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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 Arrakis.Published in 1965, it won the Hugo Award in 1966 and the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel Dune is frequently cited as the world s best selling sf novel.

10 thoughts on “Dune

  1. Manny Manny says:

    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

  2. John Wiswell John Wiswell says:

    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.

  3. Emily (Books with Emily Fox) Emily (Books with Emily Fox) says:

    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.

  4. Rajat Ubhaykar Rajat Ubhaykar says:

    In my head, the purpose of this review is very clear It is to convince YOU to read this book Yes, you Waste time no Go grab a copy.Machiavellian intrigue, mythology, religion, politics, imperialism, environmentalism, the nature of power All this set in a mind boggling, frighteningly original world which Herbert ominously terms as an effort at prediction Dune had me hooked First impressionThe very first stirring I felt upon opening the yellowed pages of Dune was that of stumbling upon an English translation of an ancient Arabic manuscript of undeniable power and potence which had an epic story to narrate The tone was umistakably sombre and I realized Herbert was not here to merely entertain me, he was here to make me part of the legend of Muad Dib It was intriguing and challenging and heck, since I live for challenges I decided to take this one up too, gladly The challenge was the complexity and depth of the plot, which left me perplexed, in the beginning I knew there were dialogues which meant much than their superficial meaning and was unable to grasp at it I felt a yawning chasm between Herbert s vision and my limited understanding of it However, of course, I plodded on and could feel the gap closing in with every page much to my joy and relief The Foreword To the people whose labours go beyond ideas into the realm of real materials to the dry land ecologists, wherever they may be, in whatever time they work, this effort at prediction is dedicated in humility and admiration The foreword makes it pretty clear that Frank Herbert isn t kidding around This is a serious effort at predicting how our world is going to look two thousand years from now and by God, it s a bloody good and detailed prediction However, the real merit in this effort lies in the commentary on our lives in the present.Why Frank Herbert is a geniusThe setting of the book is arid futuristic the plot is driven by political mind games reminiscent of The Game of Thrones The issues he tackles are as modern as the colour television Herbert s genius manifests itself in his ability to combine the past, the present and the future in one sweeping elegant move called Dune.Plot and SettingDune is set in a futuristic technologically advanced world which after the Butlerian Jihad the bloody war between Man and Machines has eliminated all computers and passed a decree declaring Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a man s mind Since there are no computers, the essential working of the galaxy is still medieval and feudal with heavy reliance on men and their dallying around Lots of thriller potential right there Men with superhuman analytical abilities called Mentats have taken the place of Computers On the other hand, we have the Bene Gesserit, an ancient school of mental and physical training for female students it gives them superhuman intuitive powers who follow a selective breeding program which makes them feared and mistrusted through the Imperium Their desired end product of this breeding program is the Kwisatz Haderach, a superman who ll be able to glimpse into the future How he ll be able to do this is rooted in Herbert s idea of determinism given that one can observe everything and analyze everything, one can effectively glimpse the future in probabilistic terms Quantum physics anyone The Kwisatz Haderach is the proposed solution to the male female dichotomy, between the analytical and intuitive.The plot of Dune is almost wholly set on the desert planet of Arrakis also referred to as Dune , an arid wasteland where water is so scarce that men have to wear stillsuits which recycle human moisture for further consumption The source of the galaxy s interest in the planet is Melange, a spice which bestows upon one longevity and prescient powers Everything on the planet is permeated with the spice, the air, the sand, the food Everybody on the planet is hopelessly addicted to the spice, their only hope for survival being their continued intake of the spice The Spacing Guild, the economic and trading monopolistic arm of the Galaxy badly needs the spice for interstellar transport This is because their frigates travel faster than the speed of light and hence travel backward in time The spice is the only way they can look into the future and see their way ahead How cool is that All the powers on the Galaxy are out to mine the spice, braving the sandworms, their name merely an euphemism, for they are gigantic 200 metre long creatures which always come digging through the sand whenever spice mining is undertook Always There s also another little glitch There exist on the planet, the kickass native desert tribal Fremen, whom the foreign powers look down with suspicion and disdain The Fremen ethos is one of survival and scarcity, driven by tribalism and egalitarianism Okay, I ll stop right there No spoilers about this Except that they value water to the extent that spitting on a person is the highest honour they can bestow upon him.Our protagonists are the Atreides family, consisting of the Duke, his Bene Gesserit concubine Jessica and their son Paul, who have been entrusted the stewardship of Arrakis We discover the alien planet of Arrakis along with them, firstly with fear, suspicion and wonder and ultimately, love and respect Paul Muad Dib, however is no ordinary prince There s a teeny weeny chance he might be the Kwisatz Haderach, something which troubles him constantly and gives us our conflicted hero The poor chap trips balls over the spice and has visions of black hordes pillaging and murdering around town bearing his flag and sees his dead body multiple times.My favourite character, however has to be the Baron Vladmir Harkonnen, the most evil character I ve ever come across in my literary excursions He is ruddy ruthlessness, he is virile villainy, he is truculent treachery He executes the inept chess players in his employ which says oodles about his badassery and his fondness for cold blooded logic He sees everything in simplistic chess terms What is my best move What is my opponent s best move Is there anything I can do to completely squash his move Is there a tactic which leads to mate in three ThemesIn this setting, Herbert does so much, it s unbelievable Religion, politics, the dynamic nature of power, the effects of colonialism, our blatant destruction of our environment are themes which run parallel to the intensely exciting and labyrinthine plot He shows the paramount importance of myth making and religion for power to sustain over long periods of time Man, as a political animal is laid completely bare.Real lifeNow these are my thoughts about what Herbert could have meant to be Arrakis It makes perfect sense Herbert draws heavy inspiration for the religious ideology of Muad Dib from Islam He says When religion and politics ride in the same cart and that cart is driven by a living Holy man, nothing can stand in the path of such a people which is the philosphy of the politics of Islam Islamism in a nutshell The spice, much desired by everyone, is the oil Baron Vladmir Harkonnen is symblomatic of the wily Russians The Desert foxes Fremen are representative of the native Saudi desert dwelling Bedouin tribe who have a strongly tribe oriented culture and undoubtedly value water in equal measure And the ultimate loser is the environment.Why do good books get over I almost forget this is a science fiction novel, it s that real It is also scary and prophetic It is a reading experience that will leave you dreaming of the grave emptiness of Arrakis and make you wish you were there to brave it all in the privileged company of the noble Fremen Frank Herbert achieves the pinnacle of what a sci fi author aspires to rise to authentic world building.

