I've heard this book is deep and fantastic, but it just didn't do it for me. I apparently missed whatever was deep about it. Written in the early 1960's, this is the story of what the world would be like had Germany and Japan won World War II. The western third of the United States is run by Japan, the eastern third is run by Germany, and the middle is somewhere in between. Things happen, but there is no real plot in this book. Germany is about to undergo a change in leaders. A German agent and a Japanese agent meet in the U.S. to make some sort of plans, using a legitimate businessman in San Francisco as a cover. Meanwhile, other people do stuff. And running through it all is a novel that everyone is reading, written by American, about what would have happened if Germany and Japan had actually lost the war. Is that what was supposed to be deep? It wasn't. And then it ended. Not very interesting.
A very intriguing read. When reading this book, I kept thinking about 3 separate realities - the world of the novel where Germany and Japan won WWII, the world of the novel "The Grasshopper Lies Heavy" inside the novel where the Allies won the war, and then the world as we know it. Then what was really real inside the novel, how did the use of the "I Ching" influence the writing of "Grasshopper" as well as influence the lives of most of the characters in the novel... This one leaves you with a lot to ponder and probably deserves a second reading. I can definitely see how this is considered one of Dick's best.