Jim's Books


Frank Herbert

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ISBN: 9780340960196


Melange, or 'spice', is the most valuable - and rarest - element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person's life-span to making intersteller travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world Arrakis.

Reviewed on 7th July 2024

I’ve waited many decades to read this, but a desire to avoid the films until I’ve done the book finally prompted me into it.

At its core this is the tragic tale of a young man forced by prophecy/destiny into a course of actions that he has almost no control over, serving as a vehicle for building a science fiction world seemingly decrying a capitalist future of oppression by a hereditary ruling class.

I struggled to find most, if any, of the characters engaging, and the worldbuilding limited in interest with the focus being more on the politics than anything else. I found the plot to be slow, and driven much more by what people were thinking rather than doing.

The narrative frustratingly flicked between characters, often seemingly mid-sentence, so just when I was starting to feel comfortable in an alignment I was thrown elsewhere. I’m not sure I would read something that’s so much in the heads of its characters and think “this’ll make a film”.

As much as I wanted to appreciate it, I don’t expect to be picking up any of the sequels.

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