Upon further thought...

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merkin muffley
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Re: Upon further thought...

Postby merkin muffley » 11 Oct 2010 23:27

For me, the first four are each really distinct from each other, but I love them all. Dune Messiah is my favorite, but I cycle through all of them. Dune and CoD are great epics, two of the best books I've ever read. I'm afraid I cannot endorse any of those criticisms of CoD. That's just my two cents, anyway.
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Robspierre
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Re: Upon further thought...

Postby Robspierre » 12 Oct 2010 00:03

Dune, Dune Messiah, & Children of Dune really are one tale in three parts. Messiah is the key that unlocks the the paths that Frank laid down in Dune and converge in Children.

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A Thing of Eternity
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Re: Upon further thought...

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 12 Oct 2010 00:24

I love CoD, the first time I got lost fairly badly, but upon rereading and rethinking it's perfectly clear and a wonderful read.

I loved the Preacher, what a sad sad person.
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SadisticCynic
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Re: Upon further thought...

Postby SadisticCynic » 12 Oct 2010 10:13

Meh. I take each book on its own terms, like and dislike various aspects of all of them.


Closest to my own view so far, but when pushed I usually choose God Emperor as the favourite. Practically impossible to rank them, I think.

I love CoD, the first time I got lost fairly badly, but upon rereading and rethinking it's perfectly clear and a wonderful read.


Yeah that happened to me as well.
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TheDukester
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Re: Upon further thought...

Postby TheDukester » 12 Oct 2010 11:06

SadisticCynic wrote:Practically impossible to rank them, I think.

Too right.

It took me many years to realize this, but not everything needs to be listed, ranked, sorted, or whatever. But we seem to live in a "top 10 [whatever]!" type of world (especially the U.S. — we are a rankings-obsessed people).

The Dune series is particularly tricky, as I'd argue that four of the books are vastly different than any of the others. Especially the original, which is why I said earlier in this thread that Dune itself needs to be set aside into its own category of one.
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Re: Upon further thought...

Postby Tycho » 12 Oct 2010 12:08

I think Heretics of Dune is very similar to the original. It brings back the intrigue and the political machinations of different factions (in fact I think it did 'wheels within wheels' better than the original Dune), and it creates great baddies and introduces entirely new science fiction ideas. It also has that same semi-thriller pacing. It's just what the series needed.

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A Thing of Eternity
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Re: Upon further thought...

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 12 Oct 2010 12:17

I did like what FH was doing with the last 2 books, but while Heretics had a lot in common with Dune, I think it was missing that "cult/mystical" feeling that there is in Dune the first time you read it. I don't know about everyone else, but the first time I read Dune I was totally sold, I knew all the prophecies were BS but I was pretty close to believing in them anyways, I certainly wanted to believe. Then Messiah smashes that all on the rocks, which is excellent, my experience was probably exactly what FH wanted - I got sucked in, bought into that hype of Muad'dib, and then had to see it all fall down.
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DuneFishUK
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Re: Upon further thought...

Postby DuneFishUK » 13 Oct 2010 17:02

A Thing of Eternity wrote:I love CoD, the first time I got lost fairly badly, but upon rereading and rethinking it's perfectly clear and a wonderful read.

I loved the Preacher, what a sad sad person.

The second half of CoD is up there with my favourite Dune - some of FH's best writing anywhere IMHO. The first half... not so much...

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Re: Upon further thought...

Postby georgiedenbro » 03 Sep 2014 23:21

I love Messiah, but am extremely nervous about recommending it to any friend who is reading or finishing Dune. Messiah is extremely cerebral, which I love but which I also recognize isn't great reading for many people. Messiah may be the book in the series most likely to make a reader feel stupid, maybe with the exception of GEoD. Having trouble following every part of Dune or Heretics? Well maybe things go quickly at certain times and re-reading is needed. But in Messiah you can feel like you just missed something even though nothing happened :shock:
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inhuien
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Re: Upon further thought...

Postby inhuien » 04 Sep 2014 01:33

RE recommending Messiah, the only other option is that they never continue reading Franks Dune novels. Which ain't an option imo.
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Re: Upon further thought...

Postby georgiedenbro » 04 Sep 2014 08:23

To be honest I'm happy enough if someone just picks up Dune in the first place. If they like it I'm tempted to avoid the scenario where they try Messiah and don't like it, retroactively making them like Dune less. I think Dune can stand on its own. The themes in it are complete if it's read carefully, even though the anti-hero theme isn't beaten into your head as strongly as it is later.
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Re: Upon further thought...

Postby Freakzilla » 04 Sep 2014 09:03

I hated it when I first read it but it's grown on me over the years. I've given it less credit than it deserves. I actually shouldn't say I hated it but it was a real downer after Dune. I wouldn't say it decreased my interest in Dune either. I kept going through CoD and GEoD and absolutely loved those. At that point I was caught up with FH so I anticipated the last two so eagerly I couldn't think of not liking them.
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MuaB'Beep
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Re: Upon further thought...

