Saturday, February 02, 2013

Review: The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an intriguing book; a fantastical premise combined with compelling characters. Ultimately, though, I felt a little let down at the end and not sure what to make of things. But then, that strikes me as somewhat the point. The feeling of ambivalence is something of leitmotif for the characters and the reality of the story itself.

The book could have developed some of these themes more or worked out what this world was like in more detail. But then both of these would have made the book much longer; and probably serve a different purpose than what Dick likely wanted. It is not, I think, meant to be an experiment in alternative history to see what the world would be like if the Axis won World War II. The alternative history serves more to provide a context for Dick to explore the themes he wants to explore. Like many of Dick’s works, the story plays with themes of free will, powers behind the scenes/hidden realities, paranoia, and justice.

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