Dune (40th Anniversary Edition)

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Penguin, Aug 2, 2005 - Fiction - 544 pages
71 Reviews
Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Muad'Dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family--and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream. A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what it undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.

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No book has ever mesmerized me quite like this one. The novel Dune, by Frank Herbert is a wonderful and engrossing work that is the perfect mix of science fiction and politics that at first may seem slow, but after a few chapters will be as hard to put down as crack. The characters are obsessively detailed and the desert setting of the world of Arrakis that it takes place on is heavily researched and accurate. The story takes place on Arrakis where the House of Atreides, led by Duke Leto, is sent to rule over the planet and replace the House of Harkonnen, a powerful and opposing house. Duke Leto decides to take the position of governor and settle on Arrakis due to the spice drug, melange, which grows abundant on the planet and is extremely popular with the wealthy. The story follows Duke Leto and his family including his concubine, Jessica, and his son, Paul as they start a new life on the planet and deal with the looming threat of an attack by the vengeful Harkonnens. While it may be necessary for the reader to power through the first few chapters as they are slow, soon the book will begin to take hold of you and you will become invested in the deep story and characters. The book is heavily injected with politics that surround the different houses and this really helps to explain and drive the story. The style of Frank Herbert may be hard to read and comprehend do to the higher level vocabulary and the complex plot line. But once you accommodate, it flows exceptionally well. I personally loved the book and recommend the book to anyone who is a science fiction fan or who enjoys a deep and engrossing novel. Dune is unlike any other book I have ever laid eyes on; nothing can compare. The fact that it took six years for Frank Herbert to write and edit his novel really shows as the desert qualities of the planet are extremely well-researched and the story and characters are well thought out, down to the last detail. 

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Set more than 21,000 years in the future, Dune won the first Nebula Award and shared the Hugo Award. As to language, the “d” and “h” words are found frequently, the term “a**” is used of a person’s rear end, someone is called “lizard turd,” a little bawdy humor occurs, and there are some oblique references to sex but nothing openly vulgar or obscene. Concubines are mentioned several times. Jessica is the Duke’s concubine and only woman though they have never officially married. Paul keeps his Fremen wife as a concubine and his only woman though he officially marries the Emperor’s daughter. The Baron is definitely portrayed as a homosexual, although the LGBT crowd has complained that the book’s only portrayal of a homosexual character, the vile pervert Baron Harkonnen, is negative. According to the Afterword, Dune is a modern-day conglomeration of familiar myths, has words and names from many tongues, and is based on themes found in a variety of religious faiths. I noticed concepts drawn from Islam, Judaism, and even Christianity. Early in his newspaper career, Herbert was introduced to Zen by two Jungian psychologists, and throughout the Dune series Herbert employs concepts and forms borrowed from Zen Buddhism. In spite of these things about the book that I didn’t really care for, I generally enjoyed the story. 

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The Ecology of Dune
The Religion of Dune
Report on Bene Gesserit Motives and Purposes
The Almanak enAshraf Selected Excerpts of the Noble Houses
Terminology of the Imperium

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