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Search tags: Dark-Matter
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review 2018-04-19 22:10
A ghost story set in the Arctic landscape of fictional Gruhuken; the darkness and frigid cold alone are nightmarish enough!
Dark Matter - Michelle Paver

I’m now (finally) done with Dark Matter, my latest read for my #ScreamsByMail #HorrorPostalBookClub on Litsy. When I was actually reading it, it sped by, but I took a MASSIVE break in the middle of it because of animal death (yes, I know it’s par for the course in the Arctic circle but I couldn’t deal with it at the time). It reads as a journal, so it’s fast reading, but honestly being stuck on a polar ice cap in the dark sounds like a horror story to me anyway! I can’t think of anything more lonely or terrifying...
I was distracted for a good part of the book by the dogs’ well-being (the main character Jack luckily had huskies for company), as well as how animals are spoken about. This sort of thing trips me up in novels quite a bit (see above). It pulled me out of the actual story, and away from the ‘ghost story’.
Since we are writing in a journal (funnily enough) for the postal book club, and mailing that around too, I won’t write too much here. I will say though, that the writing by Michelle Paver is remarkable and fits very well with the time period and the character she writes for. I was very struck by this. She also obviously did extensive research into the area she writes about (although Gruhuken is fictional), and this is key to the effectiveness of the atmosphere of the novel. It will also ensure that you never, ever find me going near these parts. And it reminded me how much I hate the snow!

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review 2018-02-04 16:59
Parallelwelten / Parallel Worlds
Schilf: Roman - Juli Zeh
Dark Matter - Juli Zeh

Intelligent und frech: Das Buch wird als "Physikerkrimi" vermarktet, aber das trifft es meines Erachtens nicht wirklich; tatsächlich ist dies die alte Geschichte von Faust und Mephisto im Gewand zweier Freunde, die sich als Physikstudenten kennengelernt haben und später im Leben verschiedene Wege gegangen sind, sowohl persönlich als auch fachlich -- wobei Mephisto den Faust nicht nur menschlich beherrschen, sondern gleichzeitig auch fachlich überflügeln will. Dies alles ist eigentlich bereits auf den ersten Seiten ziemlich eindeutig angelegt, so dass mich nicht jede "Zwischenentwicklung" des Buches überraschte; aber das sollte sie wohl auch nicht unbedingt (ohnehin wäre es zu kurz gesprungen, Krimi hier als "whodunnit" zu verstehen). Auch der dem Buch unterliegende strafrechtliche Ansatz mag zwar in der Theorie stimmen, hätte aber in der harten Justizwirklichkeit wohl sehr anders ausgesehen (da merkt man dann doch, dass Frau Zeh zwar Jura studiert, aber niemals praktiziert hat, und dass ihr Schwerpunkt das Völkerrecht und nicht das Strafrecht ist) -- ohnehin fand ich die beiden Physiker und ihren Streit um die Existenz und Nachweisbarkeit von Parallelwelten interessanter als den Kommissar, der dem Buch seinen Namen gegeben hat, sowie seine nur begrenzt sympathische Kollegin. Das Ende der Geschichte ist allerdings in seiner Boshaftigkeit ein sehr gezielter Tritt in die Magengrube ... und nicht nur diejenige der Charaktere.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Witty and irreverent: This book is marketed as a "physician crime novel", but that, in my opinion, is slightly off the mark -- actually, this is the age-old tale of Dr. Faustus and Mephistotopheles, dressed up as the story of two friends who first met in university, studying physics, but later chose different paths both in their lives and their careers; with Mephistopheles seeking not only to dominate Faustus as a human being but also to one-up him professionally.  All of this is fairly obvious pretty much right from the book's very first pages, as a result of which not everyone of the story's twists came as a real surprise to me; but I'm not sure this was even intended (and anyway, to read this book as a "whodunnit" would be seriously short-changing it).  The specific concept of criminal law underlying this story may have been rendered faithfully as it stands in theory, but its actual application in the harsh real-life practice of criminal justice would have looked decidedly differently (this is where you can tell that although Ms. Zeh hold a law degree she never actually practiced, and her focus in university was on public international law rather than on criminal law) -- and anyway, I found myself caring much more for the two physicists and their dispute over the existence and verifiability of parallel worlds than for the police inspector whose name is also that of this book's German title ("Schilf") and for his only marginally likeable female colleague.  The ending, however, is one well-aimed mean punch in the gut ... and not only that of the characters, either.

 

Status update: 96 of 384 pages.

 

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review 2017-11-22 00:00
Dark Matter: A Novel
Dark Matter: A Novel - Blake Crouch If you are looking for something that keeps you engaged on long commutes, you really can't do better than Blake Crouch. This one has some holes in the logic. Also, you are figuring out things chapters before the hero, which makes him seem a bit stupid. It's no Wayward Pines, that's for sure. On the other hand, it is exciting and suspenseful and fun.
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review 2017-10-16 01:58
Dark Matter ★★★★☆
Dark Matter - Michelle Paver

Although technically a ghost story, the real horror for me is the sense of creeping dread and isolation and loneliness as the last man left in the endless night of an arctic camp. Most chilling of all is the man’s horror at contemplating the afterlife should he perish there and become a ghost himself – not just a winter of endless night alone, but an eternity.

 

Audiobook via Audible. Jeremy Northam proves he’s as wonderful an audio narrator as he is an actor, which certainly isn’t true of everyone.

 

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review 2017-10-08 09:30
Dark Matter
Dark Matter - Michelle Paver

In one of my periodicals, there´s a paper by someone who´s worked out what we know of the universe is only a tiny percentage of what actually exists. He say´s what´s left can´t be seen or detected, but it´s there; he calls it "dark matter".

 

Would I have read this book before Paver´s other novel Thin Air, I would have given it a glowing 5 star rating. Whether it being the  atmosphere, the setting, the descriptions of the landscapes, nature and weather in the high artic, the creepiness of the novel or the characters, I loved everything about this novel.

 

But I can´t help being disappointed about the ending and I can´t go into any specifics, because of possible spoilers. So I will just say that the ending is nagging at me and I will give this book the same rating as I have given Thin Air.

 

 

 

 

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