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and life along the winding road

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick has a vivid imagination for futuristic societies. His works include: Blade Runner, Total Recall, and Minority Report. However, The Man in the High Castle is set in 1962 (alternate history genre) in a world where Germany and Japan defeated the allies and have separated the U.S. with Japan taking the West (The Pacific States of America) and the Reich ruling the south. Adolf Hitler resides in a sanatorium. Slavery is legal once again and few Jews have survived. The Mediterranean Sea  has been drained and made into farmland. The Germans now have their sights set on outer space and travel is mostly by rocket ship rather than airplanes.
This is the world where Mr. R. Childan, a Jew, had transitioned from a used book store to a dealer in rare and desirable artifacts and Mickey Mouse watches are a highly desirable collectors' item.

My Thoughts:
Many of the characters refer to I-Ching a Chinese book of wisdom (oracle) others are reading The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, a banned book (by the man nicknamed Man in the High Castle) which gives a fictional account of the socialist world that would have evolved if the allies had won WWII. There are mixed reviews about the book and Amazon Prime now has a mini-series which may make the story easier to follow than the book. For those confused about both the book and the ending, which was abrupt, take a look at the explanations here. The book would make an excellent book club read and definitely food for thought.
 Study guide here 


TracyK said...

Sounds very interesting. I have been planning to read this and we are definitely going to watch the mini-series on Amazon.

K9friend said...

An interesting read, I'm sure.

Critter Alley

Cozy in Texas said...

Nan, I found it at our local library.