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The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
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The Man in the High Castle (1962)

by Philip K. Dick

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,368247460 (3.73)2 / 426
Member:AugustaB
Title:The Man in the High Castle
Authors:Philip K. Dick
Info:Penguin 1967
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick (Author) (1962)

  1. 81
    Fatherland by Robert Harris (ecleirs24)
    ecleirs24: Alternate history
  2. 61
    The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon (AlanPoulter)
    AlanPoulter: Both are alternate histories set in a USA changed by World War Two.
  3. 62
    The Plot Against America by Philip Roth (ateolf)
  4. 63
    The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson (ecleirs24)
    ecleirs24: Alternate history
  5. 20
    Bring the Jubilee by Ward Moore (ecleirs24)
    ecleirs24: Alt history
  6. 10
    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.
  7. 00
    Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K. Dick by Lawrence Sutin (Anonymous user)
  8. 00
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (Anonymous user)
  9. 00
    SS-GB by Len Deighton (Michael.Rimmer)
    Michael.Rimmer: Alternate History: Axis powers won WWII
  10. 00
    The Lost Continent by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Sylak)
    Sylak: Alternate history following WWI
  11. 11
    China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh (ahstrick)
  12. 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 (231)  French (4)  Italian (4)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Slovak (1)  Finnish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (247)
Showing 1-5 of 231 (next | show all)
Got it from the wait list at the library and found it impossibly boring. I hated the premise and just could not get interested at all. It is most likely just not my genre and might be a good read for someone who is into Sci-Fi. I quit at about four chapters. ( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
The man in the high castle is so much more than an alternate history work of fiction. Much like the alternate fiction within the book, it’s more about our daily decisions and the path we take. Is every decision and outcome predetermined or left to chaotic choice? I loved this book, its setup, and its thoughtful message. There’s a number of memorable quotations as well. ( )
  supermanboidy | Jul 6, 2018 |
An intriguing premise, even if lifted from Ward Moore’s alternate Civil War history ‘Bring the Jubilee’, makes this one hard to resist. Dick is at his best when he looks at the bigger picture, and shows us a world that could have been, had the Axis won WWII. Adding the ‘novel within the novel’ was also brilliant, as it allowed him to give us variations on the Allied victory and the present day, further underscoring how arbitrary history and fate really are.

His main point, however, and one that he subtly makes, is that war doesn’t solve anything, it just sets up the next conflict. In his alternate history, Germany and Japan control the world after WWII, and soon begin chafing at one another, and Germany schemes to annihilate Japan. In the novel within the novel, it’s America and Britain who are now rivals. And of course in the reader’s ‘real world’ at the time, the Americans and Soviets were at the height of the Cold War. Thus, there is no winning outcome. It’s a powerful, sobering message about humanity, delivered at a time when Americans were quite proud of themselves for being on the ‘good’ side, and perhaps rightfully so. But Dick points out they may have lost, refers to Jim Crow injustices, and that in the larger scheme, it’s hard to be sanguine about mankind. All of these aspects are fantastic.

Where the novel loses points for me is in the details. The plot Dick develops is tedious, and doesn’t live up to his grand canvas. He is making a point that artifacts from the once mighty American culture have been reduced to niche collectibles for affluent Japanese, but there is just too much made of this, and the two guys who then go off and make jewelry together. The scene in a late chapter when a Japanese official ponders one of their pieces while sitting in a park (for several pages) is a comical hodgepodge of philosophical gobbledygook. The references to the I Ching and the influence it has on so many of the novel’s characters are overboard and absurd. Dick often seems to confuse Chinese and Japanese culture, and it’s irritating to have him write the Japanese characters inner thoughts in broken English. I give him the benefit of the doubt for having written the book in 1962, but it’s a shame there are so many execution issues for a novel with such a fine premise. ( )
1 vote gbill | May 9, 2018 |
2 stars.

I was disappointed with this book; it ended up going nowhere. Perhaps there was simply too much “other stuff” besides the plot (like the Zen and Eastern mysticism) in it to make it a worthwhile read for me. It seemed like an overwhelmingly large number characters constantly consult the I Ching for guidance, which has no appeal to me whatsoever.

Okay, speaking of plot, or lack thereof. The book takes place in Japanese-controlled western United States (The United States lost World War II, and was divided between Nazi Germany and Japan). For the most part, the characters are introduced in the first half, and they all come together in the second half. But there is no clear resolution to any of the plotlines, and it felt like a cop-out to me. Even the dissatisfying ending asking, “What is reality?” felt so contrived, it was almost like PKD got tired of this writing this book and simply quit on it.

Overall, this book was very flat for me. I didn't feel involved with the characters or their alternate world. ( )
  ssimon2000 | May 7, 2018 |
Avevo provato a leggere TMITHC in italiano (col famoso e ultra-sensazionalistico titolo "La svastica sul sole") nel 1981, in prima superiore, durante una fase di passione per le ucronie, ma me ne ero stancato presto. Col senno di poi e vista la professione che ho intrapreso nel frattempo, immagino che fosse stata anche colpa di una traduzione non proprio esaltante. Riprovo ora (o meglio, riproverò non appena potrò iniziare a leggerlo), sperando che l'originale mi prenda di più e mi spinga a riscoprire sul serio PKD.

Aggiornamento del 2 marzo 2015, a libro finalmente letto: sì, mi ha preso, anche e soprattutto se confrontato al /pilot/ (tecnicamente anche ben fatto, ma narrativamente grossolano) dell'adattamento TV che Amazon Film ha ordinato. Lì nazisti dell'Illinois e immagini a effetto, qui giapponesi zen e la sottile follia di PKD. ( )
  plivo | Apr 21, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 231 (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 (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dick, Philip K.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brown, EricIntroductionsecondary authorsome 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
Stöbe, NorbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weiner, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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. (p. 128)
At six-fifteen in the evening she finished the book. I wonder if Joe got to the end of it? she wondered. There's so much more in it than he understood. What is it Abendsen wanted to say? Nothing about his make-believe world. Am I the only one who knows? I'll bet I am; nobody else really understands Grasshopper but me - they just imagine they do.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary
Alternate history
given alternate history;
what's true? What isn't?
(ed.pendragon)
Complex novel in
scope and ideas but flawed in
its execution.
(passion4reading)

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:53 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

"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 coommon 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." -- Back cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 14 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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