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Flashback [Kindle Edition]

Dan Simmons
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £6.60
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Book Description


Terrorism and ultra-violence plague a once powerful society, whose only escape is to numb itself on flashback: a euphoric yet cripplingly addictive regression drug.

Ex-cop and addict Nick Bottom has seen flashback take his badge, his reputation and the love of his son. Alone and in despair, he has hit rock bottom.

Nick is about to receive a proposition. Billionaire magnate Hiroshi Nakamura needs his services, and, in particular, his memories.

Product Description


'a thrilling detective novel with a grand, compelling mystery at its centre' SFX.

'Relentlessly compelling' SciFi Now.

'Abundantly entertaining ... Flashback is first-rate' Washington Post.


'This is Simmons doing detective noir with an SF sheen ... Simmons has, as ever, created a compelling, believable cast of characters, but it's not really Nick Bottom's travails that make this such a startling read. His trajectory is tightly plotted and there's an emotional undertow to his actions that's easy to empathise with, sure, but it's the world Simmons has made that's the thing here, a world that sits right next to ours and might actually be our world if we're not too careful - and it's not too late. This is a provocative, frightening book ... Flashback is a fascinating read and many, no doubt, will be outraged at what it suggests. It's a book that will stay with you days after you finish it, chewing over its implications and precedents; but it's also a thrilling detective novel with a grand compelling mystery at its centre and more heart than you might think' SFX. '...nothing will prepare you for Flashback, a book as relentlessly compelling and unsettling as it punishing to read ... Simmons accomplishes this mood so well that it's difficult to fault the book for essentially excelling at creating atmosphere and complex history for this universe' Sci-Fi Now.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 785 KB
  • Print Length: 561 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316006963
  • Publisher: Quercus (1 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #167,317 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Dan Simmons was born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1948, and grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which was the source of his fictional "Elm Haven" in 1991's SUMMER OF NIGHT and 2002's A WINTER HAUNTING. Dan received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970, winning a national Phi Beta Kappa Award during his senior year for excellence in fiction, journalism and art.

Dan received his Masters in Education from Washington University in St. Louis in 1971. He then worked in elementary education for 18 years -- 2 years in Missouri, 2 years in Buffalo, New York -- one year as a specially trained BOCES "resource teacher" and another as a sixth-grade teacher -- and 14 years in Colorado.

His last four years in teaching were spent creating, coordinating, and teaching in APEX, an extensive gifted/talented program serving 19 elementary schools and some 15,000 potential students. During his years of teaching, he won awards from the Colorado Education Association and was a finalist for the Colorado Teacher of the Year. He also worked as a national language-arts consultant, sharing his own "Writing Well" curriculum which he had created for his own classroom. Eleven and twelve-year-old students in Simmons' regular 6th-grade class averaged junior-year in high school writing ability according to annual standardized and holistic writing assessments. Whenever someone says "writing can't be taught," Dan begs to differ and has the track record to prove it. Since becoming a full-time writer, Dan likes to visit college writing classes, has taught in New Hampshire's Odyssey writing program for adults, and is considering hosting his own Windwalker Writers' Workshop.

Dan's first published story appeared on Feb. 15, 1982, the day his daughter, Jane Kathryn, was born. He's always attributed that coincidence to "helping in keeping things in perspective when it comes to the relative importance of writing and life."

Dan has been a full-time writer since 1987 and lives along the Front Range of Colorado -- in the same town where he taught for 14 years -- with his wife, Karen. He sometimes writes at Windwalker -- their mountain property and cabin at 8,400 feet of altitude at the base of the Continental Divide, just south of Rocky Mountain National Park. An 8-ft.-tall sculpture of the Shrike -- a thorned and frightening character from the four Hyperion/Endymion novels -- was sculpted by an ex-student and friend, Clee Richeson, and the sculpture now stands guard near the isolated cabin.

Dan is one of the few novelists whose work spans the genres of fantasy, science fiction, horror, suspense, historical fiction, noir crime fiction, and mainstream literary fiction . His books are published in 27 foreign counties as well as the U.S. and Canada.

Many of Dan's books and stories have been optioned for film, including SONG OF KALI, DROOD, THE CROOK FACTORY, and others. Some, such as the four HYPERION novels and single Hyperion-universe novella "Orphans of the Helix", and CARRION COMFORT have been purchased (the Hyperion books by Warner Brothers and Graham King Films, CARRION COMFORT by European filmmaker Casta Gavras's company) and are in pre-production. Director Scott Derrickson ("The Day the Earth Stood Stood Still") has been announced as the director for the Hyperion movie and Casta Gavras's son has been put at the helm of the French production of Carrion Comfort. Current discussions for other possible options include THE TERROR. Dan's hardboiled Joe Kurtz novels are currently being looked as the basis for a possible cable TV series.

In 1995, Dan's alma mater, Wabash College, awarded him an honorary doctorate for his contributions in education and writing.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Simmons's best, but... 22 July 2011
I'm not a fan of US right-wing politics. Nor do I think well of Dan Simmons's personal politics -- and neither would be worth mentioning if that scatter-shot set of nationalist fear-mongering beliefs weren't reflected so strongly in this book. Nearly every chapter had an awkward, suspension-of-disbelief shattering callback to the current events of 2008-2010. I felt physically thrown out of the story every time I read about Obama's campaign, or a mosque at Ground Zero, or that global warming hoax, or...well, you name it -- if Glenn Beck has cried about it or Fox News has pontificated over it, it's here.

