Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Dune connection

Okay, I'm reading Dune, by Frank Herbert, for the first time. I'm about 160 pages into the novel and I've been reading it for about four days.

I carry a book with me just about everywhere. I keep it out on my desk at work so I can catch a page or two here and there while I'm waiting for other people to finish their job so I can finish my job.

So, in these last four days I've counted twelve people have walked by my desk and commented on my reading Dune.

I always have a book on my desk, and at most, I get one or two people commenting upon it. But everybody is commenting about this book. I'm not getting bad news about it, but not necessarily good, just people saying they had read it.

Is the book that popular? I mean, people who have hardly ever spoken to me at work have commented on Dune. People who have only ever spoken to me for professional reasons have commented on Dune.

It's weird.


JB Dryden said...

Dune - and just that one, not the ones that follow - is probably one of the single-most solidly written pieces of fiction of the last 20th century. It is a book comparable to Brave New World, The War of the Worlds, and other classics that have transcended the "genre fiction" stigma and entered into mainstream thought. I think, too, that Frank Herbert's vision of the Dune world was magnificent, and if I could have one accomplishment in my life it would be to be remembered by one phenomenal book over a host of mediocre ones.

Ty said...

I'm starting to realize what you're saying. I guess I've been out of the Dune loop most of my life, which is sort of odd in itself. I've seen the book(s) around forever, and know of the two movies, but it's never been a book I've heard people talk much about.

As for the books itself, I'm now 200 pages in, and it is an excellently written novel.

Another thing I've found quirky about so many classic books, including Dune to some extent, is how often they break the so-called "rules" writers are told to follow (by other writers, editors, people-supposedly-in-the-know, etc.). Dune has a good bit of exposition in the first hundred pages, but most of it is worked in without bogging down the plot. There are tons of characters and weird words tossed at you almost immediately, but it flows well.

Steve said...

I loved "Dune." Of the sequels, "Dune Messiah" and "Children of Dune" were more or less OK, at least I don;t remember hating them when I read them, even though I don't really recall the events of those books.

I've never been able to hack my way through any of the other sequels and the follow-ups written by others.


-- Steve