Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dune, the part one.

I'm going to start the Dune series tonight. I read them years ago, and they blew me away. Despite how much they drag, despite the long, long, long (millennium-length), meandering storylines, despite the departure from story to the extended philosophizing on time, potential and power.

Over at Pajiba, Cannonball Reads is rolling along. A short while ago Blonde Savant reviewed (favourably, even) the original Dune, enough to consider continuing with the rest of the series. t inspired me to go back and try it again. This was my comment from the review:

It's an amazing book that needs to be given time, and it's not for everyone. Like was written above, it can be read as an adventure, or as a treatise on any number of issues. What keeps me coming back is the complexity and world-building the Herbert accomplishes without forcing anything. I'm never skeptical of the plot or characters' actions.

The Dune series is like The Lord of the Rings with far greater depth but far fewer likable characters, and less sense of wonder, to be sure. While the LotR is a simple allegory about war and the environment (and superficially a few other issues), Dune dives into philosophical issues that drive me bonkers with their complexity.

As a one-off, Dune is the most accessible of the series, Blonde Savant, so I admire your fortitude and drive to continue reading the series. It reaches a low-point in book 3 (and book 2 isn't exactly scintillating stuff either), but after that it... I'm not even sure what it does, but I found the second half of the series far easier to read. It could be that by that time one is used to the style, complexity and universe that it seems natural.

It will be interesting to find out how much of this rings true as I re-read it.

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