Book Review: Man In the High Castle by Philip K Dick

From the Book Jacket

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 earlier the United States lost a war-and is now occupied by Nazi Germany and Japan.

Why I Chose It

I had just finished Girl On The Train and was suffering from book withdrawal.  I spotted The Man in the High Castle on my husband’s book shelf and thought I’d give it a try.  Perhaps it would offer some insight into the show.  I had never made it completely through one episode before falling asleep and was never interested enough to re-watch.

What Critics Thought

Originally published in 1963 The Man in the High Castle has great reviews and is a recipient of the Hugo Award for best Novel. Goodreads has the novel at a 3.7 out of four stars and Amazon raters have awarded it an average of 3.5 out of 4 stars.

What I Thought

Hated it.  It was difficult to read and reminded me of the assigned books from High School English, except I actually enjoyed those.  If I had been assigned this book in English Lit, it might have turned me off of reading completely.  I found the book to be border line offensive with characters that lean heavily on stereotypes.  The writing seemed schizophrenic without the brilliancy of A Beautiful Mind, and instead  comes across as a really bad episode of The Twilight Zone.

Do not even get me started on the ending! There was none.  The book literally stopped.  Just stopped.  I have never been so angry except when I read other books that also just stopped- but at least those had sequels.  This has none.  PK Dick intended to write a sequel, but every time he tried he kept ending up with a different book altogether.  Supposedly he was unsure that he could climb into the mind of a Nazi again.  Yeah, that’s why you never got around to the sequel.  Could it be the story was not good? Maybe?  Just maybe.  I seriously wanted to put this book back on the shelf in its dusty spot between World War II for Dummies and The Art of War.  In other words not gonna read, and would’t read if it were the last- thing- on- Earth.  Seriously!   Kudos to me because the book is finished, but only because I was  driven by a competitive need to beat my husband who had given up about a third of the way in.   This is saying a lot, because he loves to read anything related to World War II.

Time it Took To Read

274 pages in roughly 2 1/2 weeks, below my average read time.

Recommend Read

No, unless you want to experience emotions ranging from what the hell to pissed off.

I’m always on the look out for a good book!  Feel free to leave your recommendations in the comments!

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