Holy smokes. That was amazing. How did Herbert do that.
I read Ender’s Game in high school and really liked it. I’ve read a few sci fi’s since but none of them really sucked me in like Ender’s Game did. Until I read Herbert’s Dune.
You’ve probably heard about Dune. Apparently there was a movie with Sting? The version of the book I have says ‘Science Fiction’s Supreme Masterpiece” on it.
I’ve seen things on the internet and Goodreads, and Browsery about how it’s the best sci fi ever and one of the only books in the genre that’s seen as ‘rEsPeCtAbLe LiTerAtUrE.’ Whatever that means. And if I’ve learned anything in my advanced years, it’s that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover so read them all.
And man oh man, it was good.
The length lent itself to world building and character development like you wouldn’t believe. Not only that but it’s obvious from the get go that Herbert had imagined a complete and fully formed universe. I thought that after the first two chapters. But then I finished the book and saw the back includes sections on vocab, ecology, history, and a map. I found the story incredibly detailed and interesting.
Speaking of story, lemme tell you about the plot.
Paul, who goes on to have like 19 different names, is the son of his royal highness’ Duke Leto and Jessica, a Bene Gesserit. Often referred to as witches, Bene Gesserits are an all female religious group who can do all sorts of wild magical things. Paul has visions and is wise beyond his years, even outside of his royal education. The Emperor orders The Duke to move to and rule the desert planet Arrakis. Arrakis, also known as Dune, is a sandy waste land full of unpredictable natives. Or so you think.
But after the Duke is betrayed by someone close to him, Paul and Jessica are forced to live and exile and some of Paul’s visions start coming true.
The story spans many years; there are battles and spaceships and magic and an evil Duke. Old enemies, new enemies, new loyalties.
Beyond just the story, Herbert addressed so many themes that are still relevant. Technology, giant corporations, government, religion, the workers and common people. And tons on ecology. The ending is jarring, which I have since read was on purpose. But even the ending is wrapped up in social commentary.
I’m not going to discuss the social implications. There are many articles out there that do justice for Herbert in a way I couldn’t.
I am very invested in how the story continues. I’d totally be down to read the next few books. Not right away, she needs a bit of a brain break, but eventually. I want answers!
In the meantime, I’d be interested in learning more about the fandom. These story is so rich and full of context, I feel like there would be so much to build on. Think Harry Potter times like, 10.