The Man in the High Castle

  • by Philip K. Dick
  • Narrated by Jeff Cummings
  • 9 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

It's America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some 20 years earlier the United States lost a war - and is now occupied jointly by Nazi Germany and Japan. This harrowing, Hugo Award-winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas. In it Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to awake.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Like listening to brightly coloured paint dry.

So, we have all seen the thrilling trailers for the Prime Series and we want to get a jump on it and listen to the book.Great marketing from Amazon as we will watch the series and get the book. Win win for them.

My advice is don't bother with the book. I've not seen the series but it can't be worse than the book. The trailers alone seem more interesting.

Other than the alternate history slant there is nothing else to this book, the characters are dull and undeveloped and there is barely a story line until the last 2 hours. The author just seems to be using the characters as a vehicle to describe his alternate world and it just makes the whole experience confusing and dull.

The best way I can describe it is like watching two grand-masters play chess. You are watching the chess pieces going about the board with no emotional attachment to them or no idea what on earth their significance is to the over all match. Until BAM! A grand master says 'Check' and you snap out of your lethargy and realise something has happened and you're wondering what it was and what it's significance is. You're then left watching the chase as the grand master goes to finish the match, but you still don't care about the pieces and you're still none the wise as to what the hell is going on.

The narration wasn't the best either, can't put my finger on it but for me it wasn't working.

All in all, the only reason the majority of us is reading this book is because of the series. Not because it is well written and interesting.
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- Mrs

If you've seen the Amazon version, read this also

'The Man In The High Castle' is probably Philip K. Dick's second best-known novel (after 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?', which inspired Blade Runner), and the inspiration of a lusciously-produced Amazon series, just about to go into its second season.

As with much of Dick's work, the premise is better than the execution: the Axis has won WWII and has divided up the United States, the Japanese occupying everything west of the Rockies, the Nazis the East Coast and most of the Midwest, with a notionally neutral buffer zone in between.

The novel is very different to the TV series, which takes the book as inspiration rather than following the rambling, ultimately unsatisfying plot and deals much better with character than does the book.

This audiobook, then, acts as an interesting companion volume to the TV series, or a quirky solo 'read'. The focus of the book is much less on the characters, and much more on the Chinese philosophy which links them all (Taoism), which adds dimension to what might otherwise be a rich but essentially political drama. As with every Dick novel, it loses energy, cohesion and sense as it moves towards anti-climax, so don't expect a big payoff.

Narration is decent, though female characters all sound alike and rather breathy and insubstantial (having said that, female characters rarely figure greatly in Dick's novels, so there is nothing much lost).

Not a bad buy, and if you've seen the Amazon series, definitely worth it. If you haven't seen the Amazon series, get yourself a Firestick now!!!
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- Mark Brandon

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-06-2015
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio