Books Magazine

Dune Group Read, Round 2

Posted on the 20 July 2011 by Jimblack78
Dune Group Read, Round 2Part two of our group read of "Dune" reaches the section where things really (pardon the pun) heat up.  The Harkonnens' plan kicks into high gear as Duke Leto is betrayed while Jessica and Paul go out into the desert.  Will Paul fulfill his destiny and become the savior of Arrakis?
Warning, spoilers are heading your way...after the page break...
Was Liet's identity a surprise?  Who do you think he really works for?  I will skip these questions because I have read the book many times.

What do you think of the Fremen culture?  is this a culture you think you'd enjoy spending some time with?  I find myself agreeing with Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings.  The fall is my favorite time of the year.  Any evening when I can walk outside and feel a slight chill in the air is a good one.  I love watching the leaves turn colors in our area.  It doesn't get better than a crisp clear night in the fall.  As much as I respect the Fremen and their culture I do not believe that I would do very well in an environment that is all desert.  Like Carl I am not prepared for the kind of life the Fremen lead.  It is fun to dream about being one of the Fremen but then reality sets in and I remember that I am sitting in an air conditioned room typing on a laptop.  I do not believe this is a good training ground for their style of life. 

What do you think of Count Fenring's unusual verbal mannerisms?  I found the Count to be one of my least favorite characters in the story.  I could have done without his mannerisms.  This was a case of the concept being better than the execution. 
This is a far future empire with very little in the way of computerization. Information is often passed down orally, and schools (such as the Mentats and the Bene Gesserit) have formed to train young people in memorization and information processing.  What are you thoughts on a scifi story that is very "low-tech"?  Does that sound like a feasable future? a ridiculous one?  I liked the idea.  The memorization system serves the Israelites well in the past.  They managed to pass their history down through numerous generations.  It is logical that this tradition would be utilized on a world like Arrakis.  It becomes obvious in the early parts of this story that technology does not function on this world.  I think that the "low-tech" approach helps keep the story from feeling dated.  

If you found the beginning of the book tough to get into, do you find that you're having an easier time with the middle portion, now that all the "set-up" is complete?  In my case, I had no problem getting through the beginning of the book.  I do believe the second part is more exciting.

  The center portion of the book is still pretty dialog heavy, but what I've noticed is the subtlety of the dialog. Things left unsaid are often more important than things that are said.  What do you think of that as a stylistic choice? does it make the dialog more interesting? less interesting? People probably get tired of hearing me say it, Herbert is on my short list of all time favorite writers.  I find his stories fascinating, thought provoking, and exciting page turners at the same time.  Reading a Herbert story is an experience.  The unsaid things make you pay attention to even the smallest details.  Herbert makes it worthwhile. Dune was written in the 60's. Does it feel dated to you? How does it compare, writing style-wise, to more contemporary science fiction you've read?  I recently had a discussion about this with my good friend, Terry Kissinger.  You do not see many authors write in the style of Herbert.  He just finished reading "Th Windup Girl" by Paolo Bagicalupi.  Frank Herbert is one of Terry's favorite authors.  He pointed out that Bagicalupi uses some of the same techniques as Herbert.  One of the most obvious was the use of internal dialog.  I need to get around to reading "The Windup Girl" so I can compare the style of both books.  Because Herbert's style is not common in today's world, it appears more innovative.  I am a big fan of Herbert's work.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog