Philip K. Dick – The Man in the High Castle

Heard a lot about this book and there were even a TV series based on this book almost 10 years ago. Have read something from this author many years ago and vaguely remember not being completely satisfied with his storytelling. This book is considered by many a masterpiece and it got some awards. I can agree that the idea is unique and fascinating. Alternative history, what would happen if. If Germany and Japan had won WWII and conquered USA and the rest of the world. As a backdrop of story it is a mind blowing premise. There is no exposition explaining everything. You slowly learn more and more with every page and chapter of this book as you follow story of a few characters. These people are very loosely related in the plot, some paths cross, some not. To make it even more fascinating, in this world exits a book written by some mysterious man, which depicts an alternate history (to the world in this book), when US and allies actually win the war. It is like opposite of the world we live in now, where allies won and people are wondering and writing about what the world would have been if Axis had won. The book is somewhat banned, but many and even Germans and Japanese are reading it. Learning more about this book and going further into plot some mystical undertones start to creep in little by little. Who actually wrote this book and what it is, why the world depicted in that book is so real? And.. there is no answer. The Man in the High Castle doesn’t provide one satisfying answer or conclusion or reveal. I see same sentiment in many reviews out where. The idea is brilliant, depicting of the world is great, but story and plot are not so much. Other than revealing some horrible Germany plans for world domination there is no grand finale, no mind blowing twist. Not that every book needs it. And i would be ok with no real end. But author makes effort to lead one of the characters to meet that person who wrote the alternate history book. And all of this just to learn that book wrote itself? With the help of some oracle (yet another book existing in this book, this is hard to write this review 🙂 ). And even then, reader can barely sense some sort of mystery behind all of this and the book abruptly ends. No wonder that first season of TV adaptation got so much praise and then everything went downhill with last two seasons. There was just no material or idea to work with further. Only buildup and no release. Overall, the book was fine, although i didn’t like most of the characters or cared about them, some plot lines were abandoned. Could have done with less of internal monologues. 6/10

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