It’s strange, but true. I read A Wrinkle in Time when I was a kid and loved it, but trying to figure out tesseracts made me a bit stressed out. Dava Sobel’s The Planets, with it’s good explanations of a mind boggling solar system, did the same thing. And then we come to Crouch’s Dark Matter, which also talks about the creation of a multiverse. It’s too much for my simple brain – it’s all basically infinity and I just can’t comprehend and it actually makes me anxious.
Despite my panic over physics, I really enjoyed this book, another gift from JS via the book exchange. Our protagonist is a physicist named Jason, who is quite happy with his comfortable life teaching and living with his adored wife and son. He has a celebratory drink one night with an old friend who has a brilliant career and maybe thinks a bit harder about what his life could have been had he chosen to pursue hard science instead of a family life. On the way home from the bar, he is kidnapped, terrorized, knocked unconscious, and wakes up in a very different version of his life. The remainder of the book is in essence his efforts to get back to his wife and son, his own particular branch of the multiverse.
This book carries an enormous amount of tension. It is mostly one long chase scene, with Jason both being hunted and hunting the whole time. It’s about choices and love, as well, but it is essentially one long chase with incredibly high stakes. The last few chapters are really excellent, with some surprises thrown in that I would not have possibly guessed at when starting the book. I think it would probably make a really good movie; having written that, I wish I was better at dream casting. Maybe Jason would be played by 90s Bill Pullman? Yes.
In any case, it was really great and now I want to read Crouch’s other books. Thank you, JS!