Set in the far future amidst a sprawling feudal interstellar empire where planetary dynasties are controlled by noble houses that owe an allegiance to the imperial House Corrino, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides (the heir apparent to Duke Leto Atreides and heir of House Atreides) as he and his family accept control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the 'spice' melange, the most important and valuable substance in the cosmos. The story explores the complex, multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion as the forces of the empire confront each other for control of Arrakis.
Published in 1965, it won the Hugo Award in 1966 and the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel. Dune is frequently cited as the world's best-selling science fiction novel. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
“Dune” is a book that starts out very slow and slowly builds into a culmination of events. I really struggled to get through the first few chapters before getting a little more intrigued. It seems like there is a lot in this book that is setting up for future sequels (or superfluous information) and at times I found that distracting. That being said, once I was about halfway through I didn’t want to put the book down and was extremely interested to find out what would be happening next. Paul is both lovable and a frustration at varying points making an imperfect protagonist that keeps things interesting.
One complaint is the aspect of being a messiah to the people. Parts of that felt forced or borrowing a lot from existing cultures, but perhaps I’m reading too much into it. It’s tough to put modern perspectives on a book that was originally published in 1965. As such, I am extremely glad I’ve read the book as it’s considered by many to be “the best” of science fiction, but I won’t be in a rush to read the subsequent books in the series. Reading the epilogue by his son at the end of the book made me appreciate the book a little more so I’d highly recommend including that in your read.
Warning: Contains repeated violence.
Rating: 4 stars!
Who should read it? Folks who want to know what all the fuss is about and read a more “classic” science fiction novel.
Want to read the whole series?
- Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles #2)
- Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles #3)
- God Emperor of Dune (Dune Chronicles #4)
- Heretics of Dune (Dune Chronicles #5)
- Chapterhouse: Dune (Dune Chronicles #6)
- Hunters of Dune (Dune Chronicles #7)
- Sandworms of Dune (Dune Chronicles #8)