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Dark Matter: A Mind-Blowing Twisted Thriller Kindle Edition
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'Brilliant. . . I think Blake Crouch just invented something new' – Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher series.
From Blake Crouch, the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human – a relentlessly surprising thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we'll go to claim the lives we dream of, perfect for fans of Stranger Things and Ready Player One.
'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.
Brilliant. A book to remember. I think Blake Crouch just invented something new - Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series
It's been a long time since a novel sucked me in and kept me turning pages the way this one did. Exceptional - Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian
A masterful, truly original work of suspense. Crouch delivers laser-focused prose . . . and a touching, twisted love story that plays out in ways you'll never see coming - Harlan Coben
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 - Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of Gravity
It also might be the most helter-skelter, race-to-the-finish-line thriller you'll read all year - Observer
Terse prose, strong characterisation and clever twists make for a quick, smart, engrossing read - Financial Times
Blake Crouch's Dark Matter is a mind-bending thriller of the first order, not merely a rollicking entertainment but a provocative investigation into the nature of second chances. I dare you to put it down, because I sure couldn't - Justin Cronin, New York Times bestselling author of The Passage Trilogy
Dark Matter is the kind of book the word "thriller" was coined for - it's a shooting star through multiple genres, posing fundamental questions about identity and reality before revealing itself as, at its core, a love story - Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Guilty Minds and Suspicion
An addictive read! You're in for an intelligent, breath-taking ride - John Lescroat, New York Times bestselling author of The Fall
A mind-blowing sci-fi/suspense/love-story mash-up - Entertainment Weekly
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
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
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.
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."
''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."
"Obviously, that's the real prize. He invited me to a little informal celebration tonight, but I passed."
"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.
The moment passes.
"Where's Ryan's party?" Daniela asks.
"That's your bar, Jason."
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."
"He has a thing for you."
"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 ..."
"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.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B019IO6BU6
- Publisher : Macmillan; Main Market edition (11 Aug. 2016)
- Language : English
- File size : 2319 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 353 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 1,793 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 May 2019
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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.
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.