No Really, Dune Fucking Sucks: Part One, an introduction to the project

Lots of people really likeDune. It's spawned a movie, a couple of TV mini-series, several video games, at least one comic book adaptation, and a continuing series of books written by the book's late author's son in order to cash in on the gullible mouth breathers who think there is value in the franchise. The pro-Dune camp believes that this book and the series it spawned are "classic," "masterfully crafted," "well-planned," novels. Do a quick google search, and you will find no shortage of people who are willing to ascribe adjective phrases like "beautifully written," "elegant," and "brillant" to this novel.

I respectfully—well, sort of— disagree with this assessment, and taking a page out of slacktivist's close reading of Left Behind, given how widespread respect for Dune is even occasionally outside of the science fiction ghetto, I think it's high time someone pointed out how terribly flawed, immoral, and transparently lacking in complexity Dune actually is.

I don't know how many entries this is going to take, but beginning next week after I've been able to procure another copy of the book, I'll be posting a page by page and occasionally line-by-line commentary on the book in the hopes of exposing it for the massively deficient and incompetent piece of literature that it is.

All comments are welcome, particularly from those who think that there's something of value in this trash that I'm missing.

I'm looking forward to the project and expect that it will take me some time to complete. I hope you all enjoy it, or at least learn to enjoy Dune a little bit less.

Comments

Frank Herbert

I'm looking forward to your crusade here, mostly because I agree in large. I think most people reading Dune for the first time, read it at the same age that I did - which is in your teens, and for a teen certain parts of the first book can blow you away a bit, leaving you to ignore the flaws. Hopefully, if they re-read it a bit later (in my early 20's in my case), they discover that it doesn't hold over time, or over any comparison to other really good authors.

I could give you a copy, if

I could give you a copy, if you wanted, as I have one and don't need it. I would be happy to give it to you for such a cause, and I'm in the Seattle area nowadays, so it should be pretty easy to do.

I have to say, I'm really

I have to say, I'm really looking forward to this.

I loved DUNE when I was 14.

I loved DUNE when I was 14. The first book seemed wonderfully imaginative in a way that SF never had to me before, in that it created a whole universe that wasn't lame. I haven't read it since, so it'll be fun to have my nostalgia destroyed.

I think one has to stick a hatpin through the style receptors

The style is completely clunky and it's one of those "the future will be full of aristocrats by birth who duel with elegant weapons" that's been done though perhaps Herbert was the first with that meme.

Dune based video games?

Dune based video games? Really? Do you get a point for every out-of-place adjective you insert in a sentence?

Basis for comparison, and welcoming comments from fans.

Hi. My name is Kristian, and I'm a Dune fan.

You write that you welcome comments from fans, and I'd like to know what this means precisely. It could be taken as a snotty "bring it on", not that I assume that is what you meant - but I would like you to affirm or deny this. Or it could mean you would like to see some actual debate here. In the latter case, I would like to know whether you plan to engage fans here, or let fans and "anti-fans" duke it out amongst themselves.
I'll certainly stand up for Dune, time permitting, but I need to know that the other party is going to actually argue their points, not stoop to namecalling, strawmanning and other silly tactics. (Had enough of that with the KJA-fans).

Secondly, I'd like to know what your basis for comparison is. What is a well-written novel to you, can you give an example? What is a complex novel? What is sufficient thematic depth? Well-planned?

For instance, I am personally inclined towards novels of ideas - big concepts and take your time laying them out, please. This is one kind of depth, and one way in which a novel can be well-written and -planned. I would certainly say that Dune has such qualities - do you disagree, or is it another set of qualities you believe the novel lacks?

I love this idea

I am a scientist and avid science fiction reader -and have been loving science fiction since I was old enough to read. My father, being a very literate man (a lawyer by profession, an aspiring poet in his free time), introduced me to the genre with the great Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy. When I came to read Dune when I was 16, I was thoroughly disappointed with it. The protagonist wasn't compelling and, to use a more vulgar term, quite shitty, it stole everything about the empire from Asimov, and then just stuck in some Arabs to make it look "worldly". I was astonished to see some of the things people said about it though; people seemed to like this schlock -there's even a cliff's notes edition on it like it was some great work of literature! I want to hear someone give it a real critique, scholarly but not polite, and it seems like that's exactly what you want to do. Good night and good luck my friend!

