I read the reviews, and being fairly liberal myself I kept an open mind about it, and I wasn't all that bothered by the right wing agenda of the characters. Most of what everyone is complaining about occurs in static scenes where two characters talk (playing chess, in the cab of a truck, at a desk) and blame the bleak future on Obama (specifically) and American policy in this decade, and because these are isolated incidents, it just sounds like a cranky old author bitching because he can. But the story itself is fascinating -- it is BLEAK as hell, but incredibly compelling -- bleak in a different way than 2030 by Albert Brooks was bleak (I still can't believe that ALBERT BROOKS the comedian wrote that? He had to have had some help). In Flashback, the Japanese are a superpower, whereas in 2030 it is the Chinese. All extrapolating plausible outcomes based upon current trends (remember when the sci fi books of the 80s blamed the bleak future on the Reagan administration?).
However, if you are a Dan Simmons fan, you will enjoy this book tremendously despite the occasional political griping. He is still one of the most interesting writers working today, and this story is layered and rich, and it will throw you many surprises along the way. Just try not to get too depressed. It is worth it all the way to the end.
I'm afraid to quote, paraphrase, or summarize this book, for fear of the author's views being taken as my own. If you hate all democrats, Japanese, Muslims, and Mexicans, you might like this book. If I could get past the racism and politics, I'd be reading a book about unlikeable jerks. I've endured over 5 hours of it, and I can't take it anymore. I'm deleting this one from my library.
Sci Fi Reader
This is not a political book, it is speculative fiction, it has a sense of humor to it. It is a crazy scenario of the future and Mr. Simmons is doing his best to give an idea of what would happen if in a bad economy a new drug arose which people could relive their past. I do not believe that Mr. Simmons is a republican, he is fearless in his portrayal of the future when everyone basically gives up. I really enjoyed this book and I loved how he ended it. The narration was terrific.
I listened to three hours of this before giving up. Too many f-words, Lord's name in vain, and the like for me to enjoy the book. Probably would have been a good overall story otherwise, but I'll never know.
Dan Simmons is an great storyteller; The Terror is one of my favorite books. However, in Flashback he made the unfortunate decision to shoehorn half-baked rightwing talking points into an otherwise solid narrative. Throughout the story, characters break into extended monologues tracing this or that sorry state of affairs back to some liberal policy.
It's perfectly natural for an author's political opinions to inform his or her work. But the exposition was awkward, and way too long. If I want to listen to long-winded, poorly-informed zealots, I'll visit my inlaws.
I don't care for multiple narrators reading one story. Also, the man reading the flash gang chapters was incredibly annoying.
The least helpful reviewer on audible.
I think R. C. Bray might do good with this.
This was a good idea that was poorly executed and made worse by incompetent readers. I wanted so much to like this but two-thirds of the way in I gave up. I might try it again when I forget how bad it was, but as of now I can't finish it.
I've enjoyed Dan Simmons in the past, but this is the last book I will ever read of his. If you love Fox News or if you're a little to a lot racist, then you're going to find this your book. Dan proves in this book that he a tough, take no prisoners white guy, who can use the the "n" word wherever and whenever he wants, and still work in a few Chevy commercials with placement advertising. Welcome to Dan's world where the Arabs, coddled in the second decade of the 21st centruy, have taken over the world (along with some rather unscruplous Japanese). America is now a discusting place where the only real vehicles available are unreliable, energy efficient, monstrosities. Global warming has been proven a hoax and the U.S. has been reduced to a country of either crying, snivelling little killer brats or drug convulsed zombies that only want to relive their past. To me it seems Simmons has grown old and,like the stereotypical old man who hates everything modern, and believes that the only good things in life went away, and especially so when America voted in a black president. The book is predictable as far as I could read it, and I doubt that a new autor could ever have gotten it published. I agree with the others who rated this book, I'd like my credit back, I couldn't finish it.
No, just from Dan Simmons
The performance is adequate, but unfortunately it is difficult to seperate him from the political message, so tirelessly expounded in the book.
Everyone but Sato
Be smarter than me; read the review before you buy this book.
I don't agree with some of the subtext of this book, but it made me reflect about my own political beliefs. The pacing and performances were outstanding. This book won't make me vote for the Tea Party, but I plan on reading more of Dan Simmons work.
I have read about 13 novels by Mr. Simmons, starting with Hyperion and the crass neo-con rightwing think tank premises left me discouraged. I am not sure, after which Michael Crichton novel I read when I realize that his engrossing stories pushed radical right wing think tank agendas but it made me feel the same way after reading Flashback. The story is fun but the right wing talking points: ‘Sharia Law in the US,’ Texas is it’s own country (and the last stand against Sharia Law and a Muslim Caliphate),’ ‘the social contract and PAID FOR INSURANCE programs of Social Security and Medicare as the destroyer of America’ and of course ‘Obama is an appeaser’. Clearly current events are not a foundation for Mr. Simmons politics and it may be a sad commentary on President Obama’s legacy that he will be known for having killed more Muslims than the half-wit George W. Bush and his neo-con scumbag advisors. And as far as Texas is concerned; the republicanism of that state has created a cesspool of pollution, illiterates, global warming wasteland and the unemployed. You truly need to suspend belief to believe that Texans can save themselves much less stop a never to exist threat from Muslims, oh and Israel is finally destroyed by Arabs, (no there is no rapture), and for no good reason they don’t destroy their attackers with this nuclear weapons. The saddest part is that Flashback is that it could be a prelude to earth pre-Hyperion. For all the morality, love and empathy against institutionalized corruption of the Catholic church (far worse than Islam) that is the foundation of the Hyperion books there seems to be none left in the world that Flashback exists in, discouraged.
This was the first book by Dan Simmons that I have read or listened to, and I found it very satisfying. I've always enjoyed the grim, 'look how badly we screwed up the world' genre, and this was one of the better ones I've read. I especially enjoyed the thinly veiled digs at the current events and politicians that caused the mess (or at least got the ball rolling), but if you're too far left of center, you might find that a bit annoying. Given the range of character ages, the use of multiple narrators was very effective. Well worth the credit!