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Dune (Dune #1)
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May 2020: Other Books > Dune - Herbert - 5 stars

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Jgrace | 2752 comments Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1) by Frank Herbert

Dune - F.Herbert - 553pg - 5/2/20 - 5 stars
Audio performance - multiple narrators

”To read Dune in the twenty-first century, after the resurgence of militant Islam is doubly disquieting.” Michael Dirda: Introduction to Folio society edition 2015

I believe this was the third time that I’d read Dune from beginning to end. Nothing matches the complete immersion of a first reading, but as my first reading was at least 40 years ago, there was much I didn’t remember. It was worth reading again. I’m hardly alone in believing that this book is one of the best. I know it has been called a space opera. That is a term that I apply to lighter, more trivial fiction. If this is an opera, it’s heavy, like Wagner. (It’s just a shame that the following books in the ‘cycle’ did not live up to the first.)

The Folio Society edition of this classic is a treasure of my home library. The endpapers of the book are beautifully detailed maps of Dune. Like a map of the moon, it feels like a real place, if not exactly a vacation spot. The illustrations by Sam Weber depict the characters and scenes of the story exactly as I pictured them from my first reading of an unillustrated paperback. They are also very beautiful. The introduction by Michael Dirda and Brian Herbert’s afterward were informative and interesting.

Not wanting to take my beautiful book out of the house, I also had an Audible book. It was performed, unabridged, by some of the best voice actors. The performances were excellent, but the book did not adapt well for so many changes of voices. Orlagh Cassidy was great for the epigram voice of Princess Irulan at the beginning of each chapter. Using actors to speak the parts of other characters resulted in one voice for verbal conversations and another, Simon Vance, voice for the internal thoughts of the character. It would have been smoother to let Vance perform the whole book. Small complaints, though. I enjoyed the audio enough to have effectively ‘reread’ the book twice through April and into May.

message 2: by David (new) - added it

David Putnam (davidputnam) | 279 comments Great review.

message 3: by annapi (new) - added it

annapi | 4909 comments I agree that the books that followed did not live up to the first novel. I read this so long ago, in my teens! But I still remember the Litany Against Fear to this day.

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