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the Dune Saga

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1DeusExLibris
Sep 7, 2007, 3:24am

After trying to read Dune, getting bogged down, and watching the movie and Sci-Fi miniseries/movie (which I love!) I'm finally reading the book cover to cover, and loving it! Even in the 2.5 or 3 hour movie it feels like they left a lot out. In my mind Dune ranks up there with LotR, Chronicles of Narnia, and other world builders in terms of amazing, must reads.

2reading_fox
Sep 7, 2007, 4:10am

The original is certainly a classic of the sci-fi or is it techno-fantasy genre? ;-)

However I would advise against reading the infinite number of sequels that have been written. They have many devoted fans, but only the devopted fans like them. IMHO they are nowhere at all near as good as the original. A few years ago I sturggled through the first 3 or so, and gave up. I think it was the 1000yr old mutant blind physic worm that my incredulity finally choked at and said. NO MORE.

Anyone want to comment on what the non-Frank Herbert sequels are like. I've not tried them.

3bluetyson
Sep 7, 2007, 4:18am

One word = average. I feel compelled to read them though. :) 2.5 to 3.5 I think I have called them, from memory.

Interesting for those that are keen, though, as far as the backstory and all that stuff goes.

One book that pair has done that may be of interest to some is 'The Road to Dune', which is how Dune came to be, an earlier quite different version, etc., which I quite enjoyed.

Tough act to follow, of course, given Dune is a lot of people's favorite book.

4DeusExLibris
Sep 7, 2007, 5:25am

So where does Frank Herbert's series end and the sequels written by others begin? Did he only write the first three? Or did he go past that?

5reading_fox
Sep 7, 2007, 5:38am

Dune Group May have all the answers. Its been too long since i read them to be sure.

His author page has 5 more

Messiah, children, god emperor, heretics and chapterhouse.

6Amtep
Sep 7, 2007, 5:46am

Frank Herbert's Dune books are:

Dune
Dune Messiah
Children of Dune
God-Emperor of Dune
Heretics of Dune
Chapter House Dune

The first three go together, they are set in the same time and with approximately the same people. The next three will skip centuries or millennia between books, but still have some of the same people.

What I liked most about Dune was the depiction of the rational human. The characters, at least among the elite, were not blinded by emotion and did not let themselves be misled by wishful thinking. They had to deal with hard reality and the existence of other people. They still had conflicting goals and desires, but they were practical about achieving them.

The later books, not written by Frank Herbert, throw all this out the window. They present a universe that is on the side of the good guys because they are good, where justice and honour will always prevail because it is honourable and just, where any action taken for the right reasons is bound to succeed after the appropriate number of dramatic setbacks. I hate those sequels with the burning passion of a thousand burning suns that are on fire.

7Jargoneer
Sep 7, 2007, 6:57am

I would say that the original trilogy is worth reading, it is a self-contained, and the latter two (somewhat) successfully expand on ideas in the original novel. After that, you pays your money you takes your chance. The other three Frank Herbert books are ok but at times you can't help thinking that his heart is not in it and that they were written for money (Dune is allegedly the best selling sf novel ever). As for the Brian Herbert and A N Other books, it's simply about money!

8gmork
Sep 7, 2007, 8:06am

Funny, I read the first book as a teenager and hated it. I can't recall exactly what it was I didn't like about it, other than that it was recommended to me by my mother. And back in those days if she said "yes" I'd say "no."

Anyway, I picked it up at the library on a whim last week and finished it a day or so ago. I was candidly surprised at how much I liked it this go-round. The other thing that surprised me is how little a book published just about 40 years ago didn't really seem all that dated.

I'll have to look into reading the second and third books at some point.

9Glassglue
Sep 7, 2007, 11:04am

I really enjoyed the first 3, somewhat enjoyed the 4th, slogged through the 5th, and barely made it through the 6th.

