August 2016 Book Club Book: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Discussion in 'TMB Book Club' started by LKRFN88jp, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
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    Not trying to rub in that I have a copy of this, I just want somewhere to dump my thoughts so others can converse as the book comes out (or leaks out) over the next few months. Read 21% last night. Spoilers on each chapter to follow:

    Chapter 1
    Love how quickly the story just starts. Right amount of background into Jason's life while still leaving a bunch of other stuff out there. What I really liked: By the time he was kidnapped, I was legit bummed that he wasn't going to get back to his family. They seemed like a great group. Obviously the thing that grabs you about this book is the premise/alternate realities, but he obviously loved his wife and kid. So I was bummed.

    Going to the bar to meet with his old roommate was rough. It's amazing how much Jason disagrees with the premise that his life has sucked though. We all have "what if?" thoughts on decisions we've made. When talking to his roommate + kidnapper, it seems as though he really doesn't care anymore.

    The conversation at the end of the chapter between his kidnapper and him was just awesome. Because this person obviously knows something about what's going on. "... but there's so much I want to ask you." ASK HIM DAMMIT!
    Chapter 2
    So he's been gone for 14 months, yet he has an entire life's worth of memories in there? Obviously the question going forward will be what is the true reality? Or another one, are both realities true in a way? Can both be lived out?

    Not surprised he ran, but I'm kind of surprised all the people around him didn't expect something like this could happen. If this is really life, then they should have known he would be somewhat disoriented, right? Though they obviously underestimated the side effects.
    Chapter 3
    Love that he still lives in the same place. Love that it's just different. I like when time travel/alternate reality stories are in a way grounded by stuff like this. Painting being done by his wife was an awesome touch. Without a kid, did he still hook up with her? But they didn't get pregnant? Can't wait to find out.
    Chapter 4
    This was the shortest chapter, but for me, maybe the best. I was hooked already, but this one put it over the top in a way. In a way, I wondered if his kidnapper was him, whatever "him" is in a world like this. While this certainly doesn't confirm that, I think it certainly wanted us to think that.

    The one hangup on this theory for me is how the kidnapper asked about how Jason refers to her when he texted her in the car. Though there's no reason he would know for sure - I can't imagine they can watch him like Gods, so he wouldn't know.

    Either way, this chapter was bonkers good.
     
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  2. Gin Buckets

    Gin Buckets Well-Known Member
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    General thoughts so I don't have to read the spoilers?
     
  3. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
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    It's awesome. I absolutely love it. Read a bit more before People v. OJ and am about to dive back in. Premise is executed flawlessly.
     
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  4. Gin Buckets

    Gin Buckets Well-Known Member
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    Never heard of Blake Crouch... How are the Wayward Pines books?
     
  5. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
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    I haven't read those but the premise seems good and they have really good reviews.

    49% in on this and going to bed but I'll have my spoilers thoughts tomorrow.

    TL;DR - still loving it.
     
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  6. Trip McNeely

    Trip McNeely Guys like us....we are a dime a dozen
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    I started this book last night...and finished it last night. It is awesome. I couldn't put it down.
     
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  7. Gin Buckets

    Gin Buckets Well-Known Member
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    So have y'all read anything else by Blake Crouch? I'm assuming so if you're reading early releases of this book.

    Either way... DL'd Pines last night.
     
  8. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
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    49% in
    So it's obviously much more complicated than "which life is his?" Because both lives are his. What I can't wait to find out is: Why did this switch now? Why did smart/super successful Jason go to another life where he decided to stay and have a baby? And also, how did he find it? He's been gone for 14 months. So was he in there for that long, going door by door? If that's the case, he had to have a ton of drugs. I can't imagine that's what happened, but it'll be awesome to see.

    Other thoughts: His time with his wife who wasn't his wife on this timeline = awesome. I thought those chapters were amazing and it legitimately sucked when she got taken out. Couldn't believe it. Also, I thought it was cool that in this timeline, his roommate was still smart, though he never was able to take the next step. Probably because of Jason and him reaching his goals.

    This book continues to be really good. Hope I can knock out another big chunk tonight before I finish it up tomorrow.
     
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  9. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
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    Loved it. Absolutely loved it. What a book.
     
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  10. Gin Buckets

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    I started Pines bc of you guys... Solid book. Very interesting premise.
     
  11. Blackterno

    Blackterno Well-Known Member
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    This is being released later this month.
     
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  12. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Yeah, it's our book for august.
     
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  13. Artoo

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    Got a copy for me to join in on this fun?
     
  14. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    It's not released yet (next week I think) I will when I get it
     
  15. Artoo

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    Cool. Then I have some time to start and finish Aftermath: Life Debt
     
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  16. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
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    Out tomorrow actually. My book shipped yesterday.
     
