The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle❮EPUB❯ ❄ The Man in the High Castle ✿ Author Philip K. Dick – 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 twenty years ear in the PDF/EPUB ✓ It's America in Slavery is legal once again The few Jews who still survive The Man PDF or hide under assumed names In San Francisco the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Man in the eBook ¸ Pages All because some twenty years earlier the United States lost a war—and is now occupied by Nazi Germany and JapanThis 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 wake. On Wednesday I found myself at a party an occurrence itself worthy of remark at which everyone wore I'm currently reading stickers so I had several opportunities to explain why I was loving The Man in the High Castle One such conversation went like thisSo what's that about?Well it's scifi Or rather speculative fictionEr hm No I don't do scifiBut it's got NazisOh my god I love NazisAnother conversation involved me explaining to a white guy how interesting I a half Japanese guy found reading about defeated white Americans kowtowing to their Japanese overlords The awkwardness of the words coming out of my mouth did not even occur to me for several sentencesI'm pretty sure at some point during the evening I also said with party speaking volume I think I really like Dick Sometimes I wish English had fewer homophonesSuffice it to say that I am swearing off parties and returning to my safe almost completely awkwardness free hermetic lifestyleOk this book Let me just establish that neither the Nazi lover nor I are in fact Nazi lovers or racists or no racist than the average person and that despite or perhaps because of? the uncomfortable conversations this book might occasion it's a great read My former experience with Phillip K Dick whose first name and middle initial are considerably important in conversation than heretofore imagined was with a collection of his short stories which was amusing but very much in the Atomic Age sort of a vein THE BOMB robots space ships THE BOMB etc After finding JG Ballard's similar ruminations on mortality and atomic annihilation to be unfinishably boring I was wary of returning to PKD ah much better and the premise of a world in which the Axis powers won WWII could definitely have lead down that road Plucky American rebels fighting their Nazi oppressors and thwarting a plot to nuke New York while chronically hamstrung by their moribund contemplation of non existence? No thanks But this book is so not that book As with other works by PKD or at least the cinematic interpretations I've seen the underlying horror is not about annihilation but about anxiety over identity In High Castle the American identity has been completely crushed There is no rebel faction there are no competent or truly sympathetic American characters and American cultural artifacts that we keep in museums are now collector's items to be pawned off to Japanese connoisseurs not unlike the 19th century European obsession with Japonisme The idea of infinite American ingenuity and resourcefulness has been discarded along with our belief in democracy The Japanese are consistently depicted as high handed elitist occasionally racist but generally fair and benign in intent much like American occupational forces in reconstruction Japan So if we as Americans aren't rebels if we're not democrats if we're not plucky heroes with wild ideas so crazy they might actually work who are we? What a great subject for a scifi novelThere's also uite a bit about the life and meaning of objects or the historicity as the characters call it Why is a penny touched by the President significant than any other penny? I'm not entirely sure how this theme plays into the rest of the novel It may have something to do with the arbitrariness invoked by the use of the I Ching by almost every character ie the specific history of any given object is as intrinsically meaningful as a pattern of tossed sticks and it is the evaluator's interpretation that has true significance Again though how does it relate to Nazis?Also hawt book in book action All the characters in this what if book are reading their own what if book postulating a world in which the Axis powers didn't win WWII I mean yo dawg I herd you like speculative fiction so we put a book in yo book so u can speculate while u speculate It's kind of coolThe book's not perfect Women get the short shrift Betty Kasoura seems both intelligent and sympathetic to the plight of the Americans but doesn't take action to the extent that her husband does view spoilerI'm not sure if Juliana's murder of the covert gestapo officer was due to self defense so much as hysteria hide spoiler 3 12 starsScientifically and politically this is absolute genius The way Philip K Dick masterfully rewrites history and portrays this alternate United States is uite incredible and I can easily see why the guy has such a huge following That being said while this novel is undeniably clever I think what it lacks is a human touch I found it hard to care about any of the mishmash of characters which for me means that I ultimately found it hard to care about the direction of the story