Set In The Far Future Amidst A Sprawling Feudal Interstellar Empire Where Planetary Dynasties Are Controlled By Noble Houses That Owe An Allegiance To The Imperial House Corrino, Dune Tells The Story Of Young Paul Atreides The Heir Apparent To Duke Leto Atreides And Heir Of House Atreides As He And His Family Accept Control Of The Desert Planet Arrakis, The Only Source Of The Spice Melange, The Most Important And Valuable Substance In The Cosmos The Story Explores The Complex, Multi Layered Interactions Of Politics, Religion, Ecology, Technology, And Human Emotion As The Forces Of The Empire Confront Each Other For Control Of ArrakisPublished In , It Won The Hugo Award In And The Inaugural Nebula Award For Best Novel Dune Is Frequently Cited As The World S Best Selling Sf Novel Ok, my only reference for Dune was the 1984 movie with Kyle MacLachlan And, honestly, it was the main reason I ve always wanted to read this book Ohmygod look what that fake looking piece of plastic shit is doing to poor MacLachlan s nose How was he even able to act with that thing pushing his nostrils to the side of his face I can t stop looking at it Anyway.I remember loving that movie when I was young Ahhhh. I honestly didn t remember much about it other than it was sorta weird, there were giant worms, a bunch of people had glowing blue eyes, and Sting was in it.After listening to this audiobook, I decided to rewatch the movie and relive the good times Wow Just wow What in the holy hell did I just watch Because whatever it was, it certainly didn t have much to do with the actual book There were some fucking weird changes that they made to the movie that really didn t do anything for the plot Like that gross dude with the shit in his face that flew around in that goofy air suit In the book, he s just a fat dude And that thing they do where they all have drain plugs attached to their hearts Not in the book, either In fact, none of that fucknut crazy gross sci fi shit is in the book.Blowing shit up with their voice guns Nope.Bald Bene Gesserits Nope.Bugs with butthole mouths Nope.Mentat s with clip on eyebrows who drink juice that gives them herpes lips Nope.Captain Jean Luc Picard going into battle with a pug Fuck no The list goes on and onNot that it should matter But it does Because I was expecting something realllyreallyreally different, and if you go into this like me you may end upwell, not disappointed but maybe shocked Having said that, I think the book was definitely better There was no reason for ass mouth monsters or oily rock stars in weird rubber underwear It just makes a lot sense the way Herbert wrote it It s a magic is science tale set in space with an incredibly interesting look at how politics and religion can hold hands with each other and make war babies I can see why people rave about it It s honestly an incredibly insightful novel You know, if you re into that sort of thingA little dense, but worth it But dense That s worth saying twice because this thing is massive and you may get lost in it if giant word monsters aren t your jam when it comes to reading I listened to the Audible version which is 21 HOURS and 2 minutes long and might be the way to go for anyone looking for the easy way out.And I am ALWAYS looking for the easy way out. There s a characteristically witty essay by Borges about a man who rewrites Don Quixote, many centuries after Cervantes He publishes a novel with the same title, containing the same words in the same order But, as Borges shows you, the different cultural context means it s a completely new book What was once trite and commonplace is now daring and new, and vice versa It just happens to look like Cervantes s masterpiece.Similarly, imagine the man who was brave or stupid enough to rewrite Dune in the early 21st century Like many people who grew up in the 60s and 70s, I read the book in my early teens What an amazing story Those kick ass Fremen All those cool, weird sounding names and expressions they use They even have a useful glossary in the back The disgusting, corrupt, slimy Harkonnens don t you just love to hate them When former aristo turned desert guerilla fighter Paul Muad Dib rides in on a sandworm at the end to fight the evil Baron and his vicious, cruel nephew, of course you re cheering for him Who the hell wouldn t be So that was the Dune we know and love, but the man who rewrote it now would get a rather different reception Oh my God These Fremen, who obviously speak Arabic, live on a desert planet which supplies the Universe with melange, a commodity essential to the Galactic economy, and in particular to transport Not a very subtle way to say oil They are tough, uncompromising fighters, who are quite happy to use suicide bombing as a tactic They re led by a charismatic former rich kid OK, we get who you mean , who inspires them to rise up against the corrupt, degenerate um, does he mean Westerners Or only the US And who is Baron Harkonnen intended to be I m racking my brains Dubya doesn t quite seem to fit, but surely he means someone Unless, of course, he s just a generic stereotype who stands for the immoral, sexually obsessed West This is frightening What did we do to make Frank al Herbert hate us so much You d have people, not even necessarily right wingers, appearing on TV to say that the book was dangerous, and should be banned at the very least, it incites racial hatred, and openly encourages terrorism But translations would sell brilliantly in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and a bad movie version would soon be made in Turkey.I honestly don t think Herbert meant any of that but today, it s almost impossible not to wonder If anyone reading this review is planning to rewrite The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, you d better make sure you get your timing right Who knows how it will be interpreted five years from now No one should argue the importance Dune It laid the foundations for a great deal of the themes and constructs in modern science fiction Frank Herbert was as important to the genre as Isaac Asimov and Arthur Clarke Unfortunately, just like them, he s quite dated, and his books can be a labor to read One thing he maintained from old science fiction was prim and scientific dialogue that no one would ever actually speak I ve known many scientists, and they don t talk like this You re not going to convince me a child does.The stuffy dialogue is inserted into even stuffier narrative, until it feels like nothing is organic about Herbert s prose This is a terrible tragedy when you ve got a world that he put so much effort into building and it is an amazing feat of world building, technically interplanetary building But unlike J.R.R Tolkien, who he is so frequently compared to, Herbert didn t make sure to include a great story in his world Instead he included a story that frequently illustrated how clunky an artificial world can be, even if it s lovingly crafted I struggled to attach or find interest in anyone, yet they re archetypes than human beings, whose logic races past modern skepticism and whose dialogue is cloyingly artificial, the way people cared for the Hobbits, Dwarves and Rangers In his world building, Tolkien at least saved himself from being dated by antedating himself, and even with his illuminated prose, wrought characteristics in just one protagonist than all of Dune s cast Even the political intrigue Herbert tries to fall back on was overdone in the Spy genre decades before he started this book All fans of the Genre genres should appreciate Herbert s massive contributions, but they shouldn t pretend to enjoy the books if they don t, and they should be wary of certain pitfalls typical of science fiction that survived into his landmark work. Nope Sorry I don t get it.I was able to finish it by listening to the audiobook but I was bored throughout the whole 21h.So many descriptions anyone else found the way Paul s mom describing him kinda weird And let s not even mention how many times I laughed at the main female character being called Jessica.I m sure I ll get plenty of comments telling me it s a classic and it brought so much to the genre At the end of the day, my rating is always based on my enjoyment.
- 604 pages
- Frank Herbert
- 28 February 2019 Frank Herbert