Customer Reviews for

Flashback

Average Rating 3.5
( 40 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(3)

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(7)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Dan Simmons is a master

No one can beat mr. Simmons w mhen it comes to writing outstanding science fiction. The future portrayed could be all too real. The mystery leaves one guessing until the end. There is plenty of action as well. There is politics but at least it is an intelligent appr...
No one can beat mr. Simmons w mhen it comes to writing outstanding science fiction. The future portrayed could be all too real. The mystery leaves one guessing until the end. There is plenty of action as well. There is politics but at least it is an intelligent approach rather than the under the dome crap from last year. Bravo mr. Simmons for writing a novel that needed to be written.

posted by Bubwolf on June 24, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

22 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

Derivative craziness

For just about a deacade now, Dan Simmons has been spiraling further and further down as a writer. The guy who wrote classics like CARRION COMFORT, HYPERION and THE FALL OF HYPERION has managed to publish aborted ideas-cum-novels like OLYMPOS, DROOD and BLACK HILLS,fill...
For just about a deacade now, Dan Simmons has been spiraling further and further down as a writer. The guy who wrote classics like CARRION COMFORT, HYPERION and THE FALL OF HYPERION has managed to publish aborted ideas-cum-novels like OLYMPOS, DROOD and BLACK HILLS,filled with didactic passages (in which one can almost see the author standing on his soapbox), rightwing politico rants toward Muslims and homosexuals, stilted dialogue ("The revolving Hotchkiss cannon had five thirty-seven-millimeter barrels and was capable of firing forty-three rounds per minute", one helpful character says to another in BLACK HILLS, sounding a lot like a tour guide), and two dimensional characters. Now, after failing to climb higher than 18 or 19 on the NYTimes bestseller list with any of his last three novels (all historical thrillers), Simmons is trying his hand at another mainstream thriller (THE CROOK FACTORY, his best effort in that area was all but ignored; and DARWIN'S BLADE, a laughable and embarrassing piece of work -- the "cases" were obviously cobbled up from "Darwin Awards" that have proven to be urban legends). He's also throwing in a bit of SF for good measure.

Set in the not-too distant future, FLASHBACK involves a drug that lets addicts relive a past day (or month, or year, or moment). Protagonist Nick Bottom has, er, um, reached the bottom (hence the clever use of that surname), after the death of his wife. His skills as detective (once renowned) have (like Simmons's skills as a writer) bottomed-out. Japanese billionaire Hiroshi Nakamura asks Bottom to reopen the investigation into the death of his son, Keigo (it was Nick Bottom who originally flubbed the investigation, years before). We know Nakamura wants Bottom to re-investigate, because he opens the conversation in classic (also known as cliche) style, by saying (I kid you not), "You're probably wondering why I asked you to come here today, Mr. Bottom." From there, things go downhill fast. And Glenn Beck-style political preaching (disguised as characterization) pours onto the pages (and all over the plot): Radical Islam has conscripted most of the USA! Various states and territories have seceeded! And, of course, Pres. Obama is to blame. The author would have some believe FLASHBACK is patterned on Shakespeare (Bottom...Midsummer's Night Dream...). But there is more of the teapot -- or Teaparty -- and less of the Tempest in this (highly) derivative craziness.

posted by 8699061 on June 20, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2011

    Derivative craziness

    For just about a deacade now, Dan Simmons has been spiraling further and further down as a writer. The guy who wrote classics like CARRION COMFORT, HYPERION and THE FALL OF HYPERION has managed to publish aborted ideas-cum-novels like OLYMPOS, DROOD and BLACK HILLS,filled with didactic passages (in which one can almost see the author standing on his soapbox), rightwing politico rants toward Muslims and homosexuals, stilted dialogue ("The revolving Hotchkiss cannon had five thirty-seven-millimeter barrels and was capable of firing forty-three rounds per minute", one helpful character says to another in BLACK HILLS, sounding a lot like a tour guide), and two dimensional characters. Now, after failing to climb higher than 18 or 19 on the NYTimes bestseller list with any of his last three novels (all historical thrillers), Simmons is trying his hand at another mainstream thriller (THE CROOK FACTORY, his best effort in that area was all but ignored; and DARWIN'S BLADE, a laughable and embarrassing piece of work -- the "cases" were obviously cobbled up from "Darwin Awards" that have proven to be urban legends). He's also throwing in a bit of SF for good measure.

    Set in the not-too distant future, FLASHBACK involves a drug that lets addicts relive a past day (or month, or year, or moment). Protagonist Nick Bottom has, er, um, reached the bottom (hence the clever use of that surname), after the death of his wife. His skills as detective (once renowned) have (like Simmons's skills as a writer) bottomed-out. Japanese billionaire Hiroshi Nakamura asks Bottom to reopen the investigation into the death of his son, Keigo (it was Nick Bottom who originally flubbed the investigation, years before). We know Nakamura wants Bottom to re-investigate, because he opens the conversation in classic (also known as cliche) style, by saying (I kid you not), "You're probably wondering why I asked you to come here today, Mr. Bottom." From there, things go downhill fast. And Glenn Beck-style political preaching (disguised as characterization) pours onto the pages (and all over the plot): Radical Islam has conscripted most of the USA! Various states and territories have seceeded! And, of course, Pres. Obama is to blame. The author would have some believe FLASHBACK is patterned on Shakespeare (Bottom...Midsummer's Night Dream...). But there is more of the teapot -- or Teaparty -- and less of the Tempest in this (highly) derivative craziness.

    22 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2011

    a sad, sad turn for Simmons to take....

    he may have lost his mind... I literally cannot believe that the same man who wrote Hyperion, Fall of Hyperion, Endymion, Rise of Endymion -wrote this book. It was nothing but him grinding a political ax. I don't need that - I was looking foward to something entertaining, and this was NOT it. SIGH.