and its outcomeWhat this novel does best of all is remind people how close the Nazis came to winning the Second World War The author changes events during the war only slightly but it makes a huge difference in the long run Generally people who aren't historians probably don't tend to think about the reality of this situation which for most people alive today seems of a completely different world and time The Second World War seems somewhat unreal a story told in textbooks and retold in movies about how the bad guys started killing people and naturally the good guys swooped in and put an end to it all As if it was all that simple In reality Hitler came scarily close to victory and it's only through reading this book that I came to realise just how extensive German occupation was during the warThe Man in the High Castle presents a very convincing alternate history where Hitler and the Nazis fascist Italy and Imperial Japan had been the victors instead The world building is rich and Philip K Dick doesn't neglect the little details in his fictional society I especially like the way we get a glimpse of how this takeover has affected the rest of the world not just the United States We learn about the situation across multiple continents and how the Nazi beliefs have spread He even goes so far as to tell a story within a story as he imagines an author in this world speculating on what life would have been like if the Nazis hadn't won The writer guesses some things correctly and others less so; this latter is especially interesting My rather middling rating reflects the fact that this is a slow and technical novel It is not a particularly emotionally engaging novel Dick focuses on the politics and technicalities of the world never developing much of a connection between the reader and any of the large cast of characters My brain was impressed and I'm glad I read it but my heart wasn't really feeling it Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube Original review Feb 22 2016DISCLAIMER It would evidently be irresponsible to call Donald Trump a Nazi merely on the strength of a recent speech in which he suggested it would be desirable to shoot Muslims using bullets dipped in pig's blood A plausible interpretation is that this is no than the result of dispassionately calculating that the upside in terms of increasing his attractiveness to the ignorant racist demographic is larger than the downside in terms of decreasing his appeal to many people who already can't stand him But I admit that I'm no expert on these matters and I could be wrong Update Mar 13 2016look at me im davy crockett says in comment #80there is no reason to attempt to reason with Manny he is a neurotic bigoted freak who is clearly so deeply insane or at least disturbed in how obsessive he is and should on matters of his repeated spam violating ToS should be banned without having to consider him personally or his speechLooking at the original review I am a little uncertain about just what it is that Mr Crockett is so violently taking exception to I posted a link to a video clip in which Donald Trump suggested that it would be a good idea to shoot Muslims using bullets dipped in pig's blood I went on say that I DIDN'T think this made him a Nazi just a politician who is trying to please the ignorant racist demographic I concluded that since I was no expert on the subject I might be mistakenWell I'm baffled Mr Crockett clearly doesn't like something I've said Does he thinka that the video clip in uestion has been faked by the liberal media to discredit Mr Trumpb that the idea of shooting Muslims with bullets dipped in pig's blood will not please the ignorant racist demographic orc that I am in fact an expert on the subject and should not disingenuously claim the contrary?Mr Crockett please clarify I'm sure other people would like to know too Update Aug 16 2017I wanted to wait until I had information a policy recently advocated by Mr Trump himself And I'd hate to offend Mr Crockett further But all the same the evidence we've acuired over the last few days does seem to increase the probability that Mr Trump is a Nazi He sounds sincere when defending the white supremacist terrorist attack in Charlottesville and one can't help feeling his behaviour means something That said I freely admit I haven't got a statistically tight argument yet It's just anecdotal “They want to be the agents not the victims of history They identify with God's power and believe they are godlike That is their basic madness They are overcome by some archtype; their egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off It is not hubris not pride; it is inflation of the ego to its ultimate — confusion between him who worships and that which is worshiped Man has not eaten God; God has eaten man” If Franklin Delano Roosevelt had been assassinated in 1934 instead of dying of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1945 what would the world look like? Do our lives our futures hang on the shoulders of one man? The New Deal that gave Roosevelt so much power so much influence with the American public would not have been possible if presented by a different man a less sure man a man willing to make