Saturday, June 10, 2023

Book Report: 'Dune'

Dune (Dune, #1)Dune by Frank Herbert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I always feared taking on "Dune," because the book and its sequels all looked so thick and imposing on bookshelves. Enter Audible, which allows me to plow through any book, no matter how dense or massive.

Frank Herbert's magnum opus may be dense, but it also pulses with life as it unfurls its space opera over a dry, dilapidated desertscape. The pioneering 1965 sci-fi epic informed countless works in the genre, especially "Star Wars" and "A Song of Ice and Fire."

Herbert particularly excels at subtle world-building, sprinkling in intriguing context as he keeps the storytelling arcs surging.

The ultimate teen empowerment fantasy, the novel paints a tale of heroism set against a complex geopolitical infrastructure. Herbert's prose sucks you into the harsh realities of survival on the arid, giant worm-plagued planet, which he crafts as a character to stand alongside his protagonists.

The tale unfolds in something akin to a modern open-world video game format, with a series of missions and boss fights. The combat descriptions, filled with strategy, feints and dramatic undercurrents, pulse with the flair of old-school sports writing.

"Dune" is magnificent, and I am ashamed I took so long to get to it. Now, whether I have the guts to take on the parade of sequels is another matter.

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