If You Only Read One Book All Year…
Let it be Dark Matter, by Blake Crouch.
Honestly, this post could end right there. There is nothing more to say but to read it. It doesn’t matter what it is about, what type of novel it is, who its written for. It comes down to the simple fact that everyone should read this book.
But fine, if you want a breakdown, if you want a why, here goes….
Dark Matter could be considered Science Fiction. I’d say it’s a rather soft science fiction. We’re not talking Star Trek or Battlefield Earth here; there are no aliens, no space battles, and no one is living on the moon. The story starts and ends in the present day, real life, earth. It’s more of a speculative novel, using science and technology to take one beyond the limitations of our current lives. I’d say, it’s more like Interstellar or the Martian. Yes, there’s elements that could be used in a Science Fiction novel, but it could also be entirely credible in this life, right now.
It starts with a guy; a typical, normal guy, having a glass of wine with his wife while she prepares supper and their son works on his homework at the kitchen table. It’s so normal, and yet, it grabs you right away. They both come across as perfectly happy and content, except for the fact that they are discussing their mutual regrets. In a way, they are enjoying a perfectly normal, “every person’s” evening, while each of them are faced with the successes of their peers. Successes that should have been theirs had they not ended up where they were. In their kitchen. Making supper. Like your typical, textbook family.
Of course, like every story, all that changes quite quickly. Our guy’s life is turned upside down and he is forced to deal with the consequences of that.
And that’s all I’m going to give you, because you need to read it. Because this isn’t one of those books that’s just good, it’s one of those books that leaves you forever changed. No, not changed like Mahatma Ghandi changed the world with his hunger strike or Martin Luther King Jr’s famous” I Have a Dream,” speech. What I mean is that, when you close this book, you’re gonna look at everything a little bit differently; your spouse, your kids, your job. Whatever it is, you can’t finish this novel without seeing everything around you in a different light. It’s not going to be drastic, you’re not going to turn everything upside down because of the lessons learned (unless that’s what you need and then by all means, go ahead, be that change!), but my experience was that, by the time I got to the end of this book, I’d developed a new appreciation for the relationships in my life. It’s like Blake Crouch came in and basically tweaked everything with his words so it was all just a little bit better.
And the best part is, it’s not predictable. You’re not going to be able to guess the ending within the first few pages, and even if you know what’s going on, there will be so many parts that you can’t figure out that it doesn’t take away from the story. It’s a page-turner, action, sci fi, speculative, romantic, life changing book all in one. So, go get it and read it. Now. You’ll be glad you did.