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Man In the High Castle Hardcover – Jan 1 1962


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Putnam; First Edition edition (Jan. 1 1962)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0244151806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0244151805
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #945,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
For a week Mr R. Childan had been anxiously watching the mail. Read the first page
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By Rose TOP 500 REVIEWER on Sept. 7 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is only the second PKD book I have read and it has led me to a couple of thoughts about the man. One, he had an exceptional imagination. Two, he wrote a lot more than necessary to get his point across.

The concept of this book, while totally original, was incredibly simple - what if Germany had won the war?
The whole story was regular life as it would be playing out had Hitler been victorious. There was only one wrinkle in this story...a man had written a book with the concept that Germany had lost the war. This man was known as the 'man in the high tower', describing his home which supposedly was a bit of a fortress for his protection. The book was incredibly popular and ultimately would lead to the Germans trying to assassinate him.

This all sounds incredibly good but in fact, I found most of the book rather boring. I loved the concept but not the execution. I'm not a fan of excessive writing although I know there are lot of people out there who do and will love this book for that fact.
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By Daffy Bibliophile TOP 500 REVIEWER on Aug. 22 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
First of all, I really enjoy Philip K. Dick's writing. His somewhat paranoid, what-is-human and what-is-reality approach to things comes across great in his short stories. But I really can't say the same for "The Man in the High Castle". It's a decent book, a well-told story, but something is lacking. PKD seems to have had the urge to write an alternative history novel in which the Axis powers win the Second World War, an urge that quite a few authors have given into. The result in this case is not the best writing that PKD produced. The story is there, the characters are fairly believable but it gets messy, never quite comes together as a whole, and PKD seems to lose his way towards the end. I guess this is basically a story about another dimension that intersects with our own at one point, but it might have been better if the author had expressed his ideas in a short story. Philip K. Dick was a great sci-fi writer but I feel that this is not one of his better works.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Craobh Rua on Jan. 23 2007
Format: Paperback
Philip K Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 but spent most of his life in California . By the time he died in 1982, he written over 30 science-fiction novels and more than 100 short stories. Some of the more famous films of recent years - including "Blade Runner" and "A Scanner Darkly" have been based on his work. "The Man in the High Castle " was first published in 1962 and went on to win the Hugo Award.

"The Man in the High Castle " isn't necessarily what many would consider to be a `typical' science-fiction novel : there are no little green men, androids don't appear, nobody feels the force and the heroes aren't boldly going. Set in the 1960s, the story takes place in a world where the Allies lost the Second World War : Japan is in control of Asia, while Germany is in control of Europe and Africa. The Germans have also drained the Mediterranean for farmland, and have applied the `final solution' to the peoples of Africa. America, meanwhile, has been divided into three states. Much of the action takes place in the Pacific Seaboard America region, which is under the control of Japan. The eastern section of America is ruled by Germany, while between the two is the Rocky Mountain Buffer State. Life under the Japanese is presented as being relatively benign - pleasant, even. This appears to contrast sharply with life under German rule, despite the fact this isn't actually shown in the book.

The book follows the lives of a group of very loosely connected individuals - though what affects one has repercussions for all. Robert Childan is introduced first : a native of San Francisco, Childan can vaguely remember life before the war.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 50 REVIEWER on May 4 2011
Format: Paperback
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Myers on June 21 2004
Format: Paperback
I doubt there are many writers as wildly inconsistent as Dick. He can be vapid and very bad--stylistically and materially--or knock-your-socks-off intelligent and excellent. This book is ranked among the latter.
The book's main theme is the one that Dick excels at developing in challenging, complicated, and provocative narrative situations--the theme of the nature of reality. A recent bio-novel about Dick by Emmanuel Carrere makes the point that novels such as The Man in the High Castle are very likely pretty accurate reflections of Dick's mind and often unsettled mental state; that is, he often doubted what was real in his own life timeline.
Many of my friends are disappointed with the conclusion of the novel, but I think Juliana Frink had it right at the end--while the novel describes an alternate timeline, it is really about our very own timeline.
If you've ever speculated about historical turning points--what if an event had or hadn't taken place--you will really enjoy this novel.
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