Monday, July 24, 2017

THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE





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The Man in the High Castle, Philip K Dick, G P Putnam's Sons, 1962, 274 pp


This was Philip K Dick's breakout novel. It won the Hugo Award in 1963. It is not science fiction but alternate history. I have read six of his earlier novels and pronounce that his writing has more polish without having lost any of his signature wackiness.

The United States in 1962 is occupied by Nazi Germany and Japan, because the Allies lost the second world war. Slavery is legal, Jews hide behind assumed names, and almost everyone consults the I Ching before making any major moves in life or business.

The country is divided into regions: Pacific States, Rocky Mountain States, etc. American handcrafts from the 1940s are collectors items and upwardly mobile Japanese purchase and display them in their homes as status symbols.

In San Francisco, political intrigue rules the day with the Japanese and the Germans in uneasy alliance. It is a convoluted story fraught with tension for each main character. The madness and fear felt not unlike the times we live in now.

I have not watched the TV series adapted from the book, mostly because I do not have TV in my house. Actually I would prefer to reread the book at some point, perhaps after Trump is no longer President. 


(The Man in the High Castle is available in various formats by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.) 

12 comments:

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    1. Philip K Dick is not an author who invokes the word "like." But you have to wonder at a mind that can create what he does!

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  2. Friends of ours have recommended the TV series but I haven't seen it or found it yet. Alternate history novels can be quite effective sometimes; I can only imagine this scary scenario.

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    1. Some people say the series is better than the book but I can't imagine how that could be.

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  3. Oooo, this book sounds intriguing. I have not read anything by Philip K. Dick before. Alternate history novels can inspire many ideas that may be intriguing or at least food for thought.

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    1. PKD is a trip. Proceed with caution. I am kidding but he is unique.

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  4. We streamed the series on Amazon earlier this year and found it very well done. I can't really recall what, if any, are the differences between the book and the series, but it is a fascinating story. History turns on events that may seem insignificant at the time of occurrence. It is a scary thought.

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    1. OK! From you I believe it. Perhaps I will watch it after all.

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  5. I haven't read anything by Philip K Dick yet as none of his books have ever appealed to me. This one does sound intriguing, though. Maybe I'll try it one day!

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    1. I started reading him about 5 years ago because he was getting a lot of notice as his older books got reprinted. Until this book, he was not that great a writer but his ideas are always interesting to me. In this one, as I said in the review, his writing gets better.

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  6. This does sound interesting! I've only read Philip K Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - the source for one my favourite films Blade Runner - after which I feel like I really should try more of his work.

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    1. This would be a good one to try!

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