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DUNE’S a book that seems intimidating, but for a relatively new prose reader by choice, it wasn’t that difficult. It mesmerises you right away, quickly letting you become acquainted with the different organisations and slang used. The centre of the story is Paul Atreides, using him as a focal point the reader interacts with rich characters, diverse planets, and reflective societies of the DUNE universe. Themes of religion and corruption are sewn within each aspect of the story-line. For example, Paul, becoming this Messiah figure fighting for absolute control. The chemical “Spice” is a terrific mcguffin resembling oil that is the draw for many of the key players making it a great Middle Eastern allegory. The complaints stem from how there are too many characters/plot-lines to follow, but each one though is fascinating in its own ways. From the mysterious Bene-Gesserit Lady Jessica to the appalling antagonist Baron Harkonen. While the story proceeds the plots intertwine and the character’s relationships to boot. The length was just right, getting a sense of everything and have a climatic/satisfying end without having to read the many future instalments. A masterpiece of sci-fi that everyone should take the time to read. 5/5 stars - Teigan, 18, SAPL Read It & Review Contributor
Dune is a product of its time, with some ideas that seem a little backward when reading it more than a half century after it was published (I'm thinking primarily gender roles). But it is still a thrilling book to read. There were some things I wasn't fond of in the writing, especially Herbert constantly revealing the inner monologue of every character, but fundamentally, this is just a great story. The plot is fun. It has interesting twists, long lost reunions, intrigue, double crossings, etc... all great and exciting storytelling. It's a page turner.
The galactic Emperor had a hidden agenda when he ordered House Atreides to move to the Arrakis, replacing House Harkonnen as the planet's ruling family. Arrakis is a desolate wasteland covered almost entirely in desert, earning it the nickname "Dune"; but Arrakis is the only source of the spice melange - the most valuable substance in the universe.
Duke Leto Atreides's teenage son Paul is beginning to manifest mystical powers that will aid him in the coming battles and betrayals and in his fight for survival on a hostile planet.
Frank Herbert's classic novel "Dune" is the most complex science fiction novel I have read. In addition to an adventure story and a coming-of-age novel, the book includes insights into politics, sociology, ecology, economics, religion, philosophy, and language. Nearly every dialogue is layered with multiple meanings and nearly every action is a potential betrayal.
Herbert does an amazing job building the world of Arrakis and its people.
Among the creations of the book are:
-Sand Worms - giant tubular creatures that live beneath the surface of the desert sand, as sea dragons might swim in the ocean, breaching the surface from time to time to wreak havoc on protection of the spice.
-The Bene Gesserit - a cultlike group with impressive mental powers, who strive to produce a superhuman via their secret breeding program.
-The Fremen - a mysterious nomadic race that live in the deserts of Dune and have a special relationship with the sand worms.
-Mentats - humans with the ability to think like computers
Although "Dune" is set centuries in the future, technology has not advanced at the rate one would expect. Advancements have been stunted by humanity's distrust of artificial intelligence and a war fought centuries earlier. Things like interplanetary travel have been made possible by the powers of the Bene Gesserit and the Mentats and the mind-expanding abilities of melange.
The local water scarcity, the global spice monopoly, and the struggle for control between powerful factions serve as a metaphor for similar constrained resources and conflicts on the Earth of today and the effect on global politics. The vast sand oceans and the Fremen people are not far removed from the 20th and 21st century Middle East.
Through it all is Paul - son of a Duke and gifted with great powers that lead others to perceive him as a Messiah. How he uses those powers defines him and defines the power structure of the galaxy.
This was my third reading of this novel, which I first discovered in my late 20s. After all these years, it still holds my interest.
Well if Lonesome Dove is my Western genre comparison to A Game of Thrones, Dune is my science fiction comparison. It’s a long epic about shifting allegiances, dynamic power plays, violence, and unexpected deaths. Admittedly this book moved up my TBR list because of the upcoming film adaptation starring my boy Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho. I haven’t watched any other film adaptations, so I look forward to seeing how this story plays out on the big screen.
