Dune was written by Frank Herbert and published in 1965. It won the Hugo Award in 1966 and the Nebula Award in 1965. After writing the Dune Herbert has submitted the novel to over twenty publishers and it is rejected by all of them. Dune is finally published by Chilton Books.
Thousands of year later countless planets are inhabited by humans and ruled by an Emperor. Despite settling countless planets humans are using a low level technology. About ten thousand years ago intelligent robots and computers with great artificial intelligence take control of everything and enslaved all humanity.
In the beginning of the Dune, House Atreides is appointed to govern the desert planet Arrakis which was the opposite of their water planet Caladan. And the story goes on the desert planet Arrakis.
There was an old dispute with House Atreides and House Harkonnen who are also the previous governors of the Arrakis. Baron Vladimir, the head of the House Harkonnen, wants to rule the Arrakis because of the spice. Spice is very important in Dune universe, most of the technology is based on the spice. For example the navigators are using spice, the mélange, to find the routes.
After the House Atreides moved to the Arrakis, Vladimir kills the Leto Atreides who is the head of House Atreides. Despite everybody thinks, Leto’s concubine Jessica and son Paul has also been killed, they have survived thanks to Liet-Kynes and Wellington Yueh who is tragically betrayed the family.
Two years later Paul Muad’Dip strikes with his Fremen friends. In these two years, Paul has transformed into a leader and has some superhuman powers. Fremen’s are call him as the prophet and the Bene Gesserit society is calling him Kwisatz Haderach.
One of the important part of the Dune is the characterization. Even the minor characters are very detailed, and you can feel their presence. You can easily feel the differences between the characters.
Main character of the Dune is Paul Atreides. At the start of the book Paul is portrayed as the child of the House Atreides and during the 2 years of time he is slowly, actually very quickly, to a hero or something like messiah. While reading his transformation, I notice that I like messiah like characters who has transformed into something different and who has god-like abilities. Paul has become the leader of the Fremen, he has wed with one of them, he has organized the Fremen to jihad and finally he has been successful on taking the revenge of his father from the Harkonnens and the Emperor. He is also very intelligent on taking the decisions.
Paul’s mother, Lady Jessica is also one of the main characters. During Paul’s awakening Paul reveals Jessica was the daughter of the Vladimir Harkonnen, and due to this Kwisatz Haderach has come to the universe one generation earlier.
Gurney Halleck and Duncan Idaho are sword masters of the House Atreides and they have an important role on Paul’s ability on fight.
Frank Herbert wants us to hate Harkonnens and probably you will hate all of the Harkonnens especially from Vladimir and Feyd-Rautha.
Princess Irulan seems to be the narrator but we could not see her until the end of the book when Paul made the marriage agreement. We are reading the whole book from Irulan’s notes.
There are many themes in the book. Religion, environment, ecology, secret organizations and politics. In this book we can see the dark and the light side. Atreides’ are mostly described as the good ones, and the others mostly Harkonnens and to some degree the Emperor are described as the bad guys. Also born of a hero motif is used. At the first part Paul tried to prevent the Jihad but at some point he could not stop and use the jihad to destroy the bad guys.
I like Frank Herbert’s style. First of all the whole story and setting is great and Herbert used a perfect style to tell his story.
Years ago I’ve read House Atreides which is written by Frank Herbert’s son Brian. I could not remember the details but remember I’ve really liked the general concept and the world. I remember the Atreides probably the event when Jessica’s mother get pregnant by Vladimir and a slave boy, probably Duncan Idaho, is running all the time.
I’ve started listening the Dune in 2nd of January and finished it on 21st of January. It is really a long but exciting book. I highly recommend the Dune to anyone who like science-fiction. Even if you do not like science-fiction you can give it a try.