#124 Reading The Man in the High Castle

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I thought you might be up to your ears in posts about Covid-19, so decided to post a book review this week rather than reporting on the debacle that is unfolding in Brasil.

A friend of mine told me he had started watch the Amazon Prime series The Man in the High Castle, so I thought I would give it a go. I was already a couple of episodes in before I realised I had picked up a copy of the Philip K Dick novel from a backpackers hostel while on a stag weekend in Rio de Janeiro.

PKD, as he is affectionately known by those who like abbreviate the names of great people a la FDR or JFK, was quite a prolific author for his day, writing 44 novels and 121 short stories.

Some of his most notable works include Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep which was adapted into the film Bladerunner. Many of his short stories were used for a series of short animated films on Netflix called Love Death and Robots.

The novel of The Man in the High Castle is, as is often the case, quite different from the series. Elements of the novel are clearly recognisable in the series but the Amazon adaptation quickly departs from the original, adding new characters and new story lines. Having said that, both work in their own way and should be considered completely separate if they are to be enjoyed individually.

The book goes into much more detail regarding Frank and Eddy’s jewelry business and their relationship with Childan is quite different. Tagomi is central to the novel’s plot which is much more focussed on the role of the I Ching. Juliana and Joe are together in the neutral zone from early in the novel.

If you haven’t seen the Amazon series or read the book, you might be interested to hear that the novel is set in 1960s USA in an alternative history in which Germany and Japan were the victors of the Second World War. Both the novel and the series explore the concept of multiple universes and I would recommend reading the novel and then perhaps watching the series if you can tolerate how annoying some of the characters become.

Either way, they are both entertaining ways to avoid writing.

 

 

About M J Dees

M J Dees lives and works in Sao Paulo, Brazil with his wife, daughter and two cats. He has written three novels, Living with Saci, The Astonishing Anniversaries of James and David, Part One, and When The Well Runs Dry. He is currently editing the fourth and writing the fifth. You can sign up for more information on his book launches at http://eepurl.com/cTnAD5 and receive a free copy of Living With Saci.
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