deals to pass the legislation even if it guts the intent of the program The American people have probably never trusted a politician as much as they trusted FDR So if we remove him from history during those critical years in the 1940s when the world went mad what would happen? Philip K Dick is going to tell you We lose The Pacific States form a new country called The Pacific States of America and are controlled by Imperial Japan A Rocky Mountain States is formed as a buffer between The Reich Controlled East Coast of America and the PSA Europe is under the management of the Reich The Soviets were completely destroyed by the Reich and most were exterminated A cold war has sprung up between the two remaining superpowers the Japanese and the Reich Adolf Hitler has descended into madnessbatshit crazy madness not the garden variety I want to rule the world madness ”Old Adolf supposed to be in a sanitarium somewhere living out his life of senile paresis Syphilis of the brain dating back to his poor days as a bum in Viennalong black coat dirty underwear flophouses”There is this interesting film called Max starring John Cusack from 2002 that was directed by Menno Meyjes It discusses the possibility of what would have happened if Hitler had been accepted as an artist Would he have channeled his anger into something edifying than world destruction? I know that others besides myself must have watched that film but they seem to be few and far between Noah Taylor plays the young frustrated HitlerMartin Bormann has been in charge of the Reich but with his death a power struggle has broken out between Joseph Goebbels Reinhard Heydrich and Hermann Göring for the ultimate leadership The thought of those men surviving the war gives me a chill Hitler may have brought the vision but these were the men who implemented it Robert Childan owns an Americana antiue business on Montgomery Street in San Francisco The Japanese are avid collectors of old American gadgets comic books and toys He used to run a bookstore but found that dealing in Americana was much profitable He isn’t an expert which as the story unfolds creates some issues for him People don’t mind paying exorbitant prices as long as what they buy is legitimate He meets a young progressive Japanese couple who want to discuss a future based on the book by Hawthorne Abendsen called The Grasshopper Lies Heavy which presents an alternative reality where the Axis lost and the Allies won It is still different from our present day but certainly recognizable than the dystopia of The Man in the High Castle Philip K Dick is having a bit of fun writing an alternative reality which includes a novel about alternative reality The young couple are very disappointed to learn that Childan has not read the book They assumed that any “American” would want to read this book They were also disappointed that Childan when pressed for his own philosophical take on this life mouths the platitudes of the controlling governments because he thinks that is what his potential clients want to hear I expected from one of my own kind a retired bookseller but in his defense he doesn’t want unwarranted attention He doesn’t want change as much as he wants to be safe “What they do not comprehend is man’s helplessness I am weak small of no conseuence to the universe It does not notice me; I live on unseen But why is that bad? Isn’t it better that way? Whom the gods notice they destroy Be small and you will escape the jealousy of the great” Mokkei Tiger from the 13th CenturyChildan does get a glimmer of a lost past that might be reclaimed by the future when he holds the Frank Frink jewelry collection in his hands Frink has recently left his work of employment where he made replica guns from America’s past for those Japanese collectors to start his own business designing and creating original jewelry To Childan the jewelry is much than just pretty bobbles to adorn women’s throats fingers and wrists It represents the American ingenuity that used to determine the fashions trends and innovations that led the world Meanwhile Frink’s ex wife who lives in the RMS has taken up with a truck driver who is not who he says he is He has an agenda involving The Man in the High Castle The man Abendsen who has taken the world by storm with his book depicting a different outcome from the warThe I Ching plays a pivotal role as characters use I Ching to make decisions Dick also used the I Ching to determine the twists of the plot as he was writing it Having difficulty making decisions? Do you find that most of the time you make poor decisions? Turn your life over to the I Ching Your future will no longer be your faultThis book convinced me of the viability of this alternative reality I certainly would have read about this world that Dick created The ending is open because Dick had always planned to write a seuel but he couldn’t progress on the second book because he couldn’t stand the thought of going back and reading about Nazis I’m in the same boat recently with all the history channels that I normally watch suddenly becoming obsessed with everything Third Reich This is disturbing to me because programming is based off viewership and obviously they have determined that people are tuning in to watch Nazi documentaries than other much fascinating time periods of world history Sigh I don’t know what that means has recently filmed the pilot episode of a new series based on The Man in the High Castle The episode is available on streaming I read this book another lifetime ago but wanted to refresh my memory before watching the pilot episode I’m glad I did as much of my memories of the book had eroded into snippets of disjointed pieces There is much in the book than what I’ve discussed but I hope what I have decided to highlight will encourage people to read this novel of science fiction that also can rest comfortably on the same shelf as literature If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visithttpwwwjeffreykeetencomI also have a Facebook blogger page at Fans of Philip K Dick and science fiction might be underwhelmed by The Man in the High Castle since other than passing mention of cross continent rocket ship travel and a German exploration of Mars there really isn’t any science or signature PKD craziness or large scale action; rather Dick’s 1962 book is alternative history the aftermath in the United States after Germany and Japan win World War II and a novel of ideas There are a number of crisscrossing plots colorful main characters applications of the ancient Chinese I Ching; however by my reading the heartbeat of the novel is the author’s historical political social commentary reflections on cross cultural miscommunication and observations on racial and ethnic prejudice – all laced with a healthy dose of black humorAh black humor as in this snatch of dialogue when judo instructor Juliana Frink talks with a fellow American Joe the truck drive in a Colorado small town ““Did you hear the Bob Hope show the other night?” she called “He told this really funny joke the one where this German major is interviewing some Martians The Martians can’t provide racial documentation about their grandparents being Aryan you know So the German major reports back to Berlin that Mars is populated by Jews”” Meanwhile the German Reichs Consul in San Francisco Freiherr Hugo Reiss doesn’t fine Bob Hope one bit funny; in point of fact he thinks the Aryan super race might indeed find Jews on Mars since those loathsome Jewish vermin are everywhere elsePKD 1960s style self referential postmodern metafiction anyone? Novel within a novel The Grasshopper Lies Heavy by Hawthorne Abendsen is about what the present day world would look like if Germany and Japan lost the war Abendsen’s novel is all the rage an honest to goodness American literary fad the book is banned back in Germany and in lands such as the Eastern United States controlled by Germany Curiously rumors have it the author of the outrageous Grasshopper bestseller is a paranoid living in isolation on a Wyoming mountain in a fortress like house surrounded by barbed wire and heavy artillery calling himself The Man in the High Castle Perhaps the author’s armed isolated fortress isn’t such a bad idea since Freiherr Hugo Reiss has a predictable Nazi reaction when reading the book “Maybe this Abendsen is a Jew They’re still at it trying to poison us Actual name probably Abendstein If Abendstein should be found dangling from the ceiling some fine morning it would be a sobering notice to anyone who might be influenced by this book We would have had the last word Written the postscript”And such a paranoid racist mindset is hardly confined to the German Nazis Here are the thoughts of Robert Childan a good old American boy from San Francisco after his less than satisfying business dealings with someone who is Jewish “We live in a society of law and order where Jews can’t pull their subtleties on the innocent We’re protected I don’t know why I didn’t recognize the racial characteristics when I saw him Evidently I’m easily deceived Without law I’d be at their mercy He could have convinced me of anything It’s a form of hypnosis They can control an entire society”With its scathing satire on culture and society and novel within a novel in many ways The Man in the High Castle reminded me of JR by William Gaddis than PKD’s other science fiction Similar to Gaddis all the men and women are than happy to spout their opinions and observations about the arts and books and literature; and than happy to make strident pronouncements about culture history and race not only on the Jews but among others Blacks Italians Japanese Germans Swedes White Americans Puerto Ricans Irish Turns out the author of The Grasshopper Lies Heavy claims his nightmarish novel is about the state of the world as it currently exists Perhaps PKD is telling us indirectly he is making a similar claim in his The Man in the High Castle Thank God this is fiction at least in our dimension WELCOME TO 1962 It is impossible that ours is the only world; there must be world after world unseen by us in some region or dimension that we simply do not perceive This book is a frightening glimpse of how our world could been if the Axis Powers would have won the World War IIThe Nazi Germany and the Imperial Japan won and they divided the planet between them Even the United States is now divided with the East Coast dominated by Nazis