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Flashback Hardcover – July 1, 2011

256 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


'a thrilling detective novel with a grand, compelling mystery at its centre' SFX. 'Relentlessly compelling' SciFi Now. 'Abundantly entertaining ... Flashback is first-rate' Washington Post. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Dan Simmons is the award-winning author of several novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Olympos and The Terror. He lives in Colorado.

"The Arrows of Time"
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books; 1 edition (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316006963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316006965
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #579,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Dan Simmons was born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1948, and grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which was the source of his fictional "Elm Haven" in 1991's SUMMER OF NIGHT and 2002's A WINTER HAUNTING. Dan received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970, winning a national Phi Beta Kappa Award during his senior year for excellence in fiction, journalism and art.
Dan received his Masters in Education from Washington University in St. Louis in 1971. He then worked in elementary education for 18 years -- 2 years in Missouri, 2 years in Buffalo, New York -- one year as a specially trained BOCES "resource teacher" and another as a sixth-grade teacher -- and 14 years in Colorado.

His last four years in teaching were spent creating, coordinating, and teaching in APEX, an extensive gifted/talented program serving 19 elementary schools and some 15,000 potential students. During his years of teaching, he won awards from the Colorado Education Association and was a finalist for the Colorado Teacher of the Year. He also worked as a national language-arts consultant, sharing his own "Writing Well" curriculum which he had created for his own classroom. Eleven and twelve-year-old students in Simmons' regular 6th-grade class averaged junior-year in high school writing ability according to annual standardized and holistic writing assessments. Whenever someone says "writing can't be taught," Dan begs to differ and has the track record to prove it. Since becoming a full-time writer, Dan likes to visit college writing classes, has taught in New Hampshire's Odyssey writing program for adults, and is considering hosting his own Windwalker Writers' Workshop.
Dan's first published story appeared on Feb. 15, 1982, the day his daughter, Jane Kathryn, was born. He's always attributed that coincidence to "helping in keeping things in perspective when it comes to the relative importance of writing and life."
Dan has been a full-time writer since 1987 and lives along the Front Range of Colorado -- in the same town where he taught for 14 years -- with his wife, Karen. He sometimes writes at Windwalker -- their mountain property and cabin at 8,400 feet of altitude at the base of the Continental Divide, just south of Rocky Mountain National Park. An 8-ft.-tall sculpture of the Shrike -- a thorned and frightening character from the four Hyperion/Endymion novels -- was sculpted by an ex-student and friend, Clee Richeson, and the sculpture now stands guard near the isolated cabin.
Dan is one of the few novelists whose work spans the genres of fantasy, science fiction, horror, suspense, historical fiction, noir crime fiction, and mainstream literary fiction . His books are published in 27 foreign counties as well as the U.S. and Canada.
Many of Dan's books and stories have been optioned for film, including SONG OF KALI, DROOD, THE CROOK FACTORY, and others. Some, such as the four HYPERION novels and single Hyperion-universe novella "Orphans of the Helix", and CARRION COMFORT have been purchased (the Hyperion books by Warner Brothers and Graham King Films, CARRION COMFORT by European filmmaker Casta Gavras's company) and are in pre-production. Director Scott Derrickson ("The Day the Earth Stood Stood Still") has been announced as the director for the Hyperion movie and Casta Gavras's son has been put at the helm of the French production of Carrion Comfort. Current discussions for other possible options include THE TERROR. Dan's hardboiled Joe Kurtz novels are currently being looked as the basis for a possible cable TV series.
In 1995, Dan's alma mater, Wabash College, awarded him an honorary doctorate for his contributions in education and writing.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Bornintime VINE VOICE on August 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I feel somewhat emotionally invested in the work of Dan Simmons so I find myself unable to stop reading (yet!) even though his last few works have been disappointing. I first started reading Dan about 20 years ago when Summer Of Night came out. Dan instantly jumped into my top handful of authors and stayed there for many years. I read everything he put out and it was all exceptional; I didn't care what genre he was writing in. I loved it all. He was a gifted storyteller. I could get lost in his work, the way you should get lost in a fiction writer.