10horuskol
Sep 10, 2007, 7:22am

Of the six originals, I really enjoy Dune, Children of Dune, Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse Dune... Dune Messiah was more of a prolog to Children of Dune, while God Emperor of Dune was pushing at the limits of believability...

I agree that the characterisations have changed with the prequels by Brian Herbert - but that isn't too surprising, he is a different writer, after all...
While these books are reasonable reads in their own context - once you hold them up to the light of the original series, there are a lot of problems - my biggest being that pretty much all of the institutions and culture of the Duneverse where started during the Jihad 10,000 years before the rise of Paul Atreides...

The Ginaz school, the Landsraad, the Bene Gesserit, the Bene Tleilax, the Guild, everything...

This seemed to leave a vacuum of cultural development between the Jihad and the Atreides empire - something that offended some part of my idea of the Duneverse.

That said - I'm still going to read the so-called Dune 7 books.

11scottja
Sep 11, 2007, 10:35am

I really enjoyed the Dune series, except Dune Messiah. The Brian Herbert sequels aren't nearly as good, though. Much more melodramatic.

12jseger9000
Sep 12, 2007, 12:08am

I feel bad for Frank Herbert. Dune was such a milestone that his career just never got past it. He's a Grand Master of Sci Fi (isn't he?), but for the most part it's the Dune series that are in print any more. I wonder if his heart was in all the sequels or if after a while he felt they were expected of him?

Those sequels his son has been putting out (which I freely admit I haven't read) just seem so cheesy. Not much better than another Star Trek/Star Wars/D&D book. I mean, how long is he gonna flog that horse?

I have read Hellstrom's Hive which was pretty good and The White Plague which was TERRIFIC! Some day I'm going to try The Eyes Of Heisenberg and some of his other stuff.

Dune was obviously his masterpiece, but from what else I have read, he shouldn't just be remembered as 'that Dune guy.'

13scottja
Sep 13, 2007, 2:02pm

#12: I loved The White Plague too! Most of his other books left me cold, though. (I think I read almost all of them, once upon a time.) Iirc, The Dosadi Experiment was pretty good, as was Eye, a short story collection.

14wyrdchao
Sep 13, 2007, 9:04pm

Whipping Star is also good, if you'd like something on the lighter side. McKie is a kick.

God Emperor was the last one I really liked of the Dune series, and to me the end was THE END. I was satisfied that the story's loose ends had been tied up. Tried to read Heretics but the magic just wasn't there anymore.

15ATimson
Edited: Sep 18, 2007, 12:12am

Those sequels his son has been putting out (which I freely admit I haven't read) just seem so cheesy. Not much better than another Star Trek/Star Wars/D&D book. I mean, how long is he gonna flog that horse?

For at least three more books; Brian and Kevin are contracted for another trilogy set between Dune and Dune Messiah.

I thought that the first trilogy they did, the House Atreides/Harkonnen/Corrino trilogy, was pretty good; not as good as the original Dune (what can be?), but it compared favorably with Frank's other books in the series.

After that... the Butlerian Jihad trilogy and the Hunters of Dune duology were okay, really, but their concept of thinking machines just never quite jibed with my mental picture. I was expecting Skynet, and got... uh, something else. ;)

With Paul of Dune's return to the Imperium, I find myself looking forward to see what Brian and Kevin have to offer.

16bluetyson
Sep 17, 2007, 11:00pm

There's more? Holy crap.

17ATimson
Sep 18, 2007, 12:12am

Not until August 2008. ;)

18bluetyson
Sep 18, 2007, 3:48am

Ok, well I guess we assume it goes on until the sales get crappy then.

19jseger9000
Sep 18, 2007, 3:22pm

Hey, how do you quote somebody like that? Some time I need to learn how these message boards work...

Anyway, I guess I feel like Dune is such a classic it should be left alone. I didn't mind Frank Herbert churning out the sequels. It was his private universe after all.

But Brian, please let it go, man. To me no matter how well written they are, these ca$h in sequels not written by the original author just cheapen Dune's image.

