Tuesday, July 12, 2011

god emperor

Oh Frank Herbert, that is some wacky* stuff brother.

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and compare the Dune saga to The Lord of the Rings. I know, heresy for the true believer--whether you're the Tolkien true believer, or the Herbert true believer--but what I mean is; both of these guys have managed to weave stories of epic proportion within their respective genres, which include all of the trappings of a good novel, set against a stunningly detailed backdrop of people and places, and the customs, ethnicity, politics, religions, sciences, ecology and economics which bind and contrast them.

I can't imagine keeping all that straight. Oh, and Herbert needs to manage the philosophical output, psychology and inner dialog of his characters as well, even as they age and develop over time. This from a guy who shopped the first novel, Dune, to twenty-odd publishers before someone took a chance on him.

So back to it. God Emperor of Dune is the fourth book in what has become know as the Dune Chronicles. You may recall that I was a little reluctant to continue on to the fourth book, after finishing the original trilogy, fearing that the second group of books wouldn't hold up, or would feel contrived, as many, better-left-unwritten sequels can be. So I was pleasantly surprised.

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, given how many folks are gaga over this series, but I guess I try not to get caught up in that stuff, and find that I usually end up reading stories a while after they've cooled off, just to see if they still hold my interest after the initial advertizing and buzz blitzkrieg. Waiting a while also means I can get them cheap and/or won't have to wait for them at the library...shhh!

Now, would I say this was the best yet? No. Would I say its a must read? No. Would I say that its an interesting, if a little over-long, follow up to the original trilogy, that eventually gets over itself, and leaves a reasonably tantalizing outcome at the end, which is probably enough to get me to read the next installment?

What? I just said it. Okay, so: yes. Whatever.**

* when I was searching through my older posts on the first three books, I found that I also used the word wacky to describe them.
** Dude, there is a crap-load of colors I can choose for my little whisperings. Some of them; you can't even see, they're so quiet.

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