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Dark Matter
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January 2020: Thriller > Dark Matter - Blake Crouch - 3*

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Elise (ellinou) | 525 comments *Will contain spoilers because I have questions*

Jason is quite happy with his life, in a I’m-used-to-it-so-I-kind-of-take-it-for-granted-now kind of way. He has a beautiful wife, a teenage son, and is a college physics professor. Fifteen years ago, he was poised to become the next great scientist and to win all the prizes, and his wife was a promising artist, but she got pregnant and they had a choice to make. He has never regretted that choice. One day someone attacks him, injects him with something, and he loses consciousness. When he wakes up, he is in a world in which he had made a different decision all those years ago. He is a great scientist, his wife is not his wife and his son doesn’t exist. The Jason from this world took his place in his world, and now he has to go back and right everything.

So this was very original. I mean, the alternate life scenario isn’t new, but the idea that there are as many universes, as many versions of you as there are choices you’ve made in your life, that’s super interesting. I spent a while trying to imagine different versions of me, posing all sorts of what-ifs. What if that guy had kissed me, what if I’d never taken horseback riding lessons, what if I hadn’t taken that job, what if we’d never moved... Fun mental exercise.

I did think everything was too clean sometimes, too deus ex machina. I am left with a few questions after reading. First, it was never made super clear why he couldn’t just tell everyone in that first world what was going on. It seems to me the best way of going back would be to tell your doppelganger’s colleagues that their Jason was in your world. You want to go back, they want him back, win-win, no? But that wouldn’t have made the tense scenes and the lying thrills we saw.

And then there was the thing at the gun store. Four versions of him had shown up before him, and the employees were starting to get suspicious, they told him they would call the police if he showed up again. We learn later that he is Jason #9, and in the end over 100 showed up. Hard to believe none of the others tried to buy a gun, leading the police to arrest them repeatedly and start wondering why there were dozens of the same guy in Chicago...

And why did Amanda take half the compound when she left? She had nowhere specific to go, and Jason did, so the polite thing would have been to leave him all of them and just settle in the world she was in. But the stakes had to be raised somehow...

So yeah, very interesting story, but too many dangling threads for me to fully appreciate it. Plus the super short sentences of the narration got grating sometimes.


message 2: by Joi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3822 comments Man, your questions make me want to go back and re-read this. It's been a while so I don't remember the intricacies of the storyline. I loved this when I read it.


Louis Trevino (louistrevino) If there are an infinite number of multiverses based on people's decisions, then why is he only limiting his universe to one? Doesn't his wife have an infinite number of potential choices she could make in a day while he's away? What about her son? What about Jason2? What about the other 7 billion people in the world?

The way Crouch writes this story is that Jason's decisions are the only ones that matter when it comes to his universe, if it suits the plot. The other thing is that there would have been hundreds of Jasons at every place that he went to if it worked in the last place he went to.

For me, the logic behind the science doesn't work the way he described it, and for some reason I couldn't get past that. The story despite the holes was interesting at least. I wanted to read til the end. I just wouldn't want to reread it.


Jgrace | 2946 comments Louis wrote: "If there are an infinite number of multiverses based on people's decisions, then why is he only limiting his universe to one? Doesn't his wife have an infinite number of potential choices she could..."

I agree with you. I got trapped in the suspense of this book, but illogic of it really annoyed me once I'd finished it.


Elise (ellinou) | 525 comments I hadn't even thought of that! Yeah I agree with you two, the story itself was great, but at a certain point there were just too many plot holes to ignore to have it make sense.


Karin | 7210 comments This was 3 stars for me, too, and a great big part of that was the extreme illogic.


Nikki | 661 comments I really enjoyed it when I read it - I think I decided that it was just-about-plausible enough to go with it and enjoy the ride without looking too closely at the logical contortions and elisions required to make the plot work.


Jason Oliver | 2063 comments Louis wrote: "If there are an infinite number of multiverses based on people's decisions, then why is he only limiting his universe to one? Doesn't his wife have an infinite number of potential choices she could..."

One theory of the multiverse concept is like described in Dark Matter. The idea of nothing else changing is that every possibility is possible. So there are infinite amount of universes just like yours except you ate a ham sandwich instead of a turkey sandwich. Some theories say these similar universes would be easier to detect and interact with because they are more closely attached. Some think the double slit experiment is actually the effect of these multiverses being created. I recommend watching a video on his if you like physics and for now, unanswerable questions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9tKn... Though I don't believe in multiverse, it is interesting and as far as theories go, its possible.

My only problem with the book is the odds. He was very lucky for the story to turn out in his favor. Getting lost in infinite universes and somehow getting back to something normal. Wow, what luck.


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