17 September 2011
Expanded Dune sucks
I'm not going to try to review Dune, because a) I'm not in the mood, and b) I don't think I'm smart enough. Or good enough of a writer. Dune is the sort of book that the Lord of the Rings wishes it could be- an expansive fantasy epic with interlocking plots within plots, a baroque and utterly foreign culture, and magnificent writing. Everything is vaguely familiar while still being absolutely, brain-shatteringly different.
But enough of that, this still isn't a review.
The copies of Dune I have in my possession came rather third-handly by way of my brother- his high school chemistry teacher apparently didn't want them or any of the other rather sizeable stack of old science fiction books that had been given to her by the principal, so she asked if anybody wanted them. Nobody said anything- so my brother took the whole stack. Fuck yeah, right?
There was some Arthur C. Clarke and some other old science fiction guy (hey, I don't remember, give me a break), but mainly, I liked reading Dune. My family noticed the speed at which I devoured the books, and the fact that I read them two or three times in a row and got me both the rest of the original series and some of the expanded series.
So I read the entire original series. Almost couldn't put them down.
I cracked open and started reading the Expanded series, a collection of books based off of Herbert's notes and written by his son and some random other guy. Apparently, they're very popular and I wouldn't be surprised if they're more popular than the original series.
I say that because they suck.
No, they really do. The new books are really crappy. It takes away the ancient/modern mystique with it's complex and convoluted characters and intricate storylines and sense of overwhelming mystery and in its place, you get a fairly dry and boring account of (for example) a no-ship's random flight into space that goes nowhere and doesn't say anything. There's nothing. It's so poorly written that it honestly makes me upset. I'm like 200 pages into this thing and I'm still waiting to care. It feels phoned in.
But apparently, people eat that shit up, and I can believe it. Who wants to think when they read a book anyways? Cmon, that's so last century.
So, in summary, don't get the Expanded Dune books. Stick with the original series- you won't regret it.