January 2017 Book Club Book: Dune by Frank Herbert

Discussion in 'TMB Book Club' started by RegimentML, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Dune by Frank Herbert - Goodreads

    Set in the far future amidst a sprawling feudal interstellar empire where planetary dynasties are controlled by noble houses that owe an allegiance to the imperial House Corrino, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides (the heir apparent to Duke Leto Atreides and heir of House Atreides) as he and his family accept control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the 'spice' melange, the most important and valuable substance in the cosmos. The story explores the complex, multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion as the forces of the empire confront each other for control of Arrakis.

    Published in 1965, it won the Hugo Award in 1966 and the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel. Dune is frequently cited as the world's best-selling sf novel.
     
  2. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    I'm listening to this on audiobook. Not sure how it's going to go since I tend to stay away from listening to SFF due to weird names, plot complexity, length of the book, etc. Hopefully it works out okay.
     
  3. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    This is a lengthy book. Starting tomorrow. Last day off. Hoping to knock out a big chunk.
     
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  4. RegimentML

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    Yeah it's kind of long. Book club did read The Stand once, though. So at least it's nowhere near the longest.

    I'm through the first two chapters. I'm really liking it so far.
     
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  5. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    I also didn't realize this is a long series. I kind of hoping like it so not compelled to read them all :laugh:
     
  6. RegimentML

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    I think it's similar to Shannara where it was a massive hit so he just kept adding onto the world.
     
  7. Teflon Queen

    Teflon Queen The mentally ill sit perfectly still
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    Not too many characters and not a complex plot...one of the GOAT books period though
     
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  8. Truman

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    Having a little bit of trouble getting into this. The little excerpts to start each chapter from Princess Irulan have me thinking about Irulan from the Real World tho. <3
     
  9. RegimentML

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    How far are you? I'm on Ch 4. So I think ~20%.
     
  10. OHW

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    I've only read Dune, but I've heard from a couple people that the sequels are all over the place in terms of quality.
     
  11. Truman

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    I just finished Ch 13 which my kindle tells me is 20%

    Now that I know who is who and the relationships to each other, it's going faster.

    Pretty obvious Paul will depose his daddy at some point and be the savior of the people of Arrakis. Perhaps his mom is from there, or is of that race? Hinting that way.
     
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  12. RegimentML

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    Weird, Audible has Chapter 4 as 20%. Though the chapters do seem really long.

    Maybe I'm listening to a remastered edition or something.
     
  13. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    The table contents, it's divided in 3 parts Book One, Book Two, Book Three, then book of appendixes, so maybe that?

    But even that doesn't make sense because Ch 14 is only 2/3rds through book 1 . :idk:
     
  14. RegimentML

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    We'll probably discover I listened to Dune #9 or something by the end of this.

    :kermit:
     
  15. Teflon Queen

    Teflon Queen The mentally ill sit perfectly still
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    Is depose the word you're looking for?
     
  16. Truman

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    Oh wow... *oppose.

    After reading a few more chapters though...

    Im not so sure anymore. The Duke seems like a fair smart ruler, trying to acknowledge the native culture ect.
     
  17. RegimentML

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    I'm about 30%. So far I'm enjoying the world building but things are lagging a bit for me with regards to plot. Hopefully enough of the world has been explained that we can get deeper into the court games, intrigue, etc.
     
  18. Teflon Queen

    Teflon Queen The mentally ill sit perfectly still
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    What's happening at the moment(spoilers)? I can see how the plot could be a bit obscure for a first time reader...there's a hell of a lot of foreshadowing going on, particularly in the princess irulan excerpts, and it's a book that gets better with each read through.
     
  19. RegimentML

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    I'm listening to it so I'm going to struggle saying places and names. The Duke just got back from the worm incident and now they're having dinner with people. Jessica and Paul are reading into the reactions. That scene was pretty interesting and kind of goes along with the court intrigue point.
     
  20. Teflon Queen

    Teflon Queen The mentally ill sit perfectly still
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    This is a good, quick spoiler free synopsis of the universe for first time readers...

    Setting of Dune
    Thousands of years in the future, the human race has scattered throughout the galaxy, populating multiple planets ruled by aristocratic Houses who themselves answer to the galaxy's Imperial family Corrino. Key is the control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the valuable spice melange, which gives those who ingest it extended life and prescient awareness. Melange is crucial as it enables space travel, which in turn is monopolized by the Spacing Guild; its Navigators use the spice to safely plot a course for the Guild ships via prescience using "foldspace" technology, which allows instantaneous travel to anywhere in the galaxy.

    Ten thousand years before the beginning of the story, the human race had purged all machines that replicated many of the functions of the human mind. This event, known as the Butlerian Jihad, resulted in the destruction of all the robots, computers, “thinking machines,” and - significantly - the prescient computer navigator. Because of that last, it was necessary to replace the spaceship computers with the spice-addicted Guild Navigators to allow Ships to travel safely through space. The functions of the logical computers were replaced by the Mentats, humans who, through intensive training, learned to enter a heightened mental state in which they could perform complex logical computations.

    The spice is also crucial to the powerful matriarchal order called the Bene Gesserit. The secretive Bene Gesserit, often referred to as "witches", possess mental and physical powers developed through a combination of thousands of generations of genetic selection and years of physical and mental conditioning. When a Bene Gesserit acolyte becomes a full Reverend Mother by undergoing a massive overdose of specific narcotics (called The Agony), she gains access to her "ancestral memories" — the complete life experiences of all her female ancestors back to the point of conception. Only women have been able to survive the transformation. However, the Bene Gesserit have a secret, centuries-old breeding program to create a prescient superhuman — and male equivalent to a Reverend Mother—called the Kwisatz Haderach, who would not only be able to survive “The Agony”, but whose “organic mental powers would bridge space and time”.

