I really enjoyed this book. This is an alternate history science fiction novel that contains a story within a story. This story’s setting and premise is that Japan and Germany won WWII, and each controls a part of the former USA. “The Man in The High Castle” wrote a dangerously controversial book which is an alternate history where America and England won WWII. Various characters are all interwoven into the story and give their opinions on this book and what they think would have happened. The interesting thing is that the high castle author tells a story different from our reality.
Another common theme in the book is the use of the I Ching to foretell the future and guide the characters in the story. It is widely used by the characters, used by the high castle author to write the story within the story, and used by Dick himself to write this book. Mind-warping.
I was impressed how Dick tied all the characters together, showed themes as diverse as racism, cultural differences, war, and nationalism all the way to finding our own inner peace, spirituality, and integrity despite expectations and survival instincts.
However, I gave it three stars because I really disliked the anti-climactic ending, the unclear meaning of Julianna’s (one of the main characters who had the last scene in the novel) final words, the lack of resolution regarding two characters who I was very interested in, Frank Frink and Robert Childon. I want to know what happened to them! I do love how Tagomi’s last scene was played, however.
This is definitely one you need to read twice. I may give it four stars next time! P.S. Ignore the choppy sentence structure and lack of article adjectives in his writing! You get used to it, and adds something to the tension of the novel, I believe. Three out of five stars.