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BHS Register

The Student News Site of Burlington High School

BHS Register

The Student News Site of Burlington High School

BHS Register

Should I read Dune?

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A year ago, I walked into Crow Bookshop with some friends. I walked out with an 800-page book, promising myself I would read it. “Dune,” by Frank Herbert, sat collecting dust on my shelf for 8 months.

It only saw the light of day again when the release date of the movie Dune: Part II, the second installment in the series adapting Herbert’s work, was on the horizon and I needed a book that would last me through February break. Immediately, I blasted through 300 pages. I was surprised at the readability of the prose, the pace of the plot, and the depth of the characters. I expected a sci-fi giant like “Dune” to be as dry as its desert setting, but it caught my attention and didn’t let go until I had finished the book.

That being said, I am the girl who read all of “War and Peace” of my own free will. So does “Dune” being worth it for me make “Dune” worth it for everyone? Probably not. To learn if it might be worth it for you, see below.

If you saw and liked both Dune Part I and Part II:

Yes, give it a shot! The book offers a lot more detail into the cool tech and the history of the world that the movie adaptation has no time to get into. The inner monologues of the characters provide a lot of additional context to their actions. The book and the movie compliment each other very well.

If you want to get into sci-fi:

Sure, you can try. This book is not inaccessible in terms of language, nor is its worldbuilding super confusing, but its themes are complex and its length is daunting. If you’re determined, go for it, but if not, I recommend “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card, or “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams as good introductions to the genre. The “Skyward” series by Brandon Sanderson is also a good starting point if you want to lean more towards Young Adult literature.

If you like your stories morally uncomplicated:

Definitely don’t try “Dune”. It’s common knowledge that Frank Herbert only wrote the second book in his eventual six part series because people kept misinterpreting the first as a simple heroes’ journey. On second look, the main character Paul is the villain, killing billions in his quest to take over the known universe, and also a white savior. On third look, Paul turns any and all tropes on their heads and is none of those things (although the killing billions thing still happened).

If you enjoy political intrigue:

Yes! Read “Dune”! There are many interesting scenes of plots and politicking in the book that never made their way into the film. What was happening behind the scenes of the Bene Gesserit plots? How does Lady Jessica assist Duke Leto politically? You can find out in just 794 pages!

If you were really sad when Jason Momoa’s character died in the first movie:

Stick it out to the second book.

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Penelope deRosset, Staff Writer
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