I can bet that most people in this world (including myself, of course) have this nastly habit of asking themselves one tricky question - 'What if?'. We all are people and we all make mistakes and that's why, methinks, we ask ourselves again and again: What if? What if? Nowadays even whole theory of parallel universes exists, based on this simple but tricky question.
On the other hand, history is full of accidents with uncertain outcome, and this, of course, leads us to the whole branch of modern SF - stories of alternate universes. This field is relatively new, but already it houses many wonderful books, and one of the most wonderful and famous of them is Philip Dick's The Man in the High Castle
The alternate universe Dick describes to us is pretty fasionable: many SF writers are trying to describe it one way, or another. Its a world where Germany and Japan have won WWII.
Most of the world is divided between two main victorious powers: Germany and Japan. Former United States are divided into three parts Japanese-controlled West, Germany-dependent East and formally-independent buffer between them. The book mostly takes part in California, but from time to time, the author gives us chance to know about situations in other parts of the world. Quite frighting picture, I must notice.
But the most interesing part is that in Colorado, there lives a man, who wrote a book... about an alternate universe, where Germany and Japan have lost the war and everything is different.
Well, I just caught myself on trying to retell you half of this book, which would be most silly and unnecessary to do, so that's where I would stop retelling and come to summarizing and analysing.
To my point of view, this book is simply the very best Phillip Dick's creation of all times. His vision of modern civilisation, of Dao and of human nature were incorporated in this book. He managed to create vivid, complicated and believable picture of a world which is politically, scientifically and, most important, culturally developing in a directions, absolutely different to our own. As a result we get a strange world, where good and bad sometimes are turning into each other like old chineese symbol of YingYang.
This world is described to us with the help of few different characters, who are strangely connected to each other, sometimes even without knowing about it. We can see respected japanese businessman Mr. Tagomi, facing his strange moral dillemas, antiques trader Robert Childan, who is trying VERY hard to become more Japanese that an American, split couple Juliana and Frank Frink, who are both trying to find their place in a country that no longer belonges to their own people and many others vivid and interesting characters. All these people are facing strange and unpleasant situations and they all from time to time ask themselves: What if? What if? They never know, of course. Neither do we.
Title: The Man in the High Castle