I adore the times spent with my fellow members of the Paige Turner Book Club...but I have a literary appetite that simply cannot be sated with just one book a month. This blog is a place for me to talk about more of my reading adventures. Reviews, summaries, highlights, warnings, praises and quotes. Because after all, it can be a jungle...er...savannah...out there.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

I picked this book for my book club for two reasons.  1) It was a Hugo Award winner.  2)  It's an alternate history that looks at the world 20 years after WWII, but as if the Axis powers had won. The book follows several characters as they navigate their lives in a United States that has been parceled out to both Japan and Germany, with a buffer zone in the center.

Bottom line:  It was wierd.

I forced myself to finish hoping that it would all make sense at the end.  But it didn't.  It just left me with a very unsatisfying "huh" feeling.

Thankfully, I had some insight into one of the major plot devices because of another book I've been reading:  Watching the Tree by Adeline Yen Mah.  Thanks to Yen Mah, I sort of understood the I Ching (Book of Changes).   But Dick takes the I Ching and uses it in a completely different way than Yen Mah described.  Based on what little I know, I would say it was a completely wrong way.  (But I'll be the first to admit I'm not an expert.)

In addition to the the wierd and disjointed plot, I found the characters and the writing dry.  It was hard to root for any of them.  Maybe I'm just not into the storytelling of the time period.  But there it is.

Even with it's award and it's fame, I would skip this book.