The Man in the High Castle
by Philip K. Dick (1962, Hugo Award winner in 1963). I read this book about 20 years ago and decided
to read it again since it had left a lasting impression on me, but I could not remember the details of
the story, other than broadly it was alternative history, and a unsettling story.
The story is about really 4-5 individuals who live in 1962 in the post-WW2 world which deviated from our own world in 1933 when, in the book, FDR was assassinated. The Axis Powers won WW2 and divied up the United States, dried up the Mediterranean Sea, and generally began on a worldwide basis what had begun in the European death camps during the war. Not a happy world.
As the lives of the 4-5 key people begin to converge toward the end, it's clear that not everything is what it seems. The last 50 pages or so are pretty subtle and pretty deep, and I have to admit I had to seek some other opinions to understand what, I think, the author was trying to do. The book really doesn't tie up everything with a nice bow, but leaves the reader to imagine what might be the conclusion.
I did like the book. The alternative history is well thought out. It's not like Inspector Montalbano or Brother Cadfael mysteries where the story is neatly tied together at the end.