Dark Matter

Dark Matter

by Michelle Paver


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781409121183
Publisher: Orion
Publication date: 09/28/2011
Sales rank: 721,162
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

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Dark Matter 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Barnseys_Books More than 1 year ago
This book is dark, brooding and atmospheric. The author's descriptions are beautiful, yet desolate. I was effortlessly transported to Gruhuken in 1937. The tension is almost unbearable as events surrounding a doomed Arctic expedition unfold. This is one of those books that slowly creeps into your subconscious and before you know it, you're completely immersed. Imagine being the only person on a frozen, inhospitable wasteland. Except you're not alone - there's a malicious entity haunting you. You can't escape. There's no one to turn to. Your sanity is breaking. Can you survive long enough for help to arrive? WOW, I really enjoyed Dark Matter; my first book by Michelle Paver. I'm a sucker for a creepy ghost story and this one's up there with the best. Full marks for a fantastically menacing read!
saibancho on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very disappointing. I am not going to pull any punches with this review. I hated this book. Mawkish drivel masquerading as horror. H.P. Lovecraft would be turning in his sepulchre. I was looking forward to a decent Ghost Story but this was two dimensional and pretty poorly executed. It's a let down for so many reasons. Poor characters. Annoying use of OK, and other terms which just don't sit with the time and English young men of 1937. The term 'alright' or right-ho or right. Would have been much more natural for the time. I was half expecting Jack to say 'Dude! Like this place is haunted!' Very teenage. One minute the language is all 'spiffy, what-ho?, ripping etc' in over lathered attempt to give it period feel I suppose but ends up sounding like Richmal Compton (and that's a sort of insult to Compton) and then f..k.! etc! It would be extremely out of character for anyone above the social level of working class to use the word 'fucking!'. Even in the midst of the carnage of the First World War, the worst any rank above private would have used in a moment of stress would have been 'Bloody' or possibly bastard, or damn' almost never the F word. This sticks out like a sore thumb and shows the author has little understanding of the speech tropes of the inter war period in Britain amongst reasonably well brought-up middle class men, chaps in fact! It just isn't right.Its a very unbalanced novel in that sense and comes across as a 21st century writer trying (and failing) to set a story in a 1930s which frankly only exists in her badly researched imagination. Quite annoying. Jack is more like Jaqueline..priggish and silly (saying OK all the time and thinking aloud so the reader can 'get' the atmosphere and horror (sheesh!), this 2D character just doesn't come across as a convincing male and I should know (I have been a 28 year old man - this is more like Ken from Ken and Barbie).It is a badly written attempt at a male character by an author who has let herself into the character too much. If you look at Susan Hill's The Woman in Black, the male protagonist is done totally convincingly, its beleiveable because the writer has erased herself - that surely is the mark of good ghost story writing, The reader should be made to forget that it's an author's fiction they are reading and become engrossed in the properly researched and tautly written unsentimental but still passionate story. Horror should be very subtle and heavy at the most pivotal moment - otherwise when its telegraphed so heavily as it is in Dark Matter - it ends up being a very annoying join the dots affair.Wooden plot devices and many missed opportunities compound the idiocy of this book. Gus gets appendicitis - and so two of the characters conveniently disappear for a couple of weeks while Jack gets down to some serious 'being haunted' and talking in a silly voice to his 'Journal' sounding like a 10 year old girls confessional!. Why couldnt they have returned to the camp with others after the op? This sucks. There were so many places where this could have been more scary but instead was damp squib. If this is horror, you need a walk on the literary wild side badly! The wireless messages could have been taken over by a supernatural force, the figure could have been much better and more menacing rather than a pastiche of Marion Crawfords Man Overboard. The dogs could have become possessed or taken over by the sprits etc..anything other than the wooden fare we get in Dark Matter.It's a paste job done by somebody who has done the research (badly) and the 'travel' and thought that this would be a great atmospheric story. I should have known from the glittery blue styling on the cover of the paperback version, which seems to be code for Chick Book alert - grab your chocolate bar and put Oprah on record!This is poor 'method' writing. Author travels around the cold wastes too get a feel of the atmosphere, goes back to study and write the novel - we can even see a photo of the
FrogPrincessuk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a seriously creepy book about some early Arctic explorers. This makes it very different from any other ghost story that I've read, and gives it a fresh feel.In short, it tells the tale of what happens to people's minds in the depths of winter, in solitude, miles from anywhere, surrounded by 24/7 darkness. A great read.
clfisha on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you like quiet, creepy, horror and stories set in the cold, dark Artic then this book is for you, it is a perfect example of the genre.It¿s 1937 and 28 year old Jack is offered the life saving position of a wireless operator, part of scientific exhibition that will winter in the empty, isolated, unloved bay of Gruhukan¿Out of nowhere, for no reason, I was afraid.My skin prickled. My heart thudded in my throat.My body knew before I did that I was not alone.Thirty yards away on the rocks, something movedCarefully and tenderly setup, the plot crafted so well, not only to make everything believable but also to slowly whittle way the readers sense of comfort and surety, because when the permanent darkness starts to becomes imminent you realise you are on tenterhooks, bearing witness to what is becoming an untenable and terrifying situation. You start to ask yourself as the deadline becomes nearer what would you do alone and in the dark? Using the trope of an old diary works very well, not only to get into the wonderfully portrayed main character`s head, but also the slow unfurling knowledge of the others. Paver also uses it to playfully leave the question of haunting or insanity carefully open, both unsettling concepts but the reality of insanity grounds the supernatural and provides much need edginess. She is judicious in what should be left unsaid.Compliment these strength with the some lovely writing (the descriptions on the landscape are great) then you get a very good book. Sadly it drops a few marks for (minor spoiler) a overly crafted and somewhat harried denouement (minor spoilier ends)Still I highly recommend it to lovers of creepy stories.