Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dark Matter” as Want to Read:
Dark Matter
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dark Matter

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  7,908 Ratings  ·  1,133 Reviews
January 1937. Clouds of war are gathering over a fogbound London. Twenty-eight year old Jack is poor, lonely, and desperate to change his life, so when he's offered the chance to join an Arctic expedition, he jumps at it. Spirits are high as the ship leaves Norway: five men and eight huskies, crossing the Barents Sea by the light of the midnight sun. At last they reach the ...more
Audible Audio, Unabridged, 7 pages
Published October 21st 2010 by Orion Publishing Group Limited
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dark Matter, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Kitten
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
mark monday
perfectly executed little ghost story set in the Arctic wastes in the late 1930s, featuring the adventures of AN AWESOME HUSKY NAMED ISAAK and I suppose some humans as well.

so Jack - a poor, depressed, dog-hating, lower class and very class conscious 28-year-old - finds the perfect solution to his angst and alienation: he will join a small expedition to the abandoned mining outpost of Gruhuken in the Arctic circle. there he will find meaning to his life, camaraderie and fellowship and an intense
...more
Ron
1947. The story opens with a response to letter. ” I don’t think we’ll ever learn the truth of what happened at Gruhuken. However I know enough to be convinced that something terrible took place… No doubt the journal would, as you suggest explain much of what happened, but it has not survived, and I cannot ask Jack himself.”
1937. The one year research expedition to the Arctic is told strictly through the words of Jack Miller’s journal. Jack joins the expedition of 3 other men looking for a comm
...more
Michael
Review from Badelynge
Michelle Paver's Dark Matter is a chillingly accomplished ghost story that takes place in the dark isolation of a snowbound base-camp of a small but ambitious scientific expedition, as the long dark night of an Arctic Winter sets in. The year is 1937. Unbeknown to the youthful group, their new home already has a black history and a reputation that makes the hardened seamen and trappers of the region reluctant to even speak of it.
Paver's love of the Arctic, first hand knowled
...more
Mark
Oct 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any lover of ghost stories
Now I love snow. I long for it with every fibre of my red blooded being. I yearn and strain to hear and see and feel it falling. Where I live in Poole we hardly ever get it and when the rest of the kingdom is cloaked in it we have the normal talcum powder sprinklings which somehow manages to bring all normal progress to a grinding halt or we have absolutely none whatsoever whilst radio and tv bangs on about blizzard conditions and the horror that is the white stuff everywhere else. Yet with all ...more
Blair
This is subtitled A Ghost Story, so I knew what to expect... or at least, I thought so. While it will be lapped up by lovers of traditional ghost stories - myself included - this novel also has a unique edge and great literary quality. Dark Matter relates the experiences of Jack, a former student of physics who, at 28, is poor, lonely, sick of London life and hates his job as an export clerk. On a whim, he applies to join an Arctic expedition as a wireless operator, and is thrilled to be accepte ...more
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
Ghost of "Gruhuken" - 4.5 stars....

I am immensely fascinated with the Artic so anytime I find a book set in the area, I snap them up. I also love a good ghost story so if you combine the two I'm in heaven! And that's exactly what you'll find in Dark Matter so I knew going into it, that it just had to be good. 
 
In 1937, a 28 year old, down-on-his luck guy named Jack, is offered the chance to join an Artic expedition to a remote uninhabited area named Gruhuken. From the start, the expedition is c
...more
Mandy
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
This story is set in 1937, amid an expedition to the Arctic. Five men are due to go on the expedition, among them a young man by the name of Jack Miller. It is he who narrates the story and it is told entirely from his point of view.
Before the expedition gets underway, bad luck has already struck, and as the team get closer to their chosen destination of Gruhuken, more bad things seem to happen. One by one, each of the men leaves the expedition, until Jack is left on his own, and the daylight ho
...more
T.D. Whittle
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
Here's a warning, folks! If you don't want to read a book with graphic descriptions of cruelty against vulnerable humans and animals, I advise you to skip this one.

Over the past couple of days, I listened to the Audible version of this book, read by Jeremy Northam. Northam does a superb job with the reading. He gets five stars for that, but I cannot say that I enjoyed the book, in its entirity. I ended up not liking it, actually, but feel that it's unfair to give it fewer than three stars for o
...more
Heidi
“How odd, that light should prevent one from seeing.”

I’ve been in the mood for a good ghost story for a while, and when another book blogger told me that Michelle Paver’s novel Dark Matter was not only suspenseful and spooky, but also set in a wild remote place, I didn’t need any more persuasion! And I must say that it lived up to all my expectations.

Dark Matter features an Arctic expedition in 1937, when four young men set off in a Norwegian vessel to spend a year on the remote land spit of Gru
...more
SheriC (PM)
Although technically a ghost story, the real horror for me is the sense of creeping dread and isolation and loneliness as the last man left in the endless night of an arctic camp. Most chilling of all is the man’s horror at contemplating the afterlife should he perish there and become a ghost himself – not just a winter of endless night alone, but an eternity.

