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Preview — Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
For anyone who has wondered what their life might look like at the end of the road not taken.
Dear Reader—In celebration of the paperback release of Recursion, I decided to annotate the top ten highlighted sections of Dark Matter. Hope you enjoy! Blake
After reading about quantum physics and every space time event has an infinite number of possibility waves which resolves to one event in our universe upon observation, it made me wonder if Jesus was…
I believe there is more
I absolutely loved Dark Matter. Thank you so much for writing it.
F. Scott Fitzgerald line: Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.
I’ve always had a fondness for the fall. It reminds me of the start of school. Of youth and potential. Growing up in the south, summer seemed endless. Green trees, hot days. To see the leaves begin to turn and the mornings dawn colder and colder gave a sense of life progressing after the stasis of summer. It was important that I capture this in the opening of the book, as Jason Dessen is looking at all the possible roads not taken. The fall season reminds him of what it once felt like to be truly alive, and is an entry-point to the journey that awaits him.
This seems to contradict Fitzgeralds notes on his novel, The Last Tycoon, that There are no second acts in American lives. Far be it to point out inconsistencies in a fellow Tigers and one of my…
It’s the beautiful thing about youth. There’s a weightlessness that permeates everything because no damning choices have been made, no paths committed to, and the road forking out ahead is pure, unlimited potential.
When I was writing Dark Matter, I was in a low point in my life. Much like the character of Jason Dessen, I was looking back at all the roads not taken and feeling envious of my younger self. I tried to channel that ennui into my protagonist. This was, hands-down, the most personal thing I had ever written up to this point.
...I was in a low point in my life. Much like the character of Jason Dessen, I was looking back at all the roads not taken and feeling envious of my younger self. I tried to channel that ennui into…
It's an amazing book. The concept is a ton of fun, and easy to get lost in... But, similar to something like "Groundhog Day", its fun veneer is just that. There's a sense of sentimentality and regret…
I so loved this part! I went through the same phase as I was reading this part. This got me hooked to the book!
A realization and the terror that follows it—terror of the limitless indifference surrounding us. I don’t know if that’s the intended takeaway from Daniela’s installation, but it’s certainly mine. We’re all just wandering through the tundra of our existence, assigning value to worthlessness, when all that we love and hate, all we believe in and fight for and kill for and die for is as meaningless as images projected onto Plexiglas.
This scene, where Jason1 visits Daniela2’s art installation was one of my favorite things to write in the book. I loved exploring what Daniela’s life might have been if she’d had a chance to fully commit herself to her art.
Its evident that a lot of heart went into the writing of this book. For me, the part that struck most was the world where a pandemic had occurred and Daniella and son were mortally at risk. Exploring…
I was going to ask about the labyrinth, is it based on a real installation?
I felt such a sense of sadness and loss seeing the couldve been. Loved this part as well.
Nothing exists. All is a dream. God—man—the world—the sun, the moon, the wilderness of stars—a dream, all a dream; they have no existence. Nothing exists save empty space—and you…. And you are not you—you have no body, no blood, no bones, you are but a thought. MARK TWAIN
I discovered this quote from Mark Twain during the writing process, and I fell in love with it because it nails a beautiful conundrum of human existence. The only thing we can be sure of is that we are conscious. I thought it was a perfect existential crisis to introduce as Jason1 is wrestling with his own psychosis in Jason2’s brave new world.
“We all live day to day completely oblivious to the fact that we’re a part of a much larger and stranger reality than we can possibly imagine.”
For me, this isn’t just a quote from Dark Matter. This is the closest thing to a thematic mission statement you’ll find when it comes to my catalog of books. I want to expose and explore just how mysterious and beautiful our universe is. And how reality is so much weirder than we think.
It's somewhat contrary to the Twain quote, which implies we are just in a simulation. So which is it?:)
This is what draws me in with your writing- the wonderment of reality and being conscious observers/creators. I Loved Dark Matter and Recursion, can't wait to read more!
This is 100% my FAVORITE quote, ever. As soon as I read this part, I took a picture of it and posted it on Instagram haha. I really should get it framed. This book made me feel so tiny.
The Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics posits that all possible realities exist. That everything which has a probability of happening is happening. Everything that might have occurred in our past did occur, only in another universe. What if that’s true? What if we live in a fifth-dimensional probability space?
