Saying television is shit is like saying water’s wet. Yet once in a while a good story gets past the pandering dickheads in Hollywood and makes it to the small screen. The Man In The High Castle is ample proof that television has 5% awesome mixed with its 95% crap.
In January Roberta X recommended a TV show called The Man in the High Castle. I intended to ignore it because watching TV destroy a Philip K. Dick book would be brutal. Alas Tam seconded the recommendation. At that point it was more or less an order.
I watched the “pilot” and was delighted. I wrote my own overly wordy recommendation (along with a discussion of the walking literary headcase that was Philip K. Dick). It was that good. If you haven’t watched it yet, why the hell are you hanging around reading my dumbass blog? Get thee to a television.
Amazon had filmed only one episode of the “series”. Leaving me hanging with so many questions is beyond cruel.
So I bought the book. It was pretty good. Later Amazon dropped the price from $7.69 to $2.99. So everyone got a better deal than me (causing me to write I’ve Been Philip K. Dicked Over). I contacted Amazon and they cut me a deal. They didn’t have to do it and I scarcely expected them to but they refunded the extra price. No shit!
By this point I can hardly figure out what Amazon is trying to do to me. Are they awesome for filming the best pilot ever? Are they cruel hard bastards for filming only one episode? Are they amazing for serving up the book on a kindle literally within seconds for my instant gratification? Are they snivelling wretches because they jacked up the price of the book? Are they forgiving and kind because they refunded me the money? I’m getting mixed signals. Sheesh guys, either be evil or be awesome, you’re confusing me. (Yes I do advertise for crap on Amazon. I make hardly anything doing it but I hope to someday support my Kindle habit.)
Then they made another episode. As with the first, it was awesome! All is forgiven Amazon. You and me are pals. (At least until you do some other stupid shit.)
As for me, I’m recommending the book to anyone who groks Philip K. Dick and heartily recommend two episodes of the series to anyone with a pulse. As with all Philip K. Dick writing the story leaves you a little baffled; but the film version is simply gorgeous. As for the book, buying a Philip K. Dick book it’s like popping the top on some good tequila. You know it’s going to be fun and interesting and you knew what you were getting into when you started.
This has been the first and only television recommendation on this blog (except maybe Firefly which is pretty much a given). Other than that keep the damn television chained in the corner where it belongs.
Update #1: I bought the book (kindle version) for $7.69 in January. It dropped to $2.99 in February. Amazon refunded me the $4.70 difference out of the “goodness” of their mechanical hearts. Now the price is $9.99. At this point I think they’re just pulling numbers out of their ass? Or perhaps we’re all mice in a great Amazon pricing experiment? All I can say is that it’s a good book (provided you understand the author’s weirdness) and none of us are going to wind up living in a cardboard box under a bridge abutment for a tenspot. A good book is worth a read at any of those random and fluctuating prices.
Update #2: The whole series comes out November 20th. (We’re watching for “free” on Amazon Prime.) Mrs. Curmudgeon and I will likely watch the whole series over Thanksgiving. (Which is rare. I scarcely watch TV… but for this I’ll make an exception.)