The Man in the High Castle: 08/13/06
Last night I finished The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick. While I enjoyed the concept of the book, another "what if the Axis had won" but done with a science fiction angle, the story itself was too slow and tied down by too many plot lines. Clearly Dick was expiramenting with a style of story telling that he later used successfully in Martian Time Slip.
Here is my BookCrossing review:
As with Roth's The Plot Against America, Dick's book begins with the premise that life in America would have been very different if FDR hadn't been president at the start of World War II. While Dick's version has a different president than Lindergh and it extrapolates out to the 1960s where the Axis won the war. Half of the United States is run by Germany and the other half by Japan. The middle bit is left to fend for itself.
The central mystery of the book is who is the "Man in the High Castle" and why did he write a novel which proposes what life would be like if the Axis lost the war? Various characters become fascinated with the novel and are driven to seek out the truth behind it.
The problem though is that there are too many characters and too much political manouvering to cover in this book. Dick's books are best when they are short and the plot is quick. The pacing in this one is out of character for his other books.