The Man in the High Castle

This is a synopsis I typed up when this was the discussion book at the SF reading group at the Braintree Barnes and Noble in March of 1997. This was mainly to help keep track of everything that's going on, all the various separate stories and when they cross, more for those who've already read it and could use a little backup when sitting down to figure out what they've just read. For such a short book, there's an awful lot going on. If you want more of an interpretative approach to this book, start with

Chapter 1

Childan, Tagomi (phone conversation) interested in Civil War recruitment poster
Childan with the Kasouras (young Japanese couple) interested in Jean Harlow picture
Frank Frink fired from Wyndam-Matson Corp, thinks of ex-wife Juliana, consults I Ching, which tells him to talk to W-M

Chapter 2

Tagomi to meet client, Mr. Baynes, about new plastic injection molds
Mr. Ramsey has darkened his skin color, works for pinoc (puppet white gov)
Childan recalls conversation with Major Humo about Japanese predeliction for American artifacts (clues to lost culture?)

Chapter 3

Juliana Frink living in Colorado, talks to truck drivers about merits of living in German-run US (eastern half), buffer zone (including Colorado), or PSA (Japan-run)
Baynes talks to artist (Lotze) on rocket, threatens to report him on suspicion of being a Jew
Tagomi meets Baynes and gives him an authentic Mickey Mouse watch

Chapter 4

Frank can't get his job back, talks to Ed McCarthy about starting own business doing same thing as W-M, making forgeries of antiques.
Childan has a customer (actually Frink) who wants to buy Colt revolver, but tells Childan it is a forgery.

Chapter 5

Supplier (Calvin) gets to W-M to tell him about Childan's discovery. W-M immediately suspects Frink & McCarthy
W-M explains to Rita about "historicity" of Zippo lighters.
Rita sees his wife is reading "The Grasshopper Lies Heavy"
Tagomi and Baynes meet, Baynes tells him of third partner, Mr. Yatabe

Chapter 6

Juliana speculates on Nazi succession. Returns to Joe Cinnadella (truck driver), who has let his truck go on without him
Joe is also reading TGLH
They hear on radio that Chancellor Bormann has died
Tagomi believes Baynes is really German. He attends presentation on likely successors to Bormann
Frink and McCarthy receive seed money from W-M to create EdFrank Custom Jewelers

Chapter 7

Childan visits Paul & Betty Kasoura. Paul is reading TGLH.
Childan sees reminders everywhere of Japanese occupation. "They don the dress but they're like monkeys dolled up in the circus."
Policeman questions Childan about visit from Frink.

Chapter 8

Reiss is on the lookout for Baynes, whose real name is Wegener. He learns that General Tedeki is traveling incognito (as Yatabe).
Reiss is reading TGLH. Considers someone taking author (Abendsen) out.

Chapter 9

Frink & McCarthy have made jewelry. Ed will visit Childan's store.
Juliana and Joe decide to go to Denver.
Childan agrees to sell EdFrank jewelry on consignment.

Chapter 10

Goebbels is named Reichschancellor
Baynes is worried that Yatabe hasn't shown up. He meets undercover with a Japanese who tells him to return tomorrow.
Juliana and Joe decided to visit Abendsen.
Tagomi receives call from Yatabe, they arrange to meet.

Chapter 11

Consul Reiss receives call from Goebbels to cooperate with police in picking up Wegener.
Childan talks to Paul Kasoura about pin he presented to them. Paul says the object has "wu", and wants to connect Childan with someone who could distribute them by the thousands as trinkets or good-luck charms. Childan refuses.

Chapter 12

Tagomi meets Yatabe and realizes he is General Tedeki. Baynes tells Tedeki of German plan to invade Japan.
Frink wants to quit business. He is arrested for fraud, and suspicion of being a Jew.
Two German SD men enter Tagomi's office. He kills them both.

Chapter 13

Joe tells Juliana he's really a Swiss agent for Germany sent to kill Abendsen.
Juliana cuts Joe's throat with a razor blade and leaves the hotel
Juliana speaks to Mrs. Abendsen and tells her that Abendsen is in danger.

Chapter 14

Tagomi thinks he is being sought after. He goes to Childan to return Colt revolver, but Childan refuses it.
Tagomi takes a trinket on approval. In the park, after studying the trinket, he experiences an alternate reality. He returns to the park and finds the trinket, and things return to normal.
Tagomi returns to building. Tedeki and Wegener have gone their separate ways. He meets with Reiss, who says Germany will cover up incident.
Tagomi refuses to sign order to turn over Frink. Frink returns to work with Ed.

Chapter 15

Wegener is met by people representing Heydrich, a rival to Goebbels.
Juliana meets Abendsen. He says the book was written using the I Ching.
Juliana consults the I Ching to ask it why it wrote the book. She learns that the book is true.