Dune as a series is now like the endless fantasy series (Wheel Of Time for instance) that start well, but drag on and on exploring every last nook and cranny of originality until finally nobody cares.

20CBrachyrhynchos
Sep 18, 2007, 9:07pm

I couldn't get beyond God Emperor of Dune, his other books I thought were a bit regretable. I remember The White Plague and I bailed on Hellstrom's Hive partway through because I realized that I didn't give a shit about any of the characters, and I thought that the treatment of female characters in it was a total sci-fi boyzone.

21ATimson
Sep 18, 2007, 9:12pm

Hey, how do you quote somebody like that? Some time I need to learn how these message boards work...

Personally, I just copy/paste and use the HTML <i>/</i> tags...

But Brian, please let it go, man. To me no matter how well written they are, these ca$h in sequels not written by the original author just cheapen Dune's image.

Dune 7 I can't fault him for writing. Frank's death resulted in an unfinished story. The others... *shrug* I enjoy them. But I can certainly understand points of view like yours.

22scottja
Sep 19, 2007, 8:38am

At least Brian Herbert is honest about what he's doing, unlike the literary heirs of Robert Ludlum, who have been publishing book after book under his name since his death.

23jseger9000
Edited: Sep 19, 2007, 8:48am

At least Brian Herbert is honest about what he's doing, unlike the literary heirs of Robert Ludlum, who have been publishing book after book under his name since his death.

Oh man, V.C. Andrews anyone?

24scottja
Sep 19, 2007, 9:10am

Oh man, V.C. Andrews anyone?

Christopher Tolkein springs to mind, too. Sure, dad had notebooks, but he can't have had that many notebooks.

25ine1976
Sep 19, 2007, 9:34am

To be honest, I've always seen the six books Herbert wrote as a whole. I know most people only read the first volume, maybe the second, but for me the story doesn't stop with Paul Atreides. God Emperor of Dune is one of the more philosophical books in the set, and I enjoy it immensely for that reason. The whole series examines the rational vs. the irrational human, and the place of violence in society. It's fascinating stuff.

The last time I read all six books consecutively, I got the feeling that Herbert was really intending to write a seventh, not just to bring the storylines together, but to present a concluding idea. I'm not sure his son will be able to pull that off.

(On a related not, the "official" reason for all the Dune prequels and spin-offs was to give Brian Herbert the opportunity to flex his writerly muscles before starting Dune #7 on the basis of his dad's notes, but I've stopped believing that. There are just too many of those books. If he hasn't been able to grow into the Dune universe by now, he never will).

26haylan
Edited: Sep 19, 2007, 1:19pm

ine1976 - After reading the remarks, I see that you have FINALLY written some of my own thoughts.

Firstly, Frank Herbert spent seven years planning the Dune saga. It is a philosophical journey, believe it or not. I think God Emperor of Dune rises to the level of literature. Herbert asks and answers a whole series of questions among which are the force of religion and the human impulse( if not need) to embrace religiosity and myth; the nature of pre-cognition; the use of drugs for mind enhancement; and the manipulation of events by those in power.

Along with the Foundation trilogy (and even the other two written by Isaac) Dune is some of the best writing in sci fi...and great writing reflects great thinking.

27Jargoneer
Sep 19, 2007, 1:57pm

I'm not sure you can claim Dune saga, or the Foundation trilogy, as great writing, re-reading it years later it struck me as quite clunky in parts, (Asimov was at best a functional writer) but at best both deal with big ideas.

From what I understood, Herbert spent seven years working on the first novel, which was serialised in Analog in 1963 and 1965 as 'Dune World' and 'The Prophet of Dune' before it was finally published as a novel. The sequels seemed to have been written following the success of the original novel, and demand from fans & publisher for more.

