Sunday, August 26, 2012

Review: Dune

I read Dune back in high school, and thought it was a great read and a fun novel. I just read Dune again as an adult, and am blown away by how great a novel it is.

The structure of the novel is a linear narrative, but Frank Herbert is a master of "in-cluing": within the first 10 pages, he's set up the world the characters live in. Better yet, he's even spoiled his own novel by telling you about the upcoming betrayal of the protagonists and what's going to happen, all the while teaching you about the political intrigues of the novel. Yet you keep reading anyway, because you also learn that the protagonists know they're walking into a trap.

All through the stories, we get wheels within wheels, feints within feints. Everyone seems to have multiple secret identities, and the plot, while convoluted, has such a grand scope that you can't help but be sucked in. In particular, the environment of the planet Arrakis and how the Fremen go about their plans to terraform the planet is crucial to the plot, yet exposed without boring lectures.

I've seen the David Lynch Movie and didn't think it did justice to the book. I have not seen the TV series. All I can say is, this is a book well worth reading, especially if you hated the movie. And yes, the idiot at Penguin Publishing who set the price for the kindle edition of this 40 year-old novel at $15 deserves to land in a special circle of hell.

Nevertheless, the book is highly recommended. You should just check it out from your local library.
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