Dune by Frank Herbert
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Dune. It's the final frontier for my sci-fi reading journey.
I have failed.
Miserably. Well, not entirely miserably…I made it through half the book before I decided to put it down and never pick it up again.
Dune is one of those books that's been circling my periphery for ages. Everyone loves this book. One of the best sci fi books in history. Except, just not for me. I struggled with Dune like I struggled with the movie Blade Runner. Do people think this is good because it was one of a kind at the time, only to give it this historic mythos it doesn't actually deserve? Reviewers with better vocabularies will likely be better able to describe the good things about this book and there are definitely a few.
If you've been living under a rock with me for a while on this one, the basic story is that there's a "chosen one" teenager (this is not YA?) who is meant to save an alien planet from destruction and save the people from starving to death. Or it's a desert planet…so maybe dehydrate to death. Don't get me wrong, there's action and monsters and some of the monsters are human. There's also a love story at some point I think.
Now if you're frustrated by this vague review, I completely understand. I was frustrated reading it. I got about 400 pages in, realized I still had no idea what was happening and decided it was time to call it quits. For full disclosure you should know that I did what I normally do with 800 page books. I alternated between audio and the physical book in order to try and 1) get through it faster and 2) understand it better. It simply didn't work.
I felt like I was dropped into the story with almost no exposition. The kid finds out he's "chosen", his powers manifest almost immediately after that with no training or trying. There's a whole race (cult? still not sure) that his mother belonged to. There's an assassination attempt. They're on another planet. And there are sand worms.
I picked up the book because I wanted to read it prior to seeing the new movie, but I don't think I'll go back to it any time soon. I promise I wanted to like it. It felt like reading A Clockwork Orange. Where I didn't understand anything I read, but when I read it a second time it made perfect sense. Except, Clockwork wasn't 800 pages long and I've got more interesting things to read.
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