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3.6 out of 5 stars
525
3.6 out of 5 stars
The Man in the High Castle (Penguin Modern Classics)
Format: Paperback|Change
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on 24 March 2017
If, like me, you came to this book having seen the TV series, of the same name, this is quite different. So a little explanation to start with.
Though many of the characters share the same names; Frank Frink, Mr Tagomi, Juliana, Joe and others, most are a little different from their TV counterpart. Robert Childan, the Americana salesman longing to be socially accepted by his high class Japanese clientele, is most like the TV character. Absent from the story in the original book are Obergruppenfuhrer John Smith, head of the American Nazis, (in fact we never visit the Nazi part of America) and the American resistance movement. That said, if you want an interesting read this book is certainly that!
This is an alternate history of America. The Nazis and Japanese won World War Two and America is split between the two powers. Japan runs the Pacific coast and the east of America is run by the Nazis. Between these two areas is a kind of neutral zone formed by the Rocky Mountains.
For much of the first half of the book the characters are introduced and the New world order, and how it came about, is explained. We learn of a book banned by the Nazis, called "The Grasshopper Lies Heavy" in which Japan and Germany lose the war. The Author is known as "The man in the high castle", as he apparently lives in a well guarded hide out.
The plot really starts to pan out in the second half as Juliana, having met Joe in the neutral states, sets out to find the book's author. Joe says he'll take her, claiming to have fought in North Africa with the Italian army during the war. As they travel Juliana starts to doubt him.
Back in San Francisco Mr Tagomi becomes involved in an attempt by peaceful factions from Japan and Germany to prevent a war between the two powers.
In the Reich a power struggle is taking place that could lead to a nuclear holocaust.
To say more would spoil the book. It is interesting and thoughtful, but if you are expecting a written version of the TV series be prepared for a different experience.
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on 24 October 2017
Interesting alternative history/sci fi story from the great man. Japan and Germany have triumphed in WWII and run the world between them. There are tensions between the two powers; occupied former USA is divided between them, Japan in the west and Germany ruling the east, with a Rocky Mountain states buffer demilitarised zone separating them. The action in this story mainly happens in the PSA and the demilitarised zone with Juliana and Joe'squest to find the man in the high castle - the author of a book describing a world where the allies won the war.. The story moves at a good pace and give some fascinating glimpses of what life could have been like in this fictional reality. Don't expect to have all your questions answered or all the issues in the book to be revealed.
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on 5 October 2017
I enjoy novels by Phillip K. Dick and got this solely on that basis. Its a strange but very readable book. I'm not sure if I'll watch the TV adaptation but I may return and reread this book. I think there's something I missed but I enjoyed the journey.
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on 22 May 2016
I read the book after watching the TV series - they are both excellent although I preferred the book. Very different plot, and the influence of the I Ching on the book suffuses the whole enterprise while it is barely mentioned in the TV series. Phillip K Dick writes beautiful, sparse and intelligent prose and I recommend it highly.
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on 24 June 2017
A brilliant look at societies possible route; and what a frightening final chapter that made me shudder and look around me.
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on 22 August 2017
Quite good, but not one of dick's best.
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on 13 October 2017
Thought provoking novel
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on 26 July 2017
fiancee loves it
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on 6 September 2017
Better than the series.
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on 25 September 2017
Very interesting to read after watching the television series.
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