Group feedback: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

A report from one of our reading groups.

“This was a popular book with most of the group. Two of the group had reservations, feeling it was pacey but superficial, and ultimately forgettable. Others raved about the twists and turns, and it was plot, more than anything else, that fired the discussion:

  • I couldn’t believe it when…
  • That part just exploded my mind…
  • And then it hits the third section…

So whilst the reading experience was pleasurable for all, the discussion bounced from the multiple plot strands to the possibilities of the multiverse rather than the characters. We talked about how the plot depended on certain key innovations to hold things together, but none of us found them implausible. They worked to keep the narrative moving and created tension.

And there was a point where I was sat in my cell last night reading it. I’d been saving it so it was fresh in my mind for when I came to this. And you know, when they’re choosing which path/world they will enter, I was thinking what if real life was like this? What if every tiny decision I’d made created the world I found myself in. What if I followed each decision I’d made back down all the forks and pathways, and what if? what if? It started to do my head in. I had to stop myself thinking like that. Just put it away.

The rest of the group nod in agreement. It seemed several of them had been through the same thought process.

Sometimes it resembles a video game? It all seems very important in the moment but once you draw back it’s easy to forget about the characters?

The group are unconvinced. Dark Matter has absorbed them, given them an opportunity to discuss possibilities and futures with a safety net. We talked about whether we felt haunted by the people we might have been. Speculation without reflection. Nobody really wanted to go there.”

Thank you to the group at HMP Ashfield for this report. See all our past group blogs here.

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