Notes from a Dune newbie

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ragabash
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Notes from a Dune newbie

Postby ragabash » 16 Apr 2010 14:42

Hey, all. I have something of a confession to make; until recently, I had never read any of the Dune novels. Something that made my brother cringe. :) Here's a few of my observations, for what they're worth.

My brother gave me a copy of Dune for Christmas this past year, so I sat down and read it. And man, was it everything you guys say it is. I was absolutely captivated by it. I must admit the inner monologue method Herbert used seems really stilted and forced at the beginning, but I found myself not even noticing after the first chapter. It's utterly necessary, given the complexity of the back story, and actually works really well.

The book was an amazing combination of action and philosophy, and the idea of taking up the dangerous mantle of mixing government and religion only being safely accomplished by an ubermensch is absolutely fascinating. I also adored the appendix in the back, with the short story about Pardot Keynes (sp?) being something of a savant with Aspergers' syndrome.

So, I eagerly awaited my brother loaning me a copy of Dune Messiah. And I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. It was an amazingly crafted work, as I expected, but I did notice that he seemed to slow the pace of story development down by a few orders of magnitude. This seems natural after reading it; after all, when he wrote Messiah, the success of Dune probably let him know he had the time to develop the story he wanted to at the pace he desired. Nonetheless, the story really did drag for me in that one.

The idea of the ubermensch getting his eyes burned out as foreshadowing for being tossed aside by the universe is really awesome. I was just kind of appalled that it happened in a suburb. It would be like if Jesus were crucified at a Wal-Mart. The choice of venue for such a momentous event in the storyline seems an odd and somewhat disappointing one.

I presume this has been hashed out before here, but I was curious if anyone shared this opinion, or could help me understand that decision by Herbert a little better.
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Re: Notes from a Dune newbie

Postby Omphalos » 16 Apr 2010 15:25

Actually, the suburban observation is a new one on me. Good call.

I thought the second book was inferior too. Things for me ramped up again in the third, Children, then by God Emperor were as goos as they ever were. Ill loan you children this weekend.

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Re: Notes from a Dune newbie

Postby Apjak » 16 Apr 2010 15:34

so, you still haven't gotten around to Children of Dune? CoD fixes DM for a lot of people; Dune stands alone, but it stands as an amazing trilogy too. Although, I love all of FH's work, esp. on the Dune series. If you ever finish all sixteen books, you will understand the full vitriol of the people here at what has been done to a brilliant and beloved piece of art.


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Re: Notes from a Dune newbie

Postby ragabash » 16 Apr 2010 18:15

No, I haven't read it yet. From what Omphalos said up there, it sounds like I'd like it more than Messiah.

I guess my main note is that Messiah could have been distilled down to a more concise, multi-chapter epilogue at the end of Dune.
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Re: Notes from a Dune newbie

Postby SandChigger » 17 Apr 2010 02:06

The "suburban" observation is a good one. Maybe FH wanted to remind readers that the most important stuff happens outside the throne room (halls of power, etc etc).

And if you ask me, Jesus is crucified in Wal-Mart every day of the week. ;)

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Re: Notes from a Dune newbie

Postby Freakzilla » 17 Apr 2010 06:17

Those suburbs were build for veterans of the Jihad.
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Re: Notes from a Dune newbie

Postby Superdog » 17 Apr 2010 10:14

I remember being confused when I first read Messiah, all this talk about Dune tarots and bizarro pregnancies. The plot against Paul is actually like four separate plots within each other.

Anyway, when I read it a second time everything cleared up and I appreciated it much more. I've heard people say it's basically Dune's fourth act, which I think is a good description.

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Re: Notes from a Dune newbie

Postby inhuien » 17 Apr 2010 11:57

Superdog wrote:I've heard people say it's basically Dune's fourth act, which I think is a good description.
Dune, Dune Messiah and Children of Dune should be viewed as one story arc, as intended by the author.
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Re: Notes from a Dune newbie

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 19 Apr 2010 14:45

Messiah is becoming one of my favourites, but I can see why most people don't have the same impression, I sure didn't the first time I read it.