Aside from that, this book confirmed a suspicion about myself that I have theorized about but not really tested…hardcore science fiction and/or space operas are not really my jam. My lukewarm feelings about both The Left Hand of Darkness and this book have confirmed it. Of course this isn’t to say that I will never again delve into this literary realm…it’s just that it seems I prefer my science fiction to have a little more fantasy woven into it.
I was not a huge fan of Herbert’s writing style, but I do have to give him credit for his world building skills. The Appendices at the end of the book were helpful because there are many characters, planets, and legends to keep track of. I recommend glancing through it periodically as you read the book for clarity and context.
I will probably get a lot of hate for this, but Dune is NOT a well written book by modern Sci-fi standards (fiction 101 plot, pacing, narrative stuff...).
There are examples of all of the following items in the book, which would prevent any modern fiction from being considered good, let alone amazing.
1. Illogical character motivations/actions, which occur only to artificially carry the plot forward
2. Many overpowered/completely un-relateable characters
3. Uneven pacing, especially during dramatic/action sequences (making some sections downright boring or ridiculous to read)
4. Overlong philosophical exposition, often pretentious in nature
5. Lack of tension as heroes are rarely under real threat
Defenders of the book say that Dune is a book of ideas, not plot. Some also warn to not expect hero/anti-hero tropes. However, if I wanted a story of ideas that "subvert expectation" I'd almost rather watch Disney Star Wars (yes, parts of Dune are that bad once you get over hype, in the same way the recent Star Wars films were bad, but hyped).
As alternatives to Dune: for classic (50+ year-old) sci-fi, I recommend Asimov's Foundation novels. For a slightly more modern sci-fi with fantasy elements, I recommend the Hyperion Cantos series by Dan Simmons. Like Dune, these works also deal with of the direction of human society as it pertains to futuristic government, religion, and technology, but are executed far better than Dune.
In my mind, the book is living off its hype and impact on the sci-fi genre. It is getting a second wind from the upcoming 2020/21 movie. Some of the ideas are great (the spice, the feudal balance of power), but the story is poorly written.
Overall, would NOT recommend...try for yourself at your own risk.
What is going on with those soap opera sci-fi characters on this book ?! Everything else is perfect; lady Jessica cool powers , sandworms , mentat abilities, imperial politics, the mystery of the freeman , the rough landscape of Arrakis even stillsuits are interesting or the ships and I loved the culture aspect of the planets. Then ,halfway through the book, you get pages after pages of boring characters that I couldn’t care less about .
Solid read- I enjoyed the characters and the rich setting. However the ending was a little anti climatic and I disliked Paul in the concluding chapters.
Dune is a great book to read. The start is a little confusing but as the story goes on it becomes easier to understand. The author creates very real characters. He builds an interesting world to discover. The book is mostly set on a desert planet with giant worms that inhabit the dunes. The book starts with a Duke named Leto preparing him and his family to leave to go to a new planet called Arrakis. They suspect a trap from their rivals the Harkonnens. This is overall a really good book and I would recommend it to anyone who likes sci-fi.
A masterpiece of the science-fiction genre. An imaginative story with relevant themes.
One of the most formidable Science Fiction epics in the history of the genre, this book inspired Star Wars, and does not disappoint. The world building is impeccable and engaging, the characters are so solid and this story is amazing. I can't say enough about this book and I'm so excited for the movie!
This is the richest world in science fiction and comes to feel real to the reader as the novel progresses. After humans were nearly enslaved by machines (long before the setting of this novel), the making of computers was made illegal and taboo. This allows author Herbert to create a future world in which technology is nearly irrelevant and people are the center of the story. With no thinking machines to rely on, every faction in the book has honed a different way of maximizing human potential in their struggle for supremacy. The novel is fascinating and unforgettable, but also imperfect. As a psychologist turned author, Herbert is prone to writing out long and repetitive mental ruminations for his characters and the story is anything but fast-paced. Nevertheless, Dune is widely considered one of the greatest pieces of science fiction yet created and is well worth a read.
I know that my children and my children's children will read this book and they will feel as it was written not so long ago. Frank Herbert created a timeless universe and characters so detailed and so profound that you would never guess they came out from someones mind. Without a doubt the best sci fi novel I've read so far, every page of the 885 pages was worth reading and letting myself dive into the vast desert of Dune.
