The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
3.5 – 3.75 stars
I struggled a bit with PKD’s prose, which at times staggered about like an alcoholic or drug addict and/or a mentally ill person rambling about their innermost incoherent thoughts. But an occasional brilliance burst through the befuddlement to guide me back if I strayed too far off course.
Written almost twenty years after World War II, PKD presents us with an America divided up as spoils of war between the Japanese Empire and Nazi Germany. He portrayed a believable view of American life under two fascist regimes. I surprised myself by feeling empathy not only for the victimized Americans (including Jews hunted to extinction, Blacks reduced to slaves, and other insidious persecutions of non-Aryan races), but also the Japanese, some of whom begin to see the writing on the wall.
I couldn’t help but compare the Oracle (aka as the I Ching or Book of Changes) to the Cosmological Interventionists represented by two out-of-control orphaned Blitz children in Willis’ Blackout/All Clear. It’s a stretch, but the conclusion of both novels left me with the same intriguing warm fuzzy feeling.
I read this novel as one of the suggested readings for my local library’s adult winter reading program called ‘Altered States’ and blogged about my reading journey.