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The Man in the High Castle Paperback – Jan 24 2012

136 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reissue edition (Jan. 24 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547572484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547572482
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 404 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


The most brilliant sci-fi mind on any planet Rolling Stone California's own William Blake. Visionary and prophet Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About 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

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

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 Rottenberg's rotten book review on Oct. 9 2003
Format: Paperback
The nightmare of an alternate history in which the Nazis concquered the world? Unfortunately, the story dissappoints because it doesn't sound as nightmarish as it suggests.
For those who've never heard of this book, "Castle" offers an oppressed and subjugated America long since conquered by the Axis powers of the War. America is divided between the Japanese consolidated states of the Pacific coast and the German dominated eastern-American sphere - though Dick suggests the Nazis as the more ambitious of the two victors. Still a militaristic society, the Japanese themselves are comparatively benign - polite invaders who maintain their occupation from restricted enclaves while spending their time acquiring "Americana" (American swords, billboards, vintage clothes, jewelry, etc..) The Germans have been busier, and Dick hints early that, as far as Germany is concerned, the Earth isn't big enough for two empires. The horrors of the Nazi genocide aren't fleshed out - Dick stays deliberately vague - there are hints of a horror in Africa, while the futuristic Nazis share the racial ideas of the historical Nazis. Between the Japanese and German dominated territories, a vast no-man's land exists in which people try to survive by exploiting each side's distrust of the other, guided by the I-Ching. When the novel opens, we learn that the Nazis are on the verge of planning two new wars - one against their enemies, but firs a battle among their own inner circle. At the center of everything lives the man of the castle himself - a recluse who has penned an underground best-selling novel which brazenly exalts and America that actually won WWII.
As a straight novel, "Castle" is an incredible disappointment.
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Format: Paperback
What if the Axis had won the Second World War? In The Man in the High Castle, Dick imagines an alternate history in which Pearl Harbour knocks the US out of the war, the Nazis stage a successful invasion of Great Britain, and Japan and Germany emerge as Cold War rivals instead of the US and USSR.

The novel is set roughly 15 years after the war's end and follows several characters, including Frank Frink, a secret Jew who manufactures counterfeit pre-war American antiques; his wife Juliana who takes up with Joe, a man claiming to be an Italian veteran; and Japanese and German secret agents. While most of the characters' storylines only intersect briefly, they all in some way relate to—and in some cases drastically alter—the increase in German-Japanese tensions after the death of the German Chancellor and the resulting power vacuum.

The Man in the High Castle has quite an interesting premise, but the first three-quarters of the novel is quite slow. Here Dick is very heavy on dialogue and light on action—I suppose that reflects the Cold War atmosphere, but it doesn't make for great reading, especially given that much of the dialogue is not to do with the interesting political intrigue, but with Frank's attempts to open up a new jewelry manufactory or an antique dealer's attempts to impress a successful Japanese client.

It is not until the last quarter of the book that the man himself in the High Castle really enters, as it becomes clear that he is being targeted for assassination by German agents as the result of his novel exploring an alternate history in which the Axis had lost the Second World War. At the same time, the backchannel dealings between Germany and Japan reach a climax with the leak of a shocking plan proposed by the new Chancellor Goebbels.
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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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