Understanding Layout

In writing a review for each of Philip K. Dicks works and material based on his works, I wanted a layout that was easy to decipher. However when creating this there are limitations and so some explanation is necessary.
TitleThe Man in the High Castle
Previously Known By // Based On N/A
Date Written Nov 1961
Date Published Oct 1962
Title Block
This area is designed to convey the basics of each work. The Cover Image & Title are from the US first edition.

Dick often elaborated and expanded on previous works and/or short stories – as such a Previously Known By // Based On was important for categorisation.

Date Written is based on submission to agent, or based on notes/letters when needed. Date Published is based on US first edition or UK first edition when month is not available for US.
18/9 / 240 pp / 9 hrs and 58 mins
Length Block
The first two numbers are order of works written and published. For example 18/9 would be the 18th novel written & 9th novel published. 240 pp are the number of pages listed on the works Wikipedia page. 9 hrs and 58 mins is the time listed on the works Audible page.
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 twenty years earlier the United States lost a war – and is now occupied 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 wake.
Blurb Block
The works blurb is taken for the Audible page.
A great introduction to Dick and his catalogue, subtle nods to science-fiction in an alternate history, feathered with Dick’s usual philosophy and toposophy. Several interconnected storylines are expertly threaded throughout the book, crossing on occasions, hinting on others with a backhanded compliment of the undertone: ‘the world as we have it isn’t half bad’.

The historicity of this imagined past is never laden or cumbersome, with era appropriate racism and Japanese mannerisms expressed delicately as skewed mirror of Dicks present. The use of the I-Ching as a narrative device throughout has a place in my heart as a fond bedfellow of Tarot and Cartomancy, adding the usual layers of depth to his vision and worlds.
Blurb Block
The reviews are purposely kept concise and written in a way to minimise spoilers. The reviews are designed to help those familiar and new to the bibliography of Dick.
An amazing, easy to digest, glimpse into the genius and madness of Phillip K. Dick. The use of the fictional ‘Grasshopper Lies Heavy’ story within a story, an oft used literary device by Dick – helps explain his ideas to a unattuned reader. It’s not really a book about an alternate future, but a parallel to; and commentary of the present.
Rating: 10/10
Re-readable: Yes
Conclusion Block
A summary of my thoughts are used to conclude and recommend (or not) and to whom. The ratings are comparative to Dicks other works – if I were to rate Dicks novels in a normal fashion the majority would be 9s or 10s and this would hamper the purpose of the website. Whether a book is re-readable is twofold – is the book easy to read & would knowing the ending make a re-read enjoyable.
Narrated by: Jeff Cummings
I listened to an older narration by Tom Wyner which was excellent.
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Release Date: 02/06/2015
Audiobook Block
Despite owning the majority (if not all) Dicks published works, I ‘read’ most of them through Audible on audiobook and so adding a section with narrator and a one sentence review for them felt natural.
First Edition: Putnam 1962
Most Recent Edition: Folio Society 2015
Personal Favourite: Penguin 2001
Cover Block
The main reason for my initial fascination with and continued collection of Dicks books are the fantastic cover art and design seen across science-fiction, especially in the 60s & 70s. Along with a look at most recent in case you wanted to purchase, the original publication is often at odds with the first edition – as it may have been serialised or adapted from a short.


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