This is the most concise explanation of quantum theory (as it applies to humanity) as you’ll find. When I learned about the Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum physics, I knew I had to write about it, and this theory started me down the path of planning the novel that would become Dark Matter.
Does anyone have a book recommendation that goes into depth explaining Many-Worlds?
And that is why I began reading this book. I wanted a novel that explores a multiverse in a plausible way. This book is right up my alley! More like this, more!
This reminded me of The Library of Babel by Borges.
“When you write something, you focus your full attention on it. It’s almost impossible to write one thing while thinking about another. The act of putting it on paper keeps your thoughts and intentions aligned.”
This was such a pivotal moment for me during the writing of this book. I had gotten my main characters into the multiverse, surfing Jason’s Box, but I had no idea how they might begin to control what types of worlds they visited. It all seemed so random and uncontrollable. I was writing (by hand) in one of my brainstorming journals for the book, trying to figure out how I was ever going to get Jason1 back to his homeworld, when it hit me like a lightning bolt—just have him write—in a journal like I was in that moment—about the kind of world he wants to find and then let his observation create it on the other side of the door. A fun instance of life influencing art.
All the tiny, seemingly insignificant details upon which my world hangs.
I wrote this when I was lost in the weeds of the “lost in the multiverse” section of Dark Matter. In the first part of this section, the worlds are vastly different, but as the pages went on and Jason1 got closer and closer to his homeworld, the deviations between worlds grew smaller and smaller. I started thinking about all the tiny things that make my world mine. I think that’s the true definition of home.
If you strip away all the trappings of personality and lifestyle, what are the core components that make me me?
This is possibly my favorite line of the book. It’s something I think about often. So much of our identity is about cultural and lifestyle overlays. We’re defined by our jobs, partners, where we live, what we believe. But removing all of that, is there something more fundamental that defines the nature of who we are?
"We are" life experiencing existence in the physical the physical world. At least that's my take and I think it's an amazing opportunity. We are born into physical bodies and get to experience an…
What a thought provoking statement, and so true to say the least.
Right into the core of ones mind & soul.
I thought I appreciated every moment, but sitting here in the cold, I know I took it all for granted. And how could I not? Until everything topples, we have no idea what we actually have, how precariously and perfectly it all hangs together.
I originally had put this line much earlier in the book. I always loved it, but it felt off for some reason. I realized on the third or fourth draft that it wasn’t working, because it was too soon in the story. This needed to be a realization that Jason1 comes to only after he’s lost his family and finds himself cast away in the multiverse.
Thank you for this book. its one of my favourite of all time and Ive probably read thousands of books. Its one of the few that I have ever read in one sitting, stayed up all night.. not caring if I…
Absolutely a profound realization most of us learn at a very high price.
I can not express to you how much this book helped me emotionally. Maybe that was not the original intent, however I felt so deeply in many of these scenarios. I had borrowed this book from my…
So what is this novel? I like to think of it as a story about the road not taken. It contains elements of thriller, science fiction, paranoid suspense, the slightest touch of horror, but at its core, it’s a love story—about how our hero’s relationship with the woman he loves has changed him and his world, and just how far he will go to be with her. It’s also the manifestation of everyone’s existential question: Am I who I was supposed to be? Is this the life I was meant to be living?
I love everything about this...you have to believe the choices you made were the ones you were supposed to make
...In leaves no step had trodden black... Unprecedented, with the outcome unpredetermined. Until it is.
Just listened to this book and I also read the pine books. I liked them all. Keeps you thinking and guessing what will happen next. The next book is on my reading list. Have to finish a couple of…
“This book is for anyone who has wondered what their life might look like at the end of the road not taken.”
I loved Recursion, but Dark Matter is easily my favorite book that Ive ever read. It honestly has changed my view on life. Not many days go by that I dont think about it in some way or another.
Time is but memory in the making. —VLADIMIR NABOKOV
If you loved Dark Matter, please check out my newest sci-fi thriller Recursion. It might actually break your brain more than this one… You can check out Recursion on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42046112-recursion?ref=knhdm
The only book that I preorderd last year and I absolutely loved it.
Dark Matter so totally blew my mind that I couldnt stop talking about the book. As a result, my husband, son, and father all read the book and we had such amazing conversations about it when wed all…
Funny you say it might break my brain 🧠 because Dark Matter did for a while. Thank you for writing ✍ Blake! Take care.