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The Man in the High Castle

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  139,776 ratings  ·  9,790 reviews
It's America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco, the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some twenty years earlier the United States lost a war—and is now occupied by Nazi Germany and Japan.

This harrowing, Hugo Award-winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an
Paperback, 259 pages
Published June 30th 1992 by Vintage (first published October 1962)
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Tyler B. Readin I think this is to further convey the "Japanization" of society in the PSA. The choppiest sentences are when the Japanese characters are speaking or…moreI think this is to further convey the "Japanization" of society in the PSA. The choppiest sentences are when the Japanese characters are speaking or thinking to themselves, but some of the the white characters on the West Coast also speak in a sort of streamlined English to a lesser extent. I think this is meant to portray how the new ruling class has affected nearly every facet of American life.(less)

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3.63  · 
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 ·  139,776 ratings  ·  9,790 reviews

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Oct 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
On Wednesday I found myself at a party (an occurrence itself worthy of remark) at which everyone wore "I'm currently reading..." stickers, so I had several opportunities to explain why I was loving The Man in the High Castle. One such conversation went like this:

"So what's that about?"
"Well, it's scifi. Or rather speculative fiction."
"Er, hm. No. I don't do scifi."
"But it's got Nazis!"
"Oh my god I love Nazis!"

Another conversation involved me explaining to a white guy how interesting I (a half-Ja

[Original review, Feb 22 2016]

DISCLAIMER: It would evidently be irresponsible to call Donald Trump a Nazi merely on the strength of a recent speech in which he suggested it would be desirable to shoot Muslims using bullets dipped in pig's blood. A more plausible interpretation is that this is no more than the result of dispassionately calculating that the upside in terms of increasing his attractiveness to the ignorant racist demographic is larger than the downside in terms of decreasing his app
Emily May
Scientifically and politically, this is absolute genius. The way Philip K. Dick masterfully rewrites history and expertly portrays this alternate United States is quite incredible and I can easily see why the guy has such a huge following. That being said, this novel is what I would call "hard sci-fi", and though it is undeniably clever, I think what it lacks is a human touch. I found it hard to care about any of the mish-mash of characters, which for me means that I ultimately found it hard
Jeffrey Keeten
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
“They want to be the agents, not the victims, of history. They identify with God's power and believe they are godlike. That is their basic madness. They are overcome by some archtype; their egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off. It is not hubris, not pride; it is inflation of the ego to its ultimate — confusion between him who worships and that which is worshiped. Man has not eaten God; God has eaten man.”

 photo 56b1f27b-cbcb-43dc-a465-ba7177d0a14a_zpsstiaqwmn.png

If Franklin Delano Roosev
D. B.
Oct 31, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Harry Turtledove fans, WWII geeks
High-concept, low return what-if alternate history. The idea is interesting, if a little tired: what if the Axis won World War II and divvied up the world between Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan? The answer is, not much, apparently. This new world order only really serves as a backdrop for Dick's slightly skewed storytelling, which jumps between the more interesting plot of a shadow conspiracy to nuke Japan, and a painfully tiresome tale of modern-day antiquing. Somewhere else in there is a poin ...more
Glenn Russell
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Fans of Philip K. Dick and science fiction might be underwhelmed by The Man in the High Castle since, other than passing mention of cross- continent rocket-ship travel and a German exploration of Mars, there really isn’t any science or signature PKD craziness or large-scale action; rather, Dick’s 1962 book is alternative history, the aftermath in the United States after Germany and Japan win World War II and a novel of ideas.

There are a number of crisscrossing plots, colorful main characters, a
Thank God, this is fiction, at least in our dimension!


It is impossible that ours is the only world; there must be world after world unseen by us, in some region or dimension that we simply do not perceive.

This book is a frightening glimpse of how our world could been if the Axis Powers would have won the World War II.

The Nazi Germany and the Imperial Japan won and they divided the planet between them. Even the United States is now divided with the East Coast dominated by Na
Michael Finocchiaro
Philip K Dick was certainly a brilliant man and a gifted writer. His imagined dystopia of a world split between the victorious Reich and Imperial Japan is chilling and realistic. Ok, perhaps colonisation of Mars in 1962 is a bit of a stretch, but the depiction of San Francisco under the Japanese administration was excellent. His characters were vivid and lifelike. His villain was somewhat predicable, but still a fascinating one.
The dystopia he describes - particularly the horrors of unbridled f
Megan Baxter
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I think this book broke my brain.

