12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
spooky and thrilling,
This review is from: Dark Matter (Hardcover)
The set-up for this ghost story is economical and effective - a working class young man drawn onto a polar expedition with three upper-class gentleman explorers. The sense of dread builds slowly through throwaway comments and strange events recorded in diary format. Several bits were really quite chilling, and the silent figure whom the protagonist witnesses in Gruhuken reminds one very much of The Woman in Black or The Turn of the Screw. The descriptions of the Arctic landscape are superb. My only quibble is that this is a very short book which felt slightly rushed: the protagonist's psychology hints at much rich texture which is unexplored - his past, his sexuality - and there was room for plenty more scares before the slightly anti-climactic denouement. It was a shame that the author had to abandon the diary format near the end - the impression was that she couldn't make the narrative work while sticking to it, and so had to withdraw from the established narrative structure. The epilogue diary entry had me expecting a final twist that never came. Still, despite these minor issues, I really enjoyed Dark Matter.
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Initial post: 26 Jan 2014 18:15:13 GMT
Gareth James says:
Jack isn't working class. His father was a schoolteacher and Jack is very precisely located in the lower middle class. His companions in the expedition are upper middle class or (in the case of Gus) upper class. When they first meet Jack they are relieved to find that, as he puts it, "I don't actually drop my aitches" (which certainly would have denoted working class-ness). Michelle Paver gets her class nuances right!
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