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  17. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    like this post if you would like to be visited by the book mobile
     
  18. Artoo

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  19. Blackterno

    Blackterno Well-Known Member
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    I am going to start this as soon as I finish my current book. Probably by Saturday.
     
  20. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Saturday is not August. No cheating!

    also MORBO! pm me your email
     
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  21. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
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    Depending on when I finish IT (halfway through it as of last night), I might re-read this bad boy with you gents. Definitely will again before the year is up.
     
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  22. The Blackfish

    The Blackfish The Fish in Black
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    I believe there is a general Stephen King thread somewhere if you'd like to post thoughts on IT. Especially when one particular scene happens towards the end of the book. You'll know what I'm talking about when you get there if you haven't heard about it already.
     
  23. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
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    I do not know of the scene you're speaking of but I will go post some thoughts itt. Thanks for reminding me it is there, always forget that one.
     
  24. OHW

    OHW Well-Known Member
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    Ordered this. Debating whether to start it right away or wait until I finish the other two books I got right now.
     
  25. Blackterno

    Blackterno Well-Known Member
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    I have the ePub if anyone wants/needs it.
     
  26. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
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    What are the two books you're thinking of? ASOIAF?
     
  27. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    I'll get started after I finish The Stand.

    I just passed a thousand pages. So I'm 2/3 of the way through. Maybe another week or so.
     
  28. Blackterno

    Blackterno Well-Known Member
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    I couldn't wait and started it today. Very intrigued thus far.
     
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  29. RonBurgundy

    RonBurgundy Well-Known Member

    I am in, need to finish some books first. (WoT7, dark tower 4, planet fall)
     
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  30. Blackterno

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    10% in...
    I am guessing that the kidnapper is a future or alternate universe version of Jason.
     
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  31. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
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    Read this first.
     
  32. RonBurgundy

    RonBurgundy Well-Known Member

    When I get copy I will try. I have ~10% left on WoT7
     
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  33. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    That's the Bowl of the Winds one, right?
     
  34. RonBurgundy

    RonBurgundy Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I'm at the end where there's the gholam showing up and Seanchan and shit starts happening in Ebou Dar. Been a top 3 for me in the series so far.
     
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  35. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Don't want to derail this thread but the series started to slow for me around 7 or 8. Must have been 8. Stick with it, though. 11-14 are excellent.
     
  36. OHW

    OHW Well-Known Member
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    Currently reading The Girl on the Train, which I texted you about, and Soccernomics.
     
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  37. Blackterno

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    I'm about 40%...
    loving this book ...very well written thus far. Jason appears to have found a portal to several alternative universes. I'm guessing one of the Jason's has found a way to control some sort of "travel" between dimensions/universes and is trying to influence lives. I'm guessing Leightonhas a more nefarious involvement then already had been let on after one of the Daniela's being murdered.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how this plays out. Very interesting plot. [\spoiler]
     
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  38. Blackterno

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    I'm at the beach so I plowed through the rest of the book today. Here are my final thoughts...

    Awesome, awesome book. It could have dragged on a lot longer but it didn't need to. The story with all the Jason's all finding their way back to the time of the original kidnapping/identity switch was great. The way Jason 1 worked his way around everything to reunite with Charlie and Daniela was brilliant. The email chat was a cool idea and the end where the decided to stick together and allow Charlie to choose their door to a new life at the end after walking through the big group of Jason's was a great way to end it.

    A very smart and fast paced book. I can easily see this as a movie. 9.5/10. [\spoiler]
     
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  39. Arkie Proud

    Arkie Proud The Dungeon Master
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    Probably about 70% done. Book is really good. I'll finish it tonight and post my thoughts tomorrow (I know everyone is waiting).
     
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  40. RonBurgundy

    RonBurgundy Well-Known Member

    First chapter:

    Really fucking good. Great suspense writing so far. Character development of the family felt incredibly rushed (like he was forcing every fucking relationship detail all at once), but then when I got to chapter 2 I realized why he needed us to care about Daniela and the kid.

    Well done so far, started today over lunch, about 20% through
     
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  41. RonBurgundy

    RonBurgundy Well-Known Member

    Good guess, I didn't think of it, but it makes sense now that I read this theory. Note at this point I have absolutely no clue if it's true or not
     
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  42. Arkie Proud

    Arkie Proud The Dungeon Master
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    Finished
    Good god, do I have a lot to say about this book.
    First off, it was amazing.
    Crouch is a really good writer. His dialog were great, something a lot of writers struggle with. There was a point where Leighton was talking to Jason v1.0 and says to him, "I totally get that." Leighton at this point was looking like The Villain and it seemed, to me, to humanize him a little. There were a few other instances like that, where the people seemed genuine and not hackneyed characters. It was refreshing. His character development was a little thin, which could be a good thing to some people. If King had written this, it would have been ~100 pages longer. He would have delved into Jason's mother's death more I think. Probably explored Jason's regret, made that more tangible. Crouch seemed focused on telling the story and not dropping a lot of info on us. Which is fine, it's subjective. I never felt confused or that I had missed something, Crouch does a good job of making it all relatable.
    His story was awesome as well. There have been other books about multiverse travels, but I think this one was unique because it focused on the non-scientific side. It is a sci-fi book, but the scifi is in the background. At it's heart, it's about love, his love for his wife and son. It pulls the heartstrings. You feel real sorrow for the Jasons left behind when Jason v1.0, Daniela and Charlie get in the box. It's horrifying to think those Jasons will never see their family again.

