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Alternate History Books   >   Books   >   The Man in the High Castle

   
 

The Man in the High Castle


Synopsis:
    Life in an occupied America after an Axis victory in World War II.

Themes:
Eras:
Review of The Man in the High Castle:

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick is perhaps the most famous alternate history book that there is. It is also one of Philip K. Dick's most famous novels, and one of his best - because it is one of the most tightly structured and well-written - possibly because Dick had the luxury, unusually for him, of preparing several drafts before releasing the novel.

The novel is set in an alternate United States that was defeated by the Axis in World War II, and which is divided between Japanese and German occupation zones (with an autonomous central region serving as a buffer).

The story itself contains no single plot, but instead is a collection of interconnected story lines about various characters, many of these involving a fictional alternate history book called "The Grasshopper Lies Heavy". In the now familiar fashion for Double Blind What Ifs, "The Grasshopper Lies Heavy" imagines a world where the Allies had won the War - although, of course this imagined world is rather different from our own.

According to Dick, he wrote the book using I Ching to determine plot events - Dick even blamed I Ching for those plot elements that he was unhappy with. This is mirrored in the novel itself, where I Ching is used by several Japanese and American characters to make life decisions, and was supposedly even used by Hawthorne Abendsen, the fiction author of "The Grasshopper Lies Heavy", to determine its plot.

As with many of Dick's works, a persistent theme throughout the novel is difference between real and false realities. The most prominent example of this theme is "The Grasshopper Lies Heavy", but it also occurs in characters selling fake historical artifacts, characters travelling under false identities, and characters even seeing hints of our reality.

There is a lot more that I could say about this book, but let me simply say this: get it. If really is not only one of the defining books of the alternate history genre, but also one of the best pieces of science fiction literature that there is.


   

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The Man in the High Castle

By Philip K. Dick

Mariner Books
Released: 2012-01-24
Paperback (288 pages)

The Man in the High Castle
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“The single most resonant and carefully imagined book of Dick’s career.” —New York Times
 
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.
 
This harrowing, Hugo Award–winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas. In it Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to wake.
 
Winner of the Hugo Award

The Man in the High Castle and Philosophy: Subversive Reports from Another Reality (Popular Culture and Philosophy)

Open Court
Paperback (256 pages)

The Man in the High Castle and Philosophy: Subversive Reports from Another Reality (Popular Culture and Philosophy)
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The Man in the High Castle is an Amazon TV show, based on the Philip K. Dick novel, about an "alternate present" (beginning in the 1960s) in which Germany and Japan won World War II, with the former Western US occupied by Japan, the former Eastern U.S. occupied by Nazi Germany, and a small "neutral zone" between them. A theme of the story is that in this alternative world there is eager speculation, fueled by the illicit newsreel, The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, about how the world would have been different if America had won the war.

In The Man in the High Castle and Philosophy, twenty-two professional thinkers look at philosophical issues raised by this ongoing enterprise in "alternative history." One question is whether it really made a profound difference that the Allies won the war, and exactly what differences in everyday life we may expect to arise from an apparent historical turning point. Could it be that some dramatic historical events have only superficial consequences, while some unnoticed occurrences lead to catastrophic results?

Another topic is the quest for truth in a world of government misinformation, and how dissenting organizations can make headway.

Man in the High Castle (Hayakawa Bunko SF 568)

By Philip K Dick; Hisashi Asakura

ToÌ"kyoÌ" : HayakawashoboÌ", 2011.
Paperback Bunko

Man in the High Castle (Hayakawa Bunko SF 568)
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The Man In The High Castle

By Philip K. Dick

Putnam
Hardcover

The Man In The High Castle
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Product Description:
"The single most resonant and carefully imagined book of Dick's career." -New York Times 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. This harrowing, Hugo Award-winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas. In it Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to wake. Winner of the Hugo Award

The Man in the High Castle: Das Orakel vom Berge

By Philip K. Dick

Argon Verlag
Released: 2016-10-26
Audible Audio Edition

The Man in the High Castle: Das Orakel vom Berge
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Was wäre, wenn die Achsenmächte den Zweiten Weltkrieg gewonnen hätten? Und sich Hitler mit Japan die USA geteilt hätte? Die Grenze durch die Rocky Mountains verliefe, wo es neutrale Pufferstaaten gäbe? Und dort ein "Orakel vom Berge"?

Vor dieser Unwirklichkeit flüchten die Menschen in ein Buch über die "Heuschrecken", in der die Welt so dargestellt wird, wie sie eher unserer Wirklichkeit gleicht - aber nur fast, oder ist es wirklich ganz anders herum? Das "Orakel vom Berge" (1962) ist gegen den Strich erzählte Historie und ein legendärer Klassiker der amerikanischen Literatur.

Das Hörbuch zur US-Kultserie "The Man in the High Castle"!

From the Ashes

By Sandra Saidak

Sandra Saidak
Paperback (424 pages)

From the Ashes
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In a dramatic departure from her popular prehistoric fiction, Sandra Saidak now offers up her first alternate history novel. Two generations after Germany won World War II, a lonely college student named Adolf Goebbels wanders into a dusty museum and discovers books and artifacts of a dead race called “Jews”. Although a member of the Nazi elite, Adolf resents the oppression, fear, and isolation that are part of daily life in the Aryan “paradise” his grandparents helped build. As he reads the forgotten books, and meets the outcasts who gather at the museum, Adolf discovers a purpose he has long been searching for—and danger he has never imagined. Based on real-life Nazi plans for museums of dead races, this sprawling alternate history novel takes the reader from decadent Berlin, the capital of the Nazi world empire, across the conquered nations of Europe to uncover the startling secrets at the heart of the worldwide Reich. Fans of Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle and Robert Harris’ Fatherland will want to read this new voice in alternate history.

Philip K. Dick: Four Novels of the 1960s

By Philip K. Dick

Brand: Library of America
Released: 2007-05-10
Hardcover (900 pages)

Philip K. Dick: Four Novels of the 1960s
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This Library of America volume brings together four of Dick's most original, mesmerizing, and surprising novels: The Man in the High Castle, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and Ubik.




   

 
 
 
 

 
 
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