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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Philip K. Dick in good form and impeccable style
"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...
Published on 21 Jan 2003 by Symeon Charalabides

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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. Added to which, this novel about identity, policing and perception has the most suggestive of titles. Unfortunately whille there's much to admire in the simplicity of Dick's writing, it's a rather empty affair that left me somewhat undernourished after a...
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portal to another dimension, 31 Mar 2010
By 
Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles "FIST" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
PKD; Pulp author in a geek genre detailed philosophy on par with Nietzsche and Jung. Opening up portals, drugs and study alone could never prise open. Hallucinogenics make the mind wander. Study sticks when connected to experience. PKD's insights shifted one gear further. Reality and Humanity were the questions.

The characters, based on people swirling around him exist in a paranoid police state; echoing Nixons hyper vigilance. Fictions abounded as truths in 1970's Americana. Separating required a razor sharp mind.

Waking up, losing a celebrity status, Taverner founders,shipwrecked without identity, wallowing in the fickle foundations of the shallow pool. America desperate to keep its student population in Gulags after a second civil war has gone into 1984 over drive. The surveillance state, watched for your own good, is perceived in the flow. Marilyn Manson makes her first appearance.

Taverner seeks help. Adjust to a society where you have been effectively ostracised is explored? Identity shredded, how can it be affirmed? What is reality, when the drug works or when it wears off?

Gurgling in the backdrop are the events. The decimated black population on the protected list,expanded 1920's hysteria becoming 1980's dystopia. Empathy power and hatred.

Tricky Dicky ascends to heaven, the right wing cultural and political counter revolution embodied with Ronald Reagan prophesised. Entwined in the plot the characters grapple with big existential questions. The meaning of living and the role of death. Those who require a Sci-Fi quick fix will not score.

Spiritual, philosophical, psychological and sociological fragments embeded within the story, glitter as gnostic gold. Jason speculates on control, the meaning of being alive, the role of grief. Power and its effects are detailed through Buckman. Dick ploughs his furrough and genetic modification, distorted realities, drug use, death, incest, same sex relationships, betrayal, anomie, reality and power all buckle and ride throughout the prose.

Jung, New Testament, Classical allusions also surface and glide.

The epilogue brings the transitory nature of everything to a cynical finale as life erodes, only the beauty of artistic objects remain as a legacy.

Finishing the book; the walls wobble as reality reasserts itself.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another fast paced mind bender., 14 Oct 2014
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Jason Taverner occupies a privileged position as a well known and wealthy entertainer in a dystopian society. He's got it all. And then loses it all, overnight. He becomes a non-person, pursued by the police, suddenly unknown to his closest acquaintances and not even a birth certificate on file. Let the game commence!
If you've read P. K. Dick before, you will recognise familiar themes: principally, the nature of reality but it definitely doesn't feel tired. Not to me anyway...I am a fan. There's real tension, great dialogue and a fast paced story. No, your questions will not be answered at the end but that's all part of the fun! Recommend!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Awake in a world where you never existed, 18 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This is what happens to TV star Jason Tavernor, hero of this highly original and inventive novel. Worse still, the world in which he wakes is a US totalitarian society where not existing can prove very dangerous. Tavernor has to find not only a safe place in this world, but what has happened to the world he's left behind. En-route he meets a startling bunch of typically wild Dickian characters, most of them women, and there is the crux of the novel, for at heart, beneath the sci-fi veneer, it is a study of love. An essential read for all Dick fans, but also a novel that may tempt readers into Dick's world.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever Celebrity Comment, 28 Aug 2011
This review is from: Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
Wouldn't it be amazing if the fate of Jason Taverner (the hero of Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said)befell someone like Johnathan Ross or Simon Cowell. That is one of them woke up in a seedy room, went out on the street and was unrecognised.
Their friends had no recollection of them, searching google did not reveal any references, in fact in the blink of an eye they had become a non-person.
This book is a page turner hooking the reader from the start but the ending is an anti-climax. Read it now...........
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!, 4 July 2014
This review is from: Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
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, with the reader constantly trying to figure out the meaning of Jason's predicament.

