Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (Vintage) Paperback – 1 Sep 1993
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|Paperback, 1 Sep 1993||
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Philip K Dick notoriously charted SF's most dangerous, booby-trapped realities. Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said (1974) is a relatively straightforward tale of paranoid unease at finding the world isn't what it should be.
Jason Taverner is world-famous for his songs and regular TV show. "Thirty million people saw you zip up your fly tonight." "... It's my trademark." Although this future US is a grim police state with labour camps in Alaska and Canada, jetsetting Taverner enjoys being one of the winners.
Then he wakes up in a sleazy hotel room, still well-dressed and flush with money, but no longer the famous Jason Taverner. No ID--that's a forced-labour offence. His agent doesn't know him. Nor do his closest friends. He's even vanished from police databanks.
Forged documents are needed, hand-drawn by teenaged expert Kathy--one of Dick's most alarming women, a neurotic petty criminal who's also a police informer, who entraps and manipulates Taverner until he's terrified of her. He may deserve it: this self-obsessed megastar inflicts small, unthinking cruelties on virtually every woman he meets.
The title's policeman is another interesting character: Police General Felix Buckman, a mostly good man (and fan of Elizabethan songs: "Flow, my teares...") trapped in a horrible system. Is Taverner, the man with no past, a threat? Less so, maybe, than Buckman's amoral sister Alys, who takes special interest in Taverner and seems to have the world's only copies of his music albums...
Paranoid wrongness is expertly conveyed, and resolved with a typically offbeat SF notion. A sunny finale concludes one of Dick's most approachable novels.--David Langford --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Another classic novel from the world's greatest writer of science fiction --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
"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.
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!
The title of this book is a reference to "Flow my tears," a piece by the 16th century composer John Dowland. However, it escapes me what this reference was meant to convey. Knowing the way that Philip K.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
mind warping ideas , another great novel from P. k. Dick. not quite sure if it would have been better without the explanation given in final chapterPublished 3 months ago by Mr. G. S. Worthington
Once I had set up my phone to play the tracks IN ORDER, this made a lot more sense!!! Read more
Probably the last of Dick's wild, druggie books (A scanner darkly had a serious approach) this is an odd mix indeed. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Archy
One of PKD's best - a little dated in the technology but this really messes with your reality. I felt brain damaged by the close of the novel.Published 19 months ago by Aramchek
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