  5. Lyn Lyn says:

    Dune.No other single syllable means as much to the science fiction genre, a single word that conjures images of sandworms, spice wars, great battles between rival dynastic families and a massively detailed and intricately crafted universe No wonder this is widely regarded as not just a Science Fiction masterpiece, but a literary achievement as well Like a study of Shakespeare, the reader finds that this is an archetype upon which many influences and imitators have based their works The complexity and depth of the creation is staggering and I am continually astounded at the discipline with which Herbert must have focused his imagination.This is the book upon which Herbert would base his greatest series and one that would outlive him as his son has continued to expand and add detail to the vast, immaculate tapestry woven by a true master of the genre Encapsulating political, economic, sociological, biological, cultural and dynastic themes, Frank Herbert has set a high standard for later practitioners.Brilliant 2015 reread Read years later, this has lost none of its narrative power, if anything I can better appreciate the virtuoso attention to detail Herbert exhibited in his epic creation From the perspective of having read his later 5 Dune sequels, I am astounded at the rich tapestry he has woven Most impressive was his close omnipresence, analyzing the thoughts and minute actions and subtle nuances of his complicated dynamic interplay of characters The exhaustive training of the Bene Gesserit and the intricate relations of the Houses and the Guild would stand as a monumental benchmark for speculative fiction ever since.This time around I found myself looking closely at the Harkonnens and will likely read some of Brian Herbert s additions to his fathers great work 2019 reread I m even in love with this book and am again in awe of Herbert s narrative skill This time around I noticed that all of the quotes that begin chapters are from Princess Irulan and I paid close attention to how Herbert crafted these interludes.I also was drawn to the religious undertones that really began very early in the book and how Paul realized his gifts and was preparing for his role in the beginning chapters all demonstrating Herbert s great narrative skill.Finally, I became aware of what a great character was Gurney Halleck While the ghola of Duncan Idaho dominated the later books, Herbert s creation of Halleck was an enjoyable and thought provoking addition to this masterpiece.

