Traveling to Arrakis

This summer, I saw the trailer for Dune, based on the novel of the same name written by Frank Herbert. The cast features Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya, among many other famous actors. To prevent the possibility of the adaptation’s media presence influencing how I’d read the book and imagine the characters, I bought Dune as quickly as possible.
Since going to Groton, I’ve enjoyed many of the books read in English class (especially The Nickel Boys with Ms. Gracey), but because of the busyness that is the Groton lifestyle, I’d sort of fallen away from reading as a hobby and treated it more as an academic task.

Not so with Dune. As luck would have it, I was due to attend a tennis camp in Pasadena, California at the Caltech campus, giving me ample opportunity on the flight to really get into the book. I guess the allure of the spice on Arrakis (the planet Dune is centered around) really was addicting, because I finished the book really fast. And that’s not saying anything about my reading ability, but more to emphasize how hooked I was on the story.

Dune brings a different perspective to the sci-fi genre, at least different from other sci-fi novels such as Jurassic Park and other Michael Crichton books. Rather than dwelling on the technological specifics, Dune centers itself around the people and their cultures. The Fremen, Bene Gesserit, the house Atreides, and the house Harkonnen all play their role in the grand tale of Muad’Dib. There is some significant level of interconnected complexity that evolves between each of the groups that makes the story so real, and yet it reads like mythology. Political tactics merge with religious fervor that is partially the result of seeding primitive cultures with superstitions of a Kwisatz Haderach (I’m not going to lie, I had to look up how to spell that one). Super cool stuff. Basically Frank Herbert’s novel is probably now one of my all-time favorites, based on its fantastically imagined interpretation of humanity’s politics and religions after our species’ inevitable ascent to the stars.

10/10, I would recommend it.