Due to the blockbuster film adaption of the novel Dune that was scheduled for a November 2020 theater release, advertising for the science fiction adventure was virtually inescapable for the entire year prior.
When Covid-19 suddenly swept across the world, cinemas were unfortunately forced to close their doors, and movie studios elected to reschedule their biggest films for the following year, pushing Dune to October 2021. Though the reshuffling was more than justifiable under the circumstances, in the lead up to the initial release date my personal anticipation for the film had morphed into a ravenous hunger, and the only way this craving would be satisfied now would be by picking up the book itself.
Once I began on the paperback, it only took about 30 pages before I started kicking myself that I’d neglected to read the book til now, as the material was distinctly up my alley. I finished the novel as swiftly as anything I’d ever consumed, and I dove straight into the Wikipedia page to ascertain where the edges of this fictional universe stretched. Although I had a hazy awareness that there were a few more books published within a larger Dune saga, I learned that the author of the series, Frank Herbert, had written six installments in total. The titles of each of those novels are as follows:
- Dune Messiah
- Children of Dune
- God Emperor of Dune
- Heretics of Dune
- Chapterhouse: Dune
Just terrific stuff, Mr. Herbert.
Intricate world-building and complicated lore is pretty much catnip for me, so when I learned that Dune was only the beginning of a comprehensive series, I immediately went to my local library’s website and reserved a copy of each of the other five books (I quickly realized this was overkill, as the demand for the rest of the series was pretty sparse, but this demonstrates the amount of excitement I felt in the moment.) In mere days I went from having my feet in the kiddie pool, to performing a cannonball into the deep end.
To attempt to broadly discuss what the books are about is very challenging, because the scope is too large to really summarize anything in a coherent way – to attempt: The series is about discerning the difference between value and price, with an eye toward family, spice melange, and the future. This may not reveal much of anything, but it’s okay to venture into this story blind, preserving the mystery is fun.
Since it can oftentimes be more of a de-motivator to push an entire book series all at once as a recommendation, I’ll avoid doing that now by limiting my endorsement to solely the initial book, Dune. After all, there’s only one place to start the series.
While this first book may not qualify as a “light read” – not only is the page count high, but the reading is further slowed by the sheer amount of invented language Herbert employs in the text – the novel overall is constructed with an incredible eye for detail, enabling Herbert’s brilliant mythology to shine from start to end.
Anyone who’s on the lookout for the ever-elusive book series that sustains its quality all the way through, the decision to embark on Dune is your Golden Path. Quit allowing it to collect dust on the bookshelf, pick it up today!
As a brief addendum directed at those who just generally want to read a little more in life, but can never find the time or motivation, here’s my unsolicited outlook on it:
If you always wait for inspiration to strike before you start a reading session, you won’t finish many books. Instead, swap this *fickle muse* for some *honed craft*, and assign yourself a daily reading schedule. When you build up the habit of reading using this approach, not only does the inspiration no longer need to be
conjured beforehand, but it starts following you around instead!
This is a very achievable proficiency, and you’re closer than you may think to accessing it for yourself. I’ve written previously about my personal reading method, “The 5% Approach”, where I break up a book into identical and manageable chunks to ensure that I finish it in under three weeks. It couldn’t hurt to try!