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    Book Review - Direct Descent, by Frank Herbert

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      Non-Dune Frank Herbert Book Discussion

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    Book Review - Direct Descent, by Frank Herbert

    Postby Omphalos » 18 Mar 2010 21:30

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    Direct Discent is the only YA entry in Frank Herbert's entire catalog. Expanded into novella length from a 1954 story called Rat Pack Planet it tells the story of a 81st century Earth that has been hallowed out entirely and turned into a planet-sized library. The innards of the Earth were used to construct a fleet of ships that colonized the stars while the people who remained behind dedicated themselves to the pursuit of knowledge; they sent wave after wave of librarians out who collected knowledge, returned to Earth, created programming about thier discoveries, then broadcast those programs to everyone in the universe for free. If you decide to read this work, do not go into it expecting Herbert's usual standards. The book is divided into a short story (the original) and a novella, both of which are untitled. The short story is terrible and the novella is only marginally better. And when I say that this book is YA, know that there is a heavy emphasis on the "Y." Parts of this book read like an English primer, and though in one, maybe two places some of Herbert's brilliance showed, the book strangely lacks any cohesive or meaningful message...Please click here, or on the book cover above, to be taken to the complete review..
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    Re: Book Review - Direct Descent, by Frank Herbert

    Postby Mr. Teg » 19 Mar 2010 03:45

    I've always wondered if he had the Foundation series in mind when he wrote Direct Descent.
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    Re: Book Review - Direct Descent, by Frank Herbert

    Postby TheDukester » 19 Mar 2010 11:18

    Omphalos wrote:The short story is terrible and the novella is only marginally better.

    Thanks for the warning. I'll just avoid this one if one of those "author completist" urges comes over me.
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    Re: Book Review - Direct Descent, by Frank Herbert

    Postby Omphalos » 19 Mar 2010 13:43

    I was really disappointed with this one. It could have been so much better.
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    Re: Book Review - Direct Descent, by Frank Herbert

    Postby Omphalos » 19 Mar 2010 13:58

    Mr. Teg wrote:I've always wondered if he had the Foundation series in mind when he wrote Direct Descent.


    Didn't think about that until you mentioned it, Teg. An overbearing, distant, human-only empire flexing its will on a group of pacifist "encyclopedists" who live on a planet with no metal resources, and where the protagonist jets off to the unknown and falls in love with a young woman. The Herbert story even has mutants. Nice call!
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    Re: Book Review - Direct Descent, by Frank Herbert

    Postby trang » 20 Mar 2010 10:51

    I enjoyed the story, but understood the audience. I wasnt comparing it to the other works, just one of Franks others to read and get off my pile of hundreds. Understand your review and position, and as always, excellent.

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    Re: Book Review - Direct Descent, by Frank Herbert

    Postby SandRider » 20 Mar 2010 14:16

    Omphalos wrote:
    Mr. Teg wrote:I've always wondered if he had the Foundation series in mind when he wrote Direct Descent.


    Didn't think about that until you mentioned it, Teg. An overbearing, distant, human-only empire flexing its will on a group of pacifist "encyclopedists" who live on a planet with no metal resources, and where the protagonist jets off to the unknown and falls in love with a young woman. The Herbert story even has mutants. Nice call!



    wow, I think I vaguely remember this one, but as I was reading the OP,
    I was thinking - the library thing, was that Foundation or what ... ?

    I know that in the 60s & early 70s I read a whole of everything I could lay hands on;
    alot of that is still jumbled together .... and so many short stories in magazines ...
    I remember reading one of the Ringworld books sometime and thinking [i]didn't I read this
    in a short?[i] .... that was before the innerwebz when you could answer questions like that easily ...

    good find, Omph, thanks ...
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