    The planet Arrakis itself is completely covered in a desert ecosystem, hostile to most organic life. It is also sparsely settled by a human population of native Fremen tribes. Tribal leaders are selected by defeating the former leader in combat. The Fremen also have complex rituals and systems focusing on the value and conservation of water on their arid planet. They conserve the water distilled from their dead, consider spitting an honorable greeting, and value tears as the greatest gift one can give to the dead. Their culture also revolves around the spice, which is created as part of the life cycle of the giant sandworms who dominate the deserts. Bene Gesserit missionary efforts have implanted a belief in a male Messiah who will one day come and transform Arrakis to a world more habitable to humans.
     
  21. RegimentML

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    Good stuff. This is helpful.
     
  22. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Finished Part 1. Definitely drags but picks up in a hurry in the last few chapters.

    Kept wondering when this book gets good and why it's so revered. Now I can see it.
     
  23. Teflon Queen

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    I think if you were to go back and reread part 1 once you're done you wouldn't think it dragged :twocents:
     
  24. colonel_forbin

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    I only read the next two books in the series after finishing Dune. I thought Book 2 (Dune Messiah) was not very good at all, and Book 3 (Children of Dune), while much better than Book 2, also didn't hold a candle to Dune. I would stop after Dune.
     
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  25. Truman

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    Through Chapter 33. 55%

    Just waiting for Paul to snort a monster rail of spice and start fucking shit up.


    Finished Book 2.

    So far in this book the most interesting things are off Arrakis. How The Emperor or his surrogates at least are watching Vlad and fam like it's a game.

    Not really feeling this book, but will finish it.
     
    #25 Truman, Jan 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
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  26. Truman

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    Finished... Didnt love it. 6.5 out of 10


    Liked the social commentary about religion, environment ect. However this boils down to a super messiah that is just exacting revenge of his dead daddy.

    I hated the Princess Irulan experts to begin each chapter. It spoils the whole story.


    The Emperor was stupid. Replace the Harkonnen because they cant mine spice worth a shit, replace them with Altredies, only to get jelly AF because he's too good at it? pfffft. Also landing your ship in the middle of a hostile planet when all your clerics and advisors tell you not to. yet you still do and lose your crown.

    Paul coming to realize he couldnt contain the Freman and they are going to fuck up the galaxy/universe as cool. I assume that's what the next book is a bout.

    Glad I read it because just to know what the fuss is about, but don't really get the fuss.
     
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  27. Teflon Queen

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    Unsurprising from a guy who gave GoT 10/10
     
  28. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Im sorry I dont like your beloved novel as much as you do. Hope you can still sleep tonight.
     
  29. Teflon Queen

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    I don't care but honestly I think you missed some key plot points
     
  30. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Such as?
     
  31. Teflon Queen

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    I think you missed the motivations of the emperor and his puppeteering attempts with Arrakis
     
  32. Truman

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    Spoiler that for the people that are reading now imo

    Because he was paranoid about Leto's ascension... no?
     
  33. Teflon Queen

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    yea...I thought your original statements about replacing Harkonnen with Atreides because Harkonnen sucked and then getting mad about Atreides being good was off. It was an emperor/harkonnen plot from the beginning. It wasn't necessarily dumb, it was desperate.
     
  34. RegimentML

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    Through book 2

    I'd tend to agree. It's solid but I'm not to the point where I'm dying to know what happens next.

    Though I do like the world-building. Just seems a bit excessive and slowing down the scheming.

    To me the relationship aspect seems a bit forced. Wondering how we move forward with that.
     
  35. Iron Mickey

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  36. OTM

    OTM Apathy chic: you can't be hurt if you don't care.
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    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SeinfeldIsUnfunny
     
  37. Truman

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    While Im no Sienfeld fan, it's not unfunny as much as the people the constantly quote or compare everything to that one time that Kramer....
     
  38. The Blackfish

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    Starting tomorrow
     
  39. RegimentML

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    Finished

    I think I liked it more than Truman, but I didn't love it. Probably a 7/10 for me. I really liked the worldbuilding. I thought that was the strength of the novel. My main issue is, while there is a central conflict, I thought it took a backseat to some of the mysticism and societal elements. I thought the ending felt a bit rushed. Though I will echo Truman here and say that I did really like the final realization of being unable to control the Fremen. That was a good job of being more realistic and not allowing everything to be wrapped up with a neat bow.

    In the end I'm glad I read it. It's a classic in the genre, was well though-out and well written. Solid read.
     
  40. The Blackfish

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    Finished a few days ago. I enjoyed it. 7.5 / 10.

    I was pretty lost in the beginning but really started enjoying it once I got my bearings. Reading it today I didn't see anything too groundbreaking about it, but I can assume I would have felt differently having read it in the 60's.

    I like contrasting the Atreides father and son. Let cared more about people and was ultimately defeated, while Paul, who cared more about the end game (and with his particular set of skills), ended up winning. However, he won at the price of alienating his mother and friends and relegating the woman he loved to his consort as opposed to his wife (same as his father did).

    The Bene Gesserit stuff was a little weird but I feel like its pretty standard for sci/fi fantasy at the time. I am not planning on diving into the other books yet, but it will be interesting to see how the dynamic with himself and his sister plays out, as well as the son / or daughter of Feyd Rautha and the other Bene Gesserit witch.

    Also I've been calling my wife a bene gesserit witch ever since I started the book
     
  41. Truman

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    Thought some of you Dune fanboys would like this. This chick is weird, but is fun. She used to do some cool ASOIAF reviews. She's a Dune superfan and starting a series on this.

    Thought Dune was as dry as a desert, but for those that enjoyed it, should prob check this out