Thursday, November 5, 2009

Book 1: Dune by Frank Herbert

I've heard a lot of friends talk about the Dune books in way that reflected their deep love of the series as well as their inability to articulate just what it is about the series that they love so much, what keeps them coming back for more. It's a love of books that I understand completely. I find myself being drawn in by the style an author uses, to the point of seeking out every obscure thing that they have written, even under pseudonyms.
And, as much as I want it to, Dune is not speaking to me. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike the book. The story is a great epic, I like most of the characters, the writing is good with the bonus of being unique in style. But I am not experiencing that thing, that compulsion to read the next book, to see what happens next. I've been mulling over this, trying to find a specific point where the story lost me, and I'm having a difficult time coming up with any particular thing. It's almost like I'm experiencing the opposite of the compulsion to read more. I don't hate it, I just kind of don't care. I find it strange that I can identify all of the elements that I did like about the book, I can't point my finger at anything I didn't like, but I still wouldn't say that I liked it.
I do believe in giving a story a chance to develop and grow, so I intend to continue reading the series. It certainly has all of the elements working in it's favor, the most important of which is that the author does not feel compelled to explain things to me. Nothing piques my interest more than when information is withheld from me, and this is something that Herbert is great at. He drops you into this huge world and expects you to pay attention. I can even deal with the use of jargon, which I normally detest, because it doesn't cross the line from making up a word for something that doesn't exist in our universe to renaming an existing object just because you can. But it remains to be seen if this story can take root in my mind and grab on.

2 comments:

guiltypartner said...

oh good, i'm not insane!
i also read Dune and only semi-enjoyed it, but not not enough to devour every dune-related tome i could find.
you and i should just go have coffee and make fun of what the hipsters are wearing.

Anna von Beaverplatz said...

I find I have this problem with most sci-fi/fantasy. I don't know what it is about it that just doesn't turn me on like that. There are a few here and there, but not stuff like this. I got into the Anne McCaffrey "Dragons of Pern" stuff, at least for a few books, but I found my interest waning once I went back and tried to read the fourth, I believe it was. It makes me feel bad, because the people who love it love it SO MUCH, but I just don't.

Oh, well. I'll just have to stick with revisionary historical fiction, like Marion Zimmer-Bradley, and she's dead.

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