I watched The Man in the High Castle, the Amazon series based on Philip K Dick’s book. It interested me because I wrote a novella in 2012-13 called The Report which was based on the ideas he developed and brought them forward to the present day, basing the story in Britain in 2014, with one of the main characters being Juliana, who in mine is the niece of one of the main characters in the original book with the same name. Like the original I ran a few plot strands; made it rather dark; had an unsatisfactory ending. Philip K Dick was a fantastic ideas man but a poor writer. I sold a few on Amazon Kindle, then removed it after about 6 months so I could do a bit of rewriting and put it on here. I then forgot about it for a couple of years!
So click the cover and it is available completely free for you to read or download on ISSUU, I would love some feedback.
So what about the 10 part Amazon series? Well, it is not the book. Juliana’s character is very different and much weaker as is her husband. They’ve kept some of the story but as I expected broadened it out, however they have lost the bleakness with the ending they created. The Grasshopper Book which is so important in the book’s plot has been changed to a series of ‘Grasshopper’ films, and the ‘Man’ does not appear (in this series anyway), unless it means Hitler in his castle in the Alps, who does not appear in the original book. They have kept some elements of the original, but the changes do take away its gloom and despondency, perhaps they felt a modern American audience couldn’t face that. The last 10 minutes of episode 10 basically ruins everything and whoever wrote that should be banned from ever writing a script again!
It is hard to take a book and make a 90 minute film, but when given the span of a 10 part series why change it so much? After episode 3 I decided not to get annoyed with the changes but just go along with it and ‘enjoyed’ it, seeing it (like I had done) as a ‘based on the premise of’ ideas to create a new work, but that ending GRRRR!
It is of course well produced, maybe a few too many swastikas and rising suns on everything from phone dials to the subway. I felt that the strength of the original book and some other works (and I hope mine) was how easily a country is so easily swayed to become a fascist state (like Vichy France). This was brilliantly done in Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America. The series is worth watching but switch off the final 10 minutes and read my book!
Also please have a look at some of my other writing on ISSUU.