Reviews of Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (1974)
Review by blueworld (2004-04-17)
There's something about this book that really gripped me. Towards the end I almost found myself crying. Like all of Dick's books, it's more about the human experience of things than the technical details. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said is set in a dystopic police state where official identity is everything. But the part I found most gripping was not Taverner's story, but the policeman of the title. A man who is trying to do the best for the largest number of people, but has to arrange things like the humane treatment of prisoners secretly. A man with his own secret personal life. Dick writes from inside the perspective of his characters -- there is no objective truth -- and that brings startling revelations when we see the "same" events and relationships from the minds of two different characters. In the ending, the true "science" in the fiction leads to questions about our ability to affect the physical world with our mental worlds. What would happen if it we could force people to live inside our own mental reality? Or are we already doing that?