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The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

The Man in the High Castle (original 1962; edition 2012)

by Philip K. Dick

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8,495217362 (3.74)2 / 385
Title:The Man in the High Castle
Authors:Philip K. Dick
Info:Mariner Books (2012), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

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

  1. 71
    Fatherland by Robert Harris (ecleirs24)
    ecleirs24: Alternate history
  2. 61
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    AlanPoulter: Both are alternate histories set in a USA changed by World War Two.
  3. 62
    The Plot Against America by Philip Roth (ateolf)
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    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
    SS-GB by Len Deighton (Michael.Rimmer)
    Michael.Rimmer: Alternate History: Axis powers won WWII
  8. 00
    The Lost Continent by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Sylak)
    Sylak: Alternate history following WWI
  9. 11
    China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh (ahstrick)
  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 (203)  French (4)  Italian (4)  Spanish (3)  Slovak (1)  Hungarian (1)  Finnish (1)  All (217)
Showing 1-5 of 203 (next | show all)
“Huh?” That was pretty much my reaction at the end of this book. The first and only other book I’ve read by Philip K. Dick was Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. I thought that book had a weird ending, but I think The Man in the High Castle out-weirded that one.

The general setting is in an alternate reality in which the Axis powers won World War II instead of the Allied powers. Japanese culture is dominant in the U.S. Nearly everybody speaks and thinks in broken English and uses the I Ching to make decisions and answer questions, while Germans are apparently all obsessed with the Nazi ideal. In other words, I thought the depiction of other cultures in this book seemed stereotyped, and the choppy English quickly became tiresome to read.

I think this book may have been intended more as a vehicle to express ideas than to tell a story. There are interesting ideas here, and some clever plot elements, but the story itself felt pretty thin to me. There are several plot threads, one or two of which could be considered the “main plot”, but there weren’t really any tangible results of the events in the book.

The main characters weren’t very likeable. Juliana was just plain loco. I hated Childan, to the point that I may have told him I hated him out loud a couple of times while reading. I warmed up to a couple of the others later in the book after I understood them better, but I didn’t get attached to any of them or care much what happened to them.

Of the two PKD books I’ve now read, I definitely preferred Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Its story interested me more, whereas I was occasionally bored by this one. I did enjoy some aspects of it, but not consistently. As a side note, this book has several German phrases that aren’t translated within the book, so it was nice to be able to highlight the phrases on my Kindle and instantly get a translation. ( )
2 vote YouKneeK | Apr 5, 2017 |
OK but a bit heavy on the philosophy. I know I read PKD as a teenager - my tolerance was obviously higher then :) ( )
  infjsarah | Apr 2, 2017 |
The TV series made me want to re read it.
The language might put you off a bit, but it grows on you.
Wished PKD had explored the world a bit more and written a longer book

Still as awesome a read as I remember. Appreciate the language and the nuance a lot more now.
can only imagine the kind of reading & thought that must have gone into this.
small little nuggets of food for thought strewn throughout the book.

Must return at some point in the future.

The TV series is a different take on the same world, imo.
From the point of view of a more simple mind. (good story, well told, though!) ( )
  jasonbraganza | Mar 7, 2017 |
A fascinating, complex and multi-layered book. It is often described as science fiction (which it isn't really) and alternative history (which it is but quite different in its approach to the majority of that genre). The alternative history is used to explore the psychology of oppression through the imposition of Japanese norms on the West Coast of America, but more deeply as a vehicle for exploring deeper philosophical questions of the nature of reality and fate. Contrast is provided by the Nazis (for the most part off stage) and the more anarchic mid West state. The main characters are loosely inter-connected and each undergoes a traumatic experience but Dick's purpose is best served by leaving the plot and the characters themselves unresolved - so this is what he does. This is not a book which offers easy observations, the questions it raises are elusive and shifting, the answers - if there are any - the reader has to find for himself. 27 February 2017. ( )
1 vote alanca | Mar 3, 2017 |
I struggled to finish this book. The story didn't grab me and I didn't really care about what was going on until about 90% into it. All in all, I found it terribly unsatisfying and disappointing. ( )
  amcheri | Mar 1, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 203 (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 (27 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip K. Dickprimary authorall editionscalculated
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
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. (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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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:53 -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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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