I just finished reading a novel by Philip K. Dick and despite struggling with his way of writing every now and then I finished the book in about 4 days. It’s not too long to read, only 259 pages, but you need to be focused or you end up missing vital parts. I found that my mind started wandering and then had to go back to reread some of the passages. The main reason for getting my teeth stuck in The Man In the High Castle was the new Amazon TV series. I prefer to read the books before watching films or shows based on them.
Click here for the book.
The Man In the High Castle takes us back to the 1960s, the time when slavery is OK again and when the few remaining Jews have to live under assumed names. Why? Because the Axis forces won the Second World War. America is occupied by Japan in the west and Germany in the East with a bit of no-man’s land in the middle. American citizens are downgraded to almost second rate ones, always trying to adapt to the Japanese and pandering to them in order to make a living.
We also learn all about German advancement in science, the distribution of the world and the fate of Jewish, African and Slavic people. At times the sentences are awkward and “ungrammatical” but I’m thinking it’s helping us to understand the struggle of certain characters to adapt to the new culture and new rules of interaction. There’s a mishmash of ideas on history and race, human ideas and struggles, but the novel is missing a character that would pull me in. It’s a sci-fi novel, but the lack of that human character made it difficult for me to care which way the plot will go. I almost read it on auto-pilot.
What I loved about the book is the what-if premise. What if Germans really had won the war? What the world would be like and would people wish for an alternative.
It’s not an easy book to read, it’s cold and technical, but still worth reading. Not a summertime beach read though.