"Dune" by Frank Herbert
January 25, 2007 3:16am CST
Giant in size and scope-widely hailed as one of SF's all-time great novels-Dune portrays a far-distant future, when hosts of scheming noblemen rule planets throughout the galaxy. Emperor Shaddam IV is master of them all. But it is a time when intrigue and assassination are the most common forms of diplomacy. The Emperor can hold onto his throne only through the might of his Sardaukar, soldier-fanatics unequaled in ferocity and skill. Yet not even they could repel the forces of a united nobility,and that is the threat which turns Shaddam against Duke Leto, ruler of the planet Caladan. Fearing the Duke's growing popularity and strength, the Emperor commands him to exchange rich and lovely Caladan for Arrakis, or Dune, a forbidding desert world. Arrakis is just barely habitable by humans. Water there is worth its weight in platinum...600-mile-an-hour winds whip up sandstorms that can envelop an entire continent...and gigantic sandworms pose a constant, terrifying danger to all who venture out into the open desert. What better place to arrange the "accidental" deaths of the Duke and all his household? And who better to carry out the task than Leto's arch enemy, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen? Harkonnen succeeds-though not completely. The Duke and most of his men are wiped out soonafter their arrival on Dune, but his lady, Jessica, and their son Paul escape. The two flee into the desert, their survival no more than a slim hope...until they fall into the hands of the Fremen. Savage tribesmen who have their own secrets for surviving on Dune, the Fremen acknowledge no outside masters. Yet since ancient times, their legends have foretold the coming of the Lisan al-Gaib-the One who will lead them to Paradise-and they greet Paul as that long-awaited savior. It is just the beginning of an incredible series of events, with consequences that will be felt on every world in the galaxy.
25 Jan 07
I've seen the miniseries in HBO, it makes me fall in love with the story, and Leto Atreides II. Imagine the horror i felt when i found out in the books that he then turns into sandworm himself! Opps.. spoiler alert.. He's my favourite character you know..
15 Apr 11
Considered one of the reference books for the science fiction world, "Dune" by Frank Herbert, can go rather to many as the best book in the history of the genre. The first of six volumes, Dune has its action in the distant future, in a feudal interstellar empire where planetary taxes are collected by noble houses, which, in turn, are subordinate Corrino House. The book tells the story of young Paul Atreides descendant of the House and acceptance of his family to take over the planet Arrakis, the only source of "spice", the substance in the universe of Dune search. The story continues with human frustration due to several forces of the Empire fighting for possession of the planet Arrakis (Dune after the popular name) and spices on it. The whole royalty has in turn one leader, namely King Padishah Shaddam IV, who arrived in a position to fear for the evolution of sudden popularity of his father Paul, Leto Atreides, decides to destroy this family. As an obvious attack would be united against the rest of his noble family, he decides to exploit the old and well-known hatred of House Atreides and House Harkonnen. Full of social and political substrates like Islamic character references, reflected for example in names of certain characters, the need for a superhero, discrimination against women, religion, or matters related to the fall of the great powers simply ecology, this book has many society correspondent of today. Also talk about spiritual struggles, power struggle for survival, adaptation, about being alone, betrayal, danger, courage, war and last but not least love, which transforms a seemingly detached from the notion of reading "Human" in a typology with and about people and characters placed in various situations. Dune had an enormous influence on people, being an inspiration to other writers for movies (which stands Star Wars), video games or comics. It is a very complex book but also easy and pleasant to read, became in time a matter of education, not just a genre piece of resistance for SF lovers.
23 May 07
I like better the movie Dune by David Lynch than the book. Perhaps the reason is that I've seen the movie before I could read the book. I was also a fan of Rambaldi's creatures, and I was curious to see how were they described in the book... Well, I've found that even if the movie is quite fragmentary and in some way spurious, and note that I consider it one of the best movie in the history of cinema, the book too leaves too much to our imagination. So much that a tv-movie more recent than Lynch's film changes at all many of the immortal portraits given of the Baron, the Navigators, Faith and so on.