Fascinating premise, begins and mostly set in a San Francisco in a world where the Axis have won WWII and Japan rules the west coast of the U.S. BeautFascinating premise, begins and mostly set in a San Francisco in a world where the Axis have won WWII and Japan rules the west coast of the U.S. Beautiful writing takes on powerful themes such as what is real and what is artificial, how we place value and place. PKD just becomes more loved by me!
I was a big fan of the film Blade Runner (still am) and through that discovered Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" Fascinating to read this story and see the original inspiration. I'd never heard of "The Man in the High Castle" until I noticed a pilot made with Ridley Scott on Amazon this year. It was totally intriguing and I hope they will make the rest of the episodes. I'm a sucker for things set in San Francisco and this alternative history of my favorite city is so intricately wrought both in the book and in the TV pilot.
I highly recommend to anyone who makes art... several scenes and ideas from this book are going to stick with me a long time....more
Because Mercury is in retrograde (or something), one of the many blunders I made in the last few weeks was thinking this was the book my book club wasBecause Mercury is in retrograde (or something), one of the many blunders I made in the last few weeks was thinking this was the book my book club was going to read next when it really wasn't. So I bought it and after learning of my mix-up, decided it was high time for me to read T.C. Boyle even though we weren't going to be discussing this tome as a group. I was also intrigued to learn more about Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands. I worked for a couple of years at the Point Reyes Bird Observatory and learned quite a bit about the world of island ornithology off the California coast, but mostly about the politics and science surrounding the Farallones just off San Francisco's Golden Gate.
This darn book kept me up until 2 am last night, which surprised me since I felt so tossed and turned by the moral ambiguities and the push-pull of seeing the same tale from such wildly different perspectives - a tumult quite appropriate to a story where so much of the action takes place on choppy seas.
I feel a bit late to the game to say this, but Boyle certainly is masterful with vivid description, compelling detail, complex characters who ring absolutely true (even uncomfortably true!) and relaying sense of place.
If you've heard this is an "environmental" book or a "vegan" book, I'd recommend discarding either notion and enjoying this novel as a wild ride through some fascinating California history, and as a fascinating and challenging presentation of human perspectives over time. I felt that Boyle did not intend to shove one point of view or another at me and indeed, he seems not to make a claim of superior knowledge about best approaches to environmental issues.
I'm definitely seeking out other T.C. Boyle novels now. Too bad my book club won't be taking this on - seems like it would be super juicy discussion material....more