terça-feira, 23 de janeiro de 2018

Book Review | Dune (Dune #1) by Frank Herbert

Truth is, reading this book made me feel dumb initially. There was so much to grasp in the beginning, so many concepts and words, I got trapped while trying to get into the world Dune sets, slowly making my way for months, wondering why my brain was so closed to it. Thankfully, that was only the beginning. Unlike the editors who refused this book for being too complex, I did not give up on it. That made it all the more enjoyable when something like a consciousness shift occurred and Dune became impossible to put down.

I could not even begin to summarize this story. It contains politics, religion, philosophy, mysticism, and surprisingly, ecology. In fact, one could read this book under one of those umbrellas, and then go back and read it through another lens and get a different meaning. Modern science fiction is clearly set on the shoulders of Frank Herbert's Dune. Therefore, I am of the strong opinion that Dune should be taught in schools.

Wishful thinking aside, Herbert's prose was hard to decipher. I read the dialogues and could almost feel the enormous subtleties in meaning that were completely passing me by. The prophecy of Muad'Dib, a messiah figure on the fictional planet Arrakis, was an intriguing one. All chapters seemed to start with quotes from a fictional book telling the story of the mystical Muad'Dib, or explaining foreign traditions so well in the future, but with so many ancient details to them, that this felt like a real telling of an historical future yet to take place.

The world of Arrakis, which I find so familiar because it resembles the Middle East, with a precious resource, finite and coveted, a harsh desert that carves customs and faces, and in era where computers are the enemy, all of that made this world so enticing. There are sandworms, nomadic people with strange and understandable traditions related to water, a precious resource that's lacking and that dictates daily life and war life, and there are futuristic politics between houses, a whole universal imperium ruled in a business fashion, but yet religious practices, and even a bible. And prophecies. And drugs that make humans a little closer to gods.

It's hard not to take Dune as a sort of prediction of the future, the millennial future in which the interstellar travel might be child's play, artificial intelligence becomes an enemy, life is based on another finite resource other than oil, the top 1% grows stronger, and people need a messiah like Muad'Dib to guide them to a prosperous future.

10/10

Where can you purchase this book?
Dune on Book Depository from €7.70.
Dune on Amazon UK from £3.41.

Vanessa

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