No one tells you it’s all about to change, to be taken away. There’s no proximity alert, no indication that you’re standing on the precipice. And maybe that’s what makes tragedy so tragic. Not just what happens, but how it happens: a sucker punch that comes at you out of nowhere, when you’re least expecting it. No time to flinch or brace.

Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter, to put it simply, makes you realise just how insignificant you are against this vast expanse of universe. We walk around everyday, making choices and picking paths, blissfully unaware just how our simple choices are setting the cogwheels into a version of the world entirely dependent on our decisions.

The book takes us into a world where the hypothetical what-nots of the philosophy of ‘The Road not taken’ are translated into scientifically explorable realities. Jason is abducted by a masked man and he wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings where people expect him, i.e. Jason, to be someone he actually isn’t. As the book proceeds, the flimsiness of what is real and what isn’t gnaws at the sanity of our protagonist. Moreover, just when you think you got what is happening, a mind-bending twist is right around the corner.

“We’re more than the sum total of our choices, that all the paths we might have taken factor somehow into the math of our identity.”

All in all, for me, this book was like a reminder of the beauty in the mundane. The beauty that is my everyday life, with all its imperfections and mistakes. And most importantly, it makes you question just who you are, sans the niceties of your life, or to put it more precisely:

“If you strip away all the trappings of personality and lifestyle, what are the core components that make me me?”

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