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View Diary: Bookflurries-Bookchat: Curiosity (121 comments)

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  •  Leave Frank Herbert out of it. (7+ / 0-)

    With all due respect to any lucky readers who actually managed to gag their way through the purple prose of Dune and come out relatively unscathed, the guy was a horrible writer.

    To quote a wit, "That's not writing, that's just typing!" could not possibly be applied to a more deserving typist than Herbert.

    I will never understand how he ever managed to get published -- and not once, but multiple times.

    Excuse me while I go use some brain bleach to forget how truly turgid was the prose of Dune.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:47:42 PM PST

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    •  Dune was originally published by a car guide (5+ / 0-)

      publisher (Chilton).

      The world-building is fantastic in Dune.

      •  That explains it! (5+ / 0-)

        ANYTHING would be more interesting than reading a car guide.

        Certainly Dune isn't more interesting than anything else BUT a car guide.

        I have been told that the book is wonderful, once you get past the first two hundred pages.

        A FAN of Dune told me that.  "Sure, but after the first two hundred pages, it's great!" he said.

        I am sorry.  Life Is Too Short.

        Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

        by Youffraita on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:00:35 PM PST

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        •  I liked the first book Dune, but could never get (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cfk, Monsieur Georges

          Into the others.  otoh, i liked it from the beginning.

          I have read it many times over the years and at least once I can recall in the last five years.

          Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

          by No Exit on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:51:59 PM PST

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    •  IMHO, judging art is a fools challenge (11+ / 0-)

      If two people can listen to Jazz and one hears noise while the other beauty then which is the truth? Both at the same time?

      Certainly people are entitled to their own opinions but I don't condone such sweeping generalizations. There are quite a few Pulitzer Prize winning books that I find dull and uninteresting as I do their authors. Frank Herbert was the best sort of writer, one who understands what he is, what he's capable of and who he's doing it for. Dune achieves everything a good science fiction novel should do namely tell a good story and relate some truths about the human condition while offering the reader a "sensawunda".

      It's like someone saying Lord of the Rings was a bad book because Tolkien didn't know how to pace it the way a modern novel would be paced. It misses the whole point.

      This head movie makes my eyes rain.

      by The Lone Apple on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:08:22 PM PST

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      •  well said (9+ / 0-)

        I certainly was young when I read both Dune and Lord of the Rings and I did find a sense of wonder.  So many great fantasy stories do that for me.

        I understand that someone may not like the books I love.  That is why I like Bookflurries.  I hear all sorts of things :)

        Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

        by cfk on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:11:56 PM PST

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      •  But Tolkien knew how to write. (5+ / 0-)

        I was hooked, from the first page.  Reread the LOTR about three or four times, Hobbit too.  Tolkien was a stylist.

        Herbert?  Not so much.  Not at all, in fact.  I tried -- I did, I tried about four times b/c my lover kept telling me how much she loved it.

        Never got past page 20.

        See, I think published books ought to be well-written.

        And Dune?  It Just Is The Worst Piece Of Prose That Side Of Dan Brown.

        (And frankly, even Brown is a better writer.  Oh, sure, he's a terrible writer -- but Herbert makes him look like Shakespeare.)

        Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

        by Youffraita on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:12:47 PM PST

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        •  Now There's The Difference (7+ / 0-)

          I find Dan Brown's storytelling utterly cliched and his melodramatic plots so full of coincidences that I am unable to suspend my disbelief.

          I suppose this is the reason for the acronym YMMV.

          This head movie makes my eyes rain.

          by The Lone Apple on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:21:27 PM PST

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          •  Did I not make myself clear? (5+ / 0-)

            I agree with you: Dan Brown is a horrible writer, totally clicheed, can't write his way out of a paper bag, just awful.

            He is still a better prose stylist than Frank Herbert.  By an order of magnitude.

            But they both suck, and I will never again read either of them.

            Because Life Is Too Short to waste on bad books.

            Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

            by Youffraita on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:30:03 PM PST

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            •  I agree that life's too short to waste on books (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cfk, RiveroftheWest, Monsieur Georges

              One finds to be an unrewarding chore.  I feel that way about Faulkner and 100 years of solitude

              Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

              by No Exit on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:55:16 PM PST

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        •  I appreciated the spell cast by "Dune" ... (5+ / 0-)

          ... when I first read it.

          Couldn't stand anything else by Herbert -- even when it was ghosted by Bill Ransom. You just may be right about the late author's fundamental ability.

          Millions of us – the majority – must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do ... Michael Moore

          by MT Spaces on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:24:09 PM PST

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          •  Thanks. (4+ / 0-)

            I think so.  In my professional opinion, Herbert was a terrible writer.

            I can understand being enwrapped by a writer's spell...maybe I was too old & too well-read when I first encountered Dune.  This is very possible.  After all, I was in college and had read a bunch of good writers like Tolstoy and Dickens and Dostoyevsky, not to mention Tolkien.  Multiple times I had read Tolkien.

            Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

            by Youffraita on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:36:44 PM PST

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    •  The "World" Herbert Builds Is Pretty Impressive (8+ / 0-)

      I'm not the biggest fan of the Dune series of books, but I think their appeal is largely predicated on the scope of the world Herbert builds & its eccentricities which touch in allegorical ways to real-world issues. (i.e. The spice = oil, the great houses = nations fighting & manipulating society to control oil, and the Fremen = a native population that wages a "holy" war against their occupiers).

      Dune's scale is one of the reasons movie & TV producers have had problems adapting the story.


      Just as exposition, the story has to set up:

      • The "Houses" (Atreides, Harkonnen, Corrino)
      • Their relationship to each other & the role of the Emperor of the Known Universe
      • What the "Spice" is, where it's located, and what it does.
      • The use of the Spice by the Spacing Guild & Bene Gesserit, what they do with the spice, their motivations, and their relationships & connections to the Houses & the Emperor.

      .....And that's all before ya even get into the main story with Paul.
      •  One important point ... (7+ / 0-)

        ... about the 1960's, when Dune was written.

        Oil is a dam' good metaphor, especially with Herbert's faux sufi-isms and arab-esques floating around the atmosphere.

        But LSD was being seriously studied in those days, plus was used and abused by growing thousands, then millions. We teens and post-teens thought we knew what "The Spice" really was.

        (Unfortunately, real scientists were soon forbidden to conduct actual studies of Psychedelics, so several generations have had to live with abuse instead.)

        Millions of us – the majority – must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do ... Michael Moore

        by MT Spaces on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:52:05 PM PST

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    •  I loved Dune when I read it in (10+ / 0-)

      middle school - for one thing, I was living in Dubai at the time & felt that he really got desert people. The level of detail about desert life was pretty amazing. Read the original series several times through high school.

      Tried to re-read as an adult. Found the misogyny overwhelming - wondered how I missed it the first 5 times. But I don't thing that it is bad to like them -- I did for quite a while.

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