  6. Sean Barrs the Bookdragon Sean Barrs the Bookdragon says:

    I m sort of tempted to try this again I don t think it ll be worth the hassle though I could never give Dune five stars because I really struggled to get into the novel in the beginning It has taken me almost two months to read This, for me, is a very long time to spend on a book It took me so long to read because I found the writing style incredibly frustrating I had to read whole chapters again so I could get the gist of the plot This was so in the beginning, which I found particularly hard to read because of the author s way of shifting between the thoughts of multiple characters I found this very annoying however, I persevered over my initial despondency towards the writing, and plodded on through the book I m glad I did so because in the end I did come to really enjoy it Indeed, the story is fantastic, but the writing will always remain unbearable for me A truly brilliant plot Dune is to science fiction what The Lord of the Rings is to high fantasy it is the novel that officially, and unarguably, defines the genre The story begins with the house of Atreides accepting the Dukedom of the planet Dune The former Baron has been ousted by the Emperor, and is no longer of consequence Well, that is how it initially appears Very early on it revealed that the whole thing is a political ploy to bring the house of Atreides to its knees The Baron lies in wait, and is ready to strike against the new, and benevolent, approach the Duke uses on the Fremen The Fremen are the natives of the dessert planet thus, they know how to survive its harshness above all others They do this through their frugal approach to water They value it above all else, and will never waste a drop in earnest The Baron Harkonnen, as a chide against the natives, squanders water in the cruellest ways He, and his dinner guests, throw cups of water on the floor of the dinner hall it was his tradition The wasted water was soaked up with towels, which the Baron allowed the Fremen to suck the water out of When the Duke enters he rejects this custom, and is respectful to the Fremen way of life He and his son and heir Paul, who is the protagonist of this novel, go as far as to try the Fremen s grossly effective water saving suits These Stillsuits, quite literally, recycle all the water the body wastes and feeds it back to its wearer The Fremen way is the right wayThis early familiarity, with the Fremen technology, no doubt helps to keep Paul s mind open when he is later forced to live amongst the Fremen Paul is somewhat of a marvel he is prophecy s chosen one When he eventually gains the trust of the Fremen they allow him to choose a Fermen name He calls himself after their most revered prophet Muad Dib They accept this and follow him as their leader His inherited title of Duke dictates that he is their lord, but their religion determines their real loyalty He has to, quite literally, fight for every ounce of their trust Indeed, it does not come cheap, and will only be given to one who is a member of their people Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens The sleeper must awaken Thus, Paul becomes their saviour Consequently, he receives heaps of character development through this book He goes form boy to the revered leader of a nation The Fremen, like Paul, want the evil Baron Harkonnen gone from their planet They do no want a cruel oppressor who is ignorant to their ways they want Paul I think the imagination behind the Fremen culture really is wonderful They have efficiently adapted to survive their harsh planet To emphasise this point you need only look at the fact that off world humans live in fear of the giant Sandworms that infect the planet whereas the Fremen ride them as a coming of age ritual Indeed, Paul has to ride a worm if the Fremen are to follow him Deep characters The result of this is a very complex, and intriguing plot I found the first third of this book to be very perplexing initially This is a world we are told about rather than shown at the start We hear about the Fremen but do not truly understand them till the very end I was very overwhelmed at the beginning, and in all honesty I do think this novel merits a re read to further establish my understanding of it This did affect my rating because it inhibited by enjoyment of the book Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense But the real universe is always one step beyond logic Indeed, aside from Paul there is a whole host of dynamic, and well rounded, characters His mother is to be the new revered mother of the Fremen people, which for someone of her age is quite remarkable There is also the captain of Duke Leto s household guard who is a very deep and honourable individual As much as I came to like these characters I was still frustrated with the writing of them in the beginning I found it difficult to read scenes in which up to four characters internal thoughts are portrayed alongside their dialogue It wasn t always clear who was thinking I much prefer a narrative that is focalised through one person Well, at least one person per chapter Overall, I thought the idea behind this novel was utterly fantastic However, my personal reaction to the writing style limited my overall enjoyment of the book I do intend to read some of the sequels However, I do not have any intention of doing so in the near future Maybe, in a couple of years I will return to the brilliant, and annoyingly written, world of Dune.Postscript I thought I d show of some pictures of my beautiful folio society edition of Dune Also, all of the pictures except the first in my review are from the artwork in this edition Enjoy

  7. Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin says:

    Update 1.99 on kindle US today 8 6 17I was so worried that I wouldn t understand a thing in this book I will admit there are some things that went over my head but for the most part I figured it out I remember a billion and 65 years ago I watched the movie and was like what the Basically all I remember is Sting and sandworms I would love to watch it again and see if I understand it after reading the book I m still not sure what all the spices were about on Arrakis I keep thinking it s like their farming like we would farm corn or tobacco, etc I could be wrong and I didn t get the connection between the spice and the sandworms Is it like a drug to them I did read in the back of the book that is was like a drug when taken in small quantities and really addictive when taken in large quantities and that Muad Did felt his prophesies were because of the spice I liked Duke Leto and I hated that he was betrayed not long after they got to Arrakis There is always some twat out there causing trouble I really enjoyed Paul s character and his mother Jessica They seemed like really strong people and adapted very well in everything they were put through I didn t really pay too much attention to the other characters or I guess I should say I didn t have many thoughts about them With the exception of the ones that betrayed them I really enjoyed when Paul and Jessica had to travel to get away from the evil Baron Harkonnen before they were killed too I don t know why, but I enjoyed their little journey I think they were both great in their roles when they were found by the Freman and showed they were a force to be reckoned with Now maybe I m getting this all wrong but I m trying to tell it through the way I saw it in my mind I don t understand how Paul s sister, Alia, was an abomination That one must have went over my head too It might have had something to do with the poison Jessica took to become the Reverend Mother I m not sure but I know some of my goodreads friends that read this will get me sorted out Other than the sandworms and traitorous people on Arrakis, I was most freaked out by the thought of the water issue I would NOT was to live somewhere there was a water shortage And the part where they were talking about selling foot water, I can t even Which basically means your stinky foot sweat Overall I really liked the book I enjoyed traipsing through this desert with Paul and his mother Only in book form though, not in real life Since they are doing re makes of about a million different movies, I wish they would re make this one because I think it would be really awesome I would like to see this land come to life in today s time I don t know if I m going to continue with the series as I have heard this is the best one and the others get confusing But I would like to see how Paul is as a ruler and what all happens to them, or maybe not depending on what all happens If anyone can answer any of the things I was confused with that would be helpful Also, I have seen some pictures on here of this really cool Dune book with art in it Does anyone have a link of where to get that book or is it still available Thank you MY BLOG Melissa Martin s Reading List