Audiobook via Audible. Jeremy Northam proves he’s as wonderful an audio narrator as he is an actor, which certainly isn’t true of everyon
...more
Maciek
Michelle Paver is most famous for writing a series of fantasy novels for younger readers - which I have not read - and Dark Matter, subtitled A Ghost Story, is her first novel for adult readers.

The book opens in London at the eve of World War 2, where a young man named Jack is having a rough time: despite his Oxford education he has trouble finding employment and starting a career as a physicist, and has to work as an export clerk - a job he dislikes intensely. Jack is lonely and poor, down to h
...more
Lukas (LukeLaneReads)
I spent the majority of this novel saying a silent prayer that the dog survives.

This novel was.....good. I say that with a gap because it was also not as wholly impressive as I wanted it to be either, but an entertaining ride all the same.

The whole thing just sort of left me wanting more. The ending was creepy (credit where it's due) but the suspense sort of needed to be featured a bit more throughout, it seemed like we were at the finale before we had time to really understand it.

The charact
...more
Lance Greenfield
I wasn't sure that I would like this book as I read the first ten pages, but it gradually drew me in until I knew that I could not escape!

The opening is a letter to a journalist from Algernon Carlisle, a survivor of the ill-fated 1937 expedition to the deep Arctic Circle, which denies the existence of Jack Miller's journal. He admits that Jack wrote a journal during those continuously dark days in the far north, but, although it would probably explain a lot, he knows not what happened to it and
...more
Cristina
I've been meaning for a long time to write a review of this atmospheric and unsettling novel by Michelle Paver that I've read quite a few months ago.

Set in 1937 in Gruhuken, Dark Matter chronicles an ill-fated attempt at Arctic research and the unfolding of the nightmarish stretch of time the main character, Jack Miller, is forced to spend on his own in an isolated hut plunged in the depths of the Arctic night.

Constructed as an understated ghost story in the mould of M.R. James, Dark Matter is
...more
Imi
After a few too many meh reads lately, this was exactly what I needed! The Artic is a really perfect setting for a good ghost story, one that is so utterly absorbing and beautifully atmospheric. In some ways this chilling backdrop was almost more powerful then the true ghost aspect of the plot. Paver's descriptions are so vivid, so expressive, that I could really see Gruhuken, and it was easy to understand Jack's increasing paranoia, in eternal and silent darkness. The plot itself is really very ...more
Jaksen
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I love reading about the Arctic, about people traveling to the Arctic, about getting lost in the Arctic, about the never-ending nights of winter, the aurora, the weird twilight, the running about by the light of a full moon trying to 'get things done while there's some light.' I love the dogs, the huskies, and the wind blowing and the snow coming down so fast and furious it all but covers your hut/tent/makeshift shelter. It's just so damn creepy.

Three men go to a remote island off Norway to do s
...more
Charlie Hasler
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abbie | ab_reads
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you’re looking for the perfect ghost story to read curled up on a winter’s night by the fire, then look no further than this chilling tale set in the Arctic!

Dark Matter is quite a short, quick book but it has all the elements of a perfect ghost story. The isolated Arctic setting plays on some of the deepest human fears: loneliness and the dark. Jack finds himself alone on a vast empty stretch of Arctic coast on a meteorological mission after his expedition team mates are forced to leave under
...more
Taryn Pierson
I actually bought Dark Matter around Halloween when I was in the market for ghost stories, but alas, the mood passed before I got to it. Since the weather is still decidedly un-wintry, I picked it up the other day as a way to immerse myself in a snowy, cold world. Mission accomplished! Michelle Paver has spent time in the Arctic and knows how to paint a scene so that you’ll swear your toes are going numb as you read. It’s 1937 and Jack agrees to go on an expedition to the Arctic because at first ...more
Margo
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A spellbinding story of a research headed to the Arctic who are beset by misfortune. There destination is an allegedly haunted island which they are warned not to go to.

This is one of the best written books I have ever listened to. The narration by Jeremy Northham is excellent and the reading definitely adds to the air of suspense that permeates the story.

It is a story of friendship and love and the thin line that exists between the two. The novel explores isolation and how it affects people. It
...more
Paul
Mar 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ghost-stories
Atmospheric ghost story about a fictional expedition to the arctic in 1937. The main part of the book is the journal of one of the men on the expedition. Five men plan to go to the arctic to monitor weather, wildlife, geology. Two are forced to drop out before they arrive and the other two have to leave temporarily following an accident. Jack is left with the huskies as the winter draws in and permanent night sets in.
In the darkness he realises he is not alone. Has some similarities to M R Jame
...more
Leah
I dare you...

