Epeolatry Book Review: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick


Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: The Man in the High Castle
Author: Philip K. Dick
Publisher: Mariner Books
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: October 1962
Synopsis: It’s America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In this world, we meet characters like Frank Frink, a dealer of counterfeit Americana who is himself hiding his Jewish ancestry; Nobusuke Tagomi, the Japanese trade minister in San Francisco, unsure of his standing within the bureaucracy and Japan’s with Germany; and Juliana Frink, Frank’s ex-wife, who may be more important than she realizes.

These seemingly disparate characters gradually realize their connections to each other just as they realize that something is not quite right about their world. And it seems as though the answers might lie with Hawthorne Abendsen, a mysterious and reclusive author, whose best-selling novel describes a world in which the US won the War… The Man in the High Castle is Dick at his best, giving readers a harrowing vision of the world that almost was.

Philip K. Dick’s “The Man in the High Castle” is a science fiction novel that explores the idea of an alternate history in which the Axis powers won World War II and have divided the United States into two territories: the Japanese Pacific States and the Nazi-controlled East Coast. The novel was first published in 1962, and it has since become a cult classic, with multiple adaptations, including a television series produced by Amazon Studios.

The novel follows several characters living in the different territories of the United States, including Juliana Frink, a woman living in the Japanese Pacific States who comes into possession of a forbidden film that depicts an alternate history in which the United States won the war. The film is said to be the work of “The Man in the High Castle,” a mysterious figure who is rumored to be living in the neutral zone between the territories.

As Juliana becomes more involved with the film and the resistance movement, she begins to question the reality of her world and the true nature of the governments that control it. The novel also follows the characters of Frank Frink, Juliana’s ex-boyfriend, who lives in the Japanese Pacific States, and Robert Childan, an American businessman who lives in the Nazi-controlled East Coast.

As the characters’ lives become increasingly intertwined, they begin to uncover a larger conspiracy that threatens to overthrow the existing government and change the course of history. The novel ultimately explores the nature of reality, the power of propaganda, and the human capacity for resistance in the face of oppression.

The novel explores the themes of power, oppression, and resistance, through the eyes of the characters living in the different territories. The characters’ struggles to survive and their personal journeys reflect the larger political and social issues at play in the novel.

One of the most striking aspects of the novel is the way it portrays the different territories, the way it shows the dynamics of the different governments, and how they affected the people living under them. It shows the different forms of oppression and how it can dehumanize people, how it can make them forget their humanity and how it can make them complicit in their own oppression.

The novel also explores the idea of propaganda and how it can be used to control people’s thoughts and actions. The characters’ reactions to the forbidden film, which depicts an alternate history in which the United States won the war, highlights how propaganda can be used to manipulate people’s perceptions of reality.

The novel also deals with the concept of identity and how it can be shaped by the society and culture around us. It shows how people can lose their sense of self when living under oppression and how they can find it again through resistance.

The Man in the High Castle is a novel that raises important questions about the nature of reality, the power of propaganda, and the human capacity for resistance in the face of oppression. It’s a thought-provoking and powerful novel that will stay with readers long after they have finished reading it.


Available from Amazon and Bookshop.

You may also like...