    All in all, I think it was a fantastic story told by a great writer. In the next post, I'll get into some of the crunchy bits, but for now, here's my rating. 923/1000
     
  43. Arkie Proud

    Arkie Proud The Dungeon Master
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    OK, some deeper discussion. Pretty much me just rambling at this point.

    First off, the Jason at the beginning of the book, the one that stayed with Daniela and had a son, will be Jason v1.0.
    When Jason v1.0 steps into the box with Amanda at the research facility in Chicago v2.0, it is still Jason v1.0. When he steps out, into a new Chicago (in his case, the one with the crumbling buildings), he becomes Jason v1.1. The multiverse splits into an infinite number of planes as Jason v1.0 steps into an infinite number of different planes. You have to remember, this is still Jason v1.0. He is still the guy we met at the start of the book. And now there are an infinite number of him. Now, math is funny in that any percentage of infinity is still infinity. So if even a minuscule percentage of Jason v1.x make it through all the permutations of the multiverse, and only a minuscule percentage of those find the "right" Chicago, it's still an infinite amount of Jasons. In other words, the world would have collapsed as an infinite number of human beings begin to emerge from the box over the space a a few days. Whoa.

    What happens in Chicago v1.0? Does the guy that owns the cabin show up in the spring to find quintuplets that killed one another? With the same fingerprints and DNA? What happens to the Jasons left behind? Do they start a new life? Jump in the box (they have no medicine)? Kill themselves? Again, do the police find a mass suicide of identical x-tuplets? Or do they start to disappear or some shit?

    Yeah, I know it's just a story and obviously these things are meant to be overlooked. But it's fun theorizing.
     
  44. RonBurgundy

    RonBurgundy Well-Known Member

    50% in. Dis is gud book. Really quick read.

    First off, he is very good at writing intrigue and suspense. I'd be interested in reading his other books if he's written anything else. He has a very "interesting" description of what the multiverse gateway and jumping universes would look like. I would argue this is the weakest part of the book. Don't get me wrong, it's creative, but incredibly and simplistically weak. He's describing the 5th dimension as nothing more than a hallway, when it should be more of a mental projection of Amanda and Jason as they "move" not "walk" floating them instantaneously into different versions of themselves and universes, without physically walking in a X & Z dimensional like path.

    But the idea is incredibly interesting. In fact, the most correct way would be for them to not even move at all, as the classic means of movement in X,y, Z dimensions are meaningless in the 5th dimension as physical movement is meaningless to time (4th D).

    This is my beef. He could have been more creative on how he demonstrated the new dimension, and instead just made it a regular hallway.

    Pointy elbows, 2/10 would not bang.
     
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  45. LKRFN88jp

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    He wrote the Wayward Pines trilogy which is apparently really really good.
     
  46. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    34% in/through Ch5

    Solid so far, I'm intrigued. And damn this book reads fast. Probably because his paragraphs are 1-2 sentences.

    They just killed Daniela.

    My first thought is he was some award winning physicist that had his laboratory create some sort of virtual reality where he lived out the life he realized he did want, the one with Daniela and his son, instead of chasing his career. Kind of the inverse of the desires he wanted in the faux reality at the beginning of the book, where he reconciled with having a family and being content. Maybe in the real world (where he was the successful physicist) he wanted a family even more, so much more that he decided to start his company and chase a way to see it realized.

    I'm probably way off. Not sure how the two different Danielas comes into play. Maybe a part of his consciousness is still living there, the part that wanted that life the most.

    I'll be looking forward to checking back in on these thoughts and seeing how wrong I was
     
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  47. KJROD20

    KJROD20 the ends will justify the means.
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    I'm through the first 4 chapters and this comment was my exact thought.

    my guess is
    the last chapter is Jason going back in time/to the other universe, kidnapping himself, and sending that Jason back so he can take over his old life again. the infinite loop.
     
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  48. Arkie Proud

    Arkie Proud The Dungeon Master
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    At that point in the book, I thought the same thing. I'm not saying if I was right or wrong, I'm just saying I came to the same conclusion.
     
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  49. OHW

    OHW Well-Known Member
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    It was a good book. I liked it.
     
  50. laxjoe

    laxjoe Well-Known Member
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    Didn't even realize this was book of the month. Just started. Through one chapter...
     
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