Monday, May 20, 2013

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

The Man in the High Castle
by Philip K. Dick

This is one of those classics of science fiction that I've been meaning to read but didn't get around to it until now. The Kindle edition is on discount so I decided to give it a try. The book posits an alternate history where the axis was victorious in the second world war seizing territory in North America. The West Coast is controlled by the Japanese while the east is by the Germans with a small buffer state in between. The book follows the lives of a half-dozen characters all of which are affected by a novel inside the novel which describes an Allied victory.

After reading this I can see why it's considered a classic but I find myself more respecting it and actually liking it. Part of the problem is the ending which lands with a thud. Yes I understand the point he's trying to make and he apparently in an interview in the 1970s admitted there wasn't much of an ending and he was working on a sequel but that never happened.

Considering my background in military history I can also quibble over the victory he describes of both the forces in the novel as well as the novel within the novel but I'll let that slide.

Recommended as a signpost in science fiction.

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