Manny's Reviews > The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
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Mar 25, 10

bookshelves: science-fiction, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, transcendent-experiences
Read in January, 1974, read count: 4

My favourite parallel universe story. Germany and Japan win World War II, and it has something to do with the I Ching. Much more controlled than the average Philip K Dick - for once, you don't feel that he threw it together in a few weeks to pay for his next batch of drugs. It is in fact quite poetic.

Remarkable that no one has filmed it, considering that it's almost certainly his best novel and many others have become movies.

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The other day, there was a thread where people were talking about works of art composed under extreme formal constraints - Perec's La Disparition, Böök's Eunoia and things like that. It's just a little odd that Man in the High Castle never gets mentioned in this context. But, when you come down to it, using the I Ching to make every decision in writing a book is an extremely strong formal constraint.

Maybe it's because the novel is actually pretty good, which the others, to be honest, aren't. So it's even more mysterious that no one else has tried to repeat the experiment. Or someone has, and I don't know about it? Has the I Ching written any more books?
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I don't know, though I've published a story that used the same card from 10 different Tarot decks as the limiting thematic constraint.


Ademption On the formal constraint and tarot theme, there's also: The Castle of Crossed Destinies.

Manny, you made my day by referencing "The Man in the High Castle" & "Eunoia," two of my favorite books.


Manny I love Eunoia, but, considered as a novel, I must say I have my doubts. As a surrealist poem, though...


Ademption Yeah, "A" holds it together pretty well and maintains a narrative within the poem. The rest is surrealist.


Manny Helen's sex-and-drug orgy in "E" is also very good! But definitely on the surrealist side.

I wonder if it's been translated yet? Now that would be a challenge.


message 6: by Hazel (new) - added it

Hazel I can't believe I never read this. To be remedied...


Jeremy Friesner Good news: Ridley Scott will be releasing a film adaptation of this novel in 2011. Or so IMDB tells me...


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

I am reading this book right now and I don't know much about the I Ching. Do you know how exactly Dick used it to write this book?


Manny I have often wondered about that, but I'm afraid I have no details...


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