Postby MuaB'Beep » 04 Sep 2014 09:10

inhuien wrote:RE recommending Messiah, the only other option is that they never continue reading Franks Dune novels. Which ain't an option imo.


I think many people would be happier if they never hear of Dune Messiah what is it about and read it.

I mean Dune could be a without looking any deeper a coming of age and a revenge good vs evil story. At the end it seems fine and dandy - evil people are killed or punished and fremen have their hero.

When I read Dune Messiah for the first time I imagined Frank Herbet talking to me (I was 12-something):
- You liked Dune kiddo?
- Yes Mr. Herbert!
- Would You like to read the next part?
- Sure I do Mr. Herbert! Will it be about Paul conquering the universe and all will live happily ever after?
- NO YOU INSIPID DOLT! IT WILL BE ABOUT PAUL F***ING UP EVERYTHING!

At first I thought this book was some sort of joke - I hated it. Something like if FH was tired about people nagging him to write another Dune book so he wrote DM to shut their mouths and do some newspaper stuff he liked.

But with time I started appreciating it and now I think it is my favourite Dune book.

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Re: Upon further thought...

Postby D Pope » 04 Sep 2014 09:26

georgiedenbro wrote:To be honest I'm happy enough if someone just picks up Dune in the first place. If they like
it I'm tempted to avoid the scenario where they try Messiah and don't like it, retroactively
making them like Dune less. I think Dune can stand on its own. The themes in it are complete
if it's read carefully, even though the anti-hero theme isn't beaten into your head as strongly
as it is later.


It's kind of funny how Dune fans are such a rarefied lot. Every fan story starts with 'I just
picked up Dune' or 'saw the movie and...' but then it speaks to some more than others in a
way that separates us from them. It would take a better fellow than me to know why. Just
the members here cut a mean swath across the social spectrum, it's not easy to define the
clique without mentioning the book.
Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
-Omphalos

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Re: Upon further thought...

Postby georgiedenbro » 07 Sep 2014 12:44

The problem with Messiah is mostly how the story progresses. In Dune, there are many event-based chapters, and it cannot be mistaken what's happening. Paul and Jessica encounter the Fremen in the desert - Ok, got it. What were the details of the conversation there? Maybe not sure, but there's no mistaking that they met the Fremen and there was trouble. Ok! Same with the battles on Arrakis, same with the death of the Duke, and so on.

In Messiah a lot of the story's progression happens during conversations, and if you don't understand a conversation (a very likely result for a first-time reader), and if there is no 'physical action' to go along with it, then you've essentially just failed to follow to the story and you don't know why the story is where it is in the next chapter. If this happens multiple times (also likely) then you've basically got a reader who is lost and doesn't know why things are happening in general. Not much of a story for them, then. In my first read-through of it (at age ~17) I enjoyed it but was rather lost at times. I don't mind that, but I don't expect the average reader to tolerate not knowing wtf is going on for half the book.

Now that I understand the conversations I find the book awesome, but it took some work to get to this point. How many readers really want reading a book to be work? In Dune you can go through the book oblivious to the subtle messages and just enjoy the basic events and characters. I think that's fine, and is a stepping stone towards getting at the deeper meaning. My friend just finished Dune and loved the happy ending. I was met with wide eyes when I gently pointed out how it was no happy ending, but nevertheless she had enjoyed the book without realizing that. Could she enjoy Messiah while being oblivious to its subtle themes as well? I really don't know. As I said before, it would be some kind of risk to try.
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Re: Upon further thought...

Postby Freakzilla » 07 Sep 2014 19:26

Like I said earlier, I did NOT enjoy it until I studied it more. However, once you do peel back a layer or two it's very much worth it.
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Re: Upon further thought...

Postby Smiley » 08 Dec 2014 16:29

Maybe I need to re-read Dune but I thought it had a downer ending Paul wins and all but he spends a lot of time trying to prevent the jihad. On the first reading, it seems like he just gave up and knows it will happen. That's what I liked about the novels in general, there is always more to the story than the surface plot. Dune Messiah follows up on that thread. So if you read Dune and all you get is "Atreides good Harkonnans bad" "yay Paul" then yeah, maybe you should stop there or re-read it.

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Re: Upon further thought...

Postby D Pope » 09 Dec 2014 12:56

Smiley wrote:Maybe I need to re-read Dune but I thought it had a downer ending Paul wins and all but he spends a lot of time trying to prevent the jihad. On the first reading, it seems like he just gave up and knows it will happen. That's what I liked about the novels in general, there is always more to the story than the surface plot. Dune Messiah follows up on that thread. So if you read Dune and all you get is "Atreides good Harkonnans bad" "yay Paul" then yeah, maybe you should stop there or re-read it.

These are all good thoughts.
The happy ending- Paul breaks it off in the asses of those who conspired against his family.
The next level- what does this victory cost?

For those that make it passed the happy ending, the answer gets a little hard to define and
that's what keeps the Dune books relevant. The achievement lies in how the story seems to
grow with the reader.
Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
-Omphalos


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