“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration…”
From the Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear
I read Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ about once every two years. I listen to it just as often. Though the other books are enjoyable, I don’t need the rest of the series (I’ve read up to the fourth book – ‘God Emperor’). The stand alone story about Muad’Dib is enough. Paul Atreides’ path and the characters and culture he encounters along the way makes ‘Dune’ my favorite work of science fiction.
For me, it is to sci-fi what ‘Lord of the Rings’ is to fantasy. I don’t think I’m the only one who feels that way. The book has a timeless quality that means the story is still relevant today, 46 years after it was published. I think it’s around to stay.
It’s a not a book that can be summarized in a tidy paragraph – I’ll try something shorter; it’s a grand coming of age story.
The story plays out in the harshest of environments populated with the wildest of people and creatures. It is a story of character and world transformation. You can inject as much religious and philosophical overtone as you care to. I’ve often said it was Frank Herbert that should have made up the religion, not L. Ron Hubbard. The basics are right there on the pages.
It’s also possible to read and note those pieces but leave them at the surface and just enjoy the grand overture of fine storytelling. Politics, drama, adventure, forbidden love, monsters, space, drugs – this book has it all. It is a masterpiece that I can’t say enough good things about. If you enjoy science fiction, give this book a try. Friends are trying to shove it down your throat for a reason. And no, it’s not enough to see the movie or mini-series.
No other science fiction book has been able to fill in the paths of the sandworms. Yet.