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Who Should Read “The Man in the High Castle”? And Why?
“The Man in the High Castle” is a dystopian narrative about an alternate history of humankind, which toys with the idea of how different the world would be if the outcomes of the World War II were different.
We recommend it to all readers who enjoy science fiction and books that explore alternate realities.
Philip K. Dick Biography
Philip K. Dick is a prolific author with a career of more than 30 years, which over the course of his writing started exploring different metaphysical and existential questions.
In an alternative reality, Japan gained control over the area which we know as the West Coast after World War II.
This means that the war’s outcome was different: Germany, Italy, and Japan got out of it as winners, and have divided America into the eastern part, which is controlled by Germany and the Pacific States which are under the Japanese governance.
Between these two are situated the Rocky Mountain States, which are independent, but politically unimportant at the same time.
In this reality, lives Robert Childan, an owner of an antique shop that targets rich Japanese customers. At the same time, he despises those whom he targets, especially Mr. Tagomi, the highly demanding client.
Of course, there is an exception to his feelings towards the Japanese – he has this one couple whom he finds charming: Betty and Paul Kasoura.
At the moment, he is stressed out since Mr. Tagomi asked him to find a unique item that can impress one of his important business clients.
Then, we meet Frank Frink (yeah I know, his name is quite memorable), who has just been fired from a job he had at a factory. This is a big problem for him since he is not just about anyone – he is a Jew in hiding, and having in mind the situation in his world, it is hard for him to find another job.
So, not being able to look for employment at some other company, he decides to open his own jewelry store, along with his coworker Ed McCarthy.
They believe that they can use some of the skills they picked up in their last place of employment – the factory they worked in was one that produced fake antiques, and sold them at antique shops, among which was Children’s as well.
Frank Frink has a wife from whom he is separated, and who starts dating a truck driver by the name of Joe Cinnadella. She makes living teaching judo, and he, besides riding the truck, claims to be an Italian war veteran.
When Joe needs to go to Denver, Colorado, for work, she agrees to go along. On the way to their destination, she sees a book that he has brought with him titled “The Grasshopper Lies Heavy” and reads it.
The book explores the world as it would have been if the Allies have turned out to be the winners of the war.
Meanwhile, Mr. Tagomi meets the man whom he considers an important client: the Swedish businessman Baynes.
However, Mr. Tagomi suspects that the man is not whom he says he is, and when Baynes tells him that they need to wait for an elderly Japanese man to arrive, in order for them to begin the talks, his belief only grows stronger.
Several weeks pass before the man Baynes talked about arrives.
While they are waiting, a shocking thing happens: the German Chancellor passes away. Suddenly, everyone is starting to fight for power, and Tagomi is scared to the bones seeing how many immoral men are chasing after the spot.
Frank and Ed made their jewelry and market it to Childan. He buys it and later gives one piece to Kasoura. Kasoura believes that that piece of jewelry has spiritual power and that it would be wise to think about mass producing it and selling them as good-luck talismans.
Childan believes that that is an insult to America, and makes Kasoura apologize.
Frank’s wife, on the other hand, is still in the car with Joe who suggests that they take a detour from their primary destination. He wants to visit the author of the book he had in the car: “The Grasshopper Lies Heavy.”
However, this detour makes Juliana realize that he is not whom he says he is and is, in fact, a German operative on a mission to kill the controversial author.
She cannot let him accomplish what he is there for, and kills him, before she flees to the author’s home, to warn him of the threats that surround him.
Finally, enough time passes, and Tagomi and Baynes can attend the meeting they waited for. It turns out that the man they have been waiting for was General Tedeki, now retired.
On that meeting, Baynes reveals his true identity: he is a German spy and tells them about the secret plan to attack the Japanese part of the country.
Nazi operatives arrive trying to detain Baynes, but Tagomi succeeds to defend him using some sort of an antique pistol. In that attempt, he takes a life, and later pays the price for it – his life ends as well: his heart cannot take the shock and has a heart attack.
The Man in the High Castle Epilogue
We go back to Juliana and her quest to find the threatened author, but she is shocked to realize that he is no longer a tenant of the High Castle (his mansion).
Instead, he moved to an ordinary home, where when she arrives he is entertaining some guests.
It seems that he is no longer afraid that he will lose his life because of his books. After their talk, Juliana discovers that in fact, his book mirrors the so-called, inner truth: Japan and Germany are the actual losers of the war.
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“The Man in the High Castle PDF Quotes”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. Click To Tweet Truth, she thought. As terrible as death. But harder to find. Click To Tweet Perhaps if you know you are insane then you are not insane. Or you are becoming sane, finally. Waking up. Click To Tweet We are all insects. Groping towards something terrible or divine. Click To Tweet What profit it a man if he gain the whole world but in this enterprise lose his soul? Click To Tweet
Our Critical Review
“The Man in the High Castle” was highly enjoyable.
To be honest, I first started to watch the series, and then switched to the book. In any case, both are highly recommendable. You will enjoy them a lot, I am sure of it.
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