Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Man In The High Castle by Philip K. Dick : Book Review

Title: The Man In The High Castle
Author: Philip K Dick
Publisher: Mariner Books
Published Date: November 17th 2015
Genre: Alternate History, Science Fiction, Classic, Dystopian, Historical Fiction
Page Count: 288
Format: Paperback

My Rating: ★ ★ ★

Goodreads Summary: 

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 twenty years earlier the United States lost a war and is now occupied 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 wake."
 
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 My Review:
“Can anyone alter fate? All of us combined... or one great figure... or someone strategically placed, who happens to be in the right spot. Chance. Accident. And our lives, our world, hanging on it.”   


I’ve spent the past few days trying to find a way to write a non-spoiler review and I haven’t been able to.  If you haven’t read this book or don’t want to be spoiled for it then please don’t read this review.

CONTAINS SPOILERS


I only found out about this book after watching the amazon  show, which I loved. Going into this book, I knew there would be differences between the two and I was okay with that. What I didn’t expect was how the book focused more on I Ching and how it will help predict your fate, which I found to be a little confusing.  (I don’t know much about Japanese culture or anything like that.)
This is a very convincing book about what might have happened if Germany and Japan had won WWII and what would have happened after. Everything was very thought out and understandable. We knew how things were split between the two, who lived where, and how things were different between the two cultures. We still see Germany as a huge powerhouse compared to Japan who at times look like it’s struggling to stay with Germany.  Germany has not only conquered most of the world now, but is also going into space in multiple different directions in order to find new life forms.
This book does follow several different people you never really feel connected to any of them or have any emotional attachment to them.  
The only mention of a different world (the one we live in) is through a book called “The Grasshopper Lies Heavy” (this book was banned in the German parts of the world.) and then at the end when a Japanese official briefly sees a different world.  There is no mention of tapes or them trying to get them to the Man In The High Castle.

Things I learned that I was confused by while watching the show.
Antique store owner – He didn’t know he was selling fake things until much later on, and as for why he was in the Japanese couples home was because they were asking him to help decorate it.
Who the German spy was – he was a Swedish national who was going to work with Japan in order for them to catch up with Germany.
Frank knowing how to make the gun – he was in the military before we lost the war, and he had clearance from the shop owner to be making these things, and was a part of a bigger scheme of fake goods.  He later made his own jewelry with Ed which is also how they ended up dealing with the antique store owner.
Julianna and Judo – She wasn’t just taking the classes she was a teacher, and that is how she knew so much about it and was comfortable with it and didn’t care what anyone else thought about her doing it.


While I did enjoy the first 75% of this book the last 25% and the ending with Julianna ended up ruining it for me in a way.  Personally after having read this book, I do like the Amazon show more. I like how we got attached to the characters and see more how it affected everyone after America was split. I will continue to watch the show and hope that Julianna doesn’t end up doing what she did in the book. 

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