The Man In The High Castle – by Philip K Dick

25 06 2016

This is the first time in years if not ever, that I’ve given up on a book and not finished it. That’s not a good opening is it?

Before I start on what went wrong, I totally LOVE the concept of this book. It’s 1962 in what was the USA, except that the Nazis won the war and now control the East of the USA, and the Japanese run the Pacific States, with a neutral zone between them. They’ve drained the Mediterranean and exterminated the people of Africa – but there’s a book someone’s written going round, banned in the Nazi controlled area, about what the world would have been like if the Allies had won!

Recently there’s been an Amazon TV Series made of it which people seemed to love, which is what made me decide to try out the book. Tonight I decided to watch the first episode and it was ok, but didn’t cover half the characters from the book yet, and most of it was set before the book started, so probably wasn’t a good measure.

The first hurdle I had was just finding the writing style odd – at the beginning I thought the author must not have had English as his first language, but then I realised he was trying to write as a Japanese person speaking English when it was a Japanese person speaking or thinking.

They also get really obsessed with a fortune telling method which uses a book called the I Ching – all very odd and I had no idea what was going on with that.

There were a whole load of initially unlinked characters and it jumps around a lot, which made it hard to follow, and took ages to work out who you were reading about and what was going on each time you picked the book back up. Even with that, it still felt like it went really slowly, and so little happened.

So after getting 2/3 of the way through the (relatively thin) book in about 5 weeks I’ve given up and moved onto something else.

Maybe it would have picked up, who knows, but I just couldn’t keep going when I have so much else I’d rather be reading1

man in the high castle

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