COLUMN: “Dune” by Frank Herbert is a difficult but useful read

Hard to miss all the press for the movie “Dune” lately, and if you’re a sci-fi fan, a fan of all of its all-star cast – like Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya – or just a movie fan in general, you might be excited about the release of this movie on October 22.

All the excitement surrounding the film also sparked curiosity about the book the film is based on, “Dune” by Frank Herbert. This book was released in 1965 and is the first in a long saga that continues today, with Herbert’s eldest son taking over after the author’s death in 1986.

I read the book “Dune” myself and although it was a bit of a challenge due to an unfamiliar language, overall I appreciated the themes and the care with which the story and the environment were taken. assembled.

Entering it, most of what I had known about the book was the fact that it was classified as science fiction and that its main setting was a desert planet teeming with giant sand worms. I was not prepared for the overlapping of his themes of family, survival and friendship.

The story uses a lot of unfamiliar words and phrases, and the book chooses to teach the reader to them through repeated exposure without explanation. This book wants the audience to take their time reading it, because if they go through it, especially the beginning, they will quickly become confused in the world that Herbert created.

There are also a lot of characters to keep in mind. The most prominent protagonist is called Paul Atreides, played by Timothée Chalamet in the film, a boy born into nobility. Many other characters come and go throughout the novel, and attention sometimes shifts from character to character, providing multiple perspectives to flesh out the bigger story.

“Dune” becomes political at times and a story of survival at others. Its sci-fi theme is mixed with elements of medieval fantasy. There are houses at war, political drama, death, prophecies, and ancient magic. It was a lot to understand while reading, I have to admit.

The book is able to juggle all of these concepts, balancing them with an interesting narrative and an intriguing setting. I invested not only in the characters, but also in the world in which they live. The cultures and settings have been very carefully designed and not all questions are answered.

So what would I say to a new fan who is considering reading the book? I would recommend it, but I would also recommend that they take their time with it. The book offers a lot of intrigue in its stories, themes and dialogues, but the reader must have the patience to go through an onslaught of unfamiliar phrases and places.

“Dune” releases October 22 in the US in theaters and on HBO Max.

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