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Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1)
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Book Discussions > Dune by Frank Herbert

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message 1: by Jonathan, Reader of the fantastic (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jonathan (Mistborn22) | 521 comments This is the topic to discuss Dune, your thoughts and feelings. In terms of sci-fi it's regarded as a major pillar and many have considered it the sci-fi equivalent of The Lord of the Rings. It's also known for being an inspiration for later sci-fi like Star Wars. But let's hear your thoughts on the book.

E.W. Storch (ewstorchauthor) I'm happy to see that Dune was chosen. I think I've read it five or more times and I'm always looking for an excuse to read it again.

Fran | 3 comments Dune was my first science fiction read ever. I was 13 years old, and hooked on Lord of the Rings, and my first boyfriend tried to get me to read Dune. I resisted until I read the back cover, and it compared the story to LotR, as many have since. But I read it, and I never looked back. Glad to have an excuse to read it again!

Fayley My (actual paper) copy of Dune is lost somewhere. I was thinking of buying one of the spin off books. Years ago I read Dune Messiah and Children Of Dune which were ok. Do you guys think it's worth me buying one of those (were they any good) or should I just re-buy Dune?

message 5: by Jonathan, Reader of the fantastic (last edited Apr 08, 2012 05:27AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jonathan (Mistborn22) | 521 comments I haven't read any yet but fans have said the first is the best by far. You can get really cheap versions of Dune.

Sadie Forsythe | 8 comments Dune is probably my all-time favourite book. I've said so a number of times. I definitely recommend it for any sci-fi reader. Like Jonathan said, the 1st is the best, but it is my understanding (and I haven't verified this info) that F. Herbert died 1/2 through the 3rd and his son finished it. I have always thought that explained the change in tone.

Review of Dune I wrote some time ago: just for fun.

Tuolivia | 7 comments Love Dune. It was my first sci-fi read and I've re-read it at least eight times. Can't wait to start discussing it with everyone!

Brian | 6 comments If you're going to buy Dune, I don't recommend the ebook. Its filled with typos, averaging 1 every other page.

message 9: by Xdyj (last edited Apr 16, 2012 05:36PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Xdyj | 418 comments Just finished it last Saturday. The world-building is truly phenomenal imo.

p.s. just found a nice pic:
description :D

Cleve Lamison (cleveLamison) | 7 comments "Occupy Arrakis"

that's flipping classic.

Fayley There is a great Goodreads review of Dune by "Manny" where he talks about how the context of the readers life changes the perceived meaning of the book. If Dune were to be written now we would all assume that it was about the Arabian conflict over oil!

message 12: by Xdyj (last edited Dec 06, 2013 03:23PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Xdyj | 418 comments Fayley wrote: "There is a great Goodreads review of Dune by "Manny" where he talks about how the context of the readers life changes the perceived meaning of the book. If Dune were to be written now we would all ..."

True. Actually when I read it I kind of reminded myself that it was written long before 9/11 or the rise of political Islam:)

Fayley I finally found my old copy of Dune (hadn't read it in about 20 years). I had forgotten how good it was - especially the first 6 or 7 chapters. Now I want to go through all my "5 stars" books and downgrade them to "4 stars" because Dune was so much better!

message 14: by Val (new) - rated it 5 stars

Val Panesar | 27 comments Dune is amazing. I studied english literature at university and was always appalled how few people (students and lecturers) seemed to recognise Dune at all. The world building behind it is phenomenal, the research, detail and characters are pitch perfect.
As for the sequels - they are very different, not quite as good, but still outstanding books in their own right. Dune Messiah can feel a little short and depressing, and the rest can feel a little more like the sci-fi we're used to, rather than the theatrical pomp of Dune.
As far as I know, Frank Herbert wrote all of them up to Chapter House Dune (which was very, very different from Dune, but had some damned exciting characters and actions scenes). He had notes for the preludes, which his son took and wrote with the help of Kevin J.Anderson. These were awful. The characters become caricatures - losing the depth and complexity of their rather gray moral stances in Dune, in favor of a more straight forward good guys vs bad guys. The writing itself was't great and I never got as far as the end of the prelude trilogy or the other novels he wrote in Dune's history. I figured it was best to avoid them rather than further taint the universe.

