Monday, September 4, 2017
Dark Matter by Michelle Paver
This book is pretty much outside my comfort zone. Atmospheric ghost stories aren't something I'm drawn to and the only reason I read this one was because a good friend said it was one of the best books she'd ever read.
I will admit that it is a well-written book and it catches you from the get-go, but I also have to say that I totally disliked the main character for the first 1/3rd of the story. And that's a big deal when the book is written for the most part as a journal. I never truly liked him though. I was also glad that the book was only a little over 200 pages.
Did it work as a ghost story? Yes. It evoked the spooky, solitary world of the Arctic quite well and the loneliness was genuinely depicted. (Can I say that? It sounds odd.) The thoughts and musings of Jack, the main character were very believable and I finally came to find him somewhat sympathetic and thus grew concerned for his well-being for the duration of the book.
Now, the book is set in 1937 and it FEELS like 1937 which is just fine. Some things, were they said/done today would be found quite ... unacceptable? But that's how things were in 1937. I'm OK with that. The book was published in 2010 but quite honestly, it felt like it could have been released back in the 30s or 40s. And seeing as it's a journal for the most part, I'd say that's a success.
The book is very British. Good thing too, seeing as it's main characters are British. :) I think it would make a terrific spooky movie. No blood & gore that is so popular these days, but a truly mind-fucking suspenseful movie.
So yes, good book. I would recommend it highly to anyone who enjoys ghost stories and spooky stuff. I see why my friend loved it so much. That's not my bag, though, so it gets a bit of a lower rating because of that.