and yet the writer failed to make good on the potential for this story.

As a whole, it''s YA territory, and weak at that. The author needs to really sharpen his story telling skills. I wish him the best of luck, but I won''t be purchasing any further stories from him.
53 people found this helpful
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Penn Capricorn
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I''ll start with the good - the writing was well done and well-paced
Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2018
So, I''ll start with the good - the writing was well done and well-paced, though I thought there were some choices that could have been done to facilitate more clear or easier reading (especially given the topic), but overall, I found Mr. Crouch''s writing to be clear and... See more
So, I''ll start with the good - the writing was well done and well-paced, though I thought there were some choices that could have been done to facilitate more clear or easier reading (especially given the topic), but overall, I found Mr. Crouch''s writing to be clear and easy to consume quickly. My biggest problem is that the resolution to the issues felt rushed - I felt as though there was a clear and interesting problem and it was solved in the least interesting, most blunt way possible. (Not to mention that, within the sometimes flimsy rules of the book, the outcome creates *infinitely* more problems than it solves.)

I really wanted to like the book and I''m interested in where this author goes from here - I just didn''t feel as though he had given himself enough scope to properly play out the problem and all the permutations of the primary issue. Final opinion: coulda been great, feels like the author settled for okay.
106 people found this helpful
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Peter S. Bradley
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
"Counterpart" meets "All the Myriad Ways" meets "Nine Princes in Amber."
Reviewed in the United States on June 28, 2018
"Counterpart" meets "All the Myriad Ways" meets "Nine Princes in Amber." Here there be spoilers. I was put onto this by Hannah Greendale''s "bookworm" Youtube channel. She liked it and refused to provide a synopsis on the... See more
"Counterpart" meets "All the Myriad Ways" meets "Nine Princes in Amber."

Here there be spoilers.

I was put onto this by Hannah Greendale''s "bookworm" Youtube channel. She liked it and refused to provide a synopsis on the grounds that it would spoil the book.

As a lifelong science fiction reader, I didn''t find it all that surprising. I found myself anticipating the plot developments well in advance.

On the other hand, I found this a super-fun read. It recycled concepts that I''d seen developed everywhere in lively ways. It had fun with the ideas, and if it hooks people on science fiction, then more power to it.

Jason Dessen is having a good life. He is not a star but he has a satisfying life, which a loving wife and son. This changes when he is kidnapped by a mysterious man who knows his name and is interested in details about his wife, and shanghaied to a research lab where people seem to know him and his groundbreaking research, but he doesn''t know any of them.

In the first few pages, I was thinking "time travel?" When the character started asking questions, I thought "parallel universes."

Voila! I was right.

The premise of the book is, of course, that every decision made in one world means that a world is created where the opposite decision was made. In "All the Myriad Ways," Larry Niven explored what this idea might mean to people who have the knowledge that a poker hand won in this world meant a poker hand lost in another. Can you take satisfaction in knowing that you just happened to be the inevitable "lucky" one that had to win in an infinity of universes.

Dessen learns about the way of travel through parallel worlds which involves exercising one''s will and desire, not unlike Corwin in "Nine Princes in Amber." His mission is to get back to his wife, Daniella. He is initially helped by Amanda, who we think might develop into a love interest but doesn''t...in the time line of our focal character.

H. Beam Piper, I think, invented the idea of "spreading the band" as alternate worlds are created by decision made in the original time line, which spread the original time line into multiple and infinite time lines. At the same time, there are soon an infinity of travelers looking to return to their time line. Piper suggested this would not be a problem since an infinite number of time lines leave a lot of room for even an infinite number of returning visitors.

But in an infinite number of possibilities, there are bound to be some duplication.

Crouch does a great job of considering the implications of this last idea.

The strength of a science fiction story is how well does it permit philosophical questions. The question in Crouch is what makes for individuality. By the end of the book, we are rooting for the "original" Jason against his competition, but is that really the "original"? We could have followed any of the other Jasons on their journey and they would have been every bit the original from our perspective.

It makes for some mind-bending stuff.

This is not a perfect book. The character is likable, but fairly two-dimensional. There are loose ends - what happens to Amanda? - and thought problems - are there hundreds of Schroedinger boxes in Chicago?

I was originally going to give this four stars, but this book accomplishes what it set out to accomplish: it is a fun, "big think" classic science fiction story, sort of a throw-back in this day and age.

PSB
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Chris
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Dull and unoriginal
Reviewed in the United States on October 23, 2019
This book is most definitely nothing like The Nine Princes of Amber or any of the other books it is compared to. It’s basically a very elongated chapter of countless other books written in the format of a mediocre sci-fi made for TV movie. If you remember the TV show... See more
This book is most definitely nothing like The Nine Princes of Amber or any of the other books it is compared to. It’s basically a very elongated chapter of countless other books written in the format of a mediocre sci-fi made for TV movie. If you remember the TV show Sliders, this is almost exactly like one or two episodes of it. Another way to describe this books is “Sci-Fi for adults who don’t like nor have read Sci-Fi”.

