Frank Herbert:
Dune Book Review

I've been a fan of Dune for as long as I can remember. The first Dune book was written by Frank Herbert in 1965. This was a book series I avidly enjoyed while growing up, and its thoughts on enviromentalism and how long, small changes can make a big difference have always stuck with me.

This is definitely a book that gets better and better each time you read it. You can read it at age 12 and think it's a great story of a young boy growing up, how he grows and changes and matures as a result of all of the things he goes through. You can read it at 20 and think it's a great book about environmentalism - how changes to a planet and its ecosystem have wide-ranging effects that can be disastrous. And as you continue to read it, you catch all of the subtle nuances - the way people treat each other, how communication and trust can make and destroy lives, how desire for love, desire for power, desire for wealth, desire for knowledge, all shape humans.

Some people label this book as 'science fiction' - and it is in the sense that it occurs in a galaxy that has space travel, where technologies unknown to us are in use. But in a grander sense it is about human drama - how humans react to the situations they're in, how their passions drive them, how they think and feel and relate to each other.

Yes, there are terms to learn and ideas to understand. This is true whether you're reading a book about the aborigines of Australia or mountain climbing in the Himalayas. It's not something you need to obsess over, constantly checking glossaries. Like in any book, simply read the book from start to end and get absorbed into the culture. The terms will make sense, the personalities will reveal themselves.

Some have said the book has characters that are good or evil. I actually find that the MOVIES did this, but the books are extremely good at layering the many shades of grey. People always have motives for what they do and feel that their motives are perfectly justified. Some motives are compassionate, some motives are self serving. Very much like real life.

Buy Dune - the book - from Amazon.com

The World of Dune