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Re-reading the chronicles / Tolstoy

Posted: 26 May 2014 16:47
by Excape Felicity
So over the last 2 years I re-read, in the following order:

Dune
Dune Messiah
God-Emperor of Dune
Heretics of Dune
Chapter House Dune

Biggest pleasant surprise: how much better Dune Messiah was than I remember.

Second biggest pleasant surprise how much better God-Emperor of Dune was than I remember.

Dune and Heretics of Dune were just as good as I always recalled.

Chapter House. Well, it needs a re-edit - the middle 150-so pages are very dull. As with all the FH Dune sequels, Chapter House tries to balance i) plot, ii) characters and iii) socio-geo-politico-philosophical discussion. Sometimes element iii) is just tedious to read. However, the final 100 pages of Chapter House are excellent and are a satisfying end to the chronicles that leave the readers' imagination free to wander [whilst avoiding the 'other' books].

It's interesting that Tolstoy gets name-checked in Chapter House. Having read Anna Karenina for the first time recently I can see that FH's ambitions to weave socio-geo-politico-philosophical discussion, and exploring what it means to be human, into the Dune novels may have been partly fed by reading Tolstoy, the master of this art. The difficult task is to knit these discussions seamlessly into an engaging story. Failure to integrate the discussion just leaves you with annoying interruptions to a wonderful story.

Frank, I salute your efforts. I will continue to read then until my no-ship makes the jump to fold-space.

Re: Re-reading the chronicles / Tolstoy

Posted: 26 May 2014 17:19
by Freakzilla
Chapterhouse seemed very rushed to me.

Re: Re-reading the chronicles / Tolstoy

Posted: 27 May 2014 14:03
by Serkanner
Time for a re-read!

Re: Re-reading the chronicles / Tolstoy

Posted: 08 Jun 2014 00:42
by Mr. Melange
Freakzilla wrote:Chapterhouse seemed very rushed to me.


Now wait, how do you feel Chapterhouse was rushed?
Cause I had often thought of the book as Drunkens thought of it; slow, but in a highly respectable manner.
I can see that what FH was trying to convey/create was so massive in scheme that he ended up fitting a lot in the book, but at least for me, Chapterhouse pisses me off simply because my attention span will not allow me to reread it in its entirety. I often just read the last third, though recently i tried to reread it, and decided to switch to Heretics. Perhaps its just the unimpressed American in me, but since Chapterhouse followed such an action packed book, I have always seen it as the slow come down from whatever metaphorical climax.

Re: Re-reading the chronicles / Tolstoy

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 07:10
by Freakzilla
NiggaHwi wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:Chapterhouse seemed very rushed to me.


Now wait, how do you feel Chapterhouse was rushed?
Cause I had often thought of the book as Drunkens thought of it; slow, but in a highly respectable manner.
I can see that what FH was trying to convey/create was so massive in scheme that he ended up fitting a lot in the book, but at least for me, Chapterhouse pisses me off simply because my attention span will not allow me to reread it in its entirety. I often just read the last third, though recently i tried to reread it, and decided to switch to Heretics. Perhaps its just the unimpressed American in me, but since Chapterhouse followed such an action packed book, I have always seen it as the slow come down from whatever metaphorical climax.


Maybe it's just the last third that's rushed but it seems like he goes into elaborate detail setting up what's going to happen then all of a sudden plans change. I kind of feel the same way about Heretics. I feel like both should have been a little longer or maybe FH should have gone through them one more time. The four previous books in the series seem to, at least in hindsight, make a lot of sense but the in the last two the endings seemed rushed and maybe just cobbled together.

It could have something to do with the fact that his wife was dying while writing HoD and died while he was writing CH:D. Finishing CH:D was actually one of her dying wishes.

Re: Re-reading the chronicles / Tolstoy

Posted: 15 Jun 2014 09:12
by Mr. Melange
Ive always sort of excused that lack of sense of HoD and CH:D by that we are just missing Dune 7, but i should probably treat FH like a human sometimes.
I know what you mean. When i grow the balls, i wanna read CH:D keeping in mind that FH probably just wanted to crawl into a corner and die once he was done.

Re: Re-reading the chronicles / Tolstoy

Posted: 15 Jun 2014 09:25
by Freakzilla
I still think they're great books, just hard to follow.