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Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said Paperback – June 29, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reissue edition (June 29, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067974066X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679740667
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #556,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A TV celebrity of the near future suddenly finds that he has no identity in this SF variation on the amnesia novel, which suffers from an inadequate ending. Vintage also releases, for $10 each, Dick's Now Wait for Last Year (*-74220-4 ), about a doctor who is treating the world's most important and sickest man, and The World Jones Made (*-74219-0 ), about a fanatic clairvoyant.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Dick [was] many authors: a poor man's Pynchon, an oracular postmodern, a rich product of the changing counterculture" Village Voice

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Customer Reviews

Good things will come to those who wait.
Brent Jones
This is a wonderful novel -- it grips the reader by creating a world so similar to this one yet also distinct enough to be puzzling.
J. Smallridge
I have read about a dozen PKD books, and this is one of the very few that HAD a satisfactory ending.
Bill R. Moore

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Brent Jones on July 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
My first Dick book. While not for everyone, it's pretty accessible to anyone who can appreciate alternate reality/paranoid sci-fi. It's classic man-against-the-clock stolen identity stuff in the tradition of D.O.A. and (to a much, much lesser extent) Enemy of the State. Jason Taverner, anti-hero as he may be, is a great character in which to carry the main storyline of arrogant celebrity turned underground fugitive, but the smaller characters are what make this book into something more than "one man out to get back what was stolen from him." When read as a whole, it is a great testament to being human in the face of mechanical adversity. Not clanking robots, mind you (although it does have it's share of cool futuristic gadgetry), but rather the mechanisms imposed by society, and ourselves, that would otherwise strip away or mask what is good and human in everyone. The best character in the book (in my humble opinion) is the policeman who has a ferocious hard-on for nailing the fugitive Taverner, and from whom the wonderful title is taken. To those who start this book and are inclined to put it down partway through, be assured! Good things will come to those who wait. The scene at the end that involves the title is one of the singly most beautiful ever penned, in sci-fi or any other genre. But it is a very subtle beauty and perhaps not suited for every reading palette. If yours is a refined taste that can grasp a sentiment that is not delivered with a sledgehammer, and enjoys it in the setting of a eerie future America that smacks dangerously of our present one, read this book post-haste.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 5, 1996
Format: Paperback
Written straight from Philip K. Dick's broken and wandering heart, this is one of the genre's best, and saddest, books. Instead of clanking heavy-metal robotics, quantum theory, or brave new worlds, Dick offers up our future peopled by fragile humans, all looking for love. It is impossible to read this book, and not feel Phil's heart breaking as he wrote every beautiful word
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Eric San Juan VINE VOICE on March 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
A truly astonishing work that, in my opinion, should easily stand among PKD's best work save for one flaw - an unnecessary epilogue that saps a bit of power from the otherwise gut-wrenching finish, putting a happy polish on what should have been a more bleak finale.

Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said is, like the works that best represent Philip K. Dick's career, a "What is reality?" book. The scenario he lets unfold - one day a guy is the Johnny Carson of his time, known and loved by all, the next day he is an unknown without an identity and doesn't know why - keeps you turning pages, wanting to know the truth as badly as the protagonist. The world he creates is, as always, intricate in its not-quite-the-world-we-know details. And the ending? Wow. Remove that epilogue (which in a very unDickian manner wraps everything up in a neat little bow at the end) and it's very powerful. If you've read PKD before, this will be familiar to you - twisted reality, hazy drugs, a world turned on its head - and if you haven't, Flow My Tears offers a good look at everything that makes up what a Philip k. Dick book is.

If only it didn't have that darn Hollywood ending ...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Angry Mofo on December 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
Philip K. Dick had a limitless imagination, perfect for science fiction. His books burst with clever and grotesque detail, adding inimitable colour to their worlds. But this could also be a weakness. In the process of tossing off an idea, Dick's mind would already come up with ten more, and he'd never return to flesh out many of his fascinating inventions. His narratives, even the best ones, often seem to spiral off into unending, senselessly ornate embellishment.

Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said is an example of this kind of derailment. In addition to the main story, in which a famous TV personality seems to be suddenly transported to a parallel universe where he never existed, we are introduced to the following details:

1. A bizarre alien creature called the "Callisto cuddle sponge" is used in an attempt to kill the protagonist early on, and never comes up again. Not only that, but there is no mention of an advanced space program or life on other worlds. The would-be assassin also disappears from the story. The protagonist's strange predicament starts immediately after this assassination attempt, yet ultimately is shown to have nothing to do with it.

2. All universities have been destroyed and turned into underground ghettos, where the remaining "students," who apparently opposed the government at one point, lead a half-feral existence and struggle to survive. The government itself has turned into a police state.

3. Jason Taverner is the product of genetic engineering (a "six"), which gives him extraordinary physical and mental powers. This appears to mark him for death, as the program has been forbidden, and the government is hunting down all survivors. However, this ultimately has nothing to do with his predicament.

4.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Justin Pallack on April 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
Flow my tears... is another great read for me, a self proclaimed Phil Dick fan, however I suggest to those who havent read him yet to start with another book. Maybe A Scanner Darkly, or The Phillip K. Dick Reader which is a collection of short stories, some of which have become major movies i.e. Total Recall, Paycheck, and Minority Report. Total recall is based on a short story called "We Can Remember it For You Wholesale"
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