Book Review: Book: Dark Matter, by Michelle Paver,


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Reader in charge: Christopher Walken reads 'Where The Wild Things Are'

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Sep 25, 2014

Now, this is not a proper review; it is CHEATING; it's a link to Goodreads. Let me know if I am to consider myself blackballed. A certain agent known in these parts had a hand in bringing this book into the light of day, and it's a good 'un. Set in 1937, an expedition is planned; storm clouds of war are gathering.

It's really good. Elegant with appropriate gravitas, no false notes. 'Turn Of The Screw For Our Times' kind of subtlety, better, leaner use of language. There may be or is a film in the offing, I'll buy on DVD if so, anticipating a schlock free zone which I think overloads and ruins many a promising ghost or horror story. ( Ahem, Stephen King - though Cujo about the dog who got rabies and turned killer did frighten me as well as upset me.)

Speaking of schlock, my drama student offspring is going to be a zombie extra in a film being made now, Zombie Apocalypse. I am telling you this, you never know when this it might come in handy, Hallowe'en this month, and all, Boots clay face mask makes for quite credible zombie make-up.

Dark Matter is available with this jacket design shown above, and another, with a suggested landscape in white and blue, but I preferred and bought this one.

I understand there may be a film to come...

I saw Dark Matter (published by Orion) reviewed on Goodreads But the existing reviews pretty much said it all, so I simply placed a rating soon after reading, without commenting.

I did think, having finished it, that if the Archbishop of Canterbury was truly worth his spiritual salt, he'd have had himself taken at once up to to Gruhuken, book, bell and candle and see if he could help the lost soul that walked there. Gus, the other hero of this story, was truly golden and if he left life as he had lived it, perhaps did not need such help. I knew, once the narrator, Jack, told us about the dog post, what had happened to the man who walked there, and why he walked.

No more spoilers, but, it's spare and intense, as if the Arctic isn't a spooky enough prospect already....

Interview with Michelle Paver in The Guardian:
Thanks, Katie-Ellen. I did a double-take when I saw the title of this – I’m living with DM night and day at the moment, and for a moment I feared I might have been hallucinating :)

It’s a very effective novel, and it’s been a pleasure to have worked on it, in one form or another, for about five years...
Source: Michelle herself:

'Michelle’s highly acclaimed ghost story DARK MATTER is to be be filmed by one of Britain’s leading film production companies. Producers Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich of DNA Films are developing the project with Film4, Channel 4 Television’s feature film division.
Described as “Jack London meets Stephen King” by bestselling novelist Jeffery Deaver,
DARK MATTER tells the story of a 1937 British expedition to the high Arctic.
“From the moment I read it”, says Andrew Macdonald, “I knew I had to produce it. It is a classic ghost story, both haunting and visceral. If MR James had visited the Arctic, this is what he’d have written.”
Andrew Macdonald is one of British’s most acclaimed film producers. From Trainspotting to Dredd, by way of Shallow Grave, A Life Less Ordinary, The Beach, Never Let Me Go, 28 Days Later and The Last King of Scotland.
“I could have sold film rights to DARK MATTER dozens of times,”, says Michelle’s agent Peter Cox – “interest was unprecedented. But Michelle loves and admires Andrew’s work, and when they met, it was clear that the understanding and chemistry was there.”
Acclaimed screenwriter and dramatist Dennis Kelly is adapting the work for film. Dennis won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for his adaption of Roald Dahl’s MATILDA, and created the critically-acclaimed Channel 4 series UTOPIA. He has also written BLACK SEA, which begins shooting later this year, to be directed by Kevin Macdonald and starring Jude Law.'

Further links: Includes interview with Michelle Paver

And I think this film short is a fan-made film, what do you think?

Hah! And... drat, sort of. I was tempted to buy this recently but couldn't get enough of a feel for whether or not I would enjoy. I was being good and not spending the money. Damn you ;) off to click...
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Greetings from MagicMan

Reader in charge: Christopher Walken reads 'Where The Wild Things Are'