Isabel (kittiwake)'s Reviews > The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
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's review
Dec 08, 2011

it was amazing

But his underlying question, one which he could never reveal to the pinocs flitting about Trade Mission offices, had to do with an aspect of Mr Baynes suggested by the original coded cable from Tokyo. First of all, coded material was infrequent,and dealt usually with matters of security, not with trade deals. And the cipher was the metaphor type, utilizing poetic allusion, which had been adapted to baffle the Reich monitors - who could crack any literal code, no matter how elaborate. So clearly it was the Reich whom the Tokyo authorities had in mind, not quasi-disloyal cliques in the Home Islands. The key phrase, 'Skim milk is his diet', referred to Pinafore, to the eerie song that expounded the doctrine, '. . . Things are seldom what they seem/Skim milk masquerades as cream.'

This book, which won the Hugo award in 1963, was a great start to this year's reading and well worth a 10 star rating.

This book is an alternate history set 15 years after the axis powers won WWII. Apart from a small Italian empire in the Easter Mediterranean, the world is split between Germany and Japan. The eastern coast of the former USA is ruled by Germany, while Japan rules the Pacific coast and the neutral Rocky Mountain States form a buffer zone between them. "The Man in the High Castle" follows the interlinked stories of several Japanese, American and German characters in the Pacific States of America, but I'll leave you to discover the details for yourself.

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