Spooky1947 | 1653 comments Val, IMO english majors, and especially english Prof.s dont know squat about SF, uless they were fans before they got their in point...i have a mp.3 of a series of lectures (from TLC or something) where this big-shot english Prof. made fun of ee smith's The Skylark of Space, then made fun of Smith's by-line, E. E 'Doc' Smith...had i been there this planet would be short one English Prof. may the ghods spare me from such mundanes....

message 16: by Katy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Katy | 17 comments I love Dune. I reread it once a year. I read some of the rest of the series, but honestly, they dont stick in mu mind the way Dune does. I think that it is a testament to the strength of the story that people are finding political and social commentary within the book in different time frames and is the main reason that Dune will remain a classic. This book shows how fiction can be used in unbelievably creative ways to provide not only a great story, but both subtle and universal social commentary. A lesson some recent authors should relearn imo.

Deeptanshu | 113 comments Dune is one of my favorites. I read it long after it had come out but it still felt fresh and relevant. The world building is simply amazing and the characters are all very interesting creations.

message 18: by Ben (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ben Rowe (benwickens) | 421 comments Dune is one of the few SF books that I loved enough to read twice and it totally held up to a second reading. There is so much to love and admire in Dune, great writing, great world building... The political intrigues work, it is a rollicking adventure. It is filled with memorable ideas and is memorably told. I can see myself reading this again before too long as it has been 5 years since I last read it.

I am currently listening to the audiobook of Dune Messiah and whilst it is fine it is no where near as satisfying as the original. I enjoyed God Emperor Dune but have not read any of the others. I am thinking about rereading Dune and then going on to Children of Dune which I have heard good things about although there are so many books on my "to read" list it may take me some time.

message 19: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1177 comments I've read Dune quite a few times over the years, starting in the 70's, & thoroughly enjoyed it each time. 2 or 3 times, I also read "Dune Messiah" & "Children of Dune" hoping to like them more, but I never cared much for them. I tried "God-Emperor" a few times, but could never get into it. To me, it will always be a great stand alone novel.

message 20: by L.L. (new)

L.L. Watkin (LLWatkin) | 12 comments I agree - the sequels bother me because the characters & abilities are inconsistent, the prequels because they're dumbed down too far. The first is the only classic among them.

message 21: by Wade (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wade Garret | 46 comments Love it. One the best EVER!
I've read all but two books on the Houses.

message 22: by R.L. (new) - rated it 5 stars

R.L. Stedman | 21 comments only just found this thread and coming in a bit late, sorry.

Dune is one of my all time favourites and although it takes quite a long time to get into - all the italics and pseudo-religious mantra 'i will not fear, fear is the little death...' that is what I love about it; the excellence and profundity of the world building. I love the sense you are stepping into a story half-way and even when the series concludes, you know the story will continue.

The series are really good but they are different from Dune - my sense is that in Dune, Herbert set out to tell the story of Paul Atreides, whereas in the later novels (God Emperor, Children of Dune) etc, he went on to tell the story of the spice and the subsequent diaspora, so the actual characters got a bit lost in the size of the story .

message 23: by E.D. (new) - rated it 4 stars

E.D. Lynnellen (EDLynnellen) | 124 comments I also read Dune in the early 70s, and loved the epic scale. What really grabbed me was the spice/oil..Fremen/Islam connections. I was into the history of Islam and The West from the Crusades on up, and felt that Herbert used that; from the Imperial aristocracy to the Fremen tribalism.

When Mapes comments on "politics and religion riding in the same cart" I shuddered. At that time most Americans still only saw Sinbad and Ali Baba as Arabia's relevance. Perhaps Herbert saw the future more clearly because he understood the past.

message 24: by R.L. (new) - rated it 5 stars

R.L. Stedman | 21 comments Interesting point - once I read Dune when travelling in the Sinai. It was an amazing experience because the Bedouin culture was so much the basis of the Fremen...

message 25: by E.D. (new) - rated it 4 stars

E.D. Lynnellen (EDLynnellen) | 124 comments Dune in the Sinai! I'm envious. How perfect. See any worms? :}

In the 80s I read a book about Saudi Arabia (can't currently recall title or author; still have book somewhere)in which the author states that.." the Bedouin tribes were early adopters of Mohamed's jihad because they found the chance to pillage while pursuing the moral imperative of spreading The Word of Allah extremely attractive...". I'm paraphrasing, since I"m not sure exactly where the book is.

message 26: by Stef (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stef | 56 comments Fayley wrote: "There is a great Goodreads review of Dune by "Manny" where he talks about how the context of the readers life changes the perceived meaning of the book. If Dune were to be written now we would all ..."

