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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-25 17:21
Weirding It Out with Weird Enough: Dune Re-Read Update #4

 

 

 

Brief Recap:

 

1. Paul & Jessica finally meet Fremen, Stilgar's clan, who are about to kill them but are convinced to take them along. This decision is due to convergence of multiple factors, including Kyne's (who is the Liet) last decree to the Fremen, Jessica's sharp mind, BG myth-seeding, Fremen legends, the duo's weirding ability to fight etc.

 

2. Kyne is left to die in the desert by Harkonnen and takes part in a huge info dump before he kicks it. The main idea behind that dump and what Stilgar lets on to mother & son is that the Fremen are slowly amassing enough water to change the face of Arrakis. It won't happen in a day, it won't even happen in their time, but the world'd better watch out when it does!

 

3. We meet Paul's future intended, Chani, who is also Kyne's daughter & Stilgar's niece. Paul struggles with the pressure of the impending bloody future, crippling presence of prescience, and killing a person not because his life was in danger but because the Fremen was an idiot! The Fremen's wife and two sons are now under his care and will remain so for at least a year. His legend continues to grow and overshadow what he is trying to do.

 

4. Jessica enters into a whole ritual back at the Fremen settlement and walks out irreversibly changing her unborn daughter and with the memories of the previous Reverend Mothers.

 

5. Harkonnen is his evil, loathsome self but Feyd isn't a lightweight either. Then there is the emperor who is trying to make things uncomfortable for the both of them.

 

6. Of the Atreides can, Idaho is dead, Hawat has been employed by Harkonnen (and seems to be driving a wedge between the Duke & his nephew), & Halleck is on board a Guild ship along with a few of his men.

 

Find the rest of the review here, here and, here.

 

This time, we started at the beginning of the third book and read all the way to the end.

 

A summary of what happened:

 

1. Paul kicks Harkonnen, Guild, and Royal ass and takes over the world!

 

The Major Players

My Thoughts

 

Wow! I thought there wasn't that many pages left for all that to happen and I could not have been wrong. When I think back on everything that happened, it seems as if the author first intended Dune to be just one novel and not a sweeping series. I mean, that could be the reason behind packing so much of action in the last third of a novel that was not too thick to begin with.

 

This part of the story was filled with amazing lines that made my eyes pop out quite a few times.

Consider the time when Paul faced 3 Sardaukars and refused to be cowed, instead saying:

 

 

 

 

and these two ver different interactions with Gurney:

 

 

 

Surprisingly, after all the doom and gloom, this part seemed lighter to me, even though it had a climactic battle etc. For instance, we find out that Paul tried to go where even Reverend Mothers are scared of stepping. This is the conversation between Jessica and Chani while they stand over Paul's head and argue:

 

"How could you do such a foolish thing?

He is your son", Chani said.

 

Then, there were some deep insights that we hear from Paul as he evolves and becomes wiser. Thinking about Sardaukar, he muses:

 

They'd never known anything but victory which, Paul realized, could be a weakness in itself.

 

Saddened about Stilgar's awe and obedience for the Lisan al-Gaib, Paul thinks:

 

It was a lessening of the man, and Paul felt the ghost-wind of the jihad in it.

I have seen a friend become a worshipper, he thought.

 

We also see changes in Paul's and Jessica's characters and it was amazing to read how far they've come. Paul still has some of the bitterness towards how his mother treated him. When she asks him about the many legends that the Fremen believed about him, he scoffs at her and replies:

 

"A Bene Gesserit should ask about legends?" he asked.

"I've had a hand in whatever you are", she admitted.

 

The admission from Jessica isn't the only evidence that she has changed. She doesn't know if she wants to leave this harsh planet and go back to a life of opulence. Moreover, at one point, she gives Paul her blessings that he should marry out of love and not to make a political match.

 

So Shipping These Two!

 

She even starts to equate herself with Chani:

 

While we, Chani, we who carry the name of concubine -- history will call us wives.

 

Weird Enough's Musings

 

Yes, I missed writing the last review. Guilty as charged. But now that I have finished Dune, I CAN FANGIRL PROPERLY! HOW AMAZING WAS THIS!!! Why, WHYYY had I not read this before! I will be forever grateful to my book dealer, aka Midu, for showing me the right path in the literary world.

 

Sooo, starting after Leto dies, we see Paul showing signs of the Kwisatz Haderach (but of course we knew that). The shocking thing was how quickly he grew from being a smart kid to understanding fully what he had become. His BG training and the fact that he was a Mentat combines to give him skills to see possibilities in the future. It makes him, as he says, “a freak.” (That right there broke my heart when he says that). It’s not fair for someone so young to see all the different ways that he can die.

