Book Review

Dune by Frank Herbert

yes it's a book for incels, but it's not bad!!!

Written late October

I really enjoyed this. To be honest, I enjoyed this more than I feel comfortable with how much I enjoyed it. I am discomforted by how much I enjoyed Frank Herbert’s Dune.

I read Dune quickly. I read it quickly in about a week, just before the huge new blockbuster adaptation was released here in Canada. At the time of making these notes in my phone, I have not yet seen the movie but I would like to see it and I probably will because, well, it’s a big big blockbuster.

I haven’t read a book like this for a very very long time. It is around 20 years – no, it is comfortably over 20 years – since I read Lord of the Rings, and that seems to be the book most frequently compared to this one, though for a more contemporary readership the obvious comparison (due to the scheming and the narratorial ruthlessness as regards life and death) is Game of Thrones (though obviously I’ve never read those books!).

I don’t need it to tell you, nerd loser reading these brief comments on a nerd loser book, the premise or the plot of Dune as it’s a famous movie now (it’s a famous movie again now), but what is fun about it is its structural looseness (i.e. perspectival shifting, a collage-like composition of found texts alongside the predominant third person omniscient voice) and a real, pleasurable ruthlessness: more than once (several times? ten times?), characters are introduced as if of central importance to the total narrative, then they are almost immediately murdered.

There is lots of killing: poisoning, stabbing and so on, as well as all of the dehydration fears and practices made essential by the desert-setting of the text.

There is an intriguing and delicate use of foreshadowing throughout, via a character who is able to read potential futures, although when his actions are most impactful he loses the ability to see which of the futures become possible or impossible.

It’s a lot of fun.

Swashbuckling action.

If you haven’t read it – though you probably have – it’s well worth a go.

I will come back to these notes when I have seen the movie in a few days and I will offer some pointless opinions on it for my handful of dedicated blog followers. It’s the end of October boo.

///

The film is pretty dry, tbh, and I don’t just mean the desert.


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