YMMV: The Man in the High Castle

  • Cult Classic: In the alternate history fandom.
  • Follow the Leader: The first few editions of the book had covers with a rising sun and a swastika side-by-side, sometimes dividing a map of the United States in half. Simple, direct, and to the point, right? But in the late 80s, after the release of the Cult Classic PKD adaptation Blade Runner, all of a sudden we get this. Although the book mentions that Nazi technology in rocketry has advanced, nothing in the book even remotely suggests the San Fransisco of this alternate universe is the kind of cyberpunk metropolis Blade Runner popularized. In fact, when Tagomi crosses over to our world, it's suggested the San Fran of the book is even less industrialized.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • Large parts of the narrative are written in a strange stilted way, almost like a formal pidgin English with lots of sentence fragments. It may seem annoying to the reader at first, but there's a reason for it - this is how the Japanese speak, and the narrator of those chapters, Robert Childan, imitates the speech of his masters. The farther away we get from the Japanese sphere of influence (in Juliana's chapters), the more normal-sounding American English the narrative becomes.
    • Imperial Japanese occupation in the book is less oppressive and racist than it ever was during the war, to the point where it may seem as if the book is whitewashing Japanese atrocities. But the book is not set during the war. It is set in an alternate 1962, at which point almost two decades have passed since the war and Japanese culture has shifted and is beginning to liberalize — just as the USA's culture did in real life.
  • History Marches On: He couldn't have known it at the time, but the Axis victory as shown in the novel is totally implausible even if America stayed out of the war.
  • Nausea Fuel: The Nazi doctors inventing new uses for dead bodies, such as using the joint of the big toe as a mechanism for a lighter.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Many things the Nazis are doing, such as the massive genocide of blacks in Africa.
    • The live-action pilot episode adds even more Nightmare Fuel, beginning with the opening credits, played with a very unnerving version of Edelweiss.
    • Also, from the live-action pilot is this shot of Nazi-controlled New York in 1962. With a large swastika and the words "Work will set you free" overlooking Times Square. Known in German as Arbeit macht frei.