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Dune by Frank Herbert – Book Review

Science Fiction, Fantasy, Classics




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Book Review


Frank Herbert


Science Fiction, Fantasy, Classics

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Frank Herbert


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“Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.”


Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for… When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.


Dune took me on a roller coaster of emotions. One chapter could make me feel love, hate, grief, respect, disgust, wonder, excitement… I laughed, and I gave water to those dead and alive—so much water.

It wasn’t until around page forty that I somewhat settled into this story called Dune. The first few chapters are quite dense with new names, characters, organizations, conflicts, schools, cities, etc. I had to take it slow yet steady and read only a couple of chapters per day to let it all sink in.

The Deluxe copy of Dune that I grabbed has a glossary of terms in the back of the book, so I paused and referenced those a few times throughout the pages, which helped me wrap my head around this new universe that I was suddenly thrown into and faced with adapting to the new terminology.

At times, in the beginning, I felt that I had no idea what was happening. After searching Google for: “Reading dune and I have no idea what’s happening,” I had the reassurance that this was completely normal, so I trekked on. Eventually, the dialogue would reveal something, or a character’s thought would reassure me that if I just embrace the unknown, the story would unfold in the right moments (maybe I had to adjust to the Spice and not fear the power of all that it could show me; After all, “Fear is the mind killer.”)

In truth, some of that struggle stemmed from much of the politics right off the bat. As someone who is tone-deaf when it comes to politics, there were parts where I zoned out and had to read the paragraphs a couple of times over to make sure I took away the relevant points (this is a me thing). Pushing through and moving on was well worth the effort, and eventually, I didn’t want to stop reading.

Once I become somewhat familiar with the new world’s terminology that was packed into the first few chapters, around the hundredth page, I was utterly enthralled and swept away by the characters into the universe and this desert planet Dune, also named Arrakis.

I wrestled with the want, not a need, to understand certain aspects of the universe and its characteristics. I kept wondering, “Is this sci-fi or fantasy?” After wrestling with this question, I would say it’s a bit of both. There are some supernatural elements that may stem from a spiritual nature, but to me personally, those lean more on the side of fantasy. Dune is unlike anything I’ve read or watched; Maybe Battlestar Galactic meets Game of Thrones, but Dune holds true uniqueness of its own.

There were many points of views throughout the chapters. Each glimpse into a new character’s thoughts helped shape the story, fill in gaps, and build the world; most importantly, mold a rapport with individuals and reveal theirmotives and sentiments towards the events unfolding around them.

I ended up caring profoundly and developed a fondness for the Fremen. Respect grew as I learned of their resilience to adapt to a desolate planet and, still somehow through the struggles, have the will and motivation to bring one man’s dream of what could be to fruition. As a people working towards something that they would never see, their devotion to an idea for the betterment of their people was something that we as a society could learn from.

In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed this read and encourage you to pick it up and give it a try.

I’ll forever have vivid memories looking out into the dawn covered dunes, holding back that pang of anxiety listening to thopters above, the constant droning across the way––thump, thump, thump––until the maker reveals itself to the night.




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5 thoughts on “Dune by Frank Herbert – Book Review”

  1. Dune has mixed reviews on Goodreads, and I was worried about picking it up, but I’m happy to say I absolutely enjoyed this story. I will likely reread it with Hubby; it was that good.

    What was your experience? Did you love it, hate it, or was it just okay?

    I’m not sure if I’ll continue with the entire Dune series as this one does stand alone, and I’m afraid that the next ones might ruin how perfect this story is. Did you read them all? If so, would you recommend continuing?

    1. Yes! It was quite overwhelming in the beginning, but it’s worth sticking it out for sure!

      You’re right! The Dune: Deluxe edition has one of the most beautiful sleeves, and the naked book is simply elegant with the brushed gold, embossed details, and end page artwork. If you couldn’t tell, I love it too! haha

  2. Read the book many times starting from the 60s. It is one of the great classics of science fiction. I am interested that people find the whole new world problematic. One of my other favorites is Anathem by Neal Stephenson. It is of the same type. In fact, for me, part of the point of science fiction is for the author to build a universe. As some might say, the universe is the thing!

    1. Dune truly is an exceptionally great classic! I can’t believe it took me this long to pick it up. Also, I read the synopsis for Anathem by Neal Stephenson and it looks like something I might enjoy! Thank you for the recommendation! 🙂

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