October 1, 2007

Mini-review: "Dune," by Frank Herbert

(CCLaP publishes mini-reviews of both books and movies on a regular basis, none lasting more than a few hundred words. Click here for the full list.)

Dune, by Frank Herbert

Dune (novel; 1965)
By Frank Herbert

Like many, my relationship with this science-fiction classic has changed as my life has progressed: too dense for me when first attempted as a young teen, by the time I was an undergraduate it was one of my all-time favorite novels; but then while reading it again near the age of 40, found a lot more problems with it than I had before, and more parts that made me roll my eyes and quietly laugh. Maybe this is why so many people over history have enjoyed the first novel but never read any of the rest of the saga? It's definitely a great book, for those who have never read it before: a combination of elaborate cultural backstory (ala JRR Tolkien), the far-flung future of humanity (ala Asimov's Foundation series), and a grand Eastern-influenced vision that evokes "Lawrence of Arabia," the original novel combines a Shakespearean tale of family intrigue with the trippy '60s elements of alternate realities and messiah-figure destiny. But yeah, let's face it; the older you are, the faster you'll be skipping over the pages upon pages of ponderous purple prose on display here, muttering to yourself the whole time, "Okay, okay, I get it, Paul senses something wrong. Now what happens next?"

Out of 10: 8.7

Filed by Jason Pettus at 7:16 PM, October 1, 2007. Filed under: Literature | Literature:Fiction | Reviews |