The author could have done so much more, but chose mediocrity. What a shame and waste of money.
17 people found this helpful
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Mr Archibald Simpson
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Enjoyable book but not, "The Most Mind-Blowing And Twisted Thriller Of The Year!"
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2018
It''s alright, but certainly not, "The Most Mind-Blowing And Twisted Thriller Of The Year!" In fact, just a few months after reading it, I''d forgotten I''d read it when I saw it again on Amazon. A number of reviews also discuss how this book is an amazing discourse on...See more
It''s alright, but certainly not, "The Most Mind-Blowing And Twisted Thriller Of The Year!" In fact, just a few months after reading it, I''d forgotten I''d read it when I saw it again on Amazon. A number of reviews also discuss how this book is an amazing discourse on advanced physics... spoiler... it''s not. Having said all this, it''s a perfectly enjoyable action book with a thin veneer of sci-fi, just don''t believe the hyperbole.
83 people found this helpful
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S Payne
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A quick and exciting sci-fi
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 9, 2018
I’d had this book on my Kindle for a while but had never got round to reading it but it was brought to my attention again after seeing it on a top 50 sci-fi list. I’d never read a book by Blake Crouch before, so I had no real expectations. It’s hard to explain what the...See more
I’d had this book on my Kindle for a while but had never got round to reading it but it was brought to my attention again after seeing it on a top 50 sci-fi list. I’d never read a book by Blake Crouch before, so I had no real expectations. It’s hard to explain what the storyline is without giving away any spoilers but we follow Jason, a fairly normal guy with a wife and 14-year-old son as he goes from having a quiet family night at home to being abducted at gunpoint, stripped naked and taken to an abandoned warehouse. From there, Jason embarks on a strange journey to try and find his way back home and to his loved ones. Although the actual storyline is pretty complex and various scientific theories are explored, they are presented in a comprehensive manner that makes them accessible to all readers. We learn about alternative universes, alternatives realities, a better or worse or completely different version of yourself and it calls into question all the choices that make you ‘you’. It did take me until nearly half-way through this book to really get into it but once I was in, I was hooked. Dark Matter really starts the action early on and the pace never really slows. Jason is the main character but we meet various other characters along his journey. As others have mentioned, the writing is stilted and can be difficult to get into a flow but I found myself getting used to it fairly quickly. I enjoyed this book, although it felt very familiar to me at times...I am not sure if it is similar to something else I have read maybe. I would recommend this if you are a sci-fi fan and it’s an exciting and quick read.
33 people found this helpful
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Vertigo
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Contrary to most other reviewers'' opinions I found this predictable and unexciting.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 5, 2018
Jason Dessen has given up a promising future as a top research physicist in favour of a quiet life as a college lecturer with his loving family. Does he regret that choice? Not really but sometimes it does haunt him a little. It’s only when it’s all abruptly taken away that...See more
Jason Dessen has given up a promising future as a top research physicist in favour of a quiet life as a college lecturer with his loving family. Does he regret that choice? Not really but sometimes it does haunt him a little. It’s only when it’s all abruptly taken away that he really realises how important that life and family is to him. Stepping out of the family home to join an old colleague for a quick drink he is abducted and eventually finds himself in a world he cannot understand where he has not only lost his loving family but has never even been married. I really wanted to like this book and, to be fair, some of the time I did but at its core is the idea of infinite universes where anything that could happen, anything that had even the slightest probability of happening, has happened. In the Schrödinger''s cat thought experiment both outcomes are true; the universe forks into two universes, in one the cat lives in the other it dies. Now this kind of multiverse theory has always struck me as utterly improbable because if it can happen at major decision points then it will happen at every possible junction; will this atom combine chemically with that one? Possibly yes possibly no. And two more universes are created. If this happens at all then it must happen trillions of times every nanosecond in every universe. There must be a virtually infinite number of universes out there that have been branching ever since the big bang. Now for the sake of the story I might have been able to suspend my level of disbelief sufficiently to ignore this inconvenient infinite creation of matter from nothing had it not been for one ham-fisted attempt at an explanation offered in the book that maybe this could account for the missing matter in our universe – dark matter – except that we’re only missing around 80% of the necessary matter and an infinite number of universes is going to provide rather more than that. So right from the beginning I was struggling with the basic foundation of the story. But again I could have lived with this but the story just didn’t grip me and this is the one bit of surprise inspired by Dark Matter. All the reviews I have read are filled with words like mind-bending, exciting, gripping, compelling, suspenseful etc. etc. and yet I found the whole thing utterly predictable; every – and I mean every single one – every reveal and twist and turn was, to me, so obviously inevitable that I was never once surprised and I’m generally not that good at spotting plot twists before they happen. [spoiler] One of the biggest intended (I’m sure) OMG moments comes towards the end when multiple Jasons all suddenly appear at the same time, the only surprise to me was that there weren’t more; there should have been millions or even billions of them, how many universe branches must have occurred in the couple of months that the book spans?[/spoiler]. Dark Matter does explore some interesting ideas about identity and relationships but it was so lacking in anything that felt like novelty to me that I was largely bored by the book. Rather surprising in that almost everyone else praises it for being the exact opposite, so maybe it’s just me.
24 people found this helpful
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MRC
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Original and engrossing.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 27, 2017
I am usually not one fast paced thrillers as I often find they follow a similar ''formula'' to get from A to B, and a few weeks after finishing it, I can hardly differentiate it from all the others. Dark Matter is definitely not formulaic. I only bought it because I wanted...See more
I am usually not one fast paced thrillers as I often find they follow a similar ''formula'' to get from A to B, and a few weeks after finishing it, I can hardly differentiate it from all the others. Dark Matter is definitely not formulaic. I only bought it because I wanted something easy to read whilst on holidays. A week before I headed away I decided to get a start on it and I ended up finishing the book in a couple of days. It was smart, original and very engrossing. Even better, I feel like I have learned something after finishing it. I have seen the book being compared to The Martian, and having seen the film, I can understand why. Crouch explains extremely complex ideas on quantum mechanics and other aspects of the laws of physics in a way that just flows off the page. Only once did I have to reread a paragraph to ensure I understood what was going on (but that had as much to do with fast pace of the book as with its complexity). Indeed, many of the concepts that Crouch brings up stayed with me long after finishing. It comes with many twists and turns but never falls into farce. A great, thought-provoking read that has renewed my enthusiasm for the thriller genre.
22 people found this helpful
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Conphused
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Quantum Dramatics
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 6, 2017
The book drew me in with its interesting premise, and the ''science'' of this was handled in a very digestible manner. Without giving away any spoilers, I did wonder how the story could ultimately be resolved, and this is executed in something of a ''deus ex machina'' fashion....See more
The book drew me in with its interesting premise, and the ''science'' of this was handled in a very digestible manner. Without giving away any spoilers, I did wonder how the story could ultimately be resolved, and this is executed in something of a ''deus ex machina'' fashion. I believe that Blake Crouch has had some success with Book to TV conversions, And can see how Dark Matter could easily translate into a TV series or film. Ultimately, the book will satisfy science fiction lovers, but I feel it ran out of steam a little at the end.
25 people found this helpful
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A Conversation with Blake Crouch author of DARK MATTER

