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The Man in the High Castle

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Overview

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.

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 ...
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The Man in the High Castle

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Overview

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.

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 awake.

It's America in 1962--where slavery is legal and the few surviving Jews hide anxiously under assumed names. All because some twenty years earlier America lost a war--and is now occupied jointly by Nazi Germany and Japan. This harrowing, Hugo Award-winning novel set in a parallel universe is the work that established Dick as a legendary science fiction author.

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Editorial Reviews

Gale Research
The novel's "man in the high castle" is the author of an underground bestseller about an alternate world where America won the war. "I did seven years of research for The Man in the High Castle," Dick said in an interview for the Missouri Review. "I had prime-source material at the Berkeley-Cal library right from the gestapo's mouth--stuff that had been seized after World War II.... That's ... why I've never written a sequel to it: it's too horrible, too awful. I started several times to write a sequel, but I [would have] had to go back and read about Nazis again, so I couldn't do it." Dick used the I Ching, an ancient Chinese divining system, to plot The Man in the High Castle. At each critical juncture in the narrative, Dick consulted the I Ching to determine the proper course of the plot.
Publishers Weekly
Dick's Hugo Award-winning 1962 alternative history considers the question of what would have happened if the Allied Powers had lost WWII. Some 20 years after that loss, the United States and much of the world has now been split between Japan and Germany, the major hegemonic states. But the tension between these two powers is mounting, and this stress is playing out in the western U.S. Through a collection of characters in various states of posing (spies, sellers of falsified goods, others with secret identities), Dick provides an intriguing tale about life and history as it relates to authentic and manufactured reality. Tom Weiner reveals an impressive vocal range that delivers the host of characters with distinct culture, class and gender personas, which helps to sort the various plot strands. His prose reading is engaging, though sometimes lacks sufficient emphasis and energy.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433214554
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2008
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 1 MP3, 9 hours
  • Pages: 1
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Over a writing career that spanned three decades, Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) published 36 science fiction novels and 121 short stories in which he explored the essence of what makes man human and the dangers of centralized power. Toward the end of his life, his work turned toward deeply personal, metaphysical questions concerning the nature of God. Eleven novels and short stories have been adapted to film; notably: Blade Runner (based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), Total Recall, Minority Report, and A Scanner Darkly. The recipient of critical acclaim and numerous awards throughout his career, Dick was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2005, and in 2007 the Library of America published a selection of his novels in three volumes. His work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 91 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(36)

4 Star

(22)

3 Star

(21)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 91 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2006

    Setting the Standard for the Genre

    I don't like alternate history stories, dating back, I think, to when I was a kid and I read those stupid 'What If...' issues published by Marvel Comics. (You know, 'What If Peter Parker hadn't been bitten by the radioactive spider...,''What If Daredevil wasn't blind...,''What If Wolverine shaved his sideburns...,' etc.) The Man in the High Castle, however, was excellent, setting the bar for the genre. The premise is intriguing: suppose an assassination attempt had claimed the life of FDR during his first term as president. As a result, America never fully recovered from the Great Depression, and was unable to arm herself sufficiently to turn the tide of WWII. As a result, the Axis powers were victorious, and occupied a divided United States after the war. Dick ties together his diverse cast of characters with a common fascination with 'The Grasshopper Lies Heavy,' an alternative history book that suggests the Allies would have won the war had FDR lived. Dick's central theme through most of his work has always been the nature of reality and perception, and this book is no exception. This is not a book to skim through for the major plot points -- the plot is actually the least compelling reason to read it. Savor the meditative and philosophical prose instead, and enjoy one of the genre's finest authors in his prime.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    the man in the high castle is a life changing read

    There are books out there that don't just challenge the reader, there are books that change the reader.

    The man in the high castle, by philip k dick is one of those books. This book, like all of dick's writing, is revolutionary. It is challenging. It is completely and utterly bizzare. It is unique, difficult, simple, readable, entertaining, schizophrenic and so much more than any set of adjectives can covey.

    This book is not about the plot. It's about what the plot means. The plot, like all of dick's novels, is cohesive and interesting and detailed. It is fully realized and detailed; it is completely authentic. In this world, the axis wins WW 2. The world that results is a world where Japan and Germany have divided the world in two, with the United States serving the role of Germany after our version of WW2. Japan dominates the west coast while Germany lords over the east. Apparently the heartland of America had nothing to offer to either side.

    Jokes aside (especially bad jokes), this novel is an utterly amazing and philosophical exploration of the impact of morality on each and every choice. It uses the chaos of the plot to accentuate the moral decisions made by each character. In fact the chaos of the world this novel takes place in works as a sort of synecdoche for each person and each person's choices. The whole world is difficult, and each event impacts a web of other events. The world and it's events mirror each individual person, they stand in the place of each individual person. The plot unfolds through the narration of five people, ranging in importance from a low level worker to an important German politician. Each person makes choices, and each choice has a moral consequence.

    read the full review at http://tickleishpickle.blogspot.com/2009/07/man-in-high-castle-is-life-changing.html

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2013

    This was one of the worse books I have ever read.  It made no se

    This was one of the worse books I have ever read.  It made no sense, it was poorly written and pointless.  The concept was so good but the product was pointless and I was angry that I had wasted my time reading this.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    Read it and think!