As for the suburb thing, it might have just been the right place in the plot for that to happen, everything else in the scene fit best within that setting. If FH had a more subtle reason behind that location choice, I'd say it might have been to symbolize how anti-climactic the whole thing was for Paul, seeing it all happen just as he'd expected. What better location than a suburb for that?
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Re: Notes from a Dune newbie

Postby SandRider » 21 Apr 2010 13:13

Messiah's long been my favorite - I like the short time period over which the story takes place
(my favorite stories are those like that - everything happening over a day or so, while giving you
all the backstory & characterization along the way)

anti-climatic is a good word for it - and probably Frank's whole intention with this short piece -
the messiah loses his eyes while lying behind a curb in a housing project he built for his
veterans - (Fremen who had never lived in houses before) - the victim of a plot by some of
those veterans who had become as disillusioned with paul as he had of himself .... and
then there's Bijaz ....
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Re: Notes from a Dune newbie

Postby lotek » 21 Apr 2010 16:08

yeah I am rereading DM just after having finished it, i agree this anticlimax is probably what puts off most people
but again it is the mark of a great writer to take that risk, and the mark of a deserving reader to be able to endure the fall of one's hero

and nice to see you here again sandrider, funny enough i was randomly reading Dune and ended up on the chapter of Paul's first worm riding, when he becomes... a sandrider :) and I thought "now where is our very own rider of the sands?"

you've missed some action ;) and I am banned from dungnovels!
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Re: Notes from a Dune newbie

Postby Hunchback Jack » 21 Apr 2010 16:16

I think part of the problem is that things end pretty bleakly in DM, and you don't get a very specific picture of what Paul was *avoiding*. It's hard to understand why Paul would ever choose that outcome when you don't fully understand what the alternatives were.

CoD explains a lot of that, and I think DM becomes a better novel with CoD following it. I now like DM a *lot*. Some of the writing is just fantastic as well.

Edited to add: I don't really agree with DM being the fourth part of Dune. It definitely seems like a separate part to me; the tone and pacing is different, and we're really jumping ahead to see the consequences of Paul's choices in Dune.

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Re: Notes from a Dune newbie

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 21 Apr 2010 16:21

I think the way you're plunged right into Paul's failure in DM is exactly how FH intended readers to feel after the end of Dune when they felt like Paul could do anything. Trust those monkeys running the estate to go and ruin that.
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Re: Notes from a Dune newbie

Postby lotek » 21 Apr 2010 17:47

it feels as though they(esp, that retard of a hack)held a grudge towards Frank for ruining their perfect hero for them, they crave that YA shit of flawlessness, I believe they would feel hurt by that because to know a hero of fiction who can be perfect(if its creator so chooses)can fail, means a real person will definitely fail too at some point.

That means facing your own potential failure, and the bigger the ego the bigger the feel of the blow..

I too resented that Paul would not be that awesome fighting machine destroying the bad guys for revenge, but I was 10 or 12 at the time and it didn't last long when I understood the (terrible) purpose awaiting him.
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Re: Notes from a Dune newbie

Postby Tleszer » 21 Apr 2010 18:49

lotek, you get :orcs-buttshake: :orcs-buttshake: :orcs-buttshake: :orcs-buttshake: out of 5!

I gave out another 4/5? Ruh-row. Hope I'm not SC's "Shill Sockpuppet!" :whistle:
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Re: Notes from a Dune newbie

Postby SandChigger » 22 Apr 2010 00:41

Ooh! I Knew I was forgetting something! :lol:

Shill be coming 'round the mountain...

(I seem to be musically declined again. :shock: )

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Re: Notes from a Dune newbie

Postby lotek » 22 Apr 2010 06:39

Tleszer wrote:lotek, you get :orcs-buttshake: :orcs-buttshake: :orcs-buttshake: :orcs-buttshake: out of 5!

I gave out another 4/5? Ruh-row. Hope I'm not SC's "Shill Sockpuppet!" :whistle:



so do I :)
It ws an easy analysis since i just had to remember how I felt when first reading DM ;)


Chig I found the perfect one for you!
Salty leave , salty leave

tell me the one about the friend you knew
and the last good night that we toasted too.

Salty leave,
stay for me, stay for me

We drank wine in the matinee
and the spotlight showed what I chased away

Stay for me

She saw my comb over, her hourglass body
she has problems with drinking milk
and being school tardy
She'll loan you her toothbrush
she'll bartend your party


Kill me, kill me

I called and called, but I can't get through,
said he's on his own, but his own is you

Kill me



dunno who that is but how weird is the coincidence?

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Spice is the worm's gonads.