and the West Coast under Japanese control having a “neutral zone” in the middle of the countryAnd the most frightening of all is that now there is a “Cold War” between Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan Where the Nazis have now Nuclear Technology and Hidrogen Bombs at their disposalNow rockets is the normal way to travel between countries in a matter of less than an hour And Earth has become “too small” for the Nazis where now they are using Space Rocket Technology to colonize the Moon Mars and VenusSlavery is back Racial persecution is enforced Extermination Camps are still active and spreading around the Nazi Occupied Territories and now not only Jews are targets but also Africans Afro Americans Indians for startersAnd all because the death of one man An important man No one can do what you were meant to do If certain person is no longer around a void is createdand darkness can take controlThis is the testimony that a person can change the world For good or for evil THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS One cannot judge by book being best seller We all know that Many best sellers are terrible trash It’s interesting how this “experiment” of a world where the Axis Powers won the WWII it’s clear that while living in Nazi Occupied Nations is a very horrific scenario the book establishes that being a citizen in the Imperial Japan Occupied Countries isn’t so bad Don’t get wrong if you are not Japanese you will be a second class citizen but you will be treated fair enough if you don’t make troubles that is and curiously if your skin color is white enough Maybe you think that it’s the same but when you read how are things in each side of the Axis Powers having only those two options it’s clear that you will try to live in the Japanese side Of course you will need to consult the I Ching since now this book is the usual way to take important decisions in the everyday life of people in the Imperial Japanese controlled lands ECCLESIASTES 125 Amazing the power of fiction even cheap popular fiction to evoke The only “hope” in this glum world the only “fresh air” to “breath” is in the form of a novel “The Grasshopper Lies Heavy” a piece of fiction with the “absurd” idea of that the Axis Power could lose the WWIIA very cool thing about the “winning” scenario proposed in that novel “The Grasshopper Lies Heavy” is that while it’s obvious that Philip K Dick the author had access to all the details of how the WWII happened and he could take the easy path and just telling what really happened at least in our dimension but instead he did consentious thought to show a valid way that Allied Forces could still win the WWII but not just like it happened BRAVE BUT Truth As terrible as death But harder to find The book The Man in the High Castle is a brilliant work studying how our world could be a lot different if the “other side” of the conflict in WWII would win itHowever except some brief moments the most of the narrative lacks of excitement scenes the relevancy of the main characters is too limited to their close surroundings and where they haven’t any control over the global events decided by the global leaders that are re shaping even the current political scenarioAlso the book lacks of a proper ending andor an adeuate finale Maybe it isn’t necessary but it’s odd at least to me to show such worldwide scenario without any appreciable intention to try to shaken the status uoStill it’s a evocative reading and a mindblowing concept The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick winner of the Hugo Award for best novel is classic very good science fiction It is the story of a segmented and defeated United States after the Axis powers won World War II This alternate history actually began in the thirties as Roosevelt is described as having been assassinated Taking a roving perspective amidst several characters and some loosely connected interwoven storylines PKD explores a world where America is divided into three distinct sections and controlled by either Japan or Germany The story also explores racism as well as common PKD themes of confused realities and subjective perceptions Most interestingly is that there is a book within the book written by the man in the high castle where the allies won the war Philip K Dick was certainly a brilliant man and a gifted writer His imagined dystopia of a world split between the victorious Reich and Imperial Japan is chilling and realistic Ok perhaps colonisation of Mars in 1962 is a bit of a stretch but the depiction of San Francisco under the Japanese administration was excellent His characters were vivid and lifelike His villain was somewhat predicable but still a fascinating one The dystopia he describes particularly the horrors of unbridled fascism in Africa etc is terrifying I enjoyed the internal monologues and the dialogs very much Perhaps Haruki Murakami was somewhat inspired by Philip K Dick to leave the story with lots of uestions unanswered That being said there is a humanity to the characters and I became attached to several of them One thing I found a bit incoherent albeit a key to the plot was the obsession with I Ching I know lots of Japanese people and have been