After reading Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep over the Thanksgiving holiday and watching the very first few episodes of The Man in the High Castle TV series on Amazon, I just had to read The Man in the High Castle, and I'm so glad that I did. Neither book is exactly pleasant to read: PKD's writing is extremely choppy, and the surface plots don't quite come together or make much sense. It was only after I read both that I realized why the plots were so strange: they aren't quite the stories that the books are telling.
Comparing the book to the television series is like comparing Do Androids Dream to Blade Runner: they are so incredibly different, and the screen versions seem to completely miss the point and fail to capture the spirit of the books, that the only way I can reconcile the two is to tell myself that they are completely different works altogether. In fact, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and The Man in the High Castle (book, not television series) are more similar to one another than they are to their on-screen adaptations - at times I felt that they both took place within the same world, years apart.
While Androids seems, on the surface, to be a twisted, fascinating story about a bounty hunter who struggles with killing androids that seem to be just like humans, the deeper story is far more complex, centering around the author's obsession with the distinction between what is "real" and what is "fake" or a "replica" of "real" object (beginning with the mechanical animals), and his way of making the characters base their most important decisions and realizations on religions (like Mercerism) that exist within this world. The real story of Androids is not the story of the bounty hunter, but of these two obsessions of PKD's - the bounty hunter and his world is only an outlet for these obsessions - and The Man in the High Castle is no different.
The Man in the High Castle is not an alternate history of what the world would have been like if the Axis powers won World War Two - just like in Androids, the setting and the storylines are merely an outlet for PKD's questions. If you take away the characters and the superficial plots, the two books tell the exact same stories: each is a thought experiment about what it means for something to be real, to be authentic, to be a replica, to be fake, along with an examination of the role and influence of religious beliefs on human decision-making.
The difference between the two books lies in their endings. In Androids, PKD concludes that the difference between what is "real" and what is a "replica" does not matter: it does not matter that the frog is not a "real" frog - it is just as valuable as a "real" one; it does not matter that an android is not a "real" human - its existence is just as valuable as that of a "real" person. But in The Man in the High Castle, PKD determines that the distinction matters greatly: it matters what kind of art exists in the world - the new art is much more important, much more valuable than any "historical" or replicated object, and is magical enough to transport people between different worlds; it matters very much which world you are in - the real world (the one in which the Allies won the war) is much, much better than the strange, parallel, "fake" world that the characters find themselves in.
I won't say any more because I don't want to cheat you out of the magic of reading these. Both books are the kinds of novels that will stick with you forever - I haven't stopped thinking about either since I finished them, and I know that I will read and re-read them again, and again, and again.