Five Bullet Review: Dune by Frank Herbert (book)

Hello Friends & Family,

I’m generally a heavy research guy when I buy things.  I get excited digging in deep about a new area, topic or product.  It annoys the heck out of Sarah because she would prefer I “just pick something” rather than spend weeks and months learning about every corner case or limitation. However, I  can get annoyed by the overly exhaustive reviews or long videos about things.  Sometimes I just need the TL;DR .   So, I’m inventing the wildly innovative “Five Bullet Review” (sarcasm) — a short form review of well, anything.

  • Bullet #1 — The good
  • Bullet #2 — The bad 
  • Bullet #3 — The ugly 
  • Bullet #4 — The surprising
  • Bullet #5 — Recommendation

Feels straight forward, right?  And it’s ode to a classic Clint Eastwood film.

So, what should I review?  I have no idea but I thought I would start simple and review Dune by Frank Herbert which I recently read and listened to the Audible audio book during my time off.  Widely considered one of the top ten science fiction books of all time. 

Dune is set in the distant future amidst a feudal interstellar society in which various noble houses control planetary fiefs. It tells the story of young Paul Atreides, whose family accepts the stewardship of the planet Arrakis. While the planet is an inhospitable and sparsely populated desert wasteland, it is the only source of melange, or “spice”, a drug that extends life and enhances mental abilities. Melange is also necessary for space navigation, which requires a kind of multidimensional awareness and foresight that only the drug provides. As melange can only be produced on Arrakis, control of the planet is a coveted and dangerous undertaking. The story explores the multilayered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion, as the factions of the empire confront each other in a struggle for the control of Arrakis and its spice.

So, what did I think?

  • The good — Lived up to the hype.  Well written.  Fantastic character development.  Deep world building. 
  • The bad — Don’t listen to the Audible audio book.  “A” for effort but it got confusing as hell.  They had multiple readers reading different characters in different voices with different special effects.  The voices would change and you ask yourself, who the heck is that?  And why does that guy sound like Darth Vader? 
  • The ugly — Wow, the 1984 movie adaptation of Dune was a mess.  It was such a terrible movie that it turned me off to reading the book. Thank goodness the most recent adaptation by Denis Villeneuve is spectacular.  
  • The surprising — surprisingly fast read because there is plenty of action.  Some science fiction can get into annoyingly deep detail on things but in this case, Herbert did a good job keeping the story moving. 
  • Recommendation — if you like science fiction, you need to read Dune.  If you don’t, some of the world building might bore you but I still think it’s worth the read. 

Well, here’s to some more interesting reviews in the future.  

Let me know what you think.  Thank you for reading! 

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