Overwhelmed By Sand


After a recommendation from a friend, I started in on a novel that has the four elements that I generally can't stomach: 1) a map 2) an appendix 3) a glossary 4) lots of made up words with apostrophes . . . I'm talking about "Science Fiction's Supreme Masterpiece" . . . yes, that's what it says on the cover, and like everything else in this book, it is said without irony . . . this is the blurb for Frank Herbert's Dune and, surprisingly, I made it through 400 pages of sand, the highly addictive life lengthening spice-drug melange, imperial plots for the aforementioned spice drug, wild religious prophesy among the Fremen, water reclaiming stillsuits, Sardaukaur, the coming of Muad'Dib, a ride on the maker (a sand worm), crys-knife fights, treachery, desert ecology, and all the rest . . . but I finally skimmed the last hundred pages or so, because-- despite the complexity of the world, the fantastic development of the characters . . . both in mind and lineage . . . and the well-paced and multifarious plot-- after four hundred pages of reading you deserve a joke or two, something funny or at least ironic, but like in the Bible and Lord of the Rings, the tone of Dune is epic, and during this epic and very dry time on Arrakis, nothing remotely humorous happens, nor should it I guess . . . this is a place so desiccated that when you die, they render your body for its water, and the pages and pages of sand finally wore me out (and from what I've heard, the movie is not so much fun to watch either).

2 comments:

Jason Elliott said...

You could have just listening to the Dune-inspired song "To Tame a Land" by Iron Maiden. Despite clocking in at over 7 minutes, it still would have saved you some time. The movie is so stupefyingly awful it's worth seeing for the unintentional comedy.

Tim Rich said...

I certainly had a giggle at the floating fat man and Sting's homoerotic entrance. But the film does not know comedy and will make you sleep.

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