If you’re around my age, when you think of Dune, an image like this comes to mind:
And you just know of it as David Lynch’s film that failed massively, was supposedly incomprehensible, and features Sting in leather. Which means you can’t really take it seriously.
Well, I hadn’t given Dune much thought until two recent occurrences:
- Living with a woman who went very far out of her way to find the fifth Dune book, because she loves the series so much
- The Believer Issue June 2003 featured an essay which not only took the series seriously, but felt it illuminated some aspects of contemporary life.
So, I found a used copy, and read it on the trip.
It’s pretty good. It’s most impressive as a history — the world that Herbert creates is remarkably rich and textured. It has a real presence. It’s less impressive as a narrative/story — the plot is pretty hackneyed (Christ figure story, very melodramatic good vs evil, some awkward devices to keep the story moving). But those shortcomings didn’t prevent me from enjoying the book. And recommending it to you, dear reader.