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The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
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The Man in the High Castle (original 1962; edition 2012)

by Philip K. Dick

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,055144511 (3.78)1 / 261
Member:joecanas
Title:The Man in the High Castle
Authors:Philip K. Dick
Info:Mariner Books (2012), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

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

  1. 51
    The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon (AlanPoulter)
    AlanPoulter: Both are alternate histories set in a USA changed by World War Two.
  2. 51
    Fatherland by Robert Harris (ecleirs24)
    ecleirs24: Alternate history
  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 Plot Against America by Philip Roth (ateolf)
  5. 43
    The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson (ecleirs24)
    ecleirs24: Alternate history
  6. 10
    Bring the Jubilee by Ward Moore (ecleirs24)
    ecleirs24: Alt history
  7. 00
    SS-GB by Len Deighton (Michael.Rimmer)
    Michael.Rimmer: Alternate History: Axis powers won WWII
  8. 00
    Beyond Thirty 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 (131)  French (4)  Italian (3)  Spanish (2)  Slovak (1)  Finnish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (143)
Showing 1-5 of 131 (next | show all)
mindbending but also a very interesting story. compelling.

the Allies lost WWII. Japan possesses the west coast of the US. Nazi Germany rules Europe and Africa and is seeking to slowly take over, not only the rest of the Earth, but the solar system as well. rocket technology has burgeoned, shrinking the planet and making the solar system accessible.

the chartacters are all involved in various aspects of life in this alternate world. there is some political intrigue and even action but Philip K. concentrated on their inner lives and the intertheir lives do overlap to varying degrees but they are all touched by a book called The Grasshopper… written by a man living on top of a mountain in the Rockies in a fortified compound. the book is an alternate history itself, outlining what would have happened had the Allies won. it is deemed subversive, provocative, and is banned by the Reichstat but not by Nippon.

taoism and deep philosophy suffuse The Man in the High Castle. the I Ching plays a central role in the book, almost becoming another character; it certainly is pivotal for the plot. the characters all refer to it as “The Oracle.”

as the tale unfolds, we readers glimpse another universe that might have been. scary to some extent because of the overt racism continued by the Nazi and Japanese regimes but also somehow exciting because of the expanded use of rocketry for exploration and commercial travel and the lack of cruelty of the Japanese contrasted with that of the Nazis.

only at the end, do we see something else for sure. glimpses are given and hints made before then but they are subtle and folded neatly into the plotlines and character development. it takes one very determined and yet strangely open-minded individual to realize more. ( )
  keebrook | Mar 10, 2015 |
The ideas felt tired and dated, with none of the identity- and reality-mindfuck that I love from this man. Ultimately, a fun almost-spy-story without tremendous lasting power. Though props to PKD for taking advantage of the perspective shift of the alternate history to focus on racism and oppression. ( )
  ternary | Feb 14, 2015 |
Well, I really didn't know what to expect going into this one. I've read a lot of alternate history, but almost no Philip K. Dick. What I found was delightfully different, disorienting, horrifying and humorous, and oh-so-meta. I feel like I need to go read a bunch more Dick to get a sense of what all was going on in here beyond the plot itself, but I was glad to spend some time pondering fiction, history, religion, etc. ( )
  kleos_aphthiton | Feb 8, 2015 |
I always find the endings of PKD novels baffling and this was no exception. The intricacy of the various plot threads, how they weave across each other, and of course the terrifying world building are all brilliant. As with Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, I can't help wanting more: more details about the world--for example, Africa and its nuclear holocaust, which is at the peripheries of the novel, more closure, more narrative. What happens in the lives of all these characters, the future especially of Baynes/Wergner, Tagomi, and Childan.

As a parenthetical, I can't decide if the book downplays the brutality of Japan's role in WWII. Whenever I try to articulate my discomfort with this, it ends up being a bizarre untenable comparison of "who was worse, Nazis or Imperialist Japan?" a question which misses the point. There is a hint of the subjugation of the Chinese, but not much else is mentioned in terms of Japan's atrocities and considering that so many of the sympathetic characters are Japanese--Tagomi, and the Kasouras, who are sympathetic because we encounter them through Childan's racist xenophobic exoticism--compared to the Germans. ( )
  endlesserror | Feb 5, 2015 |
Except for a slow beginning the book was a fantastic read. With the memory of WWII still alive if not fresh Dick published ths 1962 thought provoker. Not too detailed but still familiar enough to keep me wondering. And the end was great. Didn't see it comiong. Not slighly even confusing like a number of his stories.A rare 4.5 indeed. ( )
  JBreedlove | Jan 3, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 131 (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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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.128
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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References to this work on external resources.

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Book description
Haiku summary
Alternate history
given alternate history;
what's true? What isn't?
(ed.pendragon)

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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