 

Anyway, Paul moves on to become lead the badass Fremen while the Lady Jessica becomes the Reverend Mother. But, in the process, she shares the knowledge and memories with the fetus inside her. The girl who is then born is not a normal child, and many Fremen women are afraid of the way she carries herself like an adult—which, technically, she is.

 

I think I should mention here that I simply LOVED the details that made this book so real. The politics, the religion, the layered meaning of words, the ecology and how the Fremen adapted to it, the Shai Hulud and how it fits into the ecology, the weapons, the stillsuits—EVERYTHING! I loved how it all came together so perfectly (this was mainly why I actually Googled “How long did it take Frank Herbert to write Dune?” I just couldn’t believe that so much detail could be put into a book that has been worked on for a couple of years. Just for reference: it took Herbert six years).

 

Okay so back to the story. I appreciate how Paul takes the lead, even beating his own mother when it comes to observing a situation and handling it like a pro. His relationship with Chani was very sweet. I love how he cares for the Fremen and chooses another way when he is pressured to kill Stilgar.

 

The Baron’s death scene was great in the sense that with all the build-up of his schemes and villainy, his death wasn’t so special after all (what I mean is that we don’t see him thrashing and twisting away in agony as a typical book villain is usually “supposed” to when he is being killed). He loses what respect he had in front of the Emperor, and before he gets a chance to even take it back, Alia (Paul’s sister) kills him with a gom jabbar.

 

The Siblings Together

 

The fight between Paul and Feyd-Rautha was super-satisfying. :D I was all DIE YOU LITTLE BITCH during the fight (it is really, really, really difficult to keep a straight face, and not make any noise when you are reading the most exciting parts while commuting, just so you know).

 

The bonding at the end between Chani and Jessica hits you. Jessica doesn’t approve of Chani, mainly because her BG training keeps her thinking that she is not the right match for Paul—that he should be married to someone with a higher lineage. Her views change when Chani essentially saves Paul’s life. And when Paul sees Princess Irulan (the daughter of the Emperor) as the key to his success in the future, and plans to marry her, Chani becomes insecure.

 

Princess Irulan

 

This probably reminds Jessica of her own position as the Duke’s concubine, and the book ends with this powerful quote:

 

“Think on it, Chani: the princess will have the name, yet she'll live as less than a concubine - never to know a moment of tenderness from the man to whom she's bound. While we, Chani, we who carry the name of concubine - history will call us wives.”

 

Okay, since this is going to be the last instalment, here's all the fun stuff that I came across:

 

Make Sandworm Bread Today!

 

The Gummy-Worm World of Dune

 

Make your own Maker Hooks

 

And an interview with Frank Herbert himself in which he discusses the ecology of the world that he created!

 

Featured Image

 

We had an amazing time with this re-read. We hope you did too! Keep checking this spot to find out, if we do decide to continue with the other books in the series or not!

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-05 12:39
Weirding It Out without Weird Enough: Dune Re-Read Update #3
Dune - Frank Herbert

 

 

 

Brief Recap

 

1. We meet Kynes, the Emperor appointed ecologist on Arrakis who is also a whole lot more but not letting on. People are scared of him and by people, I mean Harkonnen spies! He plans on hating the Atreides but they are just too cute and cuddly for him to loathe. Oh, and he is beginning to link Paul with the Messiah myth in his head, even when he doesn’t want to.

 

2. The Duke saves some men harvesting spice from a worm attack, even though they have to abandon the harvested product. Who can guess the party behind the almost-accident? That’s right; the Harkonnens! Two Fremen are spotted riding the worm by Paul, which Kynes denies vehemently.

 

3. It is hinted that the Emperor doesn’t really hate the Atreides but is scared about how popular and loved the Duke is, making the latter a threat that must be dealt with.

 

4. Jessica and Hawat have a psychic showdown, which Jessica wins (duh) but causes Hawat to be more attentive towards her (not that it did any good)

 

5. Harkonnens’ plan comes to fruition and the Duke dies while Yueh is not a complete bastard and gives Jessica and Paul a fighting (and since they succeed, escaping) chance.

6. It is revealed by Paul who turns into a computer-ish freak that Atreides and Harkonnens are genetically related.

 

7. Oh, and the evil Duke is a pedophile who has the hots for Paul!

 

Find the rest of the review here.

 

This time, we started with:

 

When my father, the Padishah Emperor, heard of Duke Leto's death and the manner of it, he went into such a rage as we had never before seen. He blamed my mother and the compact forced on him to place a Bene Gesserit on the throne. He blamed the Guild and the evil old Baron. He blamed everyone in sight, not excepting even me, for he said I was a witch like all the others. And when I sought to comfort him, saying it was done according to an older law of self-preservation to which even the most ancient rulers gave allegiance, he sneered at me and asked if I thought him a weakling. I saw then that he had been aroused to this passion not by concern over the dead Duke but by what that death implied for all royalty. As I look back on it, I think there may have been some prescience in my father, too, for it is certain that his line and Muad'Dib's shared common ancestry.

