Monday, May 24, 2010

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

This month, we continued with our theme and decided to read Dick's Hugo Award-winning 1962 alternative history, which considers the question of what would have happened if the Allied Powers had lost WWII.

Of the four people who came to the meeting, only one had read the book completely.  One was nearly done and finished the last 20 pages during our discussion.  One had only attempted a few chapters.  And one wasn't able to start at all (though she brought amazing cupcakes.  All is forgiven. *grin*).

For all the praise this book is given, we all thought it was dry, uninteresting, a bit disjointed, and...strange.  Even by the end of the novel, the reader still has large questions about what Dick was trying to communicate.  We chatted for a while about the different voice Dick tried to portray for different parts of the country -- based on whether the states had been controlled by Japan or Germany after the war.  We chatted about the use/misuse of the I Ching throughout the book's plot.  We chatted about some of the main characters.

And then we abandoned the strange book and played Dutch Blitz while we watched Glee.

Dutch Blitz is a card game that is part Solitaire, part Skip-Bo, part Speed, and part "Egyptian Rat Screw."  The latter is what makes my sister so dangerous.  She didn't join the Dutch Blitz game until the 4th or 5th round, but when she did she proceeded to stomp us.  Soundly.  (Which was mostly ok.  Grrr.  *wink*)

Imagine all that insanity with Glee as a backdrop.  For one of us, it was her first Glee episode ever.  She started out looking at us like we were all insane.  "What?" And ended by laughing with delight that Neil Patrick Harris would guest star on an upcoming episode. "What?!"

Good times (and delicious cupcakes) were had by all.

Next month we will conclude our WWII theme with the book:  In My Hands:  Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Opdyke.