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.