Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dune Read-Along, Book 2 Discussion

Credit: Jenni Elyse

Watch for major spoilers!!

1. Was Liet’s identity a surprise? Who do you think he really works for?
Um, yes.  I really didn't suspect Liet was anyone we had met before. As far as who he really works for, I got the impression he worked for the planet, what would be best for it and not just one person or group.

2. What do you think of the Fremen culture? is this a culture you think you’d enjoy spending some time with?
What I really love about them is how complete it feels. Herbert really went all out to create this whole complex society and culture. I love how water really is currency, how what is most important to them is literally worth the most. Everything they do and say is steeped in the knowledge of how much water means to them. I think it would be interesting to spend time with them, but I don't know if I'd survive on Arrakis. It's plenty hot and dry for me here in Arizona!

3. What do you think of Count Fenring’s unusual verbal mannerisms?
Mostly I found them annoying while reading. I had a hard time imagining how it would sound. I did like how he and his wife often weren't afraid of saying exactly what they wanted to. Cunning, but annoying too.

4. This is a far future empire with very little in the way of computerization. Information is often passed down orally, and schools (such as the Mentats and the Bene Gesserit) have formed to train young people in memorization and information processing. What are you thoughts on a scifi story that is very “low-tech”? Does that sound like a feasible future? A ridiculous one?
I actually really like the low-tech details. I think there is just enough advanced tech that matters in the worlds where they exist to be believable. But I really think that our future doesn't have to be as steeped in electronic technology as it is now. It is a nice balance between what is past and what may come. I hope oral history never disappears completely!

5. If you found the beginning of the book tough to get into, do you find that you’re having an easier time with the middle portion, now that all the “set-up” is complete?
I definitely don't feel as confused and annoyed as I did before. I am still having a hard time now and then getting into the story, especially when the really weird trippy things happen, but I don't feel lost or overwhelmed by strange words and phrases.

6. The center portion of the book is still pretty dialog heavy, but what I’ve noticed is the subtlety of the dialog. Things left unsaid are often more important than things that are said. What do you think of that as a stylistic choice? does it make the dialog more interesting? less interesting?
There is a lot of double meaning and things unspoken but implied in the dialog. I find it requires me to pay more attention to what I said and focus more. Sometimes it works and sometimes I just don't catch the other meanings. I am not sure it is more or less interesting, but just more subtle.

7. Dune was written in the 60′s. Does it feel dated to you? How does it compare, writing style-wise, to more contemporary science fiction you’ve read?
Actually it doesn't feel really dated, though occasionally I will think a tech detail sounds odd. I'm not sure I read enough true sci-fi to compare it with contemporary stuff. I do find myself slightly annoyed with some of the writing style choices, but I don't think it's because of when it was written so much as how it was written. Amazing how well this one holds up, perhaps because it is light on technology.

8. If you’ve never read this book before, where do you think the storyline is headed?
You know, I'm really not 100% sure, but I think it will follow Paul to the point where he becomes the prophet or leader or savior or whatever they think he will be among the Fremen. His rise to power and struggle with that future he sees but doesn't want too.

What are your thoughts on these questions?

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  1. This book sounds so freaking weird! One of these days I hope to read it.

    I like that just leaving out technology mostly helps not date this book. Wow, did that even make sense?

    1. Weird is a good word for it - weird in a good, sci-fi, aliens way. And yes, I knew what you were saying :)

  2. I agree, it doesn't feel dated at all. I'm still struggling with it a bit, but mostly just because I'm a little bored by it. And the constantly switching POV doesn't help, it just throws me off every time. I'm hoping this next section clears things up and provides a solid ending -- instead of a cliffhanger for the next book.

    1. Also...I usually read before bed -- therefore I'm tired. That REALLY doesn't help the situation because this book really is detail-oriented. I keep having to go back and re-read!

    2. I always forget to mention how annoying the switching perspective is! I find it distracting too. And I really am looking forward to a solid ending as well. Not sure I could handle another Dune book for a while after this :)

  3. Gah! I'm still so far behind! I was going to read it all day yesterday because I was sick and I ended up sleeping for most of the day instead. :(

    I'm glad you're enjoying the book more. I really have high hopes that you're like it when you're done. I wish I read faster and more. I'm still hoping to have it done by Saturday so I can participate in the questions next week. We'll see, though. Alas.

    1. Oh, I hope you get better soon! I hate it when I'm too sick to even read :( I think I'll end up liking it more, though I hope there's more excitement in this third part...


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