Study Guide

Dark Matter Versions of Reality

By Blake Crouch

Versions of Reality

Sure, any work of fiction takes place in a "version of reality"—but Dark Matter takes this to a whole new level. The quantum level, to be specific. Our hero, Jason Dessen, is a family man whose life is stolen by a doppelgänger from an alternate reality—a reality where Jason himself then finds himself marooned. He has a hard time adapting to a parallel reality that's so different from his own, and upon escaping, he encounters a whole range of other universes even stranger and more frightening than the place where he started. It's a wild ride. What's more, it completely upends the understanding of reality we take for granted every day.

Questions About Versions of Reality

  1. Which parallel universe is the worst? Explain your answer.
  2. Is Jason right to question his mental health at first?
  3. How does the concept of "uncanny valley" apply to the novel's parallel universes?
  4. How does quantum physics affect your understanding of the nature of reality? Explain.

Chew on This

From Jason's position, it is more logical at first to assume that he's losing his mind than it is to accept the existence of multiple parallel universes.

Universes that are similar to Jason's are more horrifying to him than those that are different, because the similar universes evoke an emotional reaction from him while at the same time subverting and manipulating those emotions.

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