Dark Matter

Blake Crouch
Dark Matter Cover

Dark Matter


By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Every time, and I mean every time I read a book about the physic theory of "the Multiverse" this poem comes to mind. Written as a subtle joke in 1915 about another writer who whenever he went walking spent the entire walk voicing his indecision about every branch in the path, somehow Robert Frost was still able to explain the feelings of the multiverse in a more beautiful way.

And I need that help because once I start reading these books I spend the next days, weeks, however long it takes me to finish the book wondering about every choice I make. I even start questioning small decisions, should I push up my glasses. It really is the little choices that bring my head as close to exploding as it ever gets. Because per the multiverse theory, there is a new universe created where I decide not to push my glasses up! Is that new Badseedgirl still me? How different would that Badseedgirl's life be because of that one choice. If I was looking for "my' Universe would I just feel the difference? Would good enough be good enough in that circumstance? Really it makes my head spin.

Now add a wonderfully written novel into the picture and there is one Badseedgirl who just sits stunned after finishing the book. I don't even remember putting the book down.

The major theme of this book was what makes you, you. If only one event is changed in your life, just a minor event; you chose to go to McDonald's for lunch one day instead of Burger King. Would that other person still be you? According to Blake Crouch the answer is a complicated no, yes, maybe.

Reading this book brought to mind a wonderful older TV series, not the obvious Quantum Leap (1989-1993) but that other overlooked gem Sliders (1995-2000). The difference was that Slider was a bit of light fun, but not so much Dark Matters. There really were no light moments in this book.

I should apologize that this review is so scattered, I'm still trying to process the book, and it is almost impossible to write anything about the plot or character motivation without riddling this review with spoiler tags.

I read Mr. Crouch's "Wayward Pines" series last year and I gave it a solid 4 stars, with Dark Matter he wins one of my rare 5 stars. (Only 11% of the books I read last year got 5 stars)