Dune by Frank Herbert – A Read-along

Filled with alien culture, politics, world building and war, Dune by Frank Herbert, is a classic science fiction novel.  I am rereading it as part of a read-along organized by Carl VKailana and The Little Red Reviewer.  We are answering questions posed by our co-hosts.  Be warned, there will be spoilers.

Book One: Dune

1.  Did you see anything in this first section of the book that either you hadn’t seen before or that you had forgotten about, anything that stood out to you?

I had either forgotten or was not aware of the Byzantine layers of diplomatic and political intrigue, so very like our world!

2.  What did you think about the plot device of the early revelation that Yueh was to be the traitor?

I thought this revelation added to the tension and suspense, mainly because none of the characters suspected Yueh of being the traitor.  They suspected everyone else, including Jessica. After all, no one could turn a Suk doctor!

3.  What was your favorite part of this first section?  Which character(s) do you find most interesting and why?

My favorite part is discovering how the Fremen live, their ability to survive in the open desert, the community of the sietch, their culture.  I think Dune, the planet, is my favorite character.  I find Hurbert’s description of the environment and the ecology fascinating and the Fremen’s desire to change their planet very timely.  Who knows how we will live on planet Earth  in 100 years?  500 years?

4.  Did the revelation about the Harkonnen surprise you? Why or why not? Thoughts.

The fact that Jessica and Paul carry Harkonnen blood was a surprise, but knowing the Bene Gesserit predilection for genetic mixing and saving blood lines, it must be a very important part of the dynastic character of the Dune universe.

5.  Finally, please share some overall thoughts on this first section of the book.  Are you finding it difficult to follow? Easy to understand? Engaging? Boring?  Just share what you are thinking thus far.

I am enjoying rereading Dune, finding the political and ecological themes very timely and love the intrigue.

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7 Comments

Filed under Read-Along, SciFi

7 responses to “Dune by Frank Herbert – A Read-along

  1. It had been a while since my last read of Dune as well, and similar to you, I’d forgotten the layers upon layers of intrigue and subtlety. I remember reading somewhere that Herbert wanted this to be an ecological story, but people (myself included) seem to more see it as a political type story.

    The Fremen are great. and the Bene Gesserit are creepy awesome.

    I’m happy you’re enjoying the book!

  2. I am glad you are enjoying your reread. I actually had to bail on the book. It just wasn’t connecting with me… Maybe one day I will finish it, but right now I have put it aside…

  3. Pingback: Dune group read- Round 1 – Susan Hated Literature

  4. Yes, the intrigue is great and I am loving the way it builds in the next section. I’m excited to be able to finally post about that tomorrow.

    The Fremen are such an interesting race and I was pretty certain they were one of the things I would enjoy most about the book and that is coming true in the second section. Really good stuff.

    The planet and its ecology really is its own very important character in the book and I am finding myself enjoying that aspect in a similar way that I do Middle-earth in Tolkien’s books.

  5. TBM

    I loved and hated that no one suspected Yueh. It would frustrate me so much that no one saw the truth, but it also made it fun to read.

  6. They did put a lot of faith in the Suk conditioning, didn’t they? For all they feared making a machine in the image of a human mind, they didn’t seem to have a very good understanding of humanity’s weakness.

    Interesting choice for a favourite character. The story certainly is tied to the setting.

    Looking forward to reading your thoughts about Part Two.

  7. So much political intrigue! I enjoyed it, but I had to stop and think a few times to keep it all straight.
    They had so much faith in that Suk conditioning! It seemed like at least once someone brought up the possibility, but then dismissed it very quickly.
    I still have so many questions about the planet, and can’t wait to find out more. You’re right, that is the best kind of character of all.

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