28ATimson
Sep 19, 2007, 10:49pm

(On a related not, the "official" reason for all the Dune prequels and spin-offs was to give Brian Herbert the opportunity to flex his writerly muscles before starting Dune #7 on the basis of his dad's notes, but I've stopped believing that. There are just too many of those books. If he hasn't been able to grow into the Dune universe by now, he never will).

Umm… he did write Dune 7; it was published in two parts, as Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune.

I can understand that being the reasoning behind the House Atreides trilogy. And much as I might have not particularly enjoy them, the Butlerian Jihad trilogy did lay groundwork for "Dune 7" (at least, as presented by Brian and Kevin), so I can't fault

In my opinion, the most "Dune-like" writing was in those first three books. But, the Herbert estate was obviously happy enough with them; and they're the theoretical arbiters of quality.

29philosojerk
Sep 19, 2007, 11:10pm

>25 ine1976: & 26

Thank you for those posts. I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't read the Dune saga yet (you can flog me later), but as of a week or two ago I finally completed what I thought to be a complete set of the first three from used-book stores (I tend to be picky with my $1.25 books - I want them to still be close to pristine). Anyway, I intended to only get the first three, because so many had told me not to bother with the rest of the series. Between you two, and reading the reviews on the God Emperor of Dune page, I'm convinced that I need to at least read book 4, even if I don't end up loving it. Guess my collection's not quite complete & ready to read, but at least now I know!

Cheers.

30scottja
Sep 20, 2007, 9:36am

fwiw, I'm one more who thought God Emperor was the best of the series (with the possible exception of Dune). Although I do have to admit entertaining thoughts along the lines of "Duncan Idaho, again??"

31Morphidae
Sep 20, 2007, 9:34pm

Put another vote in for God Emperor being one of the best of the series (after Dune.)

32davisfamily
Sep 25, 2007, 7:21pm

I believe that it's common knowledge that God Emperor of Dune is the best book (after Dune).
Of course my knowledge is very common!!

33ine1976
Edited: Sep 26, 2007, 9:31am

#28:
Thanks for the correction, ATimson! Goes to show I live too much in the past. ;)

#26:
haylan, very good point about the religious aspect. There are so many themes, especially in the latter 3 books, that I keep forgetting half of them if I haven't read the books recently. Time for a re-read! :)

34haylan
Sep 26, 2007, 12:55pm

Literature is not strictly about the quality of writing since some great literature rises only to the 80% level there (D.H. Lawrence and Dostoevsky are examples;) however, literature is the illustration of ideas within a human context striving to not just tell but show how the ideas play out--either to the good or ill. Asimov and Herbert were both interested in the idea of the manipulation of historical outcome by individuals purposefully controlling events. Another write interested in the same subject is Michael Flynn. As a statistician, he has written several books with the "science of history" as a central theme.

35kassetra
Oct 10, 2007, 12:01am

What I didn't like about Dune were the characters. That being said, the stories themselves are interesting and can be very thought-provoking, provided I skip the fifteen pages of angst from one character or another at any given point during the books.

God Emperor of Dune felt like an end to me - like it didn't need to go any further, but when I read Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune I felt that Frank Herbert was starting a second trilogy set in the same universe - with the fourth book as the darker time-span setup for the second trilogy and the dark 'end' to the first dune trilogy, combined.

(warning: angry rant below, many biased opinions and potshots taken at the author$.)
Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson's books, however, have left a terrible aftertaste to the original richness I felt for the original Dune series (even if I wasn't particularly fond of and/or disliked some of the books in the original six.) Their version of the 7th Dune book, in particular, (broken into two book$: Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune,) is an atrocious mass-slaughtering of the original mythos / arcs (just how many deus ex machina moments can they POSSIBLY add to these stories?!) I mean, why didn't they just tack-on a hollywood-romantic-comedy-ending?
OH WAIT, THEY DID! (If I had wanted to read a romantic comedy, I would have read a romantic comedy not the 'last books of the dune saga' !)

