My Life in Books: Dune
I went through a science fiction phase in my teenage years,triggered by my obsession with Star Wars. When I picked up Frank Herbert’s classic, I think I was 15 – the same age as the hero, Paul Atreides. Which was probably one of the reasons I liked it so much.
My immediate impression is that the world building was overwhelmingly complex, but impressive. I enjoyed the book and got to the end, and began to work through the series. I think I got as far as GOD EMPEROR OF DUNE before it all got way too complex and I gave up.
The cover featured here was on the book that I read, but I had trouble finding it. There have been many editions of it published since then. There also seems to be a vast number of additional books in the series published since I gave up on it. I have never met anyone that stuck with the whole series – most people who started reading this series appear to give up with the same book I did, or on CHILDREN OF DUNE, which I think was the one before.
The first film of the book, with Kyle MacLaughlin, came out not long after I read it, and when I went to see it, I was rather glad I’d read the book first – as a teen, I felt the film would be pretty incomprehensibe to anyone not familiar with Frank Herbert’s universe. I did quite like Kyle MacLaughlin’s portrayal of Paul, though (he was too old to play a 15-year-old, but since he had to age several years in the course of the film, I was prepared to overlook that), and I thought the Baron – the Floating Fat Man – was suitably disgusting.
I think this book is one of those timeless classics, that should be read by anyone with even a passing interest in science fiction, no matter how old or young they are.