“All your life you’re told you’re unique. An individual. That no one on the planet is just like you. It’s humanity’s anthem.”
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
“Are you happy with your life?”
Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.
Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.
Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”
In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.
Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.
Warning: This review is full of spoilers.
First of all, wow.
You know how you read a book that messes with your mind, and you think you have understood it completely, but then it surprises you again? Yeah, that’s what reading Dark Matter is like.
We are introduced to the simple yet balanced life of Jason. But soon everything is taken away from him and he is sent to another reality by his abductor. This world belongs to the other Jason, and it feels cold and unfamiliar even to the reader.
After a series of unfortunate events, Jason runs from this world along with a new companion and ends up visiting a lot of other realities. From the Supervolcano/Nuclear War world to a reality where they never made it out of captivity, or from a frozen world to a plague-ridden city — they visit so many versions of Chicago that you feel as helpless as Jason does. He finally hits the lowest part of his life when he ends up begging for money. But then he comes home to the real Chicago. His Chicago. Now this is where things get even more interesting because of a shocking twist.
There are many versions of Jason hiding around, waiting to kill each other just to get back to their original life. Imagine being scared of yourself. Imagine what you could do in times of extreme desperation. Imagine thinking of ways to be one step ahead of yourself. It seems impossible but Jason manages to find a way out.
Once he is able to rescue his family, we finally get a sort of happy ending for him. The topic was so complicated and demanding that there was no way we could get a clean and ‘proper’ ending. But that’s one of the best parts of Science Fiction — the possibilities are endless.
The only problem I had with the book was how.
Other than that, I enjoyed reading every bit of it. Dark Matter is one of those books that will leave you thinking about the way you live your life and how much you take it for granted. Kudos to Blake Crouch for using various quantum theories to create such a compelling story.
What did you think of the book? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!