The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of Dune, by Frank Herbert

Dune is Safe for animal lovers because it has no pets or livestock in it in the first place. This is stated outright in Appendix 1, where author Frank Herbert writes of the desert planet on which the story takes place, “Pets were almost unknown, stock animals rare. Some smugglers employed the domesticated desert ass, the kulon, but the water price was high even when the beasts were fitted with modified stillsuits.”

I first read this book, and the next three in the series, many years ago. My book group chose to read Dune for the next session, and it was interesting to pick it up again after 20+ years. I think I liked it better the first time around, when many of the concepts were new to me. I do think it’s a good book, definitely worth the time it takes. I’m not sure everyone in my book group will agree — we seldom agree on a book to begin with, and I know at least one person is having difficulty with Dune.

But this is a sci-fi classic, and it avoids one of the big issues I have with science fiction: silliness. There’s none of this nonsense with five genders or all-knowing catfish or that kind of stuff. This is pretty straightforward sci-fi, and if you’re going to read anything in that genre, Dune is a good place to start.

Back in the 1980s, when I read the first 4 Dune books (and I stopped because I thought the 4th was pretty silly), I also read 2 other books by Herbert: Soul Catcher and The Jesus Incident. (I also might have read The Lazarus Effect — it sounds familiar, but that was a long time ago.) I thought Herbert was one of the better sci-fi storytellers, and I have found no reason to change my mind.

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March 23, 2008 - Posted by | Book Reviews | , , , , ,

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