    10 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    Dan Simmons is a master

    No one can beat mr. Simmons w mhen it comes to writing outstanding science fiction. The future portrayed could be all too real. The mystery leaves one guessing until the end. There is plenty of action as well. There is politics but at least it is an intelligent approach rather than the under the dome crap from last year. Bravo mr. Simmons for writing a novel that needed to be written.

    10 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2011

    Great

    The hard part about writing dystopian fiction, especially that set in the near future, is creating a believable future. Dan Simmons has created just such a world. I do not know the authors politics, nor do I care. I do believe that those who have rated this book low have done so, not because the book is anything but a stellar example of the author's work, but because they do not like the fictitious world the author created. This is a very entertaining book that left me guessing till the end.

    9 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2011

    Ghost Written by Glenn Beck

    Dan Simmons was on my "must buy" author list until this book. Had there been a hint of his ham-fisted political agenda on the dust jacket, at least I would have been warned. Now I don't dare waste my money on any more of his books because I don't know if he managed to vent his spleen or he will continue to dribble bile over future pages. If I wanted to read paranoid, ill-researched Fox News talking points, I would have picked up a book by Roger Ailes or logged onto Sarah Palin's web site. The ONLY thing that got me to the end of the book was the fact that the man does write a good page turner, even when one has to hold one's nose with one hand while turning the pages with the other. It was somewhat difficult.

    7 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2011

    Strange Politics

    Books has projections of a bleak future and lays blame on economy, cost of current wars, and entitlement programs in US. I had problems with some of the race overtones, like making funny of Asian accent and not being able to pronounce the letter L.

    7 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Good writer, but this book gets too preachy

    I like a lot of Simmons' work, so I was excited to get started on this book. It, like the other books of his I read, is well written with a compelling plot. Unlike the other books I read it is really way too preachy for me. The book is constantly interrupted by one character or another explaining how the world really fell apart by actions of Americans in the beginning of the 21st Century. These passages seem completely unnecessary to the plot, they are bound to anger at least half the American population (particularly Democrats whose beliefs and policies the author has a particular distaste for), and generally diminish the reader's experience.

    I guess if you don't mind getting lectured on current politics in your near-future distopian fiction, or if you are a Libertarian who loves having their political views supported by fictional characters, it's well worth the read. Otherwise, I would suggest picking up either the Hyperion series or Ilium and Olympos, both pairs of books being much better than this one due to their sci-fi setting making it impossible to comment on the 2008 election...

    6 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 24, 2011

    Started out OK, but quickly became a political "statement"

    I was looking for some good science fiction and had not read anything by Dan Simmons before. The writing, characters, and story line started out well. Unfortunately, the story was quickly overwhelmed by "the tea party saves the world" theme. I think this could have been pretty good if the primary purpose had been to write good science fiction.

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2011

    Another Winner

    An excellent read from the always entertaining Mr. Simmons. It's a shame some people are such haters that they use this forum for expressions of their political views, as if anyone really cares what those views are, rather than give an honest review of the books. This book has conservative views, but takes a jab at the entire state of politics nationally and worldwide while presenting warnings about the all-too POSSIBLE near future that will doubtless go unheaded. "Flashback" keeps you guessing until the end, as all good mystery-thrillers do and is a pleasure to read. Thank you Dan Simmons!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2012

    A good story and well written. It kept me guessing until the en

    A good story and well written. It kept me guessing until the end. It's refreshing to read a dystopian novel that involves a different set of actors rather than the usual suspects ("evil corporations taking over the world", "unchecked pollution", "nuclear war", etc). I think most of the bad reviews listed here are from people that prefer the narcotic of reading something that fits their world view. It's a worthy read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2011

    decent story, extreme politics

    This near-future dystopian novel has some merit, but the whole effort is seriously undermined by Simmons's Tea Party propagandizing -- denying global warming, Muslim bashing and rants against "socialized" medicine. We are even asked to believe that the hope of the nation rests in the reborn Republic of Texas. Finally, we're asked to accept that the protagonist kicks a drug addiction by getting too busy to remember to indulge. Would that it were that easy . . .

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2012

    Quite a few of the other reviews here are straight political ha

    Quite a few of the other reviews here are straight political hatchet jobs and should be dismissed as such. Flashback brings together everything that Dan Simmons does extremely well: interesting, nuanced characters, fast-paced plot, and new ideas seemingly on every page. The reality is that many of the progressives reviewing this book don't want to consider the potential negative consequences their well-intended actions of today portend in the near future world of Flashback. A great detective novel wrapped in a great science fiction novel, Simmons' work brings to mind two tremendous authors who likewise refused to say and believe false things in order to get along: David Mamet and Michael Crichton. Very highly recommended.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    Holy cow, I wish I could've taken Flashback while reading this t

    Holy cow, I wish I could've taken Flashback while reading this to relive when Mr. Simmons wrote better. He's off the rails with this one.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    Timely!

    Well written with an interesting plot and good pacing

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 6, 2011

    Terrible, don't waste your time.

    I have been a Dan Simmons fan ever since Drood. However his latest book Flashback was an overwhelming dissapointment. I found the book to be political, preachy, pedantic and poorly written at times. It seemed the purpose of the book was to air political views more than anything else.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2013

    IMPORTANT

    SILVERS HIDEOUT IS FOUND AT DEATH OF THE FATAL!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2013

    KILL

    Dawnsong @ 'Fox Heart' result 4 then shiningkit @ same place but result 11.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2013

    Blue

    Will help find at least Abuseheart.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2013

    Abuseheart

    "I'm right here losers."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2013

    Pikapaw

    Uses thunderbolt on abuseheart

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