Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Dune Is Awesome, Fred Noltie!

I was shocked to discover that our resident sci-fi person at CTC, Fred Noltie, didn't like Frank Herbert's Dune. He was muttering something about "advocates drug use" and "eco-hippies" and such. I expected him to say something about the persistent "religion is all made up" theme. That didn't bother me, because I saw the movie first. The movie behaves as if the religious claims in the story are true, so despite the vague hints that our "Messiah" isn't all he's cracked up to be, it's a more comfortable story for a Christian to inhabit.

Herbert definitely wants us to see the Fremen as the Jews, or a related Semitic people. And we immediately like Duke Leto Atreides, the father of our protagonist, Paul. Jurgen Prochnow captured the Duke's nobility expertly in the film. Dr. Kynes/Liet had to be played by Max von Sydow, and that was great, also.

We don't know that the woman who becomes Paul's wife, Chani, is Liet's daughter, from the film. But we know this in the book. I loved it, and Fred is wrong. Sorry, buddy.


Anonymous said...


I have read the book a few times, and aside from the above-mentioned things I do not like about Dune, I am certainly most put off by the fact that some band of readers dubbed it the greatest sci fi/fantasy book of all time. This opinion I can never share, because Herbert’s prose does not bear comparison to the artistry of Tolkien’s, nor his drug-addled story to the majestic epic of the LOTR. :-)

LOTR inspires me to be better than I am. Dune makes me feel like I have just read Machiavelli. :-)


Jason said...

First of all, whoever decided that science fiction and fantasy should be considered together must have been smoking the spice. :)

Secondly, watch the movie. It makes the book better, and that never happens. (Find the "Alan Smithee" cut, disavowed by David Lynch.)

Anonymous said...

I saw the movie. The one with Sting and Kyle Maclachlan in it? I think they make the movie self-refuting, but it has been a very long time.