 

and read all the way until the end of the second book.

 

A summary of what has happened until now:

 

1. Paul & Jessica finally meet Fremen, Stilgar's clan, who are about to kill them but are convinced to take them along. This decision is due to convergence of multiple factors, including Kyne's (who is the Liet) last decree to the Fremen, Jessica's sharp mind, BG myth-seeding, Fremen legends, the duo's weirding ability to fight etc.

 

2. Kyne is left to die in the desert by Harkonnen and takes part in a huge info dump before he kicks it. The main idea behind that dump and what Stilgar lets on to mother & son is that the Fremen are slowly amassing enough water to change the face of Arrakis. It won't happen in a day, it won't even happen in their time, but the world'd better watch out when it does!

 

3. We meet Paul's future intended, Chani, who is also Kyne's daughter & Stilgar's niece.

 

 

Paul struggles with the pressure of the impending bloody future, crippling presence of prescience, and killing a person not because his life was in danger but because the Fremen was an idiot! The Fremen's wife and two sons are now under his care and will remain so for at least a year. His legend continues to grow and overshadow what he is trying to do.

 

4. Jessica enters into a whole ritual back at the Fremen settlement and walks out irreversibly changing her unborn daughter and with the memories of the previous Reverend Mothers.

 

5. Harkonnen is his evil, loathsome self but Feyd isn't a lightweight either. Then there is the emperor who is trying to make things uncomfortable for the both of them.

 

6. Of the Atreides can, Idaho is dead, Hawat has been employed by Harkonnen (and seems to be driving a wedge between the Duke & his nephew), & Halleck is on board a Guild ship along with a few of his men.

 

 

My Thoughts

 

Wow! A lot happens in this part of the book. I'm not even sure that I got all of it in the summary but I tried. Some parts that stood out to me, included this interaction between Hawat and his men:

 

 

The "fight" between Fremen and the much dreaded Sardaukar, if it can be called a fight. The Fremen are way way cooler than the Sardaukar, as you will see with this quote:

 

 

The Sardaukar approached the waiting group of Fremen in an enclosing half-circle. Sun glinted on blades held ready. The Fremen stood in a compact group, apparently indifferent. Abruptly, the sand around the two groups sprouted Fremen. They were at the ornithopter, then in it. Where the two groups had met at the dune crest, a dust cloud partly obscured violent motion. Presently, dust settled. Only Fremen remained standing.

 

 

Paul has all the charm his old man had and commands loyalty from whomever he meets is plain to see in this interaction he has with Idaho:

 

 

 

The imagery that Herbert uses to describe the desert is beautifully done and without any floweriness:

 

The sun dipped lower. Shadows stretched across the salt pan. Lines of wild color spread over the sunset horizon. Color streamed into a toe of darkness testing the sand. Coal-colored shadows spread, and the thick collapse of night blotted the desert.

 

Stars!

 

Something that bugged me was why, if Jessica is so smart & all-knowing, did she manage to get herself silenced by the Fremen, just when Paul needed her advice the most. He could have used her help while fighting Jamis to death. I mean, look at her in this scene where the Fremen are about to leave; she is so regal and everything and then she goes behaving like a pouty teenager!

 

 

Oh and the craftiness of the BG! They're like the Aes Sedai all over again:

 

(Irulan) You must remember that he was an emperor, father-head of a dynasty that reached back into the dimmest history. But we denied him a legal son. Was this not the most terrible defeat a ruler ever suffered? My mother obeyed her Sister Superiors where the Lady Jessica disobeyed. Which of them was the stronger? History already has answered.

 

(Jessica) Paul must be cautioned about their women. One of these desert women would not do as wife to a Duke. As concubine, yes, but not as wife.

Then she wondered at herself, thinking: Have I been infected with his schemes? And she saw how well she had been conditioned. I can think of the marital needs of royalty without once weighing my own concubinage.

 

 

Since I have been scouring the internet for anything and everything on Dune, here is what I have for you today:

 

Things that the New Dune Adaptation Should Have

 

Dune Tattoos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The song is, “Weapon of Choice” by Fatboy Slim and not only does it contain the line, “Walk out rhythm, it won’t attract the worm”, it also features a dancing Christopher Walken. Watch it!

