The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I’ve really been developing a new appreciation of Philip K Dick and his books lately. Serious appreciation. Like everyone else who grew up watching Blade Runner, I loved the novel that inspired it. I recently started getting into his short stories and have been stunned at how brilliant they are, kind of like Twilight Zone for fiction. Good stuff. Well, I’ve had on my list to read the 1963 Hugo Award winner (for sci fi), The Man in the High Castle, and I just finished it last night, less than 24 hours after getting it. I’ve got to say, I left the novel feeling a tad bit perplexed. Not dissatisfied, necessarily. Merely perplexed. See, like most of Dick’s works, there’s a big twist at the end. However, I had been anticipating this very twist for awhile, so it didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was the context in which the twist was presented — the characters involved, the setting, the plot development, the dialogue, what was said and left unsaid — all these things left me a tad bit confused about why Dick chose to end his novel like this. I’m not going to spoil it for anyone out there who hasn’t read it — this Wikipedia article does that for you. Let’s just say the story within a story is great, but it’s tied up oddly at the end, leaving me wondering just where I would rank this novel on a 1-10 scale. I honestly can’t decide. I actually liked Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep better, to be honest. Still, this was an intriguing book, and probably fairly unique at the time of its publication, as well. I’m just not sure about the elements surrounding the ending. If anyone reading this has read this novel, I’d be interested in your thoughts….