If it were simply a matter of world-building, that would be fine. I found nothing wrong with the future he painted; indeed, it was an interesting and thought-provoking scenario with the quirks and curve-balls I expect from a Simmons novel. Even the politics themselves aren't the issue -- it's the heavy-handedness, the constant intrusion of the author shattering the experience.

Authorial intrusion on this scale is especially obnoxious because Dan Simmons knows better. One quote that he's often referenced in his own Writing Well series comes from Gustave Flaubert: "In his work, the artist should be like God in creation: invisible and all-powerful. He should be felt everywhere and seen nowhere."

Unfortunately you see Dan Simmons shining through every time a character in the 2030s, in a bankrupted, drug-addicted, drawn-and-quartered United States, ruminates over the concerns and uniquely American fears of the present day. This never-ending interruption very nearly ruined what would have otherwise been another spectacular work from a spectacular writer.

I say "very nearly" for good reason.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Original and Interesting Novel 6 Mar. 2013
By Kublai
It's refreshing to read a well written novel, and one with something interesting to say. (SPOILERS AHEAD!) At first I was a bit put off by the world-weary detective with a drug problem as they seem to be the only kind of detective that exists in fiction. But the writing is good enough, and the characters well developed enough that it wasn't too much of a problem. And in this novel, being world-weary is kind of the point - and key to the story. That story is original, intriguing and believable, with a mystery that's very well plotted.

So, it's a bit depressing to read all the negative reviews which criticise this novel as being right-wing - basically using the term as a synonym for evil, insane, deranged, utterly-wrong-and-should-never-have-been-written, etc, etc. But there is actually not a lot that's controversial in the near future world Simmons has imagined:

Demographics, immigration rates, birth rates, all show that the Hispanic population of the U.S is rapidly increasing. If the trend continues then it's plausible to imagine a California with a majority Hispanic population that feels more tied to Mexico than a crumbling U.S.

Official statistics also project that the Muslim population will become the majority in most European countries during this century. Majority populations generally control government, and define law and culture, so it's highly likely that there'll be some form of Sharia law across most of Europe (if population trends continue as they are). Furthermore, the Global Caliphate is not some fringe idea of Islam, but an established part of Islamic teaching - so it's sensible to suggest that a Muslim dominated Europe would see itself, along with a nuclear Middle East as a spreading Global Caliphate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flashback 26 Mar. 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Absolutely fantastic read (and I'm not usually one for superlatives). A thought-provoking sci-fi background of a dystopian future, great edge-of-the-seat action sequences, a mystery to keep you guessing, great characterization and a plot that keeps you turning the pages. What more do you want? You even get some lessons in Latin and medicine. Any book that keeps me reading into the night gets 5* in my book. A lot of the criticism here focuses on the author's right-wing politics and descending into anti-liberal lectures. In response I say, first he is providing a sci-fi future history background to the work. As such it hangs together quite well and coherently. I got no impression of "lecturing": in my view it is skilfully inserted at various points in the narrative to build up a picture gradually of the effects of Simmons' vision of the future. It may not be what many of the PC brigade want to hear (and I disagree with some aspects myself) but it's the author's prerogative to depict his vision, however unpalatable it may be to some. Other authors starting from H.G. Wells onward have received similar criticism. Secondly, some aspects of Simmons' vision have already turned out to be all too accurate. I would cite the recent expansionist ambitions of Putin's Russia; the creeping immigration that is turning into a flood and subverting Western values (only this week we have seen the sanctioning of the introduction of sharia law into the English legal system - it's the thin end of the wedge). The continued crazy policy of whole states in the Middle East of destroying Israel - with a tyranny of the majority in the UN doing nothing about it and a weak US presidency kow-towing to the sheiks and the mediaeval tyranny of Iran - are all too real. Yes, it's a frightening vision. Yes, it's easy to rubbish. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars this is a brilliant book, that at heart is just a great ...
Don't listen to the left wing babies, this is a brilliant book, that at heart is just a great detective story. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Geekkid
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 9 months ago by H H SINFIELD
2.0 out of 5 stars This is not one of Dan Simmons' better books, in fact it's without...
This is not one of Dan Simmons' better books, in fact it's without doubt the worst one to date. Nothing is essentially wrong with the story, which generates enough interest and... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Gene Young
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book let down by excesive right wing political commentary
“Flashback” by Dan Simmons is a mystery novel set in the former United States now devastated by economic and political collapse. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Killie
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I thought this was a superb book, with a theme that is very current. It's easy to imagine a scenario like this in the future, although perhaps not as near in the future as... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Hydra
1.0 out of 5 stars Nasty undertone of racism
I do think that Dan Simmons is an accomplished sci-fi writer and this is a beautifully crafted book, but honestly do we have to put up with such right wing nonsense running... Read more
Published 23 months ago by mermaid33
4.0 out of 5 stars In the future, society lives in the past...
Dan Simmons is an odd writer. Some of his stuff is simply sublime and verging on the point of excellence, as with his novels Carrion Comfort and The Terror, whilst others are... Read more
Published on 24 April 2013 by sparkymarky1973
5.0 out of 5 stars Exellent
A really enjoyable novel on every level. I read this directly after Great North Road and the difference was astounding. Read more
Published on 19 April 2013 by T. jones
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been so much better
I absolutely adored the Ilium/Olympus series and The Terror, so I was very excited to get my hands on this. Read more
Published on 18 April 2013 by A-Canadian-in-London
1.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment
What a disappointment. Its hard to believe that this is the author who wrote Hyperion. The plot is wholly eclipsed by the political ideas. Read more
Published on 25 Mar. 2013 by Buffy
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