Q. In your own words, can you introduce readers to the premise of Dark Matter?

A. A brilliant physicist named Jason Dessen is living in Chicago with his wife, Daniela, and son, Charlie. He is a true genius, and while there was a point in his late twenties when his research could have made him a star in his field, he instead chose a family-focused life. One night, while walking home, he’s abducted by a mysterious masked man and injected with a drug. When he next awakes, his world has completely changed. He’s no longer married, doesn’t have a son, and has achieved professional success beyond his wildest dreams. This sets him on a thrilling, mysterious, and at times terrifying journey to learn what has happened to him, and to find his way home to the people and the life he loves.

Q. Where did the idea for the novel originate?

A. For the last decade, I’ve wanted to write a story that hinges on quantum mechanics. I tried several times to write a version of Dark Matter - getting into Spoiler Territory Here. Three different story lines had been teasing me, and I’d tried and failed to write them all separately. One story line involved the box. Another involved the idea of meeting yourself. And the last was about a man being hopelessly lost in time. The novelist Marcus Sakey is one of my good friends, and we always meet up at the inception stage of a new book to pressure-check each other on our ideas. While we were in Chicago two years ago, I was pitching each of these ideas to him separately when it occurred to me they were actually all part of the same story. They suddenly clicked together, like puzzle pieces, and I was off and running. I find the writing process endlessly mysterious and wonderful.

Q. Millions of readers will recognize you as the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy and for your suspense novels and short stories. Dark Matter is a new direction for you. Can you tell us a bit about what sparked the change?

A. In a way, Dark Matter is very much like the Wayward Pines trilogy in that it’s a thriller with a backbone of speculative science. But with this book, I wanted to push myself to do something bigger and better than I’d ever written before. The story opens up much faster than Wayward Pines and is larger in scope — about as large as it’s possible to get, really, given that it takes place (Spoilers Ahead!) in the multiverse. And the quantum-mechanics underpinning for the premise was a huge challenge to tackle. Trying to understand that science, even on a basic level — let alone incorporate it into a story without dragging the narrative down into incomprehensibility — seemed so daunting. But I knew that if I pulled it off, it would let me play with some really big ideas about our day-to-day existence and the choices we make that haunt us. It allowed me to build a really cool, far-out thriller plot around themes that felt very grounded and meaningful to me.