I feel fortunate that I haven't spent any money for their grotesque, pulpy, cheap-star-trek-novel-guilty-pleasure 'creation$' .... (I nearly sprained my eyeballs from rolling them so hard during the 'prequel' trilogy... GACK.) I honestly don't believe that Brian Herbert followed (or even *understood*) his father's notes... and if he DID follow them to the letter, god save the queen because this ship has sunk.

36amysisson
Oct 10, 2007, 9:25am

I'm wondering if I misunderstanding something. Everyone is referring to the Brian Herbert/Kevin Anderson books as sequels. Haven't they all been prequels, with the exception of Sandworms of Dune, the supposedly unfinished final book?

Someone here mentioned they'd read Dune as a teen and didn't like it, but just re-read as an adult and enjoyed it. The same thing happened to me, and I'm pretty sure it's just because I wasn't mature enough for it the first time around. The second and third times, as an adult, I thought it was pretty amazing.

The third time I read Dune, I went straight on to read Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, and God Emperor of Dune, all in a row. I thought God Emperor was pretty amazing. I mean, there might have been some clunky writing, and too many Duncans, but the ideas were intriguing. I read these books in quick succession because I was writing a review of Sci Fi's second mini-series, Children of Dune, which of course encompassed both Dune Messiah and Children of Dune.

What impressed me about the first Sci Fi mini-series was that it incorporated what the books are really about to me -- that prophecy is a burden, on all concerned: those who state the prophecy or see the future, those who live it out, and those who believe it all along. The mini-series also showed that Paul knew precisely what he and Jessica were doing: taking advantage of a planted prophecy for their own survival and revenge. The David Lynch version didn't even begin to touch on these themes.

I'm interested to read The Butlerian Jihad because I think it will answer questions that God Emperor hinted at all along. However, I'm not sure I'm willing to put up with many volumes of Harkonnen intrigue and incest. I think there's only so much mileage to be gotten out of that.

37kassetra
Edited: Oct 10, 2007, 6:19pm

amysisson:
Brian & Kevin have written two prequel trilogies and then the final 'two' books of the Dune saga (from Frank Herbert's 'Dune 7' notes.)
Prelude to Dune:
Dune: House Atreides
Dune: House Harkonnen
Dune: House Corrino

Legends of Dune
Dune: The Butlerian Jihad
Dune: The Machine Crusade
Dune: The Battle of Corrin

'Dune 7':
Hunters of Dune
Sandworms of Dune

They are also writing a trilogy that is between the third, Children of Dune and fourth books, God Emperor of Dune of the original Dune saga.

38amysisson
Oct 10, 2007, 6:28pm

#37 kassetra - Thanks for the clarification!

Hmmm, I'm thinking I should read the 3 "Legends of Dune" books, at least.

39lemonthrumint
Edited: Oct 12, 2007, 2:27pm

#6

I like your point about rationality. I think the first three books especially should be required reading for philosophy majors. There's a lot of neat stuff going on in there about choice, knowledge, consciousness, etc.

Plus, I love the ecological mindset--through Liet & co. Herbert really was throwing out some Gaia/land-pyramid kind of thinking that was a bit ahead of the curve.

I find Dune 1 to be the best-scripted, as it were: it doesn't necessarily have a gritty, realistic tone, but rather a very charged on-stage kind of feel, with lots of dialogues and monologues, here and there some action and landscape-shots. The action fleshes out the ideas very well; the books sort of slope off after Dune, with the characters and plot feeling very secondary to the speeches that Leto and others get to make.

His other SF is neat, none quite at the level of writing as Dune. Whipping Star and The Dosadi Experiment are fun, and have some proto-Fremen kind of attitudes. I also recommend The Green Brain, The Santaroga Barrier, Hellstrom's Hive, and The Dragon in the Sea,

I highly recommend Timothy O'Reilly's "Frank Herbert", which is a critical reading of Dune and other writings; it pulls together a lot neat themes. If you can find it...

Also check out http://www.rinkworks.com/bookaminute/sff.shtml .