I mean, it's so many things tied up in a slim little volume - an alt-history "what if Germany and Japan had won the Second World War," a meditation on the inability to ever accurately try to reconstruct what-might-have-beens, one of the most interesting literary experiments I've ever read, a look at chance and fate in how the world unfolds, and a book that can definitely bend your sense of reality.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent
have you ever thought about what life would be like had the axis powers won WWII? a world where every morning begins with a 'heil, hitler' and the 'i ching' is consulted for every decision? because i sure havent. at least, not until i read this book. i actually didnt even know alternative history was a thing when it came to genres, but i am here for it.

from a historical standpoint, this book is fascinating. this is my first PKD book and i was blown away by the world building. i could really tel
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick, winner of the Hugo Award for best novel, is classic, very good science fiction.

It is the story of a segmented and defeated United States after the Axis powers won World War II. This alternate history actually began in the thirties as Roosevelt is described as having been assassinated. Taking a roving perspective amidst several characters and some loosely connected interwoven storylines, PKD explores a world where America is divided into three distin
Joe Valdez
My preparedness for the regime change taking place in the United States--with elements of the Electoral College, the Kremlin and the FBI helping to install a failed business promoter who the majority of American voters did not support in the election--continues with The Man In the High Castle, the Hugo Award winning novel by Philip K. Dick published in 1962. Dick's sheer output and high concept hooks that can be reduced to three words--"Axis Won WWII"--have proved irresistible to film and televi ...more
May 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
the plot is simple enough: an alternate history detailing what would've happened had the axis powers won the second world war. thankfully, there's very little of that obvious government intrigue and new-world-order shit that lesser writers focus on -- rather, Dick's obsession is the spiritual life of the individual in a totalitarian society told in the form of a wonderfully messy jumble of ideas and ruminations on race and history and human connection and destiny. in fact, i think dick's ideas a ...more
This book is complicated for me. I only cared about Juliana's story as an actual story. There were times where I was invested with Frank's tale, too, and Tagomi had his moments, but as a complete and cohesive novel, the overt tale wasn't anything special. Nothing much happened except the hint of an attempted coup, the beginnings of an attempted assassination of an author, and the near-tragedy of a jewelry maker.

So what's all the fuss about? Why do people think this PKD is the bomb? Why did it ea
2 stars.

I was disappointed with this book; it ended up going nowhere. Perhaps there was simply too much “other stuff” besides the plot (like the Zen and Eastern mysticism) in it to make it a worthwhile read for me. It seemed like an overwhelmingly large number characters constantly consult the I Ching for guidance, which has no appeal to me whatsoever.

Okay, speaking of plot, or lack thereof. The book takes place in Japanese-controlled western United States (The United States lost World War II, a
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.


The other day, there was a
Hugo Award 1963.

It’s a bit of a stretch to call this science fiction. Alternate history, Germany/Japan win WWII. Ahead of it’s time, probably. I’m currently reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, more science fiction. One interesting aspect of this novel was the inclusion of an alternate history novel inside the story line titled *The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, wherein the Allies win the war. Clever touch.

*A novel published in 2015 borrows the title of Dick’s imagined novel. I understand it’
Mar 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Science fiction fans
Recommended to Werner by: It was required reading in a graduate-level course in science fi
Note, March 2, 2013: A recent comment on this review prompted me to reread it, and I discovered a typo --I'd accidentally omitted a key word in one sentence! So I've just edited it to correct that mistake.

It has been said that Dick was the most skeptical writer in the history of science fiction towards the idea that the world of normal human perception actually reflects ultimate reality. After his thought and writing took a more Christian turn in the early 1970s (though he was always a professed
"The grasshopper shall be a burden"
-- The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick


This is one of those weird, unsettling novels that spins your brain in six or seven different directions.

I read this PKD masterpiece almost two months ago, but only just recently returned to review it because after finishing, I wasn't ready to review. After I read more of him, I realized that even when he is messy, strange, disjointed and sometimes yes >>touched<< Philip K Dick is one MuthaF'er that defi
"We do not have the ideal world, such as we would like, where morality is easy because cognition is easy. Where one can do no right with no effort because he can detect the obvious."

A few years ago, I watched the first season-ish of the TV show adaptation of this book. Here is what I remember:
- scary Nazi man with family
- San Francisco
- the phrase "the man in the high castle" uttered very ominously
- lady leaving her husband, or the home where she lived with him or something
- torture stuff
- a VER
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
When one is afraid of heights, and terrors are in the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along and desire fails; because all must go to their eternal home, and the mourners will go about the streets;
-----------Ecclesiastes 12:5

Welcome to your alternative nightmare.

