- File Size: 563 KB
- Print Length: 259 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books; Reissue edition (July 17, 2012)
- Publication Date: July 17, 2012
- Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005LVR6V4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,242 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said Kindle Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
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The biggest critique I have is that the choices and behavior of some of the characters seems so erratic at times that it disrupts the flow. The strange cat-and-mouse game between the protagonist and the police kept my attention but the constant intro and outro of one psychotic, tragic, or dislikable character after another didn't really seem to help the plot along that much. But again, that's not unusual for PKD.
Despite its issues, it somehow all works, and makes the time spent reading it rewarding in its own way. Dick has always been able to work magic and turn what would otherwise be odd bits and pieces of philosophy, futurism, and social commentary into something entertaining and thought-provoking. The bottom line is that if you like the PKD style, you'll enjoy Flow My Tears.
Jason Taverner is a Leno-esque television host who takes no end of smug pride in his chart-topping viewership. He's the top of the television world, and he makes damn sure everyone knows it. And then it all, somehow, goes away. Quite literally overnight, he finds himself without any identity, he awakes in a flophouse in the bad part of town with little more that the clothes on his back and the cash in his wallet. Trying to call his agent and lawyer, and even his girlfriend, with whom he has spent the previous night, leads to nothing. They have no idea who he is, nor do they seem to care to find out. Jason learns to his horror that his birth certificate doesn't even exist on file. In short, Jason Taverner does not exist.
Instead of fretting and fearing the worst, like most of us would do, Jason treats his situation like a minor setback on the road to recovering his identity, and finding out what has occurred. Throughout his journey, Jason meets some interesting dwellers of a world he never knew existed - such as a neurotic young woman who provides fake IDs and acts a police snitch to ensure the release of a boyfriend, who may not be alive, from a forced labor camp that may or may not even exist. Along the way, Jason catches glimpse of his past life from a perspective he'd never seen before.
Throughout this strange and ingenious dreamscape, Dick returns to some of his favorite thematic concerns: the relationship between objective and subjective realities, and the undeniable human need for connection and companionship. Flow My Tears is mostly a story about subjectivity, and how one's personal sense of the world can be affected by external influences outside of one's control.
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said is, in the end a deeply humanist novel, which questions the roles life requires us to play, and the way in which those roles may in fact inhibit rather than enhance our growth and our ability to connect to each other meaningfully. It does get a bit overemotional toward the end, and Dick doesn't always concern himself to follow any strict plotting either. But as always, a journey through the mind of Philip K. Dick offers a unique experience that will enrich your own perceptions of our world and move you in ways only the best fiction can.
Four and half stars
So much happens in this book, but the book is an easy, quick read with a typical twist of an ending, and I cautiously recommend it. It did, BTW, win a major award and was nominated for several others, so many people hold this book in high esteem. It's not my favorite of his, but it is good.
Top international reviews
the arrogance and comeuppance of the louche tv chat show/singer, the alt.sex of the policeman's sister/wife, the sadness of everyday people, all fantastically envisioned, bought to life and dissected. a thing of considerable beauty, which should be treasured, like the potter's work (no spoilers - read the book for why)!
If you've read P. K. Dick before, you will recognise familiar themes: principally, the nature of reality but it definitely doesn't feel tired. Not to me anyway...I am a fan. There's real tension, great dialogue and a fast paced story. No, your questions will not be answered at the end but that's all part of the fun! Recommend!
This review is not a reflection of the book !
-- from the backcover
Another fine work by Philip K Dick (1928-1982), exploring the themes of 'what is real?' and 'what is it to be human?'.
Flow My Tears The Policeman Said was a Nebula Award nominee in 1974; a John W. Campbell Award winner in 1975; a Hugo Award nominee in 1975 and a Locus Award nominee, again in 1975.
`The most consistently brilliant SF writer in the world'
`Dick quietly produced serious fiction in a popular form and there can be no greater praise'
`One of the most original practitioners writing any kind of fiction, Philip K. Dick made most of the European avant-guarde seem navel-gazers in a cul-de-sac'
`He was the funniest SF writer of his time, and perhaps the most terrifying'
--Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
If you are new to Philip K Dick's work I would also recommend the following novels (which generally seem to be regarded as among his best):
The Man In The High Castle (S.F. Masterworks)
Ubik (S.F. Masterworks)
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? (S.F. Masterworks)
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (S.F. Masterworks)
Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said (S.F. Masterworks)
That said, though some of PKD's works are better than others, to my mind they are all well worth reading. I would also recommend his short story collections:
Beyond Lies The Wub: Volume One Of The Collected Short Stories
Second Variety: Volume Two Of The Collected Short Stories
The Father-Thing: Volume Three Of The Collected Short Stories
Minority Report: Volume Four Of The Collected Short Stories
We Can Remember It For You Wholesale: Volume Five of The Collected Short Stories
Can't help putting Killian from the Running Man in Jason Taverners role, its a close match I think !!
What makes Flow, My Tears, The Policeman Said such an excellent novel is that Dick spends more time concentrating on building solid plots and involved believable characters instead of bombarding the reader with far-fetched imaginations as many sci-fi authors can do. Through the novel you get to know interesting and unique characters, learn new fears and desires, and become totally immersed in a post-totalitarian future.
All in all a brilliant novel in Dick's own inimitable style, bleak, dystopian, and involved, a great read whether you are a fan of sci-fi or not