A must read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating setting, 5 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
This book had one of the best settings for PKD that I've read. It was a very dystopian police state. Universities had become places surrounded by fences and the students and teachers were forced to live underground. If they escaped they were put into forced labour camps. Black people had been sterilised to solve the "race problem". It was all very grim. This was set against a character who was a top entertainer, fundamentally better than everyone else who because he had disappeared from reality finally got to see reality for the first time. Despite oozing charisma (supposedly) he was definitely one of the least likeable of Dick's characters. He never seemed to be quite able to believe that he really had lost everything and never seemed to be that psychologically damaged or properly paranoid about the changes around him. He did however meet some very interesting women along the way. A young ID forger who was an escaped mental patient, a woman into S&M and drugs, a timid potter. They were all only met briefly but were very real despite the sci-fi setting. The book not only touched on the usual themes of distorted reality and drugs but also the nature of fame, racism and fascism. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars No tears of joy, 4 Aug 2013
By 
Anything by Dick carries the enormous weight of his reputation with it - visionary, philosopher, maverick, shaman. Added to which, this novel about identity, policing and perception has the most suggestive of titles. Unfortunately whille there's much to admire in the simplicity of Dick's writing, it's a rather empty affair that left me somewhat undernourished after a week's reading. For completists only.
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4.0 out of 5 stars In the headlights of a stretch car You're a star, 3 Mar 2013
By 
Oliveman (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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 having existed; no government documents, no greatest hits albums. In a totalitarian dystopia this is a problem. He needs to discover what happened to him and prove he exists. He runs and is aided and hindered by various people.

The John W. Campbell Award winning and Hugo and Nebula nominated Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said deals with the familiar Philip K. Dick themes of identity, altered reality, drug use, and dystopia intermingled with thoughts on the nature of celebrity and genetic engineering in a cat and mouse story.

The dystopian aspect of the novel is quite interesting and reflects the concerns of the early 70's (when the book was written). Particularly the race issue: African Americans were forced to undergo sterilization leading to a very steep drop in their population, eventually this law was repealed. However as a direct consequence of this they have been elevated to such a degree that verbal harassment of an African American can lead to arrest and substantial imprisonment. One can't help but feel that Dick is commenting on positive discrimination. The ghettoisation of students is also an interesting notion.

Like most of Dick's work this is better enjoyed and understood if one has some understanding of Dick's life and times but if not it doesn't detract from the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Converted to Philip K. Dick, 28 Aug 2012
This review is from: Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
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 probably something to do with the zany titles or those wide eyed zealots determined to tell you how he was the greatest and most visionary writer who ever lived. And I'll be honest: there was part of me which expected to be disappointed and uninvolved in what I found, but instead I greatly enjoyed `Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said', Like early to mid period Ballard (a writer I greatly admire), Dick takes what is recognisably the real world and tips it slightly on an angle to explore a variety of themes - in particular, man's isolation.

A popular TV celebrity wakes up to find that no one - not his agent, his lover, nor his fans - have any idea who he is. What's more, all official record of him has vanished and he has to navigate his way through a police state that is very focused on paper and identification. The plot is incredibly complex, but remarkably all makes a kind of sense in the end - and I found the whole thing to be an intriguing, thought provoking and rollicking good read.

Undoubtedly it's a very early Seventies idea to make the main protagonist a lounge singer who has his own weekly variety hour, but in amongst the elements which date this science fiction to a very specific time and place, there are others which still resonate. Dick is incredibly good on what happens when a police force becomes overly powerful and a bureaucracy gets out of him.

I am a convert, my scepticism is no more. I look forward to exploring Philip K. Dick's world further.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of it's Time - As Always, 26 May 2012
By 
badlymademan (Shropshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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.

It's a story which has remained with me throughout. I remember quoting from it at a school assembly during my final year. Nowadays we are overrun with stories which hint at an alternative reality, some more overt than others. It's a wise thing that no reviewer here has actually given the game away because no matter how clever and erudite the reviews are, it can't be denied - in my view - that this story is a very worthy read. Perhaps we can predict the ending nowadays because it's been "done to death" as they say, but when published this story was, believe me, fresh and insightful. (Please bear in mind the first line - to PKD 1988 was the future!)

I'd recommend this book to all who have tried Sheep and Castle, to those who aren't too jaded by modern expectations and can understand how innovative this was back in the 1970's.
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Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said (S.F. MASTERWORKS) by Philip K. Dick (Paperback - 8 Nov 2001)
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