Dune by Frank Herbert

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Book Information  
AuthorFrank Herbert
GenreScience Fiction
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Tempest 
(Mar 06, 2011)

Just read the book. In all honesty I read it mostly because it is considered a landmark of the genre and being that sci-fi is my base for literature I had to give it a shot. All other incursions into other genres serving the purpose of momentously diversifying my ideas.
I read the first quarter of the book at least 4 times. It seemed too slow paced for my taste and too convoluted on transient matters. So I read some, stopped, then re-read and stopped again. Took me almost a year to get past the first quarter or so of the book--I was reading some other books while this happened, Lovecraft, Thomas Harris and what not. Then I got to the betrayal part of the book. After that part the book got literally exponentially better, to the point where all my expectations of the book where a distant speckle of dust from the altitude at which the book elevated itself. It was a illusion of grandeur in story-telling. The passages from various books by princess Irulan are clever artifacts with which Herbert fills gaps in storytelling, elates characters, and looks back in inspection to the chapter to be read.
The inner politics of the Houses are not side thoughts to the story but an integral part of every decision any characters make. They not only justify but sway the movement of the plot. It seemed to me that at some point halfway in the book, the book actually wrote itself. That the storyline was not a construction of the author's mind, but rather a factual preceding's of the environment depicted so far. All of the actions and events became obvious in my mind as I read them, because they felt like causal consequences to the system created in the story. Everything was beautifully connected.
In the end the story wraps up with a sweet-sour ending that feels not like the ending a writer would like to give his work, but rather the way that the characters would had seen the story turn out swayed to the degree of their own persona's impact.
In the end I felt like I had just read a history book a matter of fact tale of ancient political attrition. It felt real.

Harkonen is now an insult in my dictionary.

Submitted by The Dark Princess 
(Dec 21, 2009)

Dune is simply the finest science fiction book ever written. It is a landmark in the field, it changed the way science fiction would be written, and is the touchstone against which all other SF works are measured.

The plot is complex and compelling. The character building is superb. The first SF book to focus on ecology, it also wraps politics, evolution, religion, leadership and the messiah complex into world building on a detailed and epic scale.

It has affected many authors - Robert Jordan's Aiel are drawn from the Fremen, Lucas frankly admits that Dune was the major inspiration for Star wars.

Before Dune SF books could be written around a core of one great technologicsl idea. After Dune all such 'one idea' SF books appear two dimensional.

There may be a future work which surpasses Dune, but none will occupy its place in literary history. Like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings it took the genre from stories to literature.

Submitted by Joel 
(Dec 20, 2007)

The planet Arrakis is a hellish world, of hot, shifting sands. The only reason that people live there is because it is the home of a substance called "Spice". It is this substance that underpins much of the society of the universe of the book. It is required for all important parts of the social aspects of the universe - from mystical visions to space travel. Despite the immense cost of the substance, many different factions are prepared to pay any price, for it's properties.

The story of "Dune" is about the control of the planet Arrakis, but it is so much more than that. It deals with quite a lot of different social and scientific areas, such as religion, politics, nature, and the potential of the human race through selective breeding. However, if you are not into such intellectually challenging topics, it also has an extremely good plot about revenge, control, and political rule. Together, they both create an unforgettable book.

It is often considered to be one of the best science fiction epics of all-time, if not the best, and it is not difficult to see why.

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