5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
My First Dick Novel, 8 Mar 2007
This is the first novel I have read by Philip K Dick. I am familiar with those works of his that have been turned into movies over the years and I am not a big fan of SF. However, I was intrigued by the idea of an alternative world where the Axis forces were victorious in WWII. What I did not expect was the relatively downbeat, thoughtful nature of the novel.
The over-reaching theme is grand, contrasting an alternative society with that which existed in the early 1960's. Despite being born during that period myself, I imagine the familiarity of the setting would prove disturbing to readers at the time, especially as many would have vivid memories, or a fear, of what might have been. The focus on relatively ordinary people going about their lives against a backdrop of bigger political machinations works very well, and leaves one's imagination to easily paint the broader canvas.
The ending is neither conclusive nor ambiguous. For many readers, I am sure they will find it unsatisfactory as it leaves so many plot threads open-ended. In that respect, I found it quite hopeful. An understanding the world we live in is not easily grasped, or is ever likely to be, so consequently giving the reader the opportunity to draw their own conclusions works well, for me.
Will I read another Dick novel? Possibly not. But I will keep watching the movies. And I will recommend this book.