Today, I want to talk about Dune. It feels so known that even specifying that it’s by Frank Herbert feels unnecessary because honestly, what other Dune could I be talking about?
Y’all… I have been trying to read this book.
I bought a physical copy, to hold and enjoy and watch my progress through the pages.
I borrowed an ebook, to read a few pages any time I had a few spare moments.
I even got an audiobook — something I very rarely do — to listen to it, instead.
So it’s clearly not going well, and although I can sit here and tearfully shout “I don’t know why!!” I can probably think of a few reasons if I’m being honest with myself. And I think I need to be honest with myself.
I thought this book would be one I would fly through because I enjoyed it so much. Here’s what put that thought into my head:
- It’s a classic! But a FUN classic! Sure the book was written in the 1960s and is a bit old by now, but it’s a cool sci-fi story that’s not only great for it’s time, but for OUR time, still! It holds up!
- It’s sci-fi with cool future-telling abilities and giant sand worm monsters and political machinations! I love machinations! I could pass on the sand worms in real life, but in a book, bring them on!
- The setting is dope, honestly. I have never experienced a desert before, which is maybe why I’m so fascinated by and enamored with them. I’d love to go to Namibia. Arrakis as a huge desert planet is so enticing to learn about (though sounds ATROCIOUS to live in).
- People who like sci-fi like this book. Are you even a fan of sci-fi if you haven’t read Dune? There’s an answer: it’s “no.”
- If the movie was good, the book will be even better! It’s a staple rule, obviously.
Oh no. It’s just not working for me.
- THE RELIGION, THE POLITICS. Good God, the Bene Gesserit is exhausting to read about and the Letos and Harkonnens and Sardaukar are just a bunch of men fussing over power. It’s the crux of the conflicts in the novel, and a large percentage of the story is descriptions of the hierarchies of power and military feats of each. Dudes talking about their plans to get or maintain power. SNORE.
- Who is this character? This hasn’t happened as much, but I’ve just been rather jarringly thrown into a chapter with entirely new people, no explanation, doing something seemingly unrelated to everything else that has happened so far in the story. This wouldn’t usually be an issue for me as I can usually trust the author that it will all connect eventually. Buuuuttt…. where I’m already dragging through this, I’m just exhausted by having yet more scenarios to track.
- *Exposition* *Description* *Weird philosophical meanderings about time* Paul’s strange visions out of time were weird enough to read in the book, but listening to them in the audiobook was even worse because it was harder to just skim through it. There would be some weird music to signal that he was about to step outside of the present moment and get all wEiRd about time and I’d just groan and inevitably tune out despite my best efforts.
- Oh.. about the movie thing… it wasn’t particularly good. 😅 While the movie was incredibly visually and musically stunning, the storytelling was hard to track and I had actually already read through most of the parts the movie covered already. And I still was like “wait, who’s that? what’s happening?” Unfortunately, the experience kind of mirrored the book for me.
I’m so, so disappointed that this is where I’m at. But really, I feel like I need to give myself permission to not like Dune. I’ve really been feeling like if I don’t read and enjoy Dune I’m some kind of poser when it comes to reading because this book is a crazy popular classic that everyone loves (or so I thought). I’m usually pretty good at not putting pressure on myself to read a certain book, or finish a book if I don’t like it, but that’s exactly what I’ve fallen into here.
I think I might still give it a go, just… very slowly. At my own dang pace. 2% every four days. I’m going to need this audiobook for a while. xD So if y’all see a DNF’d review of Dune pop up here at some point, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Now are here are so lovely pokemon gifs. 🥰
Ok I’m getting distracted now.
8 thoughts on “My experience with Dune, via Pokemon Gifs”
dune is an odd book. i don’t think there’s any shame in just saying it’s not for you.
i know i’ve always really struggled with the deeper lore parts in this book too, the fake religious stuff just kinda makes my mind drift away in an attempt to escape. but like you said, i really want to like it. one of the weirdest compliments (insults?) i’ve received is “you look like someone who’s read dune” and i feel kinda like a poser for not having fulfilled that particular prophecy.
but the reality is it’s just a book! it’s fine if it doesn’t gel with you, and i think you explained yourself well here in regards to why you’re having issues.
(also squirtle squad for life)
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Hahaha it sounds like a compliment to me because I have that association of people who like Dune being intelligent and thoughtful. But even those of us who haven’t read it can be intelligent and thoughtful! 😄
I realized I might have a bias when half my gifs at the end had Squirtle… He’s just such a character!!
You know what? I’ve had Dun on my TBR for the longest time—for the same “can you be a sci-fi fan if you don’t like Dune” reason—but I am going to finally make the decision that I should have made ages ago: I am going to remove it from my TBR all together. I am just not interested. And reading about your journey with the book confirms that for me. I saw the 1984 version of the movie, and was lukewarm to it after that. So it is GONE. I am not going to try to force myself to read something I probably won’t enjoy when there are so many other—better—books out there.
(Also, I love the Pokemon gifs you used to tell your story. *chef’s kiss*)
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That’s exactly it: why force a book you’re not into when there are so many ones you’ll love in the world?? I also give you permission to DITCH IT! 😄👊
I got carried away with the Pokemon gifs once I started looking. 🤣
LOL, thank you! 😀 I give you the same permission to ditch it if taking it slowly doesn’t work out!
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