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Showing 1-10 of 118 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 284 reviews
on February 14, 2016
One of the best Sci-Fi books I've ever read. This novel grabs you from page one and never lets go. The action is very well written and the characters are well-rounded. The imagery is compelling all the more so because of the realistic possibility this future that Simmons writes about is very, very possible. This isn't some novel that takes place in another world and time (well, not too distant). It is terrifying because this takes place right here, in America! All I've got to say is read it and have an open mind. I consider myself Liberal and I loved this book!
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on April 30, 2013
{3.5 stars}

FLASHBACK presents a fascinating dystopian vision of the world-in-general and America-in-particular 20-odd years from now. The U.S. has split into several ineffectual pieces; there is constant war in China; Israel has been nuked into near-oblivion by the rising "Global Caliphate"; Japan has a (to-be-revealed) agenda of its own, and so forth. Atop all of this, a huge portion of the world's population is passively addicted to "flashback," an ingredients-unidentified substance that allows people to relive their pasts with absolute clarity.

FLASHBACK is full of interesting turns and complications. I was engrossed even by the parts that meander, and engrossing the reader is most (or all?) of the game, right? The first 100-odd pages are marred by heavy-handed politilizations such as "Val and the others didn't know anything about [Columbine killers] Klebold and Harris, either, other than they were chillsweet killers about the age of the guys in this pathetic little flashgang who'd tried to off their entire school back. . .when dinosaurs and Republicans still walked the earth"(25). Many other reviewers have noted how the author's apparently conservative or Libertarian political views constantly intrude into this novel. Luckily, the intrusions and oh-aren't-I-clever puns decrease considerably as FLASHBACK progresses and Simmons becomes more involved with simply telling his story. While the ending is hurried and hard to buy, the middle portions contain some of his best characters and situations. The world Simmons presents here reflects an impressive imagination, and if you are willing to not let the politics get you down and take the worst with the best, you will probably find FLASHBACK worth reading. This novel is nothing if not unique.
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on April 27, 2016
For people who are turned off by politics of any sort I could understand some of the reviews but reading them in depth I get the impression that they "doth protest too much" in that had he written some liberal apocalyptic plot like the move Vendetta I'm sure many would have been singing it's praises instead. The point of view he wrote from is probably a lot more possible as future dsytopia than any of the boiler plate shiboleths that haunt the left.
Long and short if I have been waiting for a Simmons book I could really get into since he expanded Carrion Comfort from a short story into a full novel. That was brilliant and I have found his follows ups erratic. So this mystery thriller was a great surprise. Would have given it 4 stars but wished to off set some the sanctimony of the other reviewers.
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on April 27, 2017
Dan Simmons is a great writer. Having read nearly all of his books I was surprised by his ability to see into the future with "Flashback". Anybody who thinks the indecisive government of Obama was correct should read this book.
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on January 15, 2017
Great Sci Fi story of near future. A murder mystery involving control of the U.S. by groups foreign and domestic. The plot is original and keeps you guessing.
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on January 11, 2017
An astonishingly well-crafted and prescient view into our future, not on a technological level per se but on a cultural and sociopolitical one. Simmons' depiction of a Balkanized America, defanged by its own naive politicians and promptly carved like a Thanksgiving turkey by foreign powers and domestic gangs and ethnic militias alike, is a refreshingly realistic extrapolation of the true consequences of contemporary national policies, and a welcome digression from a dystopian fiction field otherwise filled with trite sophomoric rehashes of 1984 where America is implausibly projected as the Evil Empire. The story is superbly crafted; the climactic revelation does a spectacular job of making all of the mysterious pieces of the puzzle fall perfectly into place, leaving the reader with the delicious feeling that they *should* have and *could* have seen it coming, but didn't -- the perfect feeling to generate.
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on December 31, 2011
Simmons' The Terror, Black Hills, and Drood made for amazing reading. Flashback's depressing view of America's future presents an interesting premise. All aspects of society are eroding and the majority of people are finding escape in a narcotic that brings back the better past. The author uses a murder mystery to tug the reader through the bleakness.

Unfortunately the whole thing was a bit too bleak for me. It lacked the subtle layers found in his other work and characters that drew you in. I have been intrigued by fellow reviewers who have panned it for racism and right-wing leanings. That is the wrong critique because Simmons is entitled to his views, I just found it long and boring.
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on October 11, 2012
Author Simmons has a most entertaining imagination. He is especially good at weaving non-fictional events, songs and history with fantasy to make this story of the future connect to the characters and the past. He is made me think about this imaginary sceniero and how something like this could become a realty in 40-years down the road.
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on June 30, 2012
Flashback is an entertaining, rollicking ride, but not nearly as intense and well thought out as Ilium or Ilium. The characters in this book were relatively shallow, and had peculiar motivations, which seemed to change at the whim of the the author merely to drive the plot forward.
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on January 19, 2016
This dystopian mystery novel is really fun to read. The premise is intriguing and dont believe all the negative reviews that were written by Democrats who voted for President OBama. It's fiction for Pete's sake! Don't you folks have any sense of humor? You'd all give it 5 stars if the author had blamed the collapse of the US on President Bush!
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