Oh and KJ is a ghoul.

40rojse
Dec 5, 2007, 1:47am

It seems to me that Brian Herbert has only published books in the Dune sequence, and one collaboration with his father. Kevin J Anderson has written stories in the Dune and Star Wars universes, but at least he has written his own stories.

41WorldMaker
Dec 7, 2007, 1:24am

#40: Did you even check Brian Herbert's page here? Brian Herbert has written a few books with neither his father or KJA such as Sudanna, sudanna or Sidney's comet just to pick two at random. There is no reason to pick on Brian Herbert just because you personally haven't read his solo work. What I remember reading of his solo work was quite good, but I recall his strengths lying in more of the areas of humor/satire than the world-building his father was known for.

42rojse
Dec 8, 2007, 10:43pm

Thank you for that.

43rickl
Dec 9, 2007, 7:43pm

Hmmm, I'm thinking I should read the 3 "Legends of Dune" books, at least.

Please don't. Those will turn you off the whole enterprise. At least, they did me. I don't want to be unnecessarily rude, but half way through the second of the series it hit me that this really was unmitigated rubbish and that by buying the books I was supporting something I really didn't want to be associated with. It's rare for me to agree with the more extreme reviews on Amazon, but expressions like "paid by the word" really hit home (in spirit; no doubt they're not literally true).

I did enjoy the Prelude to Dune series, though. No doubt they would suffer by comparison to the originals, but I didn't really feel any need to compare them.

About the original trilogy, does anyone share my sentiment that Dune Messiah is underrated?

44rojse
Dec 10, 2007, 3:05am

I agree that the second is not as good as the first or third books. The book is too short, and there is not enough variety inside - only political intrigue, little environmental discussion, and not enough religious overtones. It only had one major event in it that set us up for the third story, instead of all the events packed in the first or third one.

45sussabmax
Dec 12, 2007, 5:35pm

On the Brian Herbert/Kevin J Anderson thing...I have to say I have read one other book by KA, Slan Hunter, and it was so incredibly terrible that it completely turned me off any other books by Anderson. It's possible that this was an anomoly, and maybe I am being unfair, but it means that I am not planning on reading the Legends of Dune books I picked up off the bargain table, especially given your experience, rickl. Honestly, though, even though the Dune world is so rich, it seems like there are too many books about it. It is hard for me to imagine that the books written by anyone other than Frank Herbert are really more about exploring novel ideas in the world than they are about making money. Not that I am opposed to making money, but as a motive for writing a book, it doesn't seem very compelling to me.

46iansales
Dec 17, 2007, 1:16pm

The sequels written by Frank Herbert are good - God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse Dune. In some respects, I'd argue that they're better than the original three. The prequels and sequels written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson are poor - and Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune especially so. They're best avoided.

47philosojerk
Dec 17, 2007, 1:22pm

I already posted this over on the cuteness thread, but since there's no such thing as too much cuteness, why not share over here, too? ;)


moar funny pictures

48amysisson
Dec 17, 2007, 5:49pm

^oh, now that's funny!

Especially as one of my cats got stuck in the sleeve of my husband's jacket once. Then she stuck her front paw through past her "elbow", so there was no going backwards. We were just about to cut her out when she finally wiggled through....

Back on topic, umm, well, let's see.

Aha! I have some production artwork from the Dune mini-series on my wall, signed by the artist. A friend's dad was the producer, and she got to go to Prague to see some of the filming, and brought us back the artwork as a gift.

(OK, that was sort of related!)

49Klea First Message
Edited: Dec 23, 2007, 5:14am

I had no idea there was a Dune-related discussion going on here! Anyway, I've read nearly all the Dune novels (both original series and the new stuff). I'm currently slogging through Sandworms of Dune and honestly -- it's drivel. Hunters of Dune was drivel. The Legends books were drivel. The House series was drivel. In short, I am extremely unimpressed with Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson for foisting this nonsense on the public and using every silly excuse they can find to retcon so much of the original material.

