Book – Dune

Author – Frank Herbert

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for…

When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.

A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.

– Goodreads Synopsis

Epic

I finally got around to reading Dune thanks to the new movie adaptation that came out recently. (And I HAVE to read the book before I watch a movie/tv version of it.)

If there is one word to sum up the scale and scope of Dune it is easy: EPIC.

The worldbuilding is done in a perfect way to convey the shear size of the world, the history, and all of the things at play. The shifting sands show just how strong desert power is.

Politics and Power

Not to be outdone by the scope of the galaxy and planets that make it up, Dune matches it with equal politics of power. We all started to be more interested in these themes when Game of Thrones got popular, but Dune has always been there. (If you liked that, you’ll love this!)

There is scheming, subterfuge, and statesmanship folded into characters who desire nothing more than complete dominance and wealth. There are others who are more noble, and some that are just neutral. Dune pits them against each other in an environment that devours the weak regardless.

“What do you despise? By this are you truly known.”

Frank Herbert, Dune

Hero’s Journey

Love it or hate it, the Hero’s Journey has always been a romantic way to tell a story. Wrapping it up with a ‘chosen one’ bow and baby you got yourself a compelling stew going.

Being able to learn with a main character who is still new to the world and all of it’s powers is always a satisfying ride. A hero who develops an unfathomably strong ability for precognition? Yeah that’s awesome. It’s a hard weight to carry when your the chosen one.

“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.”

Frank Herbert, Dune

Book Vs. Movie

The movie is absolutely gorgeous. Denis Villeneuve did a phenomenal job of making Herbert’s vision into reality. The aesthetic of the design, the shots used to invoke a feeling of grand scale, EVERYTHING was just a chef’s kiss.

The acting was great, the casting was great – good performances all around. Thanks to Mr. Timothée Hal Chalamet I did not have to watch the movie alone either! (That beautiful bastard…)

Going into the movie, I did not know the intention was going to split it into multiple movies. That led me to thinking the entire movie “Wow they are not that far into the story yet. They are really going to rush it at the end huh?”. Luckily if you aren’t a dumb dumb like me, that probably didn’t/won’t happen to you.

A small person with big impact in a massive scope.

“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.”

Frank Herbert, Dune

6 comments

  1. I also came late to DUNE (haven’t seen the movie yet…) and late, too, to U. Le Guin’s Wizard of Earthsea, which I just finished reading last night and which has very similar themes of facing fears. Classic all around.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I read the original Dune back in the day and was completely blown away. The first two or three in the series were not bad, but they went steadily downhill. I saw David Lynch’s 1984 movie and didn’t care for it. The storyline wasn’t bad. It stuck pretty much to the book, but the look of the movie was just so ugly. I didn’t have high hopes for this movie, but i found myself enjoying it more than I thought I would.

    Liked by 2 people

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