Let me set the canvas. Allies have lost the war. Japan and Nazis have divided up the fallen countries. Jews and other groups are still being hunted down. Slavery is legal again. Nazis have mastered space tra
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Alternative history stories telling about the Nazis taking over the world are not uncommon, the possibilities are obviously horrifying and Dick did not shy away from this motif. So what then can an alternate history first published more than a half-century ago tell us about our present circumstances?

Of course, when considered literally Dick’s fictitious tale has nothing to do with our present situation, but there is a threatening truth to his parable because we must remember that the German popu
Leonard Gaya
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hermann Göring, the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany after Hitler, fancied himself an art collector and scoured Europe to acquire masterpieces. In 1945, his collection was seized by the Allies while he was on trial at Nuremberg. Among many other works of art, they found The Supper at Emmaus, signed by Johannes Vermeer, Göring’s favourite. The origin of that painting was then traced back to a Dutch art dealer named Han van Meegeren, who consequently was arrested and charged with the crime ...more
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Man in the High Castle (Includes review of new Amazon miniseries, Season 1 (10 episodes)
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Who would have thought that Philip K. Dick’s 1962 Hugo Winner about the Axis powers winning WWII would be brought to film, and not just as a single movie, but as a big-budget multi-season drama series from Amazon and produced by Ridley Scott. Stranger than fiction, as they say.

I always have two questions for film adaptations: 1) How closely does it follow the book, a
EXTRA! EXTRA! **16th November 2016: Just found the full book audio on YouTube, narrated by our favourite: George Guidall**

RE-VISIT via miniseries. A glimpse into an alternate history of North America. What life after WWII may have been like if the Nazis had won the war. Episode information is wiki sourced.

Episode 1: "The New World":The series starts in 1962. The first episode follows the lives of three people: Joe Blake, a young man in the Greater Nazi Reich, who is later revealed to be an SS c
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Σε ένα εναλλακτικό μέλλον που τον 2ο Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο τον έχουν κερδίσει οι Ναζί, τα πράγματα εξελίσσονται διαφορετικά. Βέβαια, έχουμε ένα σύμπαν δημιουργημένο από τον Φίλιπ Ντικ, άρα σίγουρα τα πράγματα είναι τελείως διαφορετικά από οποιαδήποτε πραγματικότητα! Όλες οι χώρες είναι υπό γερμανική/ιταλική/ιαπωνική κατοχή, ενώ οι γιαπωνέζοι τουρίστες-επενδυτές νομίζω ότι είναι πιο τραγικοί από τους σημερινούς, γιατί πέρα από τις φωτογραφίες σε όλες τις δυνατές τοποθεσίες, μιλάνε κιόλας! Ο άνθρωπος σ ...more
Sep 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
I'm going to be honest, I'm not really sure what I think of this book.

There was like this weird interconnected plotline between all the characters, but I don't think it was even really relevant to anything. Japan and Germany won World War II. America has these little hold out places and The Man in the High Castle wrote an alternative history book where America and Great Britain won the war instead. Then you have this whole antique collection angle and people schemeing to reignite wars. I just ha
What would the world look like had the Axis powers won World War II? This is the question on which lays almost the entire foundation of alternative history, as this is probably its most common hypothetical - and The Man in the High Castle is one of its more famous examples.

In The Man in the High Castle president Roosevelt is assassinated, which leads to him being succeeded by governments embracing traditional American isolationism - which not only keep the country largely out of World War 2, but
Dec 02, 2016 marked it as gave-up-for-now  ·  review of another edition
I consulted the I-Ching oracle and it said :
"Feed the pigeons while they're alive.
No blame. No praise"

I'm quite sure this indicated I'd better quit reading TMITHC.
because it has nothing of worth to offer me at this moment of my life.
Magrat Ajostiernos
Este libro me tiene en un conflicto constante.
Se me ha hecho eterno, denso, no he conseguido meterme en la historia en ningún momento... pero por otro lado, tiene ideas tan increíbles y me ha hecho recapacitar sobre tantas cosas...
Me ha encantado el final, las realidades paralelas, la reflexión que hace sobre el arte... En conclusión, la lectura no la he disfrutado mucho pero me ha dado bastante que pensar, y no se le puede pedir nada mejor a un libro.
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Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 and lived most of his life in California. In 1952, he began writing professionally and proceeded to write numerous novels and short-story collections. He won the Hugo Award for the best novel in 1962 for The Man in the High Castle and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year in 1974 for Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said. Philip K. Di ...more
“A weird time in which we are alive. We can travel anywhere we want, even to other planets. And for what? To sit day after day, declining in morale and hope.” 345 likes
“Truth, she thought. As terrible as death. But harder to find.” 293 likes
More quotes…