Frank Herbert''s Dune is a collection of books that have always left me a little intimidated. I''ve never been a great reader and find myself getting easily lost with books that have too much information. I find it hard to process and is the main reason why I never got round...See more
Frank Herbert''s Dune is a collection of books that have always left me a little intimidated. I''ve never been a great reader and find myself getting easily lost with books that have too much information. I find it hard to process and is the main reason why I never got round to reading these books. But with the new film coming out, doing a bit of reading on the behind the scenes of the 1984 David Lynch film, I thought I would finally give the original Dune trilogy a shot. The original book was published all the way back in 1965. The original publication was a two part story in Analog magazine. It was officially released as a book by Chilton Books and has since become one of, if not the most famous science fiction novel ever written. The version I acquired is published through Gollancz and is a large hardback book featuring Dune (1965), Dune Messiah (1969) and Children of Dune (1976). The book as a whole is 912 pages long, features the three books, all four Appendix, The Terminology of the Imperium and Cartographic Notes For Map. It''s a heft beast of a book. The cover whilst nicely designed with a cool golden sandworm on a black leather backdrop, still looks a little on the cheap side. It''s a nice idea on paper but leaves a little to be desired. The spine of the book is also a slight issue. I found the pages didn''t bend too well and made for the first and last one hundred pages to be a bit awkward to read, especially on my adjustable book stand. Considering the hefty weight of the book, I certainly wasn''t going to hold it whilst reading. This made for a bit of a problem but one that I pushed through. As for the story itself. Well, if I were to right a small overview of the story of these three books, this review would be horrendously long. Lets just say that the book features lots of political and family issues. There''s plenty of back stabbing as well as issues with religion, false idols and the issue of drug induced hallucinations. There''s a lot going on here and considering how dense it is, I think Frank Herbert managed to get the story across perfectly. There were very few occasions where I felt a little lost. With a good use of wording and the way the chapters are spread out, you can get a dose of information and plenty of time to soak it all in before moving on. It gives this book great pacing and makes it surprisingly easy to read. My favourite part of the book is without any doubt, it is the world building. Each faction have their unique traits. Their clothing, their vocabulary, the way they walk and portray themselves amongst others. It''s all very well done. Even the use of secondary and lesser characters have a lot of depth to them. The planet itself, Arrakis as a world feels just as alive and unique as characters like Stilgar, Paul Atreides and the Baron. The way Herbert describes the different environments from Sietch Tabr, Arrakeen, the endless desert etc is so intense that you could so easily imagine yourself being there. In terms of quality, I would say that Dune is by far the best book of the three and shouldn''t be a surprise to anyone. It''s extremely focused and Herbert clearly knew what story he wanted to tell and how to go about doing it. Dune Messiah is a very good but short follow up. It''s considerably more bleak than the first book and really brings a downer to everything that happened previously (no spoilers). It''s a really good read, acting more like an extension of the first book rather than a full novel in itself. Children of Dune is a much stronger affair with the Atreides story going in a completely different direction. It''s a longer, more detailed and more philosophical story compared to its predecessor. There''s a lot going on in this one, it''s a fantastic way to round off the story of Paul, his family and the people of Arrakis. I won''t even deny the fact that I am far from qualified to do Frank Herbert''s Dune justice in this review. I''m a fairly simple person who hasn''t got the right grasp of the English language to properly emphasise just how good this book is. Up until now, Tolkien''s Lord of the Rings and Homer''s Odyssey were my favourite books. That was until now. I think Dune has everything I love about science fiction and scratched that itch caused by blasphemous nonsense like the Disney Star Wars trilogy and Star Trek Discovery. It''s a very clever, very well written and extremely detailed story that I would call a must own. Some might find it a bit over whelming, others will just sink into it and never come out of their spice trance. I am the latter. My mind hasn''t stopped processing the information I got from Dune and I don''t think I ever will. I am glad I got over my fear of this book. After all, fear is the mind killer.