The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle

Book - 2015 2011
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Its America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some 20 years earlier the United States lost a war - and is now occupied jointly by Nazi Germany and Japan. This harrowing, Hugo Award-winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas. In it Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to awake.
Publisher: Boston : Mariner Books : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015 2011
Edition: First Mariner Books edition
Copyright Date: 1962
ISBN: 9780547572482
Branch Call Number: SCIFI DICK...P
Characteristics: 274 pages ; 21 cm


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Jan 18, 2019

One of the key novels of "the Sixties" vs "the '60s."

An engrossing read! I very much enjoyed reading this, and would love to read more. The ending is quite introspective, but also a bit infuriating.

Jun 22, 2018

Not quite what I expected it to be, however it was a good surprise. PKD Never disappoints me.

Apr 24, 2018

I am watching the Amazon Prime version of the Man in the High Castle. The book and the AP series have almost nothing in common with each other beyond the same names for some of the characters. Usually the book is more in depth than the Hollywood version, but this is not the case here. The book is almost all background set-up with what action there is coming toward the end.

Andrew Kyle Bacon
Feb 28, 2018

Philip K. Dick novels often follow a particular pattern, that makes his books difficult to enjoy one-after-the-other, but gives them a familiar (if predictable) quality. His books tend to shift perspectives, not focusing on plot so much as tone and setting, there is often a religious system appealed to by the characters such as Mercerism (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep) or the I Ching (The Man in the High Castle), and his plots often end on a simple philosophical question that gives the overall narrative no direct resolution. In this way, I think Dick is far more interested in provoking thought in his readers than he is in simply entertaining them with a narrative contrivance. The Man in the High Castle is largely a plotless book, and merely explores different aspects of what the world might look like had Germany and Japan won the war. Yet Dick forces his readers to remember that they are reading fiction, creating a strange meta-narrative wherein the reader wonders what the implications are for the characters in the book, only to be reminded that once the book is closed the characters cease to exist. Even within a story looking at alternative history, the alternative history is an untruth: it is fiction.

Jan 06, 2018

Best of PDK's work I've read thus far. I think I enjoyed this more than most people because I have a very good working knowledge of Taoism. If you're interested in reading this novel, I suggest first reading some intro to Taoism book, as the Tao is found through The Man in the High Castle. I think you'll get more out of it that way. My favourite character was Tagomi. I love how PKD wrote his thoughts. His crisis at the end was a page-turner! Least favourite character was Juliana. PKD is terrible at writing female characters because he makes them so one-sided and stereotypical. The Man in the High Castle definitely wasn't what I expected, which I think is what makes it such a great book!

Oct 13, 2017

The book looks at what the United States would have looked like in the 1960s if the Axis Powers had won World War II. In this parallel world, Franklin Roosevelt was assassinated in 1933, changing history so that the United States did not have the power to win against the Axis Powers. Instead of focusing on the global events, the book follows individuals living in a terrifying world. The small details in the book, where one slip up can ruin lives, show how fraught and tense this alternative world is. Most of the story takes place in occupied San Francisco, with some sections taking place in the Neutral States along the Rocky Mountains. In California, Frank leaves his job and starts a jewelry business with a former coworker. His company strikes a deal with Robert Childan, an antiques dealer who supplies American folk artifacts that are popular with his Japanese customers. Also in San Francisco, Tagomi and Baynes are meeting for business, even though neither seems to trust the other. Meanwhile Frank’s ex-wife, Juliana meets a strange truck driver named Joe in the Neutral States. There is a book within the book called The Grasshopper Lies Heavy which discusses what would have happened if The Allied Forces had won the war.

Sep 29, 2017

Philip K. Dick was certainly a brilliant man and a gifted writer. His imagined dystopia of a world split between the victorious Reich and Imperial Japan is chilling and realistic.

Sep 02, 2017

Dull little piece about the Axis having not really won. Like the rest of Dick's canon, proof that people in the past didn't have that much imagination.

Aug 18, 2017

This book was in a display of "Alternate Facts" at TCCL's Schusterman-Benson Library.

It describes life in the USA after the Axis Powers win the war. Although I was told the book is not science fiction, the last few pages suggest otherwise. The author carefully describes the characteristics of Americas's new rulers, right down to speech mannerisms. The governing styles of the Japanese and Germans are quite believable, recognizing that the Germans in this telling are Nazis. Users of the I Ching should give the book a try. This is fun reading, even more than 50 years after its publication.

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