  8. Bradley Bradley says:

    Update 8 28 17Re read Number 13 I cry when Paul meets Gurney I shiver when Jessica consoles Chani I m awestruck by the peaks and troughs of time, free will, and the weakness in Paul even as he heroically strives against the evil that is about to be unleashed upon the universe sigh Perfection Easily the number one book I ve ever read I waver, sometimes, but right now, it is my absolute favorite Original Review This is a phenomenal classic of literature.It s not just science fiction It transcends science fiction, as a fascinating discussion of free will versus inevitability Can the Jihad be denied Can Paul ever really avoid his own death, despite seeing every time line play out with him as the butt of every cosmic joke Can even cruelty or mercy even remain comprehensible after such knowledge Yes, I think this work outdoes Nietzsche It certainly does a great job of making us care about the question.Is this all Is this just a work that pays great justice to philosophy of action and inaction Or is the novel merely a clever play at turning the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle into the physical embodiment of a man It is that, of course The Kwisatz Haderach can be many places at once, and he can be both alive and dead at the same time just like that certain cat.Is the novel a coming of age tale, first set as a mirror against his father Leto, only then to mirror the whole universe that had just turned against him Yes, of course He was, after all, both the product of all his upbringing and his genes, embodying the question of nature versus nurture He was taught within many schools of martial arts and assassins, as well as training the mind in both the schools of the Mentats with their pure logic and that of the mystics, the Bene Gesserit, that allows complete control over the body down to the cellular level And if this training wasn t enough, he was deeply schooled in politics, leadership, and the meaning of loyalty The boy was raised right Of course, that is nothing without ninety generations of genetic bloodline tampering from the Bene Gesserit, right To become the fulcrum between cellular memory, tapping the minds and lives of all your genetic ancestors as well as tapping the ability to fold time and space, to become the eye of a storm of time.What a damn brilliant setup for one tiny character, no His training links to the unlocking of his genes and to the life extending and enveloping spice, Melange, to make him not merely aware of time in a theoretical sense, but eventually to be unable to discern what was in the past, the present, or the future Here s a true Super Man, well beyond Nietzsche.And don t believe for one second that this serious discussion about what would make a superior man makes for dull reading No We ve got PLOT that s probably some of the most exciting and visceral in all of literature, driving us right into the web of intrigue, vengeance, treachery, and galactic politics To quote the text, we ve got Plans within Plans, and it hardly stops there We know the House Atreides is falling into a trap laid by the Emperor and House Harkonnen, and yet free will and pride prevents any chance to avoid it The setup is brilliant and extremely political, giving us character sketches of some of the most brilliant and memorable characters of all time.Duke Leto, the Red Duke, the most honorable and beloved leader.Duncan Idaho, the emotional and intuitive hero.Gurney Halleck, archetypal loyalist and troubadour.Lady Jessica, the woman who ought to have had all honor in life, but was unjustly reviled and set aside for political necessity Chani being both her mirror and her eventual glory And of course, my favorite character of all time, Paul Muad dib Atreides, the one that would prevent the greater evils he foresaw, and went to enormous lengths and sacrifice to achieve, but who eventually failed in his task because even a god cannot overcome destiny Or the will of so many minds set as one So damn brilliant.Frank Herbert spent five years writing this treasure, working and reworking it until he published it at age 25 None of his other works come close to this masterpiece, and there s little wonder It was birthed, fully formed, like Athena from Zeus s head, with enormous forethought and care The worldbuilding was just as carefully formed, from the ecology of Arrakis and the life cycles of the sandworms, to the history and the creation of the Fremen from their mild beginnings as Zensunni Wanderers, adherents to the Orange Catholic Bible, to their history of oppression so like those of those who are Jewish, to their settling and hardening of their bodies and souls in the wastes of Arrakis, also just like the Jewish who carved out a place for themselves in Israel Current politics aside, this was a very potent idea before 1965 when Herbert wrote this, and indeed, the core is still just as powerful when you turn it back to Muslims The Galactic culture is rich and detailed The CHOAM economic consortium, with their monopoly on space travel and their need for the Spice to allow them to see a short period into the future to plot a safe course before folding space The Empire is caught on a knife s edge between a single power and every other House who sit in the possibility of putting aside all their squabbles for the sole purpose of checking the Emperor, if they so desired And Duke Atreides was such a possible popular leader among all the Great Houses, which was the primary reason the Emperor wanted him dead And of course, we have our Villains The Baron Harkonnen has always been a crowd pleaser Brilliant in his own right, devious and able to corrupt anyone with just the right sorts of pressure, including a certain absolutely trustworthy doctor we might mention The Tooth The Tooth You can t handle the Tooth Feyd Rautha Harkonnen is especially interesting for the question of nature versus nurture.The Bene Gesserit had intended him to mate with Paul, who should have been Leto and Jessica s daughter, and that offspring should have been the cumulation of ninety years of a breeding experiment to recreate the Kwisatz Haderach which had come about almost by accident during the Butlerian Jihad in the deep past, to overthrow the AI overlords.He was practically Paul s genetic twin, or at least, his potential to be the One who can be many places at once was on par with Paul But instead of fulfilling the kind of destiny that we get with Paul, we see him grow up under the auspices of his Uncle the Baron, becoming as cruel and devious as he was deadly He was the argument of nurture in the conversation, of course, and having so very little of it eventually cost him his life.I often wonder about the directions that Dune could have taken, all those little paths in time and circumstance that could have been What if Feyd had been brought to Arrakis earlier and overwhelmed with Spice the way that Paul had Sure, he wouldn t have been able to convert the unconscious changes into conscious manipulation, but he might have had enough glimpses of the future, the way that the Fremen did, to have given him the edge he would have needed to kill Paul.And then there s a relatively minor character, Hasimir Fenring, the Emperor s personal assassin, who was nearly the Kwisatz Haderach, himself Unable to breed true, he was still potent enough to be completely hidden to Paul s time sight in the same way that Paul was hidden from the Spacing Guild s weaker time sight His training as a skilled killer was also superior to Paul He was, by all the hints and tricks in the tale, Paul s perfect downfall It always gives me shivers to think about, and it was only in a single instant of both recognition and pity from Paul that stayed Fenring from killing our hero It was just a moment of whim.The setup was gorgeous Paul s pity, had it been missing at his moment of greatest triumph over the Emperor, would have meant Paul s assured death I still wonder, to this day, what stayed Frank Herbert s hand from killing his most wonderful darling We knew the pressure of religion and politics was going to have its way upon all the oppressed peoples of Dune The return of a monstrous religious Jihad was going to happen one way or another, sweeping across the galaxy and toppling the Empire, regardless of Paul s frantic plans and desires Paul s own death would only mean a higher level of fanaticism, and Frank Herbert s warning against unreasoning devotion would have been made even clearer with Paul s death.Perhaps it was pity that stayed his hand Who are we to say who lives and who dies If you really think this review is overlong, then I apologize, but please understand that I could absolutely go on and on much longer than this It is a symptom of my devotion to this most brilliant of all tales.And yes, it still holds up very, very well after twelve reads I am quite shocked and amazed.