    Great book! Not too many books actually make you think anymore. This is classic Dick, a throughly original and deeply philosophical novel that makes you question what or whodetermines fate. I feel more enlightened having read this.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2011

    Maybe this is too cerebral for today's audience

    I'm pretty shocked by some of the negative reviews here. The word that controls most of these reviews is 'boring,' which is odd. I suppose for a generation unable to watch a film that doesn't have an explosion of some sort within the first minute of the movie, a book like this might seem boring (then again, maybe we should be happy that Generation No Attention Span even bothered to pick up a book in the first place!)

    This is one of the books PKD is best known for. With good reason. For those of you who didn't "get" what PKD's point was, he is simply asking you to question everything you are told about who the winners and losers in a war are. I think the end of this book is one of the most chilling, disturbing conclusions I have ever read. Literally gave me goosebumps. Then again, I can focus on something for more than three minutes at a time, so maybe, in this day and age, I'm some sort of freak!

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I expected more

    I had never read any of Dick's books, but having seen many movies based on his stories, I thought reading his Hugo award winning novel would be a real treat. The writing style is dull, maybe this was on purpose. The characters seemed strange, not developed well. I'm wondering if he was attempting to write the Japanese characters thoughts & dialogue in a broken form of english.
    This "what if" scenario of Japan & Germany winning WWII was written in 1962, at the height of the cold war. I later took this into account when I realized that characters in the 17 years after the end of the war seemed ok with the conquest & division of the U.S. The ending really ruined this book, but I will not let this novel keep me from reading others written by him.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Another Philip K. Dick Classic

    Philip K. Dick is a master of unconventional sci-fi and fantasy genre, and those qualities are clearly exhibited in this work. It is set in 1960s America in a world in which Germany and Japan have won the World War II. US and the rest of the world are divided between those two superpowers, and we follow lives of several ordinary Americans who try to adjust themselves to this reality. The characters in the novel are fully developed in a manner that we've come to expect from Dick's later novels. Their personal struggles are intertwined with the new geopolitical power plays. The title of the novel refers to the sobriquet for Hawthorne Abendsen, a fictional writer of the book "The Grasshopper Lies Heavy" which forms a story-within-a-story and a sort of MacGuffin for this novel. This fictional book will also be at the center of the denouement of this novel, and may provide the clue for what this novel was all about.

    The Man in the High Castle is another brilliant and thought provoking novel. It is an engrossing and fun read as well, and a true classic of science fiction.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good story that leaves you wanting more

    I really like Philip K Dick but for some reason I had never read this one. I finally picked it up and am glad I did. It's a memorable story with some crazy characters but it's more grounded than some of his other work. I liked the incorporation of the I, Ching and Asian culture in general. My main problem with it was there didn't seem to much of a plot for quite some time. But I can deal with that and go along for the ride. The other thing that some people might not like is that it ends right before things wrap-up. This is typical of Dick and I've come to accept that but it makes your really wish there was a sequel. Overall though, a great book.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2013

    What junk!

    I saw this author was highly regarded, but I hope his other works were better than this. No plot, a bunch of rambling diatribes and unlikeable characters...If you're on drugs and read this you may just stop using, thinking your mind is mush.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2013

    2 things for everybody

    1. Tickleishpickle and tunguz use way too big words.
    2. The authors name is hilarious (hilarious doesn't cut it as big word).

    1 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2013

    Ewww

    ??????????????????????????????????????

    1 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2010

    Pointless

    It always seems surprising when a good premise leads to a lousy book. The characters are extremely dull, the plot pointless. Dick seems to be trying to say something but you are left wondering what it is. 25% of the plot is devoted to 2 men trying to start a jewelry business---I guess it is a metaphor for new beginnings but who cares??Skip it.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2001

    Excellent work

    The first time I read this book I didn't really think it was that great. I liked it but I was a little bit confused by it, and I didn't think it measured up to other works by Dick like Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? However, I recently re-read it after recieving it as a birthday present, and I must say that it makes much more sense the second time through. I noticed glimpses of Dick's genius that had slipped by me before and finally understood everything that was going on. Not only is the premise extremely interesting, but I also like how it doesn't just get bogged down in the geo-political implications of an Axis victory, but deals more with actual people who live in this strange and different world. At times shocking at others just silly it is a great read that doesn't really require too much thinking, but rather provokes thought on the part of the reader.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2000

    What if....

    In 1938 (or there about, there was an attempt to kill FDR during his run for re-election), what if he *had* been killed? Only Philip K. Dick (who won the Hugo Award for SF that year for this novel) could answer this question in so intriguing a way. (A short film called 'The High Castle' was made based on it). Enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    Not sure about the ending

    The story is interesting. However, the ending seemed strange. All and all, it is a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2014

    .

    .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    Philip K. Dick¿s The Man in the High Castle describes the possib

    Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle describes the possible societies that would have developed if Japan and Nazi Germany had won World War II. The two countries have established puppet governments in the United States and have entered a Cold War. We are able to see through the eyes of the main characters that are each living in different places in the U.S. and how these governments treat their newly conquered citizens.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2013

    ,

    I did not enjoy this book at all. It took me a week to get through it. Others may like this book, so try it anyway.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

    Someone

    *Sets in a chair, facing away and waiting.*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

    Interesting

    But not great.

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