iamnothamlet’s #CBR5 Review #41: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

Sometimes you and the author just care about different things.

The Man in the High Castle is an alternate history in which the successful assassination of FDR in 1933 leads to Germany and Japan winning World War II and splitting the United States basically in two. Dick sets his story in Japanese-controlled San Francisco, as intrigue between the world’s two superpowers threatens to turn an uneasy detente into a new worldwide conflict.

So of course, most of Dick’s novel is concerned with the manufacture of hand-made jewelry and the people relying on the ancient Chinese I Ching to make their decisions.

It’s infuriating, actually. Dick takes possibly the most intriguing premise imaginable and uses it to muse on the idea of alternate realities. Instead of an engaging narrative, Dick explicates the kind of philosophical musings that cause stoners to slowly intone the word whoa and cause the rest of us to wonder why we agreed to come to this party in the first place.