Jason's Reviews > The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
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's review
Mar 23, 13

bookshelves: science-fiction
Read from March 17 to 27, 2011

Even though it has won awards & receives "High" praise from all walks of life, I, for one, do not care much for this novel. Personally, I think it's one of his worst.

& I am a huge P.K. Dick fan.

So why the 3-stars? Because it's Philip K. Dick. That's all.

I could go into the plot--alternate history, I Ching's influence on people, the man who wrote a book about the U.S. winning the war (which is fiction in their world's history), the Japanese Overlords, the Nazi Overlords, etc.--but I won't. As I've said in many other reviews, there are plenty of other reviewers who will give you a synopsis & Goodreads provides an adequate one as well.

The story--if there is one--is just... flat. There was nothing that captured my interest at all. I felt I was reading it just to say I did. & now that I've written it in a sentence, I realize that is the very reason: Just to say I did.

This book is not P.K.'s worst (that would be Lies, Inc.) but it definitely isn't his best (that would be Ubik & The World Jones Made). It bored me to tears & I kept reading--hoping it would get better. & just when he starts to build to a climax--one where he captures your interest again to make you keep turning the pages--he drops the ball making you feel cheated.

A lot of people don't like P.K.'s "Lesser works" (ie., Vulcan's Hammer or Clans of the Alphane Moon) but it is within those works that I feel the REAL P.K. Dick dwells. Those books are the ones with surreal, wild ideas that make Philip K. Dick feel like a kindred spirit.

This book goes for the "big idea" &, for me, fails miserably & ends without a BANG! but with a forgettable whimper.

Read The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch instead. It's on the bargain table at my home-away-from-home, Powell's City of Books. Enjoy.

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