Dune, the first novel of Herbert’s series, is the best-selling science fiction novel of all time. Dune is set more than 21,000 years in the future. Mankind has colonized the galaxy, creating highly advanced technologies—spaceships, glowglobes, ornithopters, lasguns, protective energy shields, etc. Entire planets, such as Ix and Richese, are devoted to advancing technological civilization.
Read this book 5 times growing up. It's the book that made me want to pursue being a writer. It's one of the greats for a real reason, but you should decide for yourself when you read it. I would recommend the audio book version of this as well. It has multiple voice actors and it really brought the story to life.
More than five decades after it was first released, “Dune” by Frank Herbert is a classic that extends beyond the conventions of science fiction. This is an epic story, a triumph of the imagination with a memorable plot, sharp writing, a fascinating setting and a great cast of characters. There are messages here on many levels--politics, ecology, religion, family, culture, resources, I can go on. Herbert’s insights and writing are as fresh today as they were when he penned this book more than 50 years ago. This is easily a great book and deserves a place of honor on your shelf. Highest recommendation.
Dune is one of those books where you take away something new with each reading. It raises some philosophical questions that stick with you.
A classic and deservedly so, this book had a well-crafted plot and a fascinating setting. While clearly set in the future, it had decidedly medieval overtones. The characters were complex; the only negative thing I could say about the book was that I never got emotionally attached to any of them.
Nevertheless, the whole book felt really well thought out. This is probably the only book I've ever read that opened with a multi-page glossary. And, while that sounds insane and dull, it actually set the scene surprisingly well.
I will read more in this series.
I wanted to read Dune because I had heard that it was really good. Basically, the plot revolves around a young man named Paul who is a son of a Duke. His family gets taken down in a traitorous plot and he then goes undercover and eventually takes revenge.
As a whole, I found this book kind of slow, boring, and confusing. It didn't really start to get or even feel interesting until about page 400. However, I think that for the time that it was written (1965), Dune is really, really creative and I can see why this would interest a lot of people. There's a lot of interesting themes and ideas tossed around and some of these include religion, empires, rulers, who heroes are, and climate change. Women play an interesting role in this novel and it's cool that we get to see some strong female characters here. While pretty boring throughout, the ending totally made up for the rest of the book. I personally really liked the way this novel ended, and it actually made me want to read the second novel in this series. I wouldn't recommend Dune for younger readers as there is a lot of content to take in and some things might be hard to understand. But, if you're a big fan of science fiction and don't mind getting though a lot of introductory stuff, then this book is for you.
I too read this book when it was newly printed and could not put it down. I followed the rest of the series until it became too much. Like another critic here my second or maybe third time reading this 'first of the series' book found it completely sexist and mysogynistic. It was definitely a 'guy's' book at the time but looking back on that culture from today I find it amazing that it has held up for so many years.
Definitely a must read for any science fiction reader, I read Dune about 30 years ago and picked it up for another read. It was still good, yet I seemed to pull more details from the 800 pages than the first time through before the movie came out a few years ago.
Easy reading and the storyline will keep you engaged.
4.5/5. Dune is a 1965 science fiction novel by American author Frank Herbert and it has become a staple series in the genre. It won the Nebula Award for Best Novel. This book laid the foundation on which Herbert has built his greatest series and one that would outlive him. Dune developed a flesh out universe with world building only rivaled by that of J.R.R Tolkien. The book was created by a true master of the genre. Dune deals with political, economic, sociological, biological, cultural and dynastic themes, Herbert has set a science fiction precedence that is rarely met. When first opening the novel, it seems like it will be an impossible read. On the first page alone there are so many universe-specific terms that the virgin reader will not understand (they are thus defined in the back of the book). But after getting a grasp on the main factions of the novel and their goals, everything falls into place and Dune takes you on a ride like no other. The characters are developed just as much as the lore of the universe, making the reader able to easily relate to their plight, engrossing you in the novel. So many sci-fi “tropes” we see today were created in this novel. I would recommend it to everyone. @Joaquin of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board