Dune

  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/thebigcr/public_html/scifidorks/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/thebigcr/public_html/scifidorks/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/thebigcr/public_html/scifidorks/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/thebigcr/public_html/scifidorks/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/thebigcr/public_html/scifidorks/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/thebigcr/public_html/scifidorks/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/thebigcr/public_html/scifidorks/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/thebigcr/public_html/scifidorks/includes/file.inc on line 646.
dune.gif

Frank Herbert

GENRES:
Sci-Fi, Epic

SUMMARY:
Duke Atreides and his noble family are transferred to the desert planet Arakis where they will monitor and control the production of melange, the "spice" farmed from Arakis. Spice is necessary for interstellar space travel and can also imbue people exposed to it for a period of time with psychic powers and longevity. Hence, whoever controls spice wields enormous power throughout the universe.

The Harkonnen empire-- the previous stewards of Arakis spice production-- realize this all too well. Through elaborate political schemes, they overthrow House Atreides thereby seizing control of the planet. The Duke's son Paul is left to die in the harsh desert where he will be exposed to the elements and the giant Arakis worms that burrow beneath the dunes attracted by vibrations.

Instead Paul finds the fremen, a nomadic native people who understand the secrets of Arakis and the power of Paul. For Paul gradually discovers his abilities and realizes he is the sole hope for Arakis, his family, and the fremen. He is the messiah or Maud'ib, a possible product of a long line of genetic manipulation that affected not only him, but his mother and young sister Alia.

The first in a series of five books, 'Dune' sets the epic stage for the elaborate story of the mysterious and powerful Atreides and their battle for their new home on Arakis.

RESPONSE:
This novel represents both the foundation and pinnacle of epic sci-fi (maybe jointly with Asimov's Foundation series). It is not exactly an easy read; the characters are numerous; the plots are convoluted; the internal politics are many. However, the amazingly detailed story that Herbert writes is well worth the minimal effort to understand.

Read on a purely surface level, Dune is a great space opera complete with interstellar travel, aliens, and corrupt political powers. However, most of the novel takes place on Arakis so the appeal of this book is obviously more than space opera sagas.

The character development is amazing, and although the haughtiness of the Atreides family-- especially Paul-- is sometimes annoying, the mystery of the main characters is developed well by Herbert. In fact, as one question about Arakis and the Atreides is answered, another seems to surface.

The originality and detail of the entire novel is indeed epic in proportion. It is a multilayered story that I actually find difficult to specifically comment on since I read the book years ago when I was quite young-- too young maybe to fully grasp all the intricacies. I remember I was completely engrossed by it, but I also remember it was hard for me to grasp some of it. The worms are damn cool though. I guess this will be yet another book that I say I plan to reread soon.

POINT BLANK:
Set some time aside and read this chunky sucker. It's worth it, and with any luck you'll get hooked on Herbert's world and have something to do for the next year by reading the entire series.