- Hardcover: 600 pages
- Publisher: Quercus (7 July 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0857381245
- ISBN-13: 978-0857381248
- Product Dimensions: 16.7 x 24.4 x 5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,032,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Flashback Hardcover – 7 Jul 2011
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
'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.
From the Inside Flap
America, 2036. A wasteland in economic ruin. Terrorism and ultra-violence plague a once powerful society, whose people's only escape is to numb themselves on flashback - a euphoric yet cripplingly addictive drug that allows its users to revisit happier, past experiences. Ex-cop and addict Nick Bottom has seen flashback destroy his life. All he has left are the flash-induced memories of his beloved wife, taken from him in a fatal car accident. In despair, and at rock bottom, Nick receives a proposition. Powerful magnate Hiroshi Nakamura wants his services and, in particular, his memories. As head of the original investigation into the murder of Nakamura's son - an unsolved and seemingly impossible mystery - Nick's flashbacks now, six years later, hold the key to solving what was the greatest failed case of his career. This mission will bring Nick nearer to a hidden truth, one he may not be prepared to face, and will place his life in ever-increasing danger. Flashback: Dan Simmons' vision f a terrifying not-too-distant future; his fusion of awe-inspiring imagination, heart-thumping pace and surging plot cementing his status as one of the most versatile and visionary talents of his generation.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
It's a decent thriller, for the most part, although not as compelling as The Terror, and it lacks the creativity and literary bravery of Ilium. Most annoying, though, is the regular authorial intrusion. Characters keep interrupting the story to pontificate on how Obama and social programs ruined the country, or how Islam should be feared. It's like being sat next to a bore at a dinner party. You just want to enjoy the story, but they keep interrupting the tale with another rant.
I don't care what Simmons personal political views are, but as a writing teacher (as well as an exceptionally talented writer) he should know better than to ruin a story with lecturing.
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.Read more ›
The book in question is by Dan Simmons, an author who has written a slew of frankly excellent books which are widely, and justly, regarded as among the best SF books you can find. In particular, his "Hyperion Cantos" books, published from 1989 to 1997, are top notch works.
But this book, "Flashback", is different. This book is set in a near future, and it shows features of Simmons' personal and political views bleeding through into his story, and not in any useful or charming way. It's not a work of literature, it is a screed. Every page or so, there is some racist digression, a passage that bleeds venom towards non-whites and non-Christians, in one form or another, and a deeply visceral hatred towards those whites that collaborated with racial and religious enemies to ruin the strength of the white and Christian USA.
This book is a racist, right-wing rant. I might be able to finish it, if it were also well-written. But Simmons is preachy and digressive throughout, dumping expository racist passages into the middle of scenes. It would be embarrassingly poorly written for an unknown author. For an established author, it is catastrophically inept.
Simmons, with this book, shows himself to be full-on Tea Party racist (and it's a fair bet that he is banging his drum for Trump these days, though that is purely a conjecture on my part). His book is no more readable than one of Rand's rants, masquerading as literature, is.
And with that, I put it down. I may never read another book by Simmons.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dan Simmons is a great writer - mixing inventive scenarios with interesting characters and pacy thrilling plots. Read morePublished 16 months ago by John Davidson
Flashback takes place in a dystopian future where the USA has declined and disintegrated, extreme Islamic Caliphates and reactionary new Japanese feudal powers are the major forces... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Mel Powell
He can still write well. The actual story is quite engaging and interesting. There are some interesting ideas. Read more
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 morePublished on 15 July 2014 by Gene Young
“Flashback” by Dan Simmons is a mystery novel set in the former United States now devastated by economic and political collapse. Read morePublished on 31 Mar. 2014 by Killie
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... Read morePublished on 26 Mar. 2014 by Miketang
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 morePublished on 6 Sept. 2013 by Hydra