Author: Frank Herbert
Page Count/Review Word Count: 608
Well this is exciting. I’ve been meaning to get to Dune for a while now and it’s actually been sitting on my shelves since 2014. Then I was chatting to a few reader friends on YouTube and we realised we’ve all been meaning to start reading Dune and so we decided it was just the excuse that we all needed to go ahead and do it. That’s where Duneuary came from – a bunch of us all reading Dune in the month of January. I’m glad we read it.
Sure, it can start to feel kind of tedious at times if you spend too long on it, but if you gobble it up a half dozen chapters at a time it works pretty well. I’ve seen the movie adaptation as well, and I found that it helped me to understand how some of the different words were pronounced. I think I got the balance just right because it’s been so long since I saw the movie that I couldn’t really remember it anyway.
A few different things jumped out at me about this book. The first was the character development, because Paul Atreides basically goes from being the posh son of an influential Duke to being the head of a rebel army and their equivalent of a messiah. I can’t think of the last time that a character developed so much in a single book, and I thought Herbert handled it perfectly.
The second thing that’s really stuck with me is the world-building, and in particular the way that Herbert was able to evoke the sense of dryness on Arrakis. I liked how in their culture it was considered to be a big deal if you cried over a death because water was such a precious commodity that the act itself became symbolic. Likewise, it was interesting to read about how the Fremen reclaim the moisture of their dead by harvesting their blood. Herbert clearly put a lot of thought into how exactly his world would work.
Of course, there are times when it all becomes a little bit overwhelming and as a reader, I was struggling to follow exactly what was happening. But if anything, I thought it was kind of cool because it means you could re-read the book and pick up new things each time as you understood more and more about how the world works and how the different religions interact with each other.
Dune put me in mind of Game of Thrones in space, a bit like Star Wars because they both follow the same classic story arcs and a battle between good against evil. It’s a sci-fi novel, but it’s also a fantasy novel and in many ways a political thriller. There’s something for everyone, but I’ll also admit that it’s a challenging read that needs a certain amount of dedication if you want to get through it.
My edition also came with four appendices and a glossary of terms, and while I don’t think you necessarily need them if you want to just read the novel, they certainly help you to understand a little bit more about the world. It’s certainly a epic and a very good read, but I didn’t get five stars worth of enjoyment from it.
I’m glad I read it, and I’m glad I read it with the people that I read it with, but I’m not going to continue the series. I think I should quit while I’m ahead. But I’m still pretty happy about my decision to read this one.