Dune by Frank Herbert

Title:  Dune

Author:  Frank Herbert

Date Published:  January 1977

Publisher:  Berkley Medallion Books

Miscellaneous:  1966 winner of the Hugo Award and was the inagural winner of the Nebula Award in 1965.

His mother was beside him, holding his hands, her face a gray blob peering at him.  “Paul, what’s wrong?”

….”What have you done to me?”  he demanded.

In a burst of clarity, she sensed some of the roots in the question, said:  “I gave birth to you.”

…”Did you know what you were doing when you tranined me?”  he asked.

There’s no more childhood in his voice, she thought.  And she said:  “I hoped the thing any parent hopes – that you’d be … superior, different.”

…”You didn’t want a son!”  he said.  “You wanted a Kwisatz Haderach!  You wanted a male Bene Gesserit!  … Did you ever consult my father in this?”

She spoke gently out of the freshness of her grief:  “Whatever you are, Paul, the heredity is as much your father as me.”

“But not the training,” he said.  “Not the things that awakened… the sleeper…. You wanted the Reverend Mother to hear about my dreams:  You listen in her place now.  I’ve just had a waking dream.  Do you know why?”

“You must calm yourself,” she said.  “If there’s -”

“The spice,” he said.  “It’s in everything here – the air, the soi, the food, the geriatric spice.  It’s like the Truthsayer drug.  It’s a poison!”

She stiffened.

His voice lowered and he repeated:  “A poison – so subtle, so insidious … so irreversible.  It won’t even kill you unless you stop taking it.  We can’t leave Arrakis unless we take part of Arrakis with us.”

The terrifying presence of his voice brooked no dispute.

“You and the spice,” Paul said.  “The spice changes anyone who gets this much of it, but thanks to you, I could bring the change to consciousness.  I don’t get to leave it in the unconscious where its distrubance can be blanked out.  I can see it.”

… She heard madness in his voice, didn’t know what to do…. We’re trapped here, she agreed.

Dune by Frank Herbert, pages 195-196

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I could seriously cry. I just wrote the full review, clicked “publish” and WordPress ATE IT! AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

short version.

Dune is really cool. read it.

I give it 5 out of 5.

Boo! WordPress!

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OKay, trying this again. *deep cleansing breath*

Dune by Frank Herbert is the science fiction/fantasy book of all time, with the exception of Tolkien’s work. It enfolds ecology, feudal lords, space travel, mysticism, and combat and creates an amazing world that is both an advancement of humanity, while at the same time the regression of it. I found the place water plays in the everyday life of the Fremen of the desert planet of Arrakis completely fascinating, it is the beginning and the ending of their existance, as well as the very essence and the centerpiece of their dream: Arrakis as an Eden.

Paul Muad’Dib has been trained in the Bene Gesserit ways by his mother, who disobeyed the command to give birth to a daughter, which has given him a hyper-awareness of the world and those around him. When his family is sent to Arrakis as his father, Duke Leto’s new fiefdom, the sudden supersaturation of melange, a cinnomon-y spice that extends life and allows the user to become more spiritually aware, and the shock of the attack from a rival Great House (“noble” family) forces a change in Paul. He is suddenly able to see all time, past present and future, and all their possibilities, and is troubled by the visions of jihad being mounted across the galaxy in his name and under his banner. He is determined to prevent this, while avenging his father’s death and leading the Fremen (native… sort of.. people of Arrakis) to autonomy and control of their planet and the spice found only on Arrakis.

I found Herbert’s imagination amazing. In Dune, Herbert created a future that was virtually unimaginable at the time. He gave the world its own rules and specific history. And he gave them a religion that has a sense of being the eventual mingling of the major religions. The Orange Catholic Bible is a sacred text, many of the names and terms have a Muslim feel, and the Litany Against Fear is positively Zen-like:

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Dune Messiah 🙂

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11 Responses

  1. Aw, what a shame! I actually didn’t like Dune all that much when I read it back in the day. It’s a favorite of many of my friends, though.

    • I could definitely see how this book would appeal to a certain few, and everyone else hate it. I’ve known a lot of people who abhor “fantasy” books. Personally, I’d walk on the other side of the street to avoid a romance novel (like Harloquin or Silohuette, et. al), so to each his or her own! 😀

      Maggie, btw, is with you on Dune… or any other space wars kind of book (or movie) She hated watching the mini-series with me, and I think she only sat through what she did because she found my yelling at the TV funny. Ugh! that’s an absolutely horrible book-to-movie!

  2. You make me want to read this! My husband’s been getting on me to give it a try because he thinks I will enjoy it.

  3. I lovelovelove this book! My dad actually named me after the Lady Jessica, so I guess it’s to be expected. 🙂 The entire series is wonderful – Herbert incorporates ecology, politics, religion…it’s such an incredible, believable world.

  4. LOL that first excerpt was very overwrought. I kept imagining reading it out loud in my most emote-y way. But I’m a huge SF fan, and people have been telling me I really need to read this book, and, excerpt aside, I find the premise interesting and your review makes me want to read it all the more now.

    • that first excerpt was very overwrought.

      Yikes! and I did a bit of cutting, at that. But, it is the moment where he realizes his father’s dead, they’ve been betrayed by his teacher whom they trusted beyond all suspicion (because of the teacher’s training it was supposed to be impossible for him to turn on them), most of their people are dead, and all that emotion mixed with the Ben Gesserit training that has been pounded into him all his life and the supersaturation of the spice where they are in the desert. It was a crisis moment.

      It’s well written, and not really overwrought as a whole. It has a slower pace, and a lot of the book is more of the “treachery within treachery within treachery” that is common for power-hungry noble houses, as well as Paul’s own journey of self-discovery and stepping into his purpose.

  5. […] oppressive rulers and the reaching into the minds of people to control their very thoughts.  With Dune, the Bene Gesserit wish to control who gets knowledge and sight, who marries whom, and even what […]

  6. […] Okay, then… Maybe that’s a fluke…  How ’bout Dune, then…. I loved the award-winning sci-fi/fantasy classic and think about the book every time I thirstily guzzle a bottle of water.  I wouldn’t have this luxury on Arakis, I tell myself.  I’ve got the next book in the series, Dune Messiah, on my Books on Deck Pile, even.  Surely LT will say, with a very high certainty, that I’ll LOVE Frank Herbert’s masterpiece Dune. […]

  7. […] past year I’ve read a variety of genres from sci-fi like Freedom’s Landing, Dune and Dune Messiah (not yet reviewed) to classics such as Silas Marner, Emma, and Northanger Abbey […]

  8. […] endings?” is a resounding YES!  I think it’s one of the things I liked best about Dune.  All the intrigues and plots and subplots made it like taking a long trip down a winding road and […]

  9. Fantastic tips within that page, anime consumes too much of my free time.

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