 

Oh and this joke that cracked me up:

 

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-05 11:06
Weirding It Out without Weird Enough: Dune Re-Read Update #2

 

 

 

 

 

Brief Recap

 

  1. Paul is tested by the Reverend Mother, the leader of the Bene Gesserits.
  2. We meet the Atreides and their enemies, Harkonnens. 10, 000s of years ago, Harkonnens were stripped of their titles for showing cowardice in a war. That is just one of the reasons they hate the Atreides who took over and won the war.
  3. Atreides are being sent to the brutal desert planet, Arrakis, where the precious spice is mined.
  4. That the Emperor wants to see the house fall and Duke Leto has plans of his own to counter that.
  5. The Harkonnens have plotted the downfall of Atreides and they will be betrayed by Paul’s doctor, Yueh.
  6. The blame is to fall on Lady Jessica (Paul’s mother) who is a Bene Gesserit (BG).
  7. The BGs perform myth-seeding to keep their operatives safe and they have created a legend about Paul in Arrakis.

You can read the rest of the post here. Onward with the next installment:

 

 

This time, we started with:

My father, the Padishah Emperor, took me by the hand one day and I sensed in the ways my mother had taught me that he was disturbed. He led me down the Hall of Portraits to the ego-likeness of the Duke Leto Atreides. I marked the strong resemblance between them—my father and this man in the portraitbothwith thin, elegant faces and sharp features dominated by cold eyes. “Princess daughter,” my father said, “I would that you’d been older when it came time for this man to choose a woman.” My father was 71 at the time and looking no older than the man in the portrait, and I was but 14, yet I remember deducing in that instant that my father secretly wished the Duke had been his son, and disliked the political necessities that made them enemies.
—“In my Father’s House” by Princess Irulan

 

and read all the way until the end of the first book, which was:

O Seas of Caladan,
O people of Duke Leto
Citadel of Leto fallen,
Fallen forever…
—from“Songs of Muad’Dib” by the Princess Irulan

 

A summary of what has happened until now:

  1. We meet Kynes, the Emperor appointed ecologist on Arrakis who is also a whole lot more but not letting on. People are scared of him and by people, I mean Harkonnen spies! He plans on hating the Atreides but they are just too cute and cuddly for him to loathe. Oh, and he is beginning to link Paul with the Messiah myth in his head, even when he doesn’t want to.
  2. The Duke saves some men harvesting spice from a worm attack, even though they have to abandon the harvested product. Who can guess the party behind the almost-accident? That’s right; the Harkonnens! Two Fremen are spotted riding the worm by Paul, which Kynes denies vehemently.
  3. It is hinted that the Emperor doesn’t really hate the Atreides but is scared about how popular and loved the Duke is, making the latter a threat that must be dealt with.
  4. Jessica and Hawat have a psychic showdown, which Jessica wins (duh) but causes Hawat to be more attentive towards her (not that it did any good)
  5. Harkonnens’ plan comes to fruition and the Duke dies while Yueh is not a complete bastard and gives Jessica and Paul a fighting (and since they succeed, escaping) chance.
  6. It is revealed by Paul who turns into a computer-ish freak that Atreides and Harkonnens are genetically related.
  7. Oh, and the evil Duke is a pedophile who has the hots for Paul!

 

 

My Thoughts

The scene at the dinner table was a good one but it seems mild when compared to the complicated political games that Robert Jordan had his characters play with the Dragon Reborn in the series, WoT. I also liked how Paul handled himself in that scene due to his mother’s BG lessons and I loved how he slipped at the end because after all, he is just a boy!
 
His inexperience is put into stark contrast a few scenes later when his mentat (and god knows what else) abilities kick in, making him into a human supercomputer hybrid.
 
I want to take a moment and be sad for Mape who was killed just like so much cannon fodder and Yueh, who knew that henceforth history would remember him simply as the Traitor and that his wife was probably already dead hence the evil Duke had no plans of fulfilling his end of the bargain, yet he did what he had to!
 
I also want to casually remember the Atreides allies:

atreides_allies_by_kristele-d2nd0ll












On a lighter note, I came across National Lampoon’s Doon . On Wikipedia,the plot of the parody is described in the following words:

Dune is set on the dangerous, sandworm-ridden desert planet Arrakis, sole source of the spice melange, the most valuable substance in the universe. The parody follows a similar storyline, wherein rival restaurant-owning families battle for control of Arruckus, which is overrun by giant pretzels and the source of valuable beer.
Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? I might give it a read, if Weird Enough shows some interest in it too!
Remember the Orange Catholic Bible that Yueh gifted Paul (and then remorselessly betrayed him afterwards but nobody mentions that, do they?). Well, it and the religion based on it show up in this blog, Top 10 Made-Up Religions for Nerds and Geeks. Check it out, if you want to see what else is on that list.
 
I will leave you with this postcard that you can send to your friends while vacationing on Arrakis
 
postcard_4x6_front

 

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