Author: Frank Herbert
Genre: Science Fiction
First Published: 1965
Page Count: 489
Film/ TV Adaptation: Yes*
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Note: Book 1 in the Dune series
Political intrigue, prophetic heroism, and a futuristic adventure await anyone willing to dive into one of science fiction’s greatest novels.
*Immensely detailed *Multi-layered storyline
*Language, politics, and technology of the novel’s world can be confusing
“Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.” Paul Atreides may be the son of a Duke, but he is destined to become more than just another heir to a great family. Uprooted from his home planet, Paul must learn to adapt to the seemingly uninhabitable desert planet of Arrakis. In his lifetime, he will experience great loss and face cruel enemies as he develops the superhuman abilities that will turn him into the messiah that the universe has been waiting for.
This is one of those books that completely immerses the reader into the novel’s universe. The unique language, setting, religious orders, and political systems at work in this book make for an unparalleled reading experience. There are few authors that can successfully create an entire universe with just the right amount of detail, individuality, and zest to weave together an entertaining story. In that sense, you can’t help but admire the book and its author as you read it. The story goes beyond the journey of one character and gives the secondary characters an equally important role in the events that unfold throughout the book.
The one problem I did have with the story for the first eighty pages or so, was understanding the complex religious and political systems of the Dune universe. The technology is also exclusive to the novel which can seem daunting to someone who isn’t a hardcore reader of science fiction. I wasn’t sure if a casual reader would be able to enjoy this book while I continually flipped to the appendix at the back of the book to look up various terms used in the story. However, it seems like the author spends the beginning of the book discussing all the novel’s complexities and this eventually tapers off as you read on. And of course, you get used to some of the more commonly used terminology at a certain point.
This is clearly a great piece of literature and it’s evident from chapter one. I’m glad I read it, and I would say that everyone from the casual reader to the hardcore science fiction fan can find something to enjoy in this book. However, I would say that someone interested in reading a variety of classic works of literature or someone who has some interest in science fiction might enjoy this book more because it is a lot to get into and there are several other books after it. But if you have the simple desire to read a good book, I definitely consider Dune a contender.
*Film Adaptations: (Starring Kyle MacLachlan 1984), TV Adaptations: (TV Mini-Series, Starring William Hurt 2000)