It's 1937 and war clouds are gathering over Europe. Jack Miller is poor and struggling in a job he hates, so he jumps at the chance to join an expedition to Gruhuken, an abandoned mining settlement in the Arctic. Part scientific expedition, part adventure for the group of upper-class men who are arranging it, for Jack it is an escape and a possible way back into the scientific studies he had to abandon when his father died. But the expedition begins to hit trouble even before they l
...more
Lygeri
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Κατ' αρχάς θα ήθελα να πω οτι λατρεύω το Βορρά! Οταν διαβάζω για τοπία καλυμμένα με πάγο με πιάνει μια ανατριχίλα, μια αδημονία.. Αν μάλιστα σε ολ' αυτά προσθέσουμε το Βόρειο Σέλας..λατρεία!
Αυτό ακριβώς ειναι αυτό το βιβλίο! Ένα βιβλίο φαντασμάτων που διαδραματίζεται κατά τη διάρκεια της πολικής νύχτας!
Ατμοσφαιρικό! Το βιβλίο εχει τη μορφή προσωπικού ημερολογίου και επιστολών και αυτό το κάνει ακόμη πιο ενδιαφέρον!
Αξίζει τον κόπο!
Michael
Dark Matter by Michelle Paver is a slow burning ghost story; slowly the tension builds and builds until... The story kicks off on 7th January 1937, the first entry being written in the journal of Jack Miller who is preparing for an expedition to Gruhuken. This uninhabited location in Arctic is the back drop of this chilling story, the atmosphere and solitude all playing a role in building the tension within this story. The relationship between Jack and his companions Gus, Algie, Hugo and Teddy a ...more
Janette Fleming
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 1937 Jack Millar is working as a clerk after his dream of a career in research physics looks likely not to be realised. Lonely and dissatisfied he jumps at the chance to join an Arctic expedition, as a radio operator. The other four members of the team are well to do amateur Oxbridge explorers. Jack is more than aware of the social gulf between him and his fellow companions best illustrated by the mortification he feels when he says 'OK' instead of 'Grand'.

Jack cuts a lonely, awkward figure,
...more
Helen
I enjoyed this, the story of the expedition to the Arctic is interesting and the descriptions are brilliantly done. The characters felt real to me, and I cared about what happened to them.

But I didn't get enough of a feel for the the isolation or the darkness. Jack is never alone for long, then when he is he's busy. I liked the journal format and I think it worked, but when Jack writes in it he condenses his day to the interesting bits and the long lonely hours aren't included.

I did read it in
...more
Suzanne
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, read-in-2014
If you like quiet horror with a nice slow burn, you must read this. It reminded me of reading M.R. James, Algernon Blackwood, or Susan Hill. You're reasonably sure nothing is going to jump out at you on the next page, but never completely sure. The anticipation becomes such that there is terror in the strangest, most mundane things, too. I LOVE IT.

This book contains photographs of various Arctic sorts of things, too, and turning a page to be suddenly presented with one of those sometimes made m
...more
Beth Bonini
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was immediately caught up in this book. Paver is a genius with detail, and I really admired the way she established the character of Jack, the story's protagonist. The novel begins in London, in 1937. Jack is a man on the fringes of his own life; too smart for his dead-end job, but too poor for the academic life he longs for. He even lives on the dull suburban fringe of London. This is the tail-end of the Depression, cold and gray and hopeless. When Jack is somewhat grudgingly offered a positi ...more
Andrew
Jan 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will admit that I wasn't sure what I was going to find reading this book. I have not read much in the way of Michelle Paver but I was hoping for something in the vein of Susan Hill or maybe Helen Dunmore. What I found however was something totally different.

A lot of these style of stories rely on atmosphere - after all something that seems mundane and normal can take a far more sinister countenance when seen in relation to the right backdrop, and there can be no more spectacular backdrop than
...more
Diletta
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"E' di nuovo tutto immobile. Sono immerso nel buio freddo, senza vento, morto. E' questa la verità: il buio. E noi siamo l'anomalia. Piccole scintille sfavillanti sulla crosta di questo pianeta che gira, mentre tutt'intorno regna l'oscurità."

Jack Miller è un giovane laureato in fisica che sta cercando l'occasione della sua vita, quella che gli permetterà di mettere a frutto i suoi studi sollevandolo dalla miseria di ogni giorno; per questo quando gli si presenta un progetto, un fantastico proget
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Horror Aficionados : Books similar to 'Dark Matter' 7 95 Dec 24, 2015 12:16AM  
Best snowbound novels 10 83 Feb 19, 2014 07:00AM  
  • Dark Echo
  • The Mist in the Mirror
  • Florence & Giles
  • Wild Fell
  • The Lost
  • The Concrete Grove
  • The Hunting Ground
  • Next of Kin (Scott Finn #4)
  • The Mammoth Book of Haunted House Stories
  • A Dark Dividing
  • The Owl Killers
  • Whitstable
  • The Stones of Muncaster Cathedral
  • The Uninvited
  • The Seance
  • The Secret of Crickley Hall
  • The Victorian Chaise Longue
1,190 followers
Michelle Paver was born in Central Africa, but came to England as a child. After gaining a degree in Biochemistry from Oxford University, she became a partner in a City law firm, but eventually gave that up to write full-time.

The hugely successful Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series arose from Michelle's lifelong passion for animals, anthropology and the distant past - as as well as an encounter
...more
“Moving closer to the edge, I peered down. The water was glassy green, extraordinarily clear. I experienced the feeling I sometimes get when I'm on a bridge or a railway platform. Rationally, you know that you've no intention of stepping off the bridge or the platform - or this ice floe - but you're aware that you could, and that the only thing stopping you is your will.” 10 likes
“How odd, that light should prevent one from seeing.” 6 likes
More quotes…