Customer Reviews for

Flashback

Average Rating 3.5
( 40 )
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(17)

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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 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 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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  • 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 16, 2013

    KILL

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

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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