No one cares if your a

No one cares if your a scientist. And no one cares if your Dad is a Lawyer(or free time poet) Dune sucks and so does your two cents! Lets keep it real on what sucks.

Lazy Immagination

The best way to characterize Dune is Lazy Imagination. First of, sci-fi should always give you a sense that the wonders you are reading about is within the realm of possibility. Dune's technology is more like magic. Yes it is imaginative but it is a lazy concoction.

The biggest problem though is that the author does not know how to spin his ideas into a coherent web. The grand idea is that the 'Spice' is the key to everything. It makes space travel possible, it lets you see the future, even a hint of immortality. So what is this spice and why does it have all these properties? The author is too lazy to figure out why, but it is useful for his story, cause ultimately he just needs to endow the desert rats with unimaginable power so he can carry on with the story (he who controls the spice controls the universe - thats from the game i think).

No laser weapons, if you shoot me with your gun you automatically die because I have a shield which feedsback to your gun and makes it explode in your face. Therefore, we only fight with swords please. Ok if you like swords, even Star Wars have a better justification for why swords are better (with super fast reflexes I can bounce your laser beam back at you). This concoction of FH is another example of lazy immagination, I know he wants to establish sword play as the means for warfare but please come up with a better excuse for why they can't just shoot each other. This is just laughable.

Theres just too much to rant about. Its hard to finish this book, forced myself to do it. Its got no storyline twist, everything is obvious from beginning to end. Bad guy attacks, hurts hero, hero gets back at him in the end. Along the way, a lot of weird creatures and concepts from FH's lazy immagination.

It just doesn't compare with Asimov's beautifully imagination that is logical, coherent and full of thrills and plot twist (and great characters too). Or look at LOTR, its all magic but somehow the ideas seems grand and its actually logical within its own universe (in mathematics we call it a self consistent set of axioms, Dune does not possess this).

Poor FH, I really do not blame him for any of this hype, he just wrote his book and enjoyed what he was doing, but why do people worship this?

Dune sucked, I've been big on

Dune sucked, I've been big on science fiction since I was probably 8 and anyone who has legitimately read loads of science fiction see Dune as a joke. Even the movie was boring. Your cause seems to be the best thing to happen to Dune since well ever. Dune sucks the dick, how it got popular - fakies as in people who pose to like science fiction after watching one million movies and 2-5 books by the same author.

teleplays all betrayals

F.H. seems to think his readers are idiots or have never read a novel before. There is a simple rule in storytelling that is intended to be engaging ;" Show me , don't tell me" It would have been a shock to the reader to realize that the supremely loyal doctor is the turncoat. But we are told well in advance that it is him. There is a complicated explanation regarding why the duke needs to think his concubine is disloyal. but if we had seen it through his eyes it would have been shocking instead of boring.The teleplay never quits. We are told early on that the Baron Harkonin is setting up his more brutal son to abuse the population on arakis, so his more gentle son can be welcomed as a savior.Its seems like the whole book is dumbed down. Similar to the narator in blade runner or journal entrys in avitar. Also the info in the back of the book could have been incorperated into the body of the book. I had to keep fishing for explanations in the back. Ridiculous. But at the same time the reader is treated to a novel writing style; we are expected to get used to the idea that we are reading the minds of whoever is speaking. This was distracting at first but it treated the reader with respect and could have been very interesting if it had been used to pay off all the backstabbing. A very overratted work indeed

part two?

Reading Dune just now - some of it I like, some seems dull and poorly conceived in a weird mix. That's how I got here, googling for 'Dune criticism'... Did you follow through with this project of yours? I can't find any 'part two' here.

Hey, you should check out the

Hey, you should check out the detailed review of the Dune series that started on this site called Deaf Sparrow. It's in their blog. He just finished Children of Dune the other day, pretty funny shit.

I'm not alone

I'm not alone in my opinion that Dune isn't really as big as it's fans claim. I'm also appalled why people call it science fiction when it's themes and settings appear fantasy as well such as the magical spice or the ability to control the entire universe.

Dune fans also bash Star Wars as a 'Dune ripp-off' cause I couldn't see any similarities when I watched the movies besides an Emperor and one desert planet.

Even when Luke tries to 'see the future' in Star Wars it's impossible to tell according to Yoda wheras Dune an alleged sci-fi allows it.

Dune reminds me more of He-Man and The Masters of the Universe, though a downgraded version of it. Look forward to your articles on this subject.