Book Review – Dune by Frank Herbert


Dune (Dune, #1)Dune by Frank Herbert
5 of 5 stars

An incredible story that revolves around the fate of Atreides family, with Duke at its head, his Bene Gesserit concubine Jessica and son Paul, who have been entrusted with the control of Arrakis. Duke’s family in this alternate world were given control of this spice island, Arrakis but were set upon by their enemies and were then made fugitives. But then the plot thickens and it comes out as a story of resilience and valour of their last surviving members of Atreides family and how they aligned themselves with native Fremens to retake control of their destiny. This sci-fi book stands apart from others as it takes early Islamic victories as the plot and then superimpose that in a distant future to bring us a tale of a new Muad’Dib prophet who kills his enemies and establishes a new empire. It’s also a story of a disenfranchised people who believed in their myths, took a fugitive in their fold and then beat against all odds the mightiest of all armies in a different world, much like what was achieved in the early centuries of Islamic history here on earth.

The plot of Dune is set at a time when Machines have been decimated in the Butlerian Jihad and decree has been passed declaring “Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a man’s mind”. Now there are only cyclops like enhanced humans, some of whom have superhuman analytical abilities like Mentats, others have superhuman intuitive powers like Bene Gesserit. They represent the dichotomy of empiricists-believers, male-female and scientific-religious with a proposed solution of Kwisatz Haderach who will eventually merge these two extremes and show the path forward for a Nietzschean superhuman race.

This book has everything, religion, politics, effects of colonism on natives, fury of nature and blatant destruction of resources for consumption by insatiable races of people. The book also shows the power of myth making and religion on people and how these can be sustained over huge lengths of time to drive people to do near impossible feats.

View all my reviews

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