Q. Dark Matter is grounded in very real scientific theory and principles — quantum mechanics, superposition, etc. How did you go about weaving the science so seamlessly into the narrative and making it understandable to a lay audience?

A. I hope it’s seamless, thank you! I am definitely not a physicist. In fact, I took as few science and math courses as I possibly could on my way to my English degree at the University of North Carolina. If the science is understandable to a lay audience, it’s because I’m a lay audience. To prepare, I read a ton of books on the subject and pulled out the elements of quantum mechanics that intrigued me — and that I could actually comprehend. One of the most fascinating things I stumbled across was a Ted Talk by Aaron O’Connell entitled “Making Sense of a Visible Quantum Object.” Unlike most material on quantum mechanics, which focuses on subatomic matter and can feel very abstract, O’Connell’s talk is about how quantum mechanics might actually be at work at the macro level. At our level. And what that might imply about the world around us. His presentation (which is short and easily findable on YouTube) is worth viewing.

When the book was done, I hired a brilliant professor from USC named Clifford Johnson to read the manuscript and make sure I hadn’t gone too far off the rails. This is speculative fiction, and there’s still a certain leap the reader has to be willing to make, but I wanted to present the concepts behind the story with as much accuracy as I could.

Q. Do you yourself believe there could be other Blakes out there living in alternate realities?

A. According to the Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, every choice we make and every event that affects us really does cause reality to branch into alternate timelines. So, as crazy as the concept sounds — sure, it’s absolutely possible. The idea of different versions of myself living different lives, with different careers, spouses, children, etc., was actually my main inspiration for writing this book.

Q. If you had the chance to enter “the box” and explore parallel universes, would you?

A. Never! I can’t imagine a more dangerous place to be. The chances of finding another world like ours are unimaginably slim. The odds of stepping into a world of ruin and fear and destruction are massive.

Q. While Dark Matter certainly has elements of science fiction and is a vivid suspense thriller, themes of love and family also seem to be at the heart of the story. Would you say that’s a fair assessment?

A. Absolutely. Dark Matter is a thriller, of course, but it’s also the first love story I’ve ever written, and I worked hard to strike a balance among thrills, science fiction, and genuine emotion. To me, it’s the love and family elements that make up the beating heart of Dark Matter.

Q. Daniela’s character is also essential to not only the plot of the novel but to the tone and emotional feel. What was the inspiration behind her character?

A. With Daniela, I wanted to explore the flip side of Jason’s experience. What would it be like to meet another version of your spouse? What if they were married to someone else or worked a different job or you two had never met? Would there still be a flicker of electricity? Would there be some recognition? Would the intensity of your relationship in your world bleed over, on some small level, into others?

Q. Do you see any of yourself in your characters?

A. Very much so. It never really occurs to me until I’ve finished a book, but all of my novels are ultimately therapy and reflective of what I’m dealing with personally during the writing. The last few years have been insanely busy for me on the professional front, and I often feel the tension between me the writer and me the father and husband. The pull of both worlds. It’s not as simple as either/or, but every day we make choices about the person we want to be, the life we want to have. So Jason’s story hits close to home, because I feel like I’ve been wrestling lately with the same push and pull between family and career, and trying to find that balance.

Q. Speaking of being busy, in addition to being a novelist, you’re currently adapting the screenplay of Dark Matter for Sony, producing for the Wayward Pines TV series on FOX, and writing/producing Good Behavior, a new TV series (based on another of your novels), for TNT. How are you able to move so fluently across mediums? And how do you find the time?

A. I view myself primarily as a novelist, but I love the process of taking a book and turning it into film and television. The mediums are quite different, but it’s all about story structure at the end of the day. The film/TV business lights up the extroverted part of my personality, while the novel writing very much speaks to my introverted self.

Time is becoming an issue, because I never imagined I would be lucky enough to have two TV shows going into production simultaneously and this script adaptation of Dark Matter to contend with. As much as I’m enjoying it, I also find myself getting more and more excited about that moment when I get to go back to the basics of being a novelist and figure out my next book. The brainstorming process of a new novel is my favorite part of writing. All potential and possibility.

Q. You’re originally from North Carolina and spend a great deal of time in New York and Los Angeles for your film and TV work, but you live in Durango, Colorado. What drew you there?

A. I moved to Durango out of college, sight unseen, because I love everything about the West. The wide-open space. The history. The mentality. Rain curtains over the desert. How much deeper and more rattling thunder sounds as opposed to everywhere else. Sage brush. Mountains. Desert. Snow. But most important, a serene, contemplative place to write.

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Dark popular Matter: 2021 A Novel outlet sale

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