A Novel

Book - 2011 | 1st ed
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America, 2036. Powerful magnate Hiroshi Nakamura needs ex-cop Nick Bottom's services, and, in particular, his memories. As head of the original investigation into the murder of Nakamura's son, Bottom's flashbacks hold the key to solving what was the toughest case of his career. But as Nick delves deeper, the harder it becomes to trust those around him. And when he uncovers a connection to his wife's death, it is not only Hiroshi Nakamura who wants answers.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316006965
Branch Call Number: F SIMMO-D
Characteristics: 554 p. ; 25 cm


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Dec 17, 2016

The book seemed good until about page 130 when, with no reason, Simmons brings in Barak Obama as a major contributor to the world's woes in this dystopian future. I tried to keep reading through some oversimplified rant about Israel which seemed to blame liberals for allowing terrorism. And the last straw was a scene describing some old useless wind turbines and how bad they worked and how they killed lots of birds. It took all the fun out of reading it. Maybe I will try his book The Terror and hope the not-so-subtle right wing message is toned down a bit. For some reason, this popped up on my library page and I read my comments and some others. I feel compelled to add that the author's views seem even more ridiculous now, especially the ones about green energy and, yes, wind turbines. Oh I think the future will be dystopian all right, some of the reason being the types of views this author has.

ChristchurchLib Nov 30, 2015

SF Mystery. BIAHTF: "Before It All Hit the Fan." That's the last time Nick Bottom was happy. Now homeless and jobless, Nick's life revolves around flashback, a drug that enables users to relive the best moments of their lives. Desperate to stay "under the flash" so that he can spend time with his dead wife, the former Denver police detective accepts money from a Japanese billionaire to revisit a cold case that he couldn't solve six years ago. Using flashback to review now-destroyed evidence from the investigation, Nick pursues suspects who live only in his mind and leads that shouldn't go anywhere, yet point to sinister motives on the part of nearly all parties involved. Science fiction newsletter December 2015

Jul 06, 2014

Futuristic thriller about a man who is hired by a Japanese businessman to find his son's killer. The world in which they live are occupied by thug, thieves, rapists and the like. A world in which racial groups are pitted against racial groups for territory or drug trade. The book gets too political for me - when it might hint at the views of the author - in which the cause of this strife is entitlements by the previous government.

Jul 03, 2014

As other commenters have mentioned the book is politically loaded. But the story and its construction, narrated from the viewpoint of three men, grandfather, father and boy is quite good and gave rise to an interesting chapter numbering. The back and forth in the story are also an interesting story telling device. It also seem to connect into a broader vision of the future of the author. I almost want to get Illium and Olympos out to check on the two universes and see if some people are named in both.

Jul 03, 2013

He’s taking the piss right? Is this a satire with layers of irony buried just a bit too deep for me to detect? Imagine my surprise when, expecting to read an excellent take on dystopian sci-fi from one of my favourite authors, I was instead slapped around the head with the Tea Party manifesto! Yes the story is a gripping detective novel in parts, the ending in particular is clever and dark and typical of Simmons. It’s got ninjas and stealth helicopters and other cool cyber-punk stuff. Several times however I almost stopped reading as Simmons regularly shoehorned in what seem to be his (retarded) political views. Obama administration = Start of it all going wrong, Green Energy = waste of time & resource, Healthcare provision = mass genocide of old people, Muslims = violent, hegemonistic, fundamentalists ! Fair enough, as a novelist if you want to slip in some of your politics then that’s your right, DS certainly wouldn’t be the first, but the lack of subtlety in this is astounding. The book has been written with the purpose of airing these views, the story is entertaining but seemingly secondary, if it had been the other way round I might have been able to stomach it better. As it is I can only assume that coming from the author of something as sublime as the “Hyperion Cantos” that this book was intended as a gigantic wind-up (was it released on April 1st?). As to this unlikely scenario ever achieving reality – Old Darth, BlueMoon Girl – really? Here in NZ we should be able to treat that kind of redneck scaremongering with the disdain that it deserves.

Mar 06, 2013

Simmons projects a frighteningly possible and bleak future for the US based on current socio-political trends. Portraying the US as a fallen power has to do a lot with why this book has been met with a love or hate it type of reaction. I found it engrossing and a scarily possible future.

May 25, 2012

The plot is good, so I kept reading, despite the author's over-the-top right wing paranoia. Read at your own risk.

stl_btztu Feb 19, 2012

Simmons does not disappoint in my book, an avid fan of his writings this is another excellent book

shancock4 Oct 19, 2011

I'm not sure which book tlfrappier was reading, but I thought this book was amazing! Especially the very clever ending. While at times, the book tended to go on too long, the payoff was worth it. The bleak future Simmons paints is too eerily possible. The suspense is crafted neatly and with enough thrills and chills to keep even the average reader engaged. The only problem I had, which isn't really Simmons' problem, more my own, was the Right-Wing lean this book had. This bleak future is directly the result of today's policies, according to Simmons. But whether he's on the side of that opinion, or merely using it to create his dystopic future is uncertain. The device of the Flashback drug is clever, the family dynamics between father and son, and grandfather and grandson work really well. If Simmons knows anything it's how to create superb characters.

Sep 15, 2011

I did not enjoy this book at all! The author added unnecessarily long descriptions for things that are not even important (most notable was a 6 line sentence about the main character's eye-lids while using the Flashback drug.), which made for a boring and tiresome read. I especially found it confusing and unnecessary to add all the highways and street names while describing the characters's travels because I don't know them, but also since the book is set in the future, these highways don't even exist in present time. Plus the use of japanese terms often used made it difficult to follow the storyline, and their meanings were never explained throughout the book. I was hoping that the ending would somehat make the book worth reading, but I was disappointed with that as well.

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