FunTrivia Book Club - June

Posted by: LeoDaVinci

FunTrivia Book Club - June - Wed May 23 2012 06:58 PM

We will be reading during the month of June the novel Dune by Frank Herbert. I have a .mobi of this book, if anybody wants to read it electronically, and you can just message me privately and I can email it to you. Otherwise, it's a great novel and I recommend it to anybody - definitely worth having on your bookshelf.

I'm looking forward to this discussion!
Posted by: LeoDaVinci

Re: FunTrivia Book Club - June - Thu Jun 07 2012 12:27 PM

Sorry for opening this just yesterday. However, I've finished the book once again (I must have read it at least three times previously) and still loved it.

The religion and culture of the Fremen fascinates me and I wonder how alien Paul and his mother actually found it when they were first immersed in it. There's such stark differences between Atredies and Dune, and this is the basis for the culture difference. The morality and brutal honesty of the Fremen is a bit ideal - it's portrayed as though Fremen are so straight-laced. There must have been SOME 'rebel' Fremen who didn't conform, but Frank Herbert didn't make it seem that way at all.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: FunTrivia Book Club - June - Thu Jun 07 2012 06:32 PM

I find the myriad of cultures on so many levels one of the great fascinations of Dune. There is the almost medieval feudal culture of the Great Houses, the relgious culture of the Bene Gesserit, and then the culture of Dune with the Fremen. Jessica is also one of the more interesting women in Science Fiction. To go against the Bene Gesserit breeding programme to give her Duke his son after having been brought up (one could almost go as far as brainwashed) by them must have been hard, and you wonder how that trait of defiance survived the training.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: FunTrivia Book Club - June - Sat Jun 16 2012 07:46 AM

There are so many themes woven into Dune. The enhancement of psychic or mystic abilities through the use of melange is reminiscent of various relgions around the world who think that drugs of variouss types enhances their ability to read signs, see the future, etc. The summoning and riding of the giant sandworms by the Fremen is akin to the summoning and control of demons.

Above all of this though, the writing is so descriptive you almost expect to look out of the window and see a desert. It just completly captures the imagination, you feel the heat, taste the spice water, feel the emotions. Not surprising it has been described as the greatest SF book ever written.
Posted by: LeoDaVinci

Re: FunTrivia Book Club - June - Sat Jun 16 2012 09:32 AM

I quite agree. The descriptiveness captures me as the reader and transfers me into this arid and unforgiving planet. I am captivated by the various cultures in the universe that's painted in front of me, which led me to wonder, with all of these people, where is Earth in all of this?

Luckily, I have read all of Frank Herbert's books and Brian's too and know the answer.

There is a lot of religion involved here. The Bene Gesserit as the keepers of the secret ways, the Kwisatz Haderach as the foreseen messiah, the Fremen culture showing the 'true' way of believing, and the planet, Dune, as being where one gets tested as to whether they're worthy or not all combine to make a fascinating religion.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: FunTrivia Book Club - June - Sat Jun 16 2012 12:08 PM

I also find the allusions to the "back story" interesting. You know there was a machine war, you know the Bene Gesserit had to have evolved from somewhere. The use of spice as an enhancing drug has to have been discovered and started by someone, yet somehow the fact that you don't actually have all the details doesn't matter.

Like you LDV I have read (and have) all of these books so can re-read Dune with all of that in my mind, yet the first time I read it only the original trilogy had been written, and I didn't miss not knowing where Earth was in all of this, or what happened to shape these events.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: FunTrivia Book Club - June - Sun Jun 17 2012 07:48 AM

One thing I have often thought. If Jessica had had the daughter the Bene Gesserit had demanded of her for the breeding programme would they have allowed her and the daughter to go to Arakis in the face of such obvious danger. Would they have either stopped the family going altogether, or arranged to have the dangers neutralised first. They would not have willingly risked that precious daughter. But, because she had Paul instead, disobeyed, and produced a male with abilities that men were not supposed to have, did they hope that at least Paul, who they regarded as an abomination anyway, and possibly Jessica as well, would be killed. With all their power, influence, secret agents, they did nothing to help, and certainly nothing to stop the Duke being killed and Jessica and Paul fleeing to the desert.
Posted by: LeoDaVinci

Re: FunTrivia Book Club - June - Sun Jun 17 2012 05:48 PM

Seeing as how each emperor's consort was a BG, then I think it's safe to assume that they had sufficient influence in the imperial court and could have prevented Emperor Shaddam from giving Arrakis to Duke Leto. Also, all of the emperor's female offspring were also BG-trained, so, the BG had considerable clout.

Seeing as Jessica was such a rebel, there was also the possibility that she would have been ordered to tell Leto to refuse the Dukedom over Dune, and thus prevented it as well, however, the Atredies were proud and headstrong and Jessica's traits were amplified by this.

I'm surprised that Paul had such an easy time adapting to the Fremen lifestyle. With all of his training, nothing could have really prepared him for how harsh and unforgiving Dune could be. From water discipline to the Shai Hulud, there's no precedent for any of that in what Gurney or Duncan or Thufir could have prepared him for.

Do you suppose that Baron Harkonnen could have known that he'd fathered a child? It was kept in secrecy from him, however, he did have a considerable spy network. Out of all the great houses, his was no slouch.
Posted by: Christinap

Re: FunTrivia Book Club - June - Wed Jun 20 2012 04:25 PM

I wonder, good question that. If he did know then he certainly didn't know who it was, or did he. He certainly would have killed his own daughter if it suited him. The Harkonnen did have the best spy network, but to know would have meant having someone inside the BG, which would have been some accomplishment even for them. I suppose a Face Dancer could have been used. As a servant or possibly posing as a novice they could have gone undetected for some time and picked up a lot of knowledge along the way.

The Space Guild interest me when it comes to the politics, spying, playing one side off against the other. On the face of it they hold a lot of power because they are such a vital trainsportation link, but then, take away the spice and what happens to them? I think the big question with them is why? why would someone want to become a Pilot when it means mutation, loss of self etc. Just for the power over space doesn't seem to be enough. If there is one slight disatisfaction with Dune it is that the Space Guild and their origins, motives, etc. aren't explored enough.

Jessica - when they are with the Fremen in the desert, is she at that stage starting to play the long game, or is she just surviving day by day. She realises what Paul is becoming surely, she can't miss it with her training, so, does she start to plan and plot, which is what a typical BG would do, or does she just concentrate on keeping her and Paul alive until they can take revenge. Her motives, to me, are always something of a mystery. About the only uncalculated thing she ever seems to have done was fall in love with Leto.