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 http://members.tripod.com/~ashwood/tmithc.html.
Childan, Tagomi (phone conversation) interested in Civil War recruitment poster
Childan with the Kasouras (young Japanese couple) interested in Jean Harlow
Frank Frink fired from Wyndam-Matson Corp, thinks of ex-wife Juliana, consults
I Ching, which tells him to talk to W-M
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?)
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
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.
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
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
Frink and McCarthy receive seed money from W-M to create EdFrank Custom Jewelers
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.
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.
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.
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.
Consul Reiss receives call from Goebbels to cooperate with police in picking
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.
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
Two German SD men enter Tagomi's office. He kills them both.
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.
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
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.