Monday, February 13, 2012
Dune by Frank Herbert
Ok, Everybody who has read Dune, please raise your hands!
There's a lot of us out there: It's a scifi classic, has been around for decades, there at least 2 movies based on the novel, etc. Whatever route brought you to it, I am sure you found some part of it fascinating. This is my third time through Dune and I still love it.
The story starts off on Caladan, a world dominated by water and archipelagos. The Atreides Family has been ordered by the Emperor to move to Dune and make it prosper. It being a desert planet, the water-fat Atreides have some adjustments to make. On top of that is the near constant assassination attempts of one royal member or another, the political intrigues with the Emperor, the Guild, and the rival House Harkonnen. Add in the disquiet and distrust of the native peoples, the Fremen. Shake thoroughly and attempt to harvest enough spice to keep the Guild and the Emperor happy.
Pretty soon, young Paul Atreides must hide among the Fremen due to Harkonnen treachery. He must win the trust of the Fremen, earn his place among them, and eventually attempt to take back his ducal seat. If I remember correctly, he is 12 when this all starts and the book takes place over the span of a few years.
Frank Herbert put together a most detailed story worthy of religious mystery. The plots within plots had me happily saying, 'I didn't see that coming' every other chapter the first time I read it. This time through, as an audio version, I found myself catching nuances that I had missed before. This version I downloaded from Audible.com and was performed by a full cast lead by Simon Vance, complete with occasional music and sound effects. It was incredible.
+++++: Excellent plot and character development, unlike other tales before it, large, sweeping ideas in compact niblets, cool future weapons and technology, intense scenes, the sandworms.
-: Minor, minor point - It would have been cool if the entire cast could have been around for all their lines. As it is, most times Simon Vance is reading the entire scene with different voices for the various characters, and then a few scenes are performed by a group of voice actors.