📚 Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

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Goodreads⎮Reviewed Apr. 2017

NarratorJon Lindstrom
Length: 10h 8m
Publisher: Random House Audio⎮2016

Synopsis“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 best-selling 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.


4.5★ AudiobookDo you ever get cravings for something, maybe a certain type of food? Lots of people do. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, but you need whatever it is now and nothing else will do. And once that craving is fulfilled, you’re satisfied.

In addition to occasional food cravings, I also get book cravings. Especially for a particular genre. Yesterday, it was Science Fiction. I was in a Sci-fi mood and nothing else that I picked up worked for me. I started Dark Matter several months ago and put it down after a few chapters. There was nothing wrong with it, I just wasn’t feeling it at that time.

But yesterday, when my sci-fi craving hit, I knew just what to pick up. Coincidentally, it was also the start of a 24 hour read-a-thon (reading marathon) which provided the perfect excuse to devour Dark Matter. And devour it, I did.

Dark Matter was just the kind of Science Fiction novel I had been looking for sometime, without knowing it. After the disaster that was my experience with Just One Damn Thing After AnotherDark Matter hit the spot perfectly.

That’s not to say that Dark Matter was perfect, mind you. But it was close enough to what I think of as “serious” Science Fiction, without being overly complex or unnecessarily confusing. Dark Matter deals with alternate universe (AU) theory, which is a favorite literary topic of mine. I already had enough background knowledge (from other books) to have a working knowledge of the AU concept. Although I don’t think the practical implications of that concept were explained as well as they could have been in Dark Matter, especially considering that the entire plot was driven by such implications. Someone newly exploring the Science Fiction genre (or AU subgenre) might be better off starting elsewhere.

Listening to Dark Matter gave me the distinct feeling of listening to a “stoner conversation”. A lot of what if and very little but how. As it was, I found Blake Crouch’s writing to be beautifully descriptive, almost tangible. The major plot twist had previously been spoiled for me, but I still think I would have seen it coming. The secondary plot twist, however, really had my head spinning. There was plenty of action throughout the book and things got very intense near the end. The ending itself felt just a bit anti-climactic to me, but I can’t think of a better resolution. Crouch may have written himself into a corner and that was the only way out.

Crouch’s writing style made this a pretty easy listen, despite the genre and subject matter. I had no problem getting through it in less than 24 hours. Furthermore, the constant suspense had me hanging on every word. This was the perfect readathon book to keep me motivated and listening at all hours of the night.

Narration review: Jon Lindstrom was a great choice to narrate Dark Matter. He had this edge in his voice that was perfect for reading a thriller. It kept me engaged in the story and complemented the story’s overall intensity. But Lindstrom was able to temper that edge when necessary. Blake Crouch surprised me with his ability to convey a realistic tenderness through his writing and Jon Lindstrom matched it beautifully. Lindstrom’s performance was not only appropriate to the material, but enhancing of it. ♣︎

$ Available at Audiobooks.comAudible/Amazon, and The Book Depository (paperback)

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