Interpretation always changes with time. I read a study comparing essays of students in early 1900 with essays made a few years ago. All about the same two books ( one by Baudelaire the second by Zola). Their view was quite different. We are all modeled by the society we live in.

Pickle | 91 comments i fell in love with Dune via the Sega Master system game, then i watched the movie and also liked it.

When i finally got to the book i was blown away, its fantastic.

Ive only read up to God Emperor of Dune and plan to go back and read all the frank herbert books

message 28: by R.L. (new) - rated it 5 stars

R.L. Stedman | 21 comments Haha no worms but hell I kept a good lookout. It taught me the value of reading books in their 'home' location, even though in this case the home location was a planet named Arrakis...

Yes I agree that we read the books in the context of the time in which we live - something Tolkein commented on also in his foreword, when he was asked if LOTR was about WW2 - his book was pure story.

It's the hallmark of good literature, I guess, that the story remains relevant, regardless of the era in which it is read...

Rogue-van (the Bookman) (Rogue_van) | 9 comments Since I'm new to the group, I'm glad someone revived this thread from last year. When I was a student at Michigan State University in 1966, I heard two guys I knew talking about a new book that was so good that you just couldn't put it down. I said, "There is no book so good that I couldn't put it down!" (Possible evidence that I thought too highly of my own opinions-- I'd ask my wife if she thought it was still true, but I dislike being laughed at.) Anyway, one of the guys let me borrow his copy of Dune. I started reading it that evening, kept going most of the night, slept through my morning classes, went to a lab class that couldn't be made up, started reading Dune again about 4 p.m. and stayed up nearly to dawn until I finished it. No SF novel has grabbed me that hard since. (My only similar experience was in grad school. I did no homework for a week while I read Lord of the Rings for the first time.)

message 30: by Ray (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ray Berkelmans | 7 comments I read Dune upto and incl Heretics of Dune about 20+ years ago.
At that time the story was losing a bit of the captivation the first volumes had for me.
I still have the dutch translations from 20 yrs ago, but i am deffo gonna reread in english in the near future.

message 31: by Katy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Katy | 17 comments I've read a few of the later Dune books written by his son, but they aren't nearly as good as the original. I have also read a couple of the sequels, but again, didn't like them as much. I prefer to think of Dune as a stand alone novel, and will never read any more of the others. I don't want to know what happened before and after any more. There is plenty in Dune itself that keeps me coming back for rereads. I notice something new and different every time I read it.

I didn't really like any of the movies/tv series they made out of the book. I'm sorry, but it just cannot be done justice in that format if you ask me.

message 32: by R.L. (new) - rated it 5 stars

R.L. Stedman | 21 comments Yeah i agree, the tv series/movie did not work. They were just sad :)

message 33: by Romana (new)

Romana Drew | 17 comments Dune is one of my favorite books. I wish someone would make a movie that would do it justice.

Xandraa | 1 comments I have just finished reading Dune. I don't understand the hype about this book. Perhaps, if I have read the book when it was published I would have felt differently.

message 35: by G33z3r, The Old Guy (last edited Dec 04, 2013 10:10AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

G33z3r | 5154 comments Xandraa wrote: "I have just finished reading Dune. I don't understand the hype about this book. Perhaps, if I have read the book when it was published I would have felt differently."

Yes, I think it has historicity.