  9. carol. carol. says:

    I blame the movie.I was an avid but novice fantasy and sci fi reader in 1984 when David Lynch s Dune rolled out as a big budget adaptation of the 1965 classic book It was an artistic and box office failure with Roger Ebert calling it a real mess, an incomprehensible, ugly, unstructured, pointless excursion Numerous references were made to its excessive length, particularly a tv edition that was over 3 hours long I never did pick up the classic sci fi book, assuming the commentary heard about the movie applied to the book All that changed when I broke my finger and found myself with a lot of extra time on my hands groan.Besides, sandworms.Dune has a lot of ingredients that don t fit into my preferred stories, yet the gestalt was not only tolerable, but engrossing It begins with the Atreides family preparing to shift their holding from their current home to the planet of Arrakis The Emperor has given the Atreides the territory and trade on the planet of Arrakis, formerly under control of their enemies, the Harkonnen The planet Arrakis is hot, arid and generally hostile to life There is, however, a small population of native, fierce Freman who have managed to build an existence in the desert.Paul Atreides is the young heir of the family, and mystical testing reveals he might be the one prophesied.Paul undergroes a rapid growth curve, facilitated by his teacher Dr Yeuh and his father s advisors.But it is in the desert that Paul will discover his strength as well as his new people.Seriously, now.Honestly, I have to wonder how much of this like is generational If Sanderson or Rothfuss wrote this book, two chapters in Dune would have made a whole book, and while detail may have been added, it likely would have made for a book as slow as the movie I liked the scope of Dune, and that there is a resolution to the initial conflict It is also interesting that despite the volume of concepts packed in here, with political maneuvers, terraforming, technology, cultural assimilation, and mysticism all playing roles that I didn t find it overwhelming, perhaps because so much is genre familiar On the downside, it could have perhaps used a bit transitions, particularly near the end when months at a time are skipped Writing was solid nothing really stood out, but it told the story well There s some vague mysticism that might irritate those who like explanations It was a bit of an eye roller to have the chief villain be a fat, gay, sadistic pedophile, but Herbert really isn t thinking outside the trope character box much it s not enough that he sentences people to death but he has to be physically abhorrent And gay World building is fun, but standard desert.Overall, I m glad that I finally took the time to read it and put those old assumptions to rest I love a good hero.

  10. J.G. Keely J.G. Keely says:

    People often forget that this series is what innovated our modern concept of science fiction up until Neuromancer and The Martix, at least Dune took the Space Opera and asked if it might be than spandex, dildo shaped rockets, and scantily clad green women Herbert created a vast and complex system of ancient spatial politics and peoples, then set them at one another s throats over land, money, and drugs.Dune is often said to relate to Sci Fi in the same way that Tolkien relates to Fantasy I d say that, as far as paradigm shift, this is widely true Both entered genres generally filled with the odd, childish, and ridiculous and injected a literary sensibility which affected all subsequent authors.Few will challenge the importance of Star Wars effect on film and storytelling in general, but without Dune, there would be no Star Wars Princess Alia, the desert planet, the Spice, the Bene Gesserit, and Leto II all have direct descendants in the movies It is unfortunate that Lucas seems to have forgotten in these later years that his best genius was pilfered from Herbert, Campbell, and Kurosawa.Though I have heard that the later books do not capture the same eclectic energy as the first, Dune itself is simply one of the most original and unusual pieces of Sci Fi ever written Read it, Starship Troopers, Ringworld, Neuromancer, and Snowcrash and you ll know everything you need to about Sci Fi that you want .