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Dark Matter by Michelle Paver
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Dark Matter (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Michelle Paver

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4112925,858 (3.8)78
Member:EllieH
Title:Dark Matter
Authors:Michelle Paver
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Dark Matter by Michelle Paver (2010)

  1. 50
    The Woman in Black by Susan Hill (bibliobeck)
    bibliobeck: Both beautifully written and menacing rather than horrific, both about men alone in baren environments and both perfect for reading on a cold night in front of the fire!
  2. 40
    Cold Earth by Sarah Moss (alalba)
  3. 20
    The Terror by Dan Simmons (Jannes)
    Jannes: More Arctic horror. Simmons might is a bit more viceral, but the heart of the horror - the cold, darkness and isolation of the arctic north - is the same in both novels.
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» See also 78 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Really gruesome at the end. Left a horrible vision that lingered rather badly for a few days. I wouldn't say it kept me awake, but while I was awake at night it kept repeating on me. Very well written which its why it kept repeating but I don't want to read too many like that! This is one of a number of fictional accounts based on expeditions to the Arctic (last one 'The Voyage of the Narwal')and I have another in my pile of books. After that I shall read about the voyage of the Fram and get back to real horrors..... ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jun 17, 2014 |
Atmospheric ghost story set in the Arctic - with a (slight) gay theme. Has its spooky moments - fairly enjoyable. ( )
  Dickon.Edwards | Jun 30, 2013 |
Dark Matter by Michelle Paver is a slow burning ghost story; slowly the tension builds and builds until... The story kicks off on 7th January 1937, the first entry being written in the journal of Jack Miller who is preparing for an expedition to Gruhuken. This uninhabited location in Arctic is the back drop of this chilling story, the atmosphere and solitude all playing a role in building the tension within this story. The relationship between Jack and his companions Gus, Algie, Hugo and Teddy are one of the key aspects that hold this book together.

It’s really hard to review a book like this as I don’t want to give too much of this book away, but I’ll try my best. The story was a very basic one, the isolations, feeling of being completely alone works rather well in the book. The plot and surroundings all slowly build the tension that Jack is feeling. I started off reading this book feeling a little distracted but the further I got in the book the more absorbed in the story I found myself. It’s one of those books you want to read on a cold winter night; the snow outside and nothing but the creaking of the house to keep you company. Unfortunately it never snows and never gets cold here but I can just imagine reading this book in that situation and enjoying it a lot more.

The novel is a well polished ghost tale, reminding me of the old gothic novels of the 19th century; building the tension and characters as you read. While it’s a short book it did a great job at capturing all the key elements to haunt the reader. I’m reminded a bit of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James and even to a less extent The Woman in Black by Susan Hill in the way they can build tension in such a short time. I really love the chilling gothic styles of a book like this, I would love to read some more books similar to this one and compare it to the ones I’ve already read. While I really enjoy this novel I can’t see myself rating this book higher than three and a half stars, but I can’t tell you what was missing in this novel.
( )
  knowledgelost | Mar 29, 2013 |
Good ghost story, had a great spooky atmosphere through out. ( )
  Yogiboo | Mar 15, 2013 |
Dark Matter is written in the form of main character, Jack's journal and follows his journey from the first moment he meets his expedition companions for a drink in London right through until just before he is rescued from the Arctic. After that point, Jack refuses to write in his journal but we get a narrative from inside his head instead, which brings more urgency in one of the more action filled parts of the story.

Over the course of his Arctic expedition Jack changes as a character. At the start of the novel, in London, he is a solitary person who is quite looking forward to the peace and stillness of the Arctic. But by the time he is truly alone in the Arctic wilderness he realises what it's like to have friends and he realises that he does need people after all.

I wasn't really sure about the 'ghost' that Jack was seeing. I couldn't work out if it was real or if it was his imagination playing tricks on him because he was alone in an endless night. But whatever it was, the author built up the tension really well and as I was reading I had a strong feeling that something bad was about to happen. It was the sort of feeling where I didn't want to turn the page because I was scared, but had to carry on because I was desperate to know what was coming next.

This is one of those books where although it seems like a straight-forward ghost story, there's definitely a psychological element too as Jack seems to slide into madness. A great book for anyone who enjoys a good scare now and then! ( )
  26kathryn | Mar 12, 2013 |
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Dear Dr Murchison, Forgive me for this rather belated reply to your letter.
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This is a bad mistake. The one who walks. You have seen it. Ja?
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 moved
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Why is it angry with me?


January 1937

Clouds of war are gathering over a fogbound London. Twenty-eight-year-old Jack is poor, lonely and desperate to change his life. So, when he's offered the chance to be the wireless operator on an Arctic expedition, he jumps at it.

Spirits are high as the ship leaves Norway — five men and eight huskies, crossing the Barents Sea by the light of the midnight sun. At last they reach the remote, uninhabited bay where they will camp for the next year. Gruhuken.

But the Arctic summer is brief. As night returns to claim the land, Jack feels a creeping unease. One by one, his companions are forced to leave. He faces a stark choice. Stay or go.

Soon he will see the last of the sun, as the polar night engulfs the camp in months of darkness. Soon he will reach the point of no return — when the sea will freeze, making escape impossible.

And Gruhuken is not uninhabited.

Jack is not alone.

Something walks there in the dark.

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 moved.


Haiku summary
It's winter in the
Arctic, and there's something
Stirring in the dark ...
(passion4reading)

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January 1937. 28-year-old Jack is poor, lonely and desperate to change his life. So when he's offered the chance to join an Arctic expedition, he jumps at it. After they reach the remote, uninhabited bay where they will camp for the next year, Gruhuken, Jack feels a creeping unease. One by one, his companions are forced to leave.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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