Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said

Philip K Dick's 1974 masterpiece Flow My Tears the Policeman Said, is set in the near furure (1988!), where Universities have become prisons, people are condemned to forced labor camps for scant reason, and the Pols and Nats (police and national guard) monitor everyone constantly. It is in this bleak world that global celebrity and singing sensation Jason Taverner suddenly finds that no one knows who he is; that his identity is gone, that he seems never to have existed at all. As Jason scrambles through a nightmare reality desperately trying to regain his identity, he is constantly harrassed and betrayed. Though Jason is a genetically modified "6", his superior intellegence and endurance fail to help him reestablish his own existance.
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The review of this Book prepared by Scott David Mclemore

Jason Taverner, singer of hit records and host of a long-running and successful TV show, wakes up one morning and finds that he has no ID and nobody knows him -- not even his lover Heather Hart. In fact, there's no record of him ever having been born. It's a nightmare, and he's going to have to think fast or he'll end up in a forced labor camp, which would be a shame for a rare "6" like himself (the sixth generation of a series of human genetic reconstruction systems -- very handsome and intelligent). Taverner eventually comes to the attention of Police General Felix Buckman, who becomes very interested in the case, and of Buckman's twin sister Alys, a druggie and fetishist who has plans of her own for Jason. This bewildering but enthralling 1974 book (which is officially set in 1988 but describes a world still a little ways off in the future for us) won the Joseph W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

When reading this book, you feel as if there is no plot and things are just going round and round without much care shown to the development of an actual plot. But this book is much more than that. Its about emotion, religion, sex and beliefs. Its about how people cope with the world they are given. Even though Jason Taverner is supposedly listed as the main character, I feel much more empathic towards Felix Buckman who loses his wife/sister and needs some form of human contact. The impulsivity of human emotion is described in a heartwarming scence where Felix pulls up to a gas station and hugs a black man. So if you are in the mood for a bizarre tale of lost identity and gained emotions, read this book. (You might not like the part about the mind-and-space altering drug, I didn't! I felt that maybe Philip K. Dick wasn't trying hard enough in explaining Jason's predicament.)
The review of this Book prepared by Alexander Babiera

This is one of my most favorite books in the world. The premise which the plot turns on is bizarre but it's not even about that in the end. It's about people searching for who they are and dealing with loss.
The review of this Book prepared by Jesi Bornemann

Though the plot is a little thin, this is one of my favorite PKD books. The themes of the books are very interesting. Most notably the discussion Jason Taverner (main character) and Ruth Rae have about grief is very touching. Another scene, where the antagonist Felix Buckman lands at a gas station in the middle of the night and is comforted by a black man also getting gas is interesting. Philip K. Dick was told later by his minister that the scene almost exactly replicates one from the Bible, in a part of it that PKD had never read. Many parts of the book parallel sections and ideas from the Bible. It is interesting to try and find them.
The review of this Book prepared by Trent Dick

Jason Taverner the famous entertainer wakes up some morning and finds that no one recognizes him. And that's about it. He spends the rest of the book trying to figure out why. At the end we're given a very, very lame excuse--someone else (not him) took a drug, and that caused him to shift to another dimension. What drug was Philip Dick taking when he wrote this?
The review of this Book prepared by Steve

Chapter Analysis of Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   depressing/sad FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Repressive society story    -   Yes Repressive because:    -   strict rationing of freedoms/goods

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Age:    -   40's-50's


Earth setting:    -   20th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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