Dune (Dune, #1)

Finally! This took me about three weeks to finish, way longer than I expected. It’s rather long, consisting of three main parts. Sadly my ebook didn’t have proper chapter markers, so it was all a bit confusing. At some point I thought I had accidentally gotten a compilation of the first three books in the series, but no – it’s just a pretty long book and not always the most easy read. It was very good though, and I’m already busy with the second book, intending to finish the entire original series (six or eight books, depending on who you ask).

I’ve wanted to read Dune for years, but never got to it. I think I’ve seen parts of the 1984 movie by David Lynch when I was very young and some scenes have been stuck in my head for my entire life. Other than that, I only knew that Dune was a sci-fi epic and thus something I would probably enjoy. I was pumped when I heard about Denis Villeneuve directing a modern adaptation, as everything I’ve seen him do has been pretty stellar. However, I really want to try and read the books first in cases like this. The recent Corona-related delaying of the movie probably allows me to actually manage to do that with Dune.

After seeing the first trailer for the new movie I was not particularly hyped. It looked pretty much as I expected it to, but as I hadn’t yet read anything I could not relate a lot to what’s shown. And I already know that Denis Villeneuve can make a damn fine looking movie.

Most people probably know the basic premise of Dune – it’s a desolate planet with big bad sand worms that make living there dangerous. But even if you don’t know that much, you still might have come into contact with a quote from the movie: Walk without rhythm, it won’t attract the worm. That was basically my level of knowledge when going into the first book. I think it can be summarized as “A Song of Ice and Fire in space”. A very rough and abbreviated summary, and one of the main differences is definitely that Dune is from the 1960 and far lass graphic when it comes to sex and violence, but the rest is all there: A huge empire with ever-lasting power conflicts, important noble houses with feuds and intrigue, lots of different characters, the story being told from different viewpoints, a hero’s journey and quite some mythical elements sprinkled into the mix.

I said the book was sometimes hard to read, but it was always fun and kept me going. Sometimes I just wasn’t quite sure if I didn’t understand something because a) my understanding of the 1960s book English was too bad, b) I was too dull/tired or c) the book just didn’t want or require me to understand this detail just yet. In retrospect it probably was mostly c), and sometimes b).

After completing the book I went back to the trailer, now armed with the full knowledge of what’s at stake, and what storylines are teased by the different scenes. And boy, am I hyped for this freakin’ movie now. In fact, I’ll be rewatching the trailer right after publishing this post!