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.


  1. Here, here!

    I'm a huge fan of the Dune series, and for myself, the series concludes at the end of Chapterhouse:Dune. Period.

    If there were notes for 'Dune 7', then Brian Herbert should have just published the notes. I would've paid top dollar just to see the raw material and been happy with that.

  2. Oh god, I would have loved to read those notes. That'd really be something else- an insight into the mind of a master.

    I wonder if they do have them available somewhere...

  3. Stop now! They don't get any better. At all. They're just potboiler sciffy with Dune trade dress.

    Dune, Star Wars, Star Trek: IIJM or ought there to be a law against cash cow-milking prequels?

    There is no Dune but Dune and *Frank* Herbert is it's prophet.

  4. I couldn't agree more, but I trudged through 2 trilogies and finally gave up after Paul of Dune. Arghh I want those hours of my life back. I had hoped for so much better, and desperately wanted to like the books about the Butlerian Jihad. But Alas, I suffered through mass market tripe. My fault. Like your blog