Today I want to talk about a book I’ve wanted to read for ages. Ever since the first trailer for the Amazon series came out, this novel has been sitting on my to-read list. Is it worth all the fuss?
America 1962. The Second World War ended almost 20 years ago, but it didn’t turn out the way we know. In this novel, the Nazis won. The U. S. was divided into different zones, occupied by the Nazis and Japan. However, a resistance is working against the regime…
First of all: The Plot is absolutely fascinating. As horrifying as the idea itself is, I was still intrigued by the little details Philip K. Dick came up with. The alternate reality he created seems almost as real as ours.
Well, but no matter how interesting the story is, there are a few flaws I cannot ignore.
When I had heard about this book for the first time, I expected a 700 pages strong novel detailing Dick’s ideas. So, I was pretty surprised when I picked up the book from the library and saw that it has only 259 pages. I was irritated how he would make such a complex story fit into such little space but I believed Dick would make it work. However, it does not. The book ends in a place where almost nothing is explained, more questions pile up than there were at the beginning. It feels simply 100% unsatisfying, like half of the book just got lost. Dick just stops somewhere in the middle, he came up with many interesting ideas but didn’t really elaborate on any of them.
To be honest, I ended up researching a few things he mentioned online, as the novel wouldn’t give me sufficient info on what he was talking about. Not only do many things go more or less unexplained, many scenes feel rushed and without depth.
Another point that really annoyed me is the language. Whenever a chapter takes place in the Japanese part of the U. S., Philip K. Dick uses chopped up, grammatically incorrect sentences. I understand his intention to convey the Japanization of, well, everything, but for me it was very irritating to read.
Nevertheless, The Man in the High Castle is a highly fascinating book. Although my review sounds quite negative, it still worth overlooking the flaws and checking it out. I may not like some things about it, but it definitely got me thinking!
Did you read the book? Let me know in the comments what you think!