Things have changed. The Terror was a bit of a slip and things have gotten worse with Drood and Black Hills. Flashback is probably my favorite of the last 3 but it certainly is not a great book. It is an interesting multi-genre (SF, mystery, action) story that is fun at times. The characters are a bit cliched but I was able to care about what was happening to them. The story was certainly a worthy idea for a book. But, the same as all his recent work, there is too much of Dan Simmons in the book. I know that he wrote it but I just felt like I was constantly being schooled, constantly exposed to the author's opinions about everything, not just politics. And here's the thing - it seems that I lean Dan's way politically. I do have a problem with the US getting 4 billion dollars a day deeper into debt and I don't think anything good can possibly come out of this. And I still thought he was overly preachy! I know it's fiction but throughout the book the reader is constantly subjected to lessons about everything. He knows more than you do and you need to be enlightened. How is one possibly supposed to lose yourself in a STORY when you are barraged with intellectual asides constantly.
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143 of 186 people found the following review helpful By D. Schwent on June 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In a former United States devastated by economic and political collapse, former police officer Nick Bottom, a Flashback addict like much of the country, is pulled from the ruins of his former life and hired by a Japanese businessman to solve the six year old murder of his son. But what does the murder have to do with the car accident that killed his wife and sent him into Flashback's warm embrace?

When I saw that Dan Simmons' next book was going to be called Flashback, I pre-ordered it immediately. Flashback is a drug that allows the user to relive memories and was first introduced by Simmons in the wonderful Hyperion Cantos, one of my all-time favorite books. Did it live up to the standard set by Hyperion? I'll tell you in a little while...

There were a lot of things I liked about Flashback. Flashback and the culture surrounding it made a great plot device. I thought that using Nick Bottom's Flashback addiction to explore his own memories to help investigate who killed Nakamura's son was a pretty novel idea. I liked the converging plotlines with Nick's estranged son Val and his father-in-law Leonard. I liked the relationship with Nick and Sato, Nakamura's watchdog. I loved the references to other Simmons books like Hardcase and Hyperion and the references to Shakespeare and Keats. Most of all, I loved the serpentine nature of the mystery and how it had to do with Dara's death. The world was very well constructed and was a bit of a throwback to the cyberpunk dystopias of the 80's.

That's a lot of likes but the dislike was very hard to ignore. The tone of the book was so conservative that it made Rush Limbaugh seem like Hilary Clinton by comparison.
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102 of 137 people found the following review helpful By Steven on July 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Please bear with me, as I hop on my soap-box for a minute. I promise I'll review the book -


*ahem*, I'll try that again...

First, let me get the AA piece out of the way. My name is Steve, and I am a Democrat. ("Hi, Steve!")

Does that really even matter? No. It shouldn't. I'm not a Communist, Marxist, (yadda-yadda), but I have Democratic morals. So what, right? Here's my point - yes it IS possible to be a Democrat and still love this book. Why? Well because this is just FICTION. Yes, the future in this novel is bleak and scary, yes the political leanings in this book are certainly towards the right, yes some of the characters are racist - WHO CARES! This is still a very well-written book with tons of intrigue, mystery, the whole nine.

Dan took what was in his mind a possible scenario, and wrote a fictional novel out of it set in a dystopian America. Authors have been doing this for years. This does NOT mean that Dan is a crazy, racist, wing-nut blah-blah-blah. If that were the case then the author of the dystopian work 'A Clockwork Orange', Anthony Burgess, is truly one sick puppy - but people still love his work! (myself being one of these people)

Here's the problem: more and more people are polarized because of political differences. It's almost like religion to some people, so when someone comes up with an opposing viewpoint people get extremely 'butt-hurt' (sorry, not a tactful term, but accurate). So, if you are the type to get 'butt-hurt' over differing political ideals then this book is not for you - go back to reading dystopian works about anarchist children, serial rapists, etc.
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