Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Opening Doors: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

When I open a book and see a quote from T. S. Eliot's Burnt Norton from his Four Quartets I am predisposed to like what comes after. Dark Matters by Blake Crouch begins with this quote:

"What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened."

I sped through Dark Matters in a few sittings. I had read the beginning on Read it Forward and liked it enough to request it for my Blogging for Books choice. I was not disappointed. I do enjoy a book that is a nice plot-driven read.

Jason is a happily married man with a son and a nice job. He could have been remarkable--so could his wife--but they 'settled' for good enough and a happy family life, no regrets.

"You could have won that prize," Damiela says.
"You could have owned this city's art scene."
"But we did this." She gestures at the high-ceilinged expanse of our brownstone..."And we did that," she says, pointing to Charlie..."

Then Jason is kidnapped and shunted into an alternate reality where he achieved great things while some other man got his wife and kid. All Jason wants is to get back home to the reality he loved.

The science behind Jason's dilemna is 'dark matter', the theoritical mystery thought to hold the universe together, and the concept that every possible occurance exists simultaneously, although we are aware only of the reality we exist in. Jason must open the doors into alternate realities until he finds the one he knows as 'real'; then he must displace the interloper who has become Jason, as well as the other Jasons who have been created by his visitations into other realities during his quest.

"My understanding of identity has been shattered--I am one facet of an infinitely facted being called Jason Dessen who has made every possible choice and lived every life imaginable. I can't help thinking that we're more than the sum total of our choices, that all the paths we might have taken factor somehow into the math of our identity."

I appreiate that Jason's love for his wife and son motivate him to endure suffering and death threats to return to them. It is ordinary life that is held beyond value, and which the various Jasons struggle to gain. It's almost like a Greek Myth, the hero's journey to come home.

Dark Matter movie is already in the works, and it will be awesome.

I received a free book through Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

"Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present." - Burnt Norton

Dark Matter
Blake Crouch
Crown $26.99 hard cover
ISBN: 978-1-101-90422-0