Jan 15, 13
Read from January 12 to 15, 2013
When I first read Dune, I was blown away. Herbert had such a fantastic handle on the english language. I never felt that his descriptions were superfluous. Instead, they lent the scene, the chapter, and the story a gravity unlike any I've seen from other authors. Plus, had I not been using a kindle to read this latest book, I wouldn't have been able to quickly look up any of the vocabulary he uses so deftly throughout the story.
But beyond his mastery and deployment of imaginative writing, the story is outstanding. Although Dune (or Arrakis) would be considered an alien planet to us, Herbert anchors it's challenges in the most important resource for all of human kind: water. As a result, the story resonates with any and all who read it simply because our lives depend on it more than any other resource. Without water, we would die in three days time. Yet, we take this resource for granted. We use water in excess for cooking, cleaning, and play. We pollute our lakes and oceans to dispel waste from our homes and lives. We even continue with behaviors (such as oil consumption) despite the fact that it is causing our limited supply to dwindle at an unsettling and unsustainable rate. Now, place one of of on Arrakis. We'd all be considered "water fat." We would be rich in water and poor in life. We generously give our water away through sweat and tears, yet it is truly the foundation of our life's blood. We don't give it back to our tribes as the Fremen do. We harbor it selfishly, but give it to the air generously. We're spoiled with rain and thus water a plenty. It truly makes you wonder how much our world will resemble that of Dune when our fresh water supply runs out. Yes, we have technology to cleanse polluted water. And yes, all those who are squeamish about drinking once polluted/now cleansed water will gratefully lap it up. But will our government resemble that of Muad'dib and his Jihad? Will we worship those who bring us this necessity or will we let power plays dominate our governing bodies? What scares me the most is that these philosophical questions may have answers in the very near future. Thus, a highly recommended read if you can appreciate a man who was well ahead of his time, who was a truly proficient writer, and who manages to strike at the heart of issues of power and greed that have rocked all of humankind history.