At the time (1965), its story of multiple competing political interests, the economics of spice, the Fremen & Bene Gesserit religions, plus its melding with fantasy elements (prophesies, Bene Gesserit powers),... stood in sharp contrast to the traditional space opera adventure stories that were the norm at the time. Herbert was a big part of the so-called "New Wave" of science fiction.

message 36: by Val (new) - rated it 5 stars

Val Panesar | 27 comments Even considering it's age though, Dune still stands out as one of the most well realised and complex sci-fi universes around. The ideas are still great, no one has really copied Dune in the way that LOTR is reflected in a lot of D&D.
Outside of fans though, there isn't much hype about Dune. It's only lauded by those who've read it and know how good it is.

message 37: by Conor (new)

Conor Lade | 2 comments YES! The absence of hype is deafening. I never cease to be amazed how few people even recognize Dune. It seems completely lost on this current generation.

I read and loved the original book years ago - maybe its futuristic style and the fact I read it in the mid 70s added to its appeal. Dune was the book that got me hooked on sci-fi, albeit I started to look for more Dune-like reads as opposed to traditional sci-fi - a lost cause for a while. Read several of the sequels which were fine, but book 1 will always be the best for me.

message 38: by R.L. (new) - rated it 5 stars

R.L. Stedman | 21 comments I once heard a piece of music inspired by a dance from Dune; where the dancer continues until exhausted. But I can't remember the name of the composer, or even the title of the dance. But yes, unlike LOTR which inspired a generation of D&D and gamers, I don't see Dune doing the same. Maybe because its a stand alone piece of work, spanning eons?

message 39: by G33z3r, The Old Guy (new) - rated it 5 stars

G33z3r | 5154 comments R.L. wrote: "I once heard a piece of music inspired by a dance from Dune; where the dancer continues until exhausted. But I can't remember the name..."

Giselle ? :)

message 40: by R.L. (new) - rated it 5 stars

R.L. Stedman | 21 comments no, was much more modern, something like katachurian. And not the Sabre Dance. But my memory is ageing and Google is no help, alas..

message 41: by L.L. (new)

L.L. Watkin (LLWatkin) | 12 comments There's a fairly good soundtrack album for the sci fi channels Dune mini series from a few years back. I think it's the one for the sequel (Children of Dune) rather than Dune. Maybe the music you heard is from that.

message 42: by R.L. (new) - rated it 5 stars

R.L. Stedman | 21 comments oh well that's a downer then bc i hated most of the tv adaptations :)

message 43: by L.L. (new)

L.L. Watkin (LLWatkin) | 12 comments I think that the TV adaptation was better than the movie ... But then again that doesn't say much! Like most television versions of long books I doubt it makes much sense to anyone who hadn't read the book first.

message 44: by Stef (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stef | 56 comments If published today Dune would have much less success than it had at its time.

message 45: by Val (new) - rated it 5 stars

Val Panesar | 27 comments I totally disagree. I think with the right marketing impact it's still different enough from everything else to stand on its own. Nevermind that heroes that aren't all good, political intrigue and the question of freedom fighter/terrorist is still very much a poignant one today.

message 46: by Stef (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stef | 56 comments When you talk about the "right marketing" you are not far from what I said. Today marketing is more important than content, and the brave new world of professional honest reviewers is upon us.
If Hunger Games, Dune, Foundation and Solaris would be first published today, Dune would have 10% of Hunger Games sales, Foundation and Solaris less than 1%. Of course just my feelings.

Spooky1947 | 1653 comments as i rember, Dune was a big hit with the college crowd, a book as much about a planet's environment as it was about anything....this at a time when environmental causes were very much on the radar...if it's first print run were today...

JohnViril | 6 comments C'mon, Dune was about great drugs and orgies. Hello, it was a massive hit in the free love era.

Now, I loved Dune. Heck, I'm an indie author and one of my goals in my book "The Supreme Warrior" was to write an epic fantasy with politics like Dune.

From what I understand, a new Dune movie is in development. I hope it's better than prior attempts.

message 49: by A.L. (new) - rated it 5 stars

A.L. Butcher (ALB2012) | 121 comments I loved it when I read it. One of those books you simply can't put down. I like the recent screen adaptation as well. The book filled in a lot of gaps, and the world building is supreme. There are so many messages woven into a complex world, intrigue, politics, religion, environmentalism, divide and rule.

message 50: by A.L. (new) - rated it 5 stars

A.L. Butcher (ALB2012) | 121 comments Ok that was random, went in to read my review of it and it was the review I left for Lord of the rings.

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