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Flow My tears, the Policeman Said [Mass Market Paperback]

3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • ISBN-10: 0586042032
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586042038
  • ASIN: B002C12TWW
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Philip K. Dick in good form and impeccable style 21 Jan 2003
"Flow my tears..." is a book that exhibits Dick's (heretofore PKD) usual thematic obsessions in an expert literary way, having been written during the last decade of his life, in between theological treatises and attempts to explain his personal epiphany. It actually reads like he is showing off that he can write good old SF to his publisher who's asked him to clean up his act before an audience that's not interested in religious revelations. The fourth part of the book, telling what happened to the heroes and institutions involved in the far future, is reminiscent of a B movie ending, and probably reflects the author's overindulgence in the commercial nature of this work.
The book is very reminiscent of Ubik, centered on a man's struggle to make sense of his reality that has suddenly changed (to a very unpleasant one), and it could have been written in one - extended - sitting, PKD driving his points home from page 1. It can certainly be read in one sitting, and its frantic pace will compel most people to do so.
As per usual, the environment only serves as a context for PKD to bring his social commentary home. This shouldn't detract, however, from the fact that the particular world, a heavily policed fascist state where universities and their students (presumably standing for free thought) are offenders by default, is one of his most successful predictions, as we can already see it happening. PKD seems to be aware of it as well, for he describes its functions and mechanisms in unusual detail.
That said, the novel is an exploration of human behaviours and emotions, how they interact and which bring which about.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great piece of writing 16 Jan 2006
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said is a perfect example of Philip K. Dick’s ingenuity that mixes paranoia and suspense into a nice little novel full of twists and surprises.
It tells the story of famous TV show host Jason Taverner who wakes up to find he doesn’t exist. Set against a backdrop of an oppressive government the story revolves around Taverner’s attempts to discover what happened to him and how he came to this. The other major character in the book is police inspector McNulty who is also trying to discover who Taverner is and determine why he doesn’t appear in their computer databases.
At its heart is a mystery thriller where the science part of this SF book is sidelined yet serves to build an impressive backdrop through which Taverner wanders. The back of this edition states that Taverner is a ‘six’ – a genetically engineered human being born bright and beautiful. That isn’t really part of the story but like I said it flavours it nicely.
It won the 1975 John W. Campbell Award, was nominated for the 1975 Hugo Award and nominated for the 1974 Nebula award.
Well worth a look!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I wouldn't recommend this as a starting point for anybody new to this writer's output, but for any fan of Dick's work who is not familiar with it, I'd advise them to check it out. An intriguing mix of paranoid nightmare and black, black comedy it explores what happens when a celebrity well established within his profession appears to lose his identity and his grip on reality. He becomes a fugitive, and the women he meets while on the run just seem to make his predicament even worse. When the police come for him they knock on the door of the woman sheltering him. "It's probably the man from upstairs," she says,
"He borrows things. Weird things. Like two-fifths of an onion." Unexpected comments like this make the book a joy to read, the constant surprises in the way that the characters respond to each other is refreshing. On the surface the story appears to be relentlessly grim, but in the fine details there is plenty to amuse, like the juke-box in the bar playing Louis Panda's 'The Memory of Your Nose'.
The epilogue doesn't really work for me but I suspect that it was put there as a joke. Overall well worthy of inclusion amongst Dick's best work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Philip K. Dick meets David Lynch 5 Jun 2009
This book is like a Lynch movie; think it of it as a sci-fi Mulholland drive but with much better plot. For once more, with his usual exquisite writing style, Dick swirls the conception of his character's reality mixing identities, time and space.

Wonderfully satirical and scathing of the arrogant and shallow Hollywood lifestyle this novel contains all the features that made Dick a distinctive figure in science fiction literature. Drugs, hallucinations, identity fusion, corrupted authority, rotten bureaucracies and competing irreal universes create a noir narration which, if had to be adapted to a film, only the complicated, mad genius of David Lynch could ever satisfyingly handle!

Although not as celebrated as his other novels, definitely one of Dick's best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but not his best 31 Dec 2003
This, on the face of it, is a fairly standard story in the SF / pulp fiction vein. But it is given the usual P. Dick treatment of identity crisis, paranoia and existensialism. This lifts this above the usual of the genre, as does his well written characters (particularly the well drawn women characters). It still was a good read, and kept me entertained on my holiday (the pace of the novel is quite fast).
This is good, but not his best.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!
One of my all time favourite science fiction novels and in my opinion one of Dicks best. Flow My Tears is a brilliantly crafted piece of sci fi which plays out more like a mystery,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Joshua J. Szweda
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating setting
This book had one of the best settings for PKD that I've read. It was a very dystopian police state. Read more
Published 12 months ago by melanie strong
3.0 out of 5 stars No tears of joy
Anything by Dick carries the enormous weight of his reputation with it - visionary, philosopher, maverick, shaman. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars In the headlights of a stretch car You're a star
The genetically engineered superstar Jason Taverner awakens after an attempt on his life to discover he no longer exists, at least not legally, there is no record of him ever... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Oliveman
2.0 out of 5 stars Flow Meh Tears
Dick's premise is, as usual, an excellent one. Unfortunately its one the novel fails spectacularly in the delivering. Read more
Published 19 months ago by 333R333
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful....awful....awful....
I would estimate I've read approximately 75% of PKD's SF novels and Flow My Tears easily ranks as the worst of them. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Lixma
2.0 out of 5 stars A Dark View of Life
The paranoid outlook that Philip Dick had about life makes reading this novel a depressing experience. Read more
Published on 18 Sep 2012 by Eric Nicholson
4.0 out of 5 stars Converted to Philip K. Dick
It's a terrible confession to make, but this is my first read of a Philip K. Dick novel. I don't really know why it's taken me so long to pick up one of his books, but it's... Read more
Published on 28 Aug 2012 by F.R. Jameson
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of it's Time - As Always
I first read this book in the mid 70's so probably soon after it was published. My hardback is still on the shelf, proudly kept. Read more
Published on 26 May 2012 by badlymademan
2.0 out of 5 stars plain boring - but add one star for historical interest
Having watched Bladerunner and Minority Report, I felt throughout like I'd read this already - clearly Dick has certain themes he falls back on. Read more
Published on 21 Mar 2012 by Amazon Customer
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