Bookshots: 'Dark Matter' by Blake Crouch

"Dark Matter" by Blake Crouch

Bookshots: Pumping new life into the corpse of the book review


Dark Matter

Who Wrote It?

Blake Crouch, perhaps best known as the author of the Wayward Pines trilogy, which was adapted into a TV series for Fox by Chad Hodge and M. Night Shyamalan. More info at his website.

Plot in a Box:

Pick up 'Dark Matter' and prepare to clear your schedule. You won't want to put this one down.

Teacher and family man Jason Dessen takes a quick break from cooking dinner for his wife Daniela and son Charlie to attend a party for an old colleague. On his way home, he is kidnapped by a man in a geisha mask and taken to an abandoned factory on the outskirts of Chicago, where he is given a mysterious drug. 

When he wakes up, Jason finds himself in a nightmare world of spiral staircases and labyrinthine mysteries from which he may not be able to escape...

Invent a new title for this book:

Uncanny Valley

Read this if you like(d):

Either the Wayward Pines novels or TV series, the more sci-fi-leaning works of Stephen King, and Alex Garland's Ex-Machina.

Meet the book's lead(s):

Jason Dessen, a mild-mannered physics teacher at a local college. He had big aspirations as a college student, but after marrying Daniela so as to raise their son Charlie, plus struggling to crack the code on his theoretical invention, Jason gravitates away from his work to focus on his family. He sometimes wonders though what his life would have been like had he kept pursuing his vision. 

Said lead(s) would be portrayed in a movie by:

Hugh Dancy

Setting: Would you want to live there?

Chicago is a great city, so long as you don't mind brutal winters. 

What was your favorite sentence?

He's kneeling beside me now, rolling me onto my back, and I'm looking up at all that moonlight pouring in through the high windows of this forgotten place, the darkness wrinkled with twitches of light and color as swirling, empty voids open and close beside the generators.

The Verdict:

Dark Matter is one of those books that works better, the less you know about it going in. Especially in this case, because Blake Crouch doesn't wait long to grab ahold of your reader sensibilities and shake you, like a dog with its prey locked in its jaw. He flings you into realms of science fiction, mystery, action, horror and even hints of surrealism. The novel is smart, funny, entertaining, and engrossing, with fantastic and blind-siding plot twists. Jason and all the characters are great, the language is perfectly balanced between flowery and gut-punching, and, without giving too much away, the ending is both satisfying and frustrating in equal measure.

Pick up Dark Matter and prepare to clear your schedule. You won't want to put this one down. 

Get Dark Matter at Bookshop or Amazon

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