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Dark Matter

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  12,655 ratings  ·  1,693 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
Hardcover, 246 pages
Published October 21st 2010 by Orion
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  12,655 ratings  ·  1,693 reviews

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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
✨Bean's Books✨
Dec 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Um yeah....
A small group of guys get together for an expedition in the wild northern Arctic. They've already chosen a spot for their observations. The problem is, the spot happens to be haunted!
So I got halfway through this book and realize that absolutely nothing has happened yet. I got tired of waiting for them to get to the punchline so I'm putting this book down. It was like nothing's happening.... nothing's happening.... ok he saw a shadow. And nothing's happening again.
It seems like the b
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
Sep 23, 2016 rated it liked it
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
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
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
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-horror
‘There’s no dawn and no dusk. Time has no meaning. We’ve left the real world, and entered a land of dreams.’

In this period ghost story, Jack, an office clerk, joins Gus, Algie, Hugh and Teddy to prepare for an expedition to the Artic. Jack’s role in the team is a wireless operator.
The story is told through Jack’s eyes.
Jack seems to have a grudge when it comes to bonding with the others. His insecurities come from class differences.
The 1937 Spitsbergen Expedition is blighted from the beginning.
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
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.
“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
Dark Matter is a slow moving tale, centered around some explorers isolated in the Arctic.

It came to me highly recommended and I usually love tales of isolation and distress, but for whatever reason this one didn't move me much. I thought the narrator was excellent though.
Lukas Anthony
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
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for creepy stories, or any stories really, set in the arctic or antarctic.

Snow and ice? Check.

Beautiful and desolate isolation? Check.

Spooky quiet and shadows on the ice? Check!

I liked the epistolary approach and there are plenty of genuinely goose-bumpy moments. Mild complaints: the diary approach was ditched at the climax (cheating!) and the end was a bit rushed. But minor quibbles really. An excellent arctic ghost story.
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
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
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
Dannii Elle
Five intrepid explorers planned to leave the safety of their London homes for the unknown Arctic. Five quickly became three before their destination was even reached and with the endless night soon approaching will this number be enough to both complete their expedition as well as to ensure each other's safety and sanity?

This was an entirely unsettling read throughout, but also one less truly terrifying than I was anticipating. I did not begrudge this shifted focus as the first 100 pages read li
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
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
Publishers Summary January 1937. Jack Miller has just about run out of options. His shoes have worn through, he can't afford to heat his rented room in Tooting, and he longs to use his training as a specialist wireless operator instead of working in his dead-end job. When he is given the chance to join an arctic expedition, as communications expert, by a group of elite Oxbridge graduates, he brushes off his apprehensions and convinces himself to join them.

As the young men set sail from a gloomy
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
GG Stewart’s Bookhouse
Slow moving book, mostly about setting the atmosphere for a scary moment. The story was good but the characters lacked…well character. It’s a quick read and at least there is an ending. One passage that I did like was “I knew with some ancient part of me, that it wasn’t alive.”
Barry Cunningham
Just fabulous, so well constructed and well written - a journey that will send your brain into spirals. My journey in the world of books with the title 'Dark Matter' continues, Juli Zeh next. ...more
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, horror
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
Mar 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
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
Zuky the BookBum
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2020, 5-stars
Historical horror? Check. Snowy and isolated location? Check. Diary entry format? Check. Malevolent spirit? Check. Emotional story? Check. Quite literally the perfect horror story for me! This book was absolutely terrific and a genuinely scary ghost story that I loved from page one.⁠

Paver has written a similar book to this one called Thin Air, cold snowy horror, ghosts & isolation etc, so I was worried this one would feel too samey for me to really appreciate it, but boy was I wrong! ⁠

This boo
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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

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