to Japan a dozen times and it seems to me highly improbable that the Japanese would turn so obsessively to Taoism and superstition because Shintoism and Buddhism are so ingrained in their culture which to my understanding is nearly the polar opposite of Tao That being said it allowed PDK to make his typical forays into the psyche of his characters I wondered also if the Man in the High Castle was not a self portrait Also the idea of a book of alternate reality The Grasshopper Lies Heavy inside this book of alternate reality was a nice touch PDK was great with these Russian doll moves in his books reminds me a bit of the recent SNL sketches I listened to this as an audiobook on Audible and found it pretty good although Joe's accent at times sounded Russian than Italian I have not watched the TV show derived from this classic scifi novel but can say that it stands very solidly on its own and is up there with the other novels of PDK that I have read Highly recommended Will stick around in your brain for a while after reading it Hermann Göring the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany after Hitler fancied himself an art collector and scoured Europe to acuire masterpieces In 1945 his collection was seized by the Allies while he was on trial at Nuremberg Among many other works of art they found The Supper at Emmaus signed by Johannes Vermeer Göring’s favourite The origin of that painting was then traced back to a Dutch art dealer named Han van Meegeren who conseuently was arrested and charged with the crime of collaborating with the Nazis A few weeks into his trial van Meegeren confessed the Vermeer was a forgery a fake he had painted to fool Göring and the Nazi art experts As the judges incredulous asked him to prove his claim he reuested that a canvas and some painting be brought to his cell He painted a beautiful Vermeer Van Meegeren’s charges were dropped and he became a Dutch national hero Göring committed suicideIn Philip K Dick’s Man in the High Castle one of the early novels of his career there is a major storyline about an art and antiue dealer named Robert Childan who sells old American artefacts to Japanese amateurs He eventually teams up with a skilled jewellery craftsman Frank Fink They both end up involved in a counterfeit antiues business Just as in the van Meegeren anecdote it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between the authentic pieces and the fake ones But the former have “historicity” the latter don’tIn fact Dick’s whole novel deals with this uestion the nature of history and reality the nature of time In this book Dick depicts a world where the Axis powers chiefly the German Reich and the Empire of Japan have won World War II The cause of this complete geopolitical reversal is an event of practically no account in 1933 the anarchist Giuseppe Zangara manages to assassinate US President Franklin D Roosevelt he was in fact arrested before he could carry out his plan As a result the United States withdraw into isolationism and let Nazi Germany and Japan conuer the world and become superpowersWhat’s even interesting is the mise en abyme Inside Dick’s novel there is another book titled The Grasshopper Lies Heavy written by the mysterious “man in the High Castle” which depicts yet another alternate reality where Germany and Japan have lost the war and the US and the British Empire gain hegemony over the world And on top of it all there is still another book The I Ching or Book of Changes which some of the characters use as an Oracle to try and read their fate It is interesting to note that The Grasshopper has in fact been written using or exactly by the I Ching Too it is said that Dick himself used the hexagrams in the I Ching to write The Man in the High CastleIn the end what is the nature of the actual reality we live in? Does it have “historicity” than other possible virtual fictional “fake” realities? other hexagrams? As Dick puts it to conclude his novel “there must be world after world unseen by us in some region or dimension that we simply do not perceive”To say that this book is puzzling is an understatement Ridley Scott’s production of the TV show is loosely inspired by Dick’s plot line but still very entertaining 2 starsI was disappointed with this book; it ended up going nowhere Perhaps there was simply too much “other stuff” besides the plot like the Zen and Eastern mysticism in it to make it a worthwhile read for me It seemed like an overwhelmingly large number characters constantly consult the I Ching for guidance which has no appeal to me whatsoeverOkay speaking of plot or lack thereof The book takes place in Japanese controlled western United States The United States lost World War II and was divided between Nazi Germany and Japan For the most part the characters are introduced in the first half and they all come together in the second half But there is no clear resolution to any of the plotlines and it felt like a cop out to me Even the dissatisfying ending asking “What is reality?” felt so contrived it was almost like PKD got tired of this writing this book and simply uit on itOverall this book was very flat for me I didn't feel involved with the characters or their alternate world