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The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

The Man in the High Castle (1962)

by Philip K. Dick

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,870132533 (3.78)1 / 239
  1. 51
    Fatherland by Robert Harris (ecleirs24)
    ecleirs24: Alternate history
  2. 41
    The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon (AlanPoulter)
    AlanPoulter: Both are alternate histories set in a USA changed by World War Two.
  3. 20
    The Castle of Crossed Destinies by Italo Calvino (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Two very different approaches to using an oracle, one the Tarot, another the I Ching, to help structure a book's narrative.
  4. 43
    The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson (ecleirs24)
    ecleirs24: Alternate history
  5. 10
    Bring the Jubilee by Ward Moore (ecleirs24)
    ecleirs24: Alt history
  6. 00
    Beyond Thirty by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Sylak)
    Sylak: Alternate history following WWI
  7. 00
    SS-GB by Len Deighton (Michael.Rimmer)
    Michael.Rimmer: Alternate History: Axis powers won WWII
  8. 11
    China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh (ahstrick)
  9. 33
    The Plot Against America by Philip Roth (ateolf)
  10. 01
    The Iron Dream by Norman Spinrad (andyl)
    andyl: Alternate history novel that also uses the book within a book device.

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English (122)  French (4)  Italian (3)  Spanish (2)  Slovak (1)  All languages (132)
Showing 1-5 of 122 (next | show all)
I hate to say it, but I'm downgrading this one from my previous ranking (which was based on reading it many years ago). It just doesn't hold up as well as his other work (though I admit to being due for a re-read on much of that, as well). ( )
  tlockney | Sep 7, 2014 |
I read this mainly because it won the Hugo Award for the best SF novel in 1962. I found this enjoyable although not quite to my taste, but that should in no way detract others from reading what is an interesting book. I imagine that when the book was first published, the idea of a society where Germany and Japan has won the Second World War and America was a subject nation would have been far more personal, given so many more people would have has experiences of the conflict. Now perhaps we look back with a little bit more detachment.

The interplay of the characters is well done and throws up differences between Eastern and Western ideas that causes us to consider our own perceptions. The ending was kind of what I was expecting, although I was hoping for a bit more. Again that is probably just my taste. No one of my all time best books but a remarkable book especially for when it was written. ( )
  Ken.Davis | Jun 21, 2014 |
An excellent "alternative history" by one of the undisputed masters of sci-fi: The Man in the High Castle starts with an often-done premise (that of Axis victory in WW2) and expands on it both in terms of world-building and suspenseful plot.

The general story, of which I shall not summarise completely owing to spoilers, progresses somewhat slowly though the payoff is worth it.

The interplay between the story of the novel and the story-within-a-story is expertly done, and the reveal changes the perception of it.

Probably one of his more accessible works (compared to say Valis or Ubique) and thus an excellent start to one of Sci-Fi's greatest writers. ( )
  xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
An alternative universe where Japan and Germany win WWII, but the story revolves around a handful of characters that are loosely connected many years after the conclusion of the war. That synopsis is what got me interested in this somewhat older Nebula Award Winning novel. What Dick really accomplishes though is using this setting to pose philosophical questions regarding perception, art, epistemology, multiverse theory, and divination. In 220 pages no less. It would have been easy to just make this a speculative fiction adventure novel, but Dick manages to just use that as a foundation for challenging the reader to analyze our own version of history. The Tao Te Ching plays a major role in the story; as does a fictional book within The Man in the High Castle that supposes that Japan and Germany does not win WWII, but proposes a third version of history separate from ours where the US and Britain split up the USSR. Meanwhile, FDR's zippo is used as a prop to debate authenticity vs. perceived value. In a separate chapter, a piece of hand crafted jewelry is used as a meditative focus to ponder historicity vs. creative beauty. The brief mental trips into our reality by some of the main characters even adds a strange sci-fi flavor to the book.
I can see why the book might be hard to follow for younger readers. It helps to have some background in Third Reich power structure. It especially helps if you have read through the Nuremberg Trails, since all those Nazi leaders are now the leading power players in the Reich controlled part of Dick's alternative Earth. It also helps to have some background in Bushido and Buddhism. In the early 60's, when this book was written, the typical reader was probably a little more familiar with some of the names and concepts bandied about. Still, this P.K. Dick title is a little more reader friendly compared to some of Dick's later drug crazed ramblings. Overall, a great read that caused me to think and ponder a little more than usual. ( )
1 vote BenjaminHahn | Apr 15, 2014 |
I have no idea how to rate this one. Great demonstration of the different linguistic ways in which these characters interact. And all of a sudden, something about the last couple of pages upped the quality of the whole thing tremendously.
  KatrinkaV | Apr 15, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 122 (next | show all)
Dick is entertaining us about reality and madness, time and death, sin and salvation.... We have our own homegrown Borges.
added by GYKM | editNew Republic, Ursula K. LeGuin
Philip K. Dick's best books always describe a future that is both entirely recognizable and utterly unimaginable.
added by GYKM | editThe New York Times Book Review
Philip K. Dick... has chosen to handle... material too nutty to accept, too admonitory to forget, too haunting to abandon.
added by GYKM | editWashington Post

» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip K. Dickprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gambino, FredCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glasserman, DebbieDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gleeson, TonyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nati, MaurizioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
North, HeidiCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weiner, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my wife, Anne, without whose silence
this book would never have been written
To my wife Tessa and my son Christopher,
with great and awful love
First words
For a week Mr. R. Childan had been anxiously watching the mail.
They know a million tricks , those novelists...Appeals to the base lusts that hide in everyone no matter how respectable on the surface. Yes, the novelist knows humanity how worthless they are, ruled by their testicles, swayed by cowardice, selling out every cause because of their greed...all he's got to do is thump on the drum, and there's the response. And he laughing of course, behind his hand at the effect he gets.128
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Haiku summary
Alternate history
given alternate history;
what's true? What isn't?

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679740678, Paperback)

It's 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:35 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

After the defeat of the Allies during World War II, the United States is divided up and ruled by the Axis powers.

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