Friday, October 8, 2010

Dune, by Frank Herbert

I have just finished reading Dune by Frank Herbert. For the first couple of chapters I was confused – way too many characters with weird names, titles and religions – and then I got into the rhythm of it. It’s a good sign that as soon as you finish a book you check the back to see what the sequel is called.

Dune is one of those books where the setting is almost a character of its own, where it is fleshed out and brought alive, and that’s a rare thing in a book where the entire world is imagined. Most books with fantasy landscapes give the bare bones and let the reader fill in the blanks, but not here. The descriptions of the desert were truly evocative, and the heat felt pervasive.

Dune has a cult following. I liked this book, but wouldn’t call myself a convert. I will read it again though, and look out for the sequels.

I did wonder if books like Dune are still published – it is a hefty 464 pages in the edition I read, not counting the appendices, containing hundreds of characters. The word count must be off a modern publisher’s scale. Are such books considered publishable these days? After forty years, Dune is still selling strong. 

Buy your copy here at Amazon.


  1. Have you seen the Syfy miniseries for Dune? It was very well done, including the sequel, "Children of Dune," which was a combination of the next two books.

    And I checked, and the word count for Dune is 181,493.

  2. Hi Steve,

    That's a hell of a word count! I really wonder if it would even get a look in today.

    I haven't seen the Syfy miniseries. I might have to try and find it somewhere and check it out.



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