‘DUNE’by Frank Herbert

(book review)

If it weren’t for the film “DUNE” 2021, many people would never have known about the classic science fiction novel by Frank Herbert. The new film is already the fourth attempt to visualize the rich world of the cosmic universe of the ‘Dune book series.

To understand why the book and film have received so much attention, I decided to read this work for myself and draw some conclusions.

The main characters of the story are the house of Atreides, who, by order of the Emperor of the galaxy, take possession of the planet Arakiss, but upon arrival they face many trials, challenges and conspiracies of enemies.

The story of 20 books long about the struggle of powerful clans for the possession of a rare resource that is located on a planet with an oppressed population, in terms of dynamics, scale and reasoning regarding nature and authority, is comparable only to the epic “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George Martin and “The Lord of the Rings” by John Tolkien.

But despite the popularity of Dune, there are a number of disadvantages; among them I disliked the rapid change of scenes and events in the plot. During the first book, the reader gets through 3 years of the heroes’ lives, but don’t get the opportunity to become attached to the characters, understand their motives of actions and begin to empathize with their problems. The book is replete with many colorful descriptions of nature, but it clearly lacks the smooth transitions between the events of the book.

Secondly, the book, as the film, seemed too pretentious – the young protagonist of fifteen years possesses a number of supernatural powers and skills, takes on the duties of the leader of a tribe of freemen, acquires high, respected positions, and easily defeats enemies. Sounds unrealistically…

For large numbers of readers, the book may seem like an ordinary fairytale for teenagers, but not a book that can attract the desire of directors again and again to try to adapt it.

The seemingly undistinguished story began a new era of science fiction in the present day world and for many reasons this book is continued to be called the ‘Bible of science fiction,’ written almost 60 years ago, and which inspired the creators of ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Terminator,’ ‘Tremors’ and many others.

Fans will find many similarities in plots and locations. For example, the planet Tatooine from ‘Star Wars’ is almost identical to the landscapes of the sandy planet Arakiss and the worms that react to the ground vibrations from the movie ‘Tremors’ are exactly like the sand worms that inhabit the Dune universe.

The fact that ‘Dune’ series of books is  the primary source of ideas for the above-mentioned films is beyond any doubt.

In general, the book had all the necessary qualities to become a popular teenage novel of its time – an invincible young protagonist, a well-crafted description of life, traditions, religion, a system of titles and racial divisions, a pinch of love and battles, seasoned with a huge number of wise proverbs and incomprehensible vocabulary…

For a simple linear plot and fresh novelty of ideas, the book deserves 8/10 points. One point should be added for the fact that, surprisingly, the book has retained its relevance in its genre even after 60 years of publication.

By the way, the moment of the release of the new film adaptation of ‘Dune’ is well chosen, when the era of popularity of dystopian films with the typical archetype of the protagonist – the chosen teenager, who is destined to solve the plot conflict, has passed. A long break in the release of clichéd films made it possible to once again attract people to the cinemas.

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