Published by Penguin on September 6th 2001
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.
I’m not even really sure how to sum up my feelings about this book.
I sort of understood what was going on, but at the same time I had no idea. Normally this would make me dislike a book, but I think that was the point of The Man in the High Castle.
I love that there was really no hero, no big lead up to some final climax (not really), and no big love story. You’re legit just reading a book about what could have happened if the Allies had lost, and Germany and Japan had split up the States like a little cake. Or are you.
The choppy sentences were a bit hard to deal with sometimes, but I understood that Dick was trying to get across just how much Japanese influence there would be in America if they’d won.
I liked the idea of a book within a book as well. It tied all of the characters together in a more solid way, and it made it almost seem like there was an awakening happening. Like you knew people were reading this book and realizing how different the world could have been if the Allies had won. Which was kind of funny to read as someone from the universe where the Allies won.
It was slightly scary to read, but made me very grateful for what I have today because of the sacrifices that others made before me. The ending also sort of made me distrust my own universe, but I don’t want to get into it. The ending was the most confusing part.
Have you read Philip K Dick? This was my first foray into his work and I will definitely be reading more.