I belong to several Dune discussion forums, and there is quite a gap at times between those who consider the new books equally as canonical as Frank Herbert's books and those who -- to borrow a phrase -- say that "There can be only six!" (referring to the six FH-authored novels).

Has anyone here read National Lampoon's Doon? How about the Dune Encyclopedia? Those are quite good, too.

50sgtbigg
Edited: Dec 22, 2007, 4:12pm

While I own all of the Frank herbert Dune books I've never actually read them. I blame it on the movie, I really disliked it. I tried watching the mini-series a couple of years ago and didn't like that either. So my question is how alike are the movies and the books. Should I read the books even though I didn't like the movies?

Thanks

51scottja
Dec 22, 2007, 9:53pm

#50: Answers: Not very and yes.

52bluetyson
Dec 23, 2007, 3:15am

Mini-series better than movie and book much better than both.

Absolutely you should give it a shot.

The Dune Encyclopedia is pretty cool, yeah.

53iansales
Dec 23, 2007, 4:30am

I thought the mini-series was a bit bland, although the sequel, Children of Dune, was better. The Lynch film in under-rated. While the studio butchered his print, if you watch the extended or television version carefully, you can see his intent. And that would have made a great film.

54Noisy
Dec 23, 2007, 4:53am

I loved the Lynch film: could never see why people hated it so much. It's probably 35 years since I read the book, but it's certainly a different proposition to the film or mini-series, and is well worth reading. At the time, it was undoubtedly one of the ten best science fiction novels, and even now it's on the 'must read' list if you are at all interested in science fiction.

55geoffreyg1978
Dec 23, 2007, 1:18pm

I don't have much to add on the Frank vs. Brian discussion here; everything has pretty much been said. I would like to say that I agree with bluetyson regarding the movies. Mini-series better than Lynch film, but the weak budget makes you kind of giggle sometimes while you're watching it, especially the obviously painted backdrops. Also, Paul Atreides was not blonde in the book (but I guess neither was James Bond, and that turned out all right).

I believe that both movie franchises would have benefited incredibly from the use of a narrator over the action. Lynch's version did that a little bit with the voice of Princess Irulan, but it wasn't nearly enough. Herbert's universe is so rich and complicated that no viewer could possibly be expected to understand what he or she is seeing without having read the books first. That's why the movies are such a let down for so many people, I think. If there was a constant narrator, certain elements could be "explained" to the audience while watching the movie.

On another note, I agree with rojse in that Dune Messiah is too short. It doesn't feel like it quite belongs as its own novel. Notice how even the font size and formatting are larger than the other ones! LOL. Anyway, good chat, everybody.

56sussabmax
Dec 24, 2007, 12:09am

The problem with the movie is that there was just too much information in the book to be condensed into a movie of any reasonable length. Herbert was so masterfully subtle that I remembered a lot of elaborate stuff that turned out to be only mentioned in passing when I re-read the book recently. I remember reading an interview with FH about the movie, and he listed 4 or 5 big elements of his world that were just cut out of the movie, and it was still very long for a film. What I couldn't stand was all the whispering that was supposed to be their thoughts; I think if you can't find a way to convey the information without showing the characters' thoughts, or using a narrator, it's probably a good sign the story is not one that makes for a good movie.

57iansales
Dec 27, 2007, 4:44am

Apparently, a new Dune movie has been greenlighted. I doubt they'll get Alejandro Jodorowsky to direct it, although I'd pay good money to see the version he nearly filmed back in the 1970s.

I wonder if this new version will cast the Harkonnens as the good guys, fighting a losing battle against Fremen "insurgents" while trying to introduce democracy to Arrakis and protect the planet's spice industry... :-)

58reading_fox
Dec 27, 2007, 6:53am

#57 - very good. LOL

59Amtep
Dec 27, 2007, 6:40pm

I've always been amused by the casting of House Atreides as the good guys, even down to changing their color to blue in the computer games :) Even though Leto is, you know, the Red Duke. The Atreides were not nice people, they were just less brutal than the Harkonnen. And that was a matter of style, not ethics. They did what was necessary to maintain their power.

