Book Review | Dune by Frank Herbert

19 February 2022


Watching the new adaptation of Dune was the single greatest theatrical cinematic experience of my entire life. It was the type of movie that is made to be seen on a big screen with full surround sound. It was immersive. Mesmerizing. I couldn't stop thinking about it, wondering what would happen next, longing to experience it all over again. So, of course, I had to pick up the book as soon as I possibly could.

Dune is the type of classic sci-fi novel that people either love or hate. It's a book that changed the science fiction genre into what we know today. Any book as innovative as this one is is going to have mixed feelings about it. But I'm glad to say, I absolutely loved it, and I don't think it's because my admiration of the movie influenced my opinion. Yes, I was happy to find the movie stayed very true to the book, but there was a lot more to the characterization and world-building in the novel. 

The way the book was written and structured is exactly my taste. Multiple perspectives with a third-person omniscient sort of narration to guide us through the story. It makes you feel like you're solving a puzzle, given pieces of each character's point of view at a time to learn the bigger picture of what's happening. In some other reviews I've read, I've seen people think this writing style is too slow, but I really did not mind how slow some parts could be. For the most part, I thought the pacing was great.

I was also blown away by how I became so attached to the characters. I especially thought Jessica's storyline and overall character was so interesting. The only character that I surprisingly didn't connect with was Paul. Even though he is our main character, he was kind of bland and didn't have much of a personality. In some ways, I can understand why the author did this, but if the whole book had been told from his perspective I don't think I would have enjoyed it nearly as much as I did.

My only other issue was with some of the time jumps. The first half of the book has a very steady pacing. It's a slow build up with a lot of world building. However, once the action gets started there will be giant time jumps skipping over full years. It helps to move the plot along, but I personally would have loved to see more of what happened in the time skipped. It may just be something that only bothered me, but I found it a bit jarring.

Despite these very minor criticisms, I have absolutely nothing but overwhelming praise and awe over this story. The writing and overall world-building are some of the best I've ever read. Frank Herbert is a master, and I think it is well deserved to be considered the classic that it is. I have never been a huge science fiction reader, but Dune may very well change that.


"Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic." -- Frank Herbert, Dune

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