The Man in the High Castle - Philip K. Dick
I'm not sure if I can say I enjoyed this book, but I'm still glad I've read it. It's now twenty years since Germany and Japan won the war, and the United States has been divided up, with the Japanese running the Pacific States, Germans controlling the eastern states, and the somewhat-independent Rocky Mountain States in the middle. The title refers to the author of a book, The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, a piece of fiction in which the Allies won the war. It's exactly the sort of mind-bending what-is-reality story that Dick is famous for.
The I Ching plays a big part in the story, with various characters (Japanese and otherwise) refer to it for advice. I suppose somebody who understands the I Ching a little better or even uses it themselves might get a bit more out of Dick's story. But despite that, I found his depiction of the Pacific States fascinating: the highly ordered society, formalities that direct even social interactions, and even the sort of not-quite-English, as if the influence of the society has changed even the way whites speak.
The plot is a bit perplexing, and the ending wasn't entirely satisfying; but as I said, the story is quite intriguing.

Fed to jonathan's brain | August 25, 2003