60geoffreyg1978
Dec 27, 2007, 7:49pm

Kind of a non-sequitur, but is there an authoritative answer as to whether Harkonnen is pronounced har-KO-nen or HAR-kuh-nen...?

61iansales
Dec 28, 2007, 4:07am

According to this page http://www.space.com/sciencefiction/tv/dune_harrison_001201.html
the proper pronunciation is HAR-kuh-nen.

I have the four LPs of excerpts from Dune read by Frank Herbert, but I haven't actually listened to them - I don't have a working turntable :-( But I suspect the pronunciation given above is taken from them or from interviews.

62geoffreyg1978
Dec 28, 2007, 2:57pm

Wow, thanks for that, even though I am saddened, heh. This was like when I learned that Smaug from The Hobbit was not SMOG but had the vowel sound of "foul."

63LamSon
Jan 6, 2019, 2:36pm

Coming to this topic eleven years late.
I read the first three original Dune books at least twenty years ago.
Last year I decided to read the entire series - prequels, originals, sequels.
I am just about finished with the third prequel trilogy.
While it has been too long to compare them to the original ones, I have enjoyed them. I certainly do not feel as if I have wasted my time.

Of course this is one person's opinion, I could be wrong.

64Lynxear
Jan 6, 2019, 5:10pm

It has been many many decades ago when I tried to read Dune.... I did not finish the book as I recall because of all the religious references. Even today, I don't like a ScFi book that has heavy religious overtones.

Perhaps if I picked up the book today my attitude would change toward the book...but I doubt it.

65Jarandel
Jan 7, 2019, 12:00am

>63 LamSon: What I disliked about the few non-Frank books I read was how... tabloid-y and unsubtle they were about delivering a lot of information or characterization that possibly was indeed extant in the father's notes (really, really big doubts about some) but that he was much more adept at letting the reader infer, derive, guess at, etc...

>64 Lynxear: It has many religious references yes, but to say the tone of the book themselves is religious, I wouldn't think so.

It does treats religions in general including most major faiths of today (or whatever they've become after millennia of speculated history) as equally human, historical, mutable phenomenons susceptible to manipulation, which might bother some I guess.

66iansales
Jan 7, 2019, 3:19am

>65 Jarandel: What I disliked about the Herbert Jr/Anderson Dune books was the brains in f*cking jars. Who writes sf in the twenty-first century with brains in f*cking jars? Also, the books were written like YA novels, and made changes to Herbert's original universe that contradicted the original books - the Butlerian Jihad, for example.

67pgmcc
Jan 7, 2019, 3:57am

I watched the Dune film years ago and enjoyed it. In 2018 I read Dune for the first time and found it wonderful.

Earlier in the year I had read The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa and this bowled me over. It struck me as The Prince discovers PR. On reading Dune I recognised so much in it from "The Leopard". The politics and development of perceptions are to the fore in both books.

"The Leopard" is set in Sicily at the time Garibaldi was carrying out his revolution that led to the unification of Italy.

68amysisson
Jan 7, 2019, 10:44am

>67 pgmcc:

You might also really enjoy the Dune mini-series. It was 6 hours (with commercials, so maybe about 5 hours in actuality?) so it could explore the themes in more depth. There is also a follow-on mini-series titled Children of Dune that covers the events in the books Dune Messiah and Children of Dune. They're both available on DVD.

69pgmcc
Jan 7, 2019, 11:16am

>68 amysisson: Thank you for that information about the mini-series.

70Lynxear
Jan 7, 2019, 12:00pm

>65 Jarandel: Well That is what stuck in my mind from all those years ago. I was in my early 20's when I read or rather partially read the book and didn't like reading SciFi books with religion back then and still don't as a matter of fact.

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