Book review: "Dark Matter" by Blake Crouch

I've always been afraid of the multiverse theory. Until I read Dark Matter.

Before I read this story, I found it terrifying to know that there may very well be an infinite number of alternate me's on an infinite number of alternate universes.

After having read this story, I now appreciate this me and this world more than I ever have. I'm unapologetic about who I am, and who I am not.

This isn't a story about time travel, although it has some of the trappings of one: a futuristic teleportational device, and a disenchanted main character obsessed with what would have been.

Rather than traveling to the past or the future, Jason Dessen opens the door—literally—to the present. Alternate presents, in alternate Chicagos, from alternate universes.

Throughout the second half of the story, Jason tries to return home, after having been abducted and thrown into an alternate universe.

It's the universe he's always dreamed of. The one where he's an internationally renown quantum physicist. The one where he's the boss of his own company. The one where he's reached his fullest potential as a scientist.

But it's also the one where he never got married to the love of his life. It's the one where he never had his one and only son. It's the one where he has no family.

It's this universe that Jason attempts to find—through grueling trial and error.

I can't give anything more away without ruining the story for future readers, but I can give you what I believe to be the moral of the story: live in the present moment, because that is where your true identity lies.

The second quarter of the book lags, with Jason evading capture more times than necessary to advance the plot. (Twice he narrowly escapes through a bathroom. One lavatory getaway is plenty.)

I give Dark Matter 40 Jason Dessens out of 50. Read the book, and you'll understand my rating system.


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