Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Aldo, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just to put in my two cents:

    I thought the Lynch film had the better production design. I don't think I could better imagine many of the costumes, ships, and even actors than what we got in the Lynch film. However I do think the SyFy miniseries gave the story more appropriate time. I also think some of the actors rivaled their Lynch counterparts, and arguably the Harkonnens exceeded them. The miniseries production design was weird but I give them props for trying to be out there, for making it different than what we had seen before with Lynch's film. I also liked the expanded role for Irulan and for Shaddam's sister in Children of Doom. From what I recall, I don't remember her being as prominent in the books.

    As for the Frank Herbert novels, I loved the first three novels. God Emperor of Dune was the dividing line for me. I hated that book though I toughed it out, and it took me 15 years-off mostly and on a little-to complete it. I tried Heretics and I just didn't care about those characters. So I put that down and gave it away, along with Chapter House.

    With Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson, I liked the House books a lot, particularly House Atreides. House Harkonnen was the weakest of the trilogy, unfortunately, and House Corrino was a decent close. I couldn't get into the Butlerian Jihad and wasn't interested in the post-Chapter House stories. I started reading Paul of Dune and found it interesting but haven't finished it. I think it's that time period shortly before and during Herbert's original three books that interest me the most. Going too far into the future or past don't interest me.

    The Brian Herbert books aren't as good as his fathers, but I did find them easier to digest and some of them had some pretty awesome quotes/passages at the beginning of each chapter. And I liked how Brian's books gave us more of Duke Leto's past since he gets scant attention in the original Dune.
     
  2. Set Harth

    Set Harth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It took me a while to adjust to the Bene Gesserit as the protagonists in Frank's last two books. Then again, by that point