25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars
Rife with racism, June 27 2011
I've always thoroughly enjoyed Dan Simmons. Song of Kali was a brilliant book; the Hyperion/Endymion series was one of the best science fiction series ever written; and The Terror is without a doubt the best historical fantasy book I ever read.
Sadly, Flashback is an entirely different beast altogether. The amount of overt racism and bigotry in this novel is so staggering; it's hard to believe that in this book, at last, some of Simmons' own political proclivities aren't shining through. I tried really hard to enjoy the story (which I suppose isn't bad although a tad far fetched) but when the racism is lathered on so thickly that every other paragraph is some outrageous dig at another minority, this because frankly impossible. I especially have a hard time understanding all the official critics that describe this book as a "realistic vision of the future". Really? A United States overrun by Islam, with 24 hour decapitation channels, a super-mosque built on Ground Zero and 9/11 celebrated as a national holiday of Martyrs (the bombers, not the victims) is somehow "realistic"?
Nor are Muslims the only group to feel the wrath of Dan Simmons' extreme xenophobia - native Americans, Mexicans, the Japanese.. none are spared and all are just gunning for those "poor oppressed white Anglo-Saxons".
I have a hard time understanding what Simmons was aiming for here? It almost feels like he was trying to write a 21st Century version of "Mein Kampf"; complete with it's own Dolchstoßlegende (dagger-in-the-back, a popular meme between the two World Wars that supposedly explained Germany's defeat in WWI and helped bring Hitler to power) - in the form of American soldiers betrayed by a largely Muslim run resupply chain.
The whole book feels like Fox-on-steroids. About the only redeeming thing I could say about it is that if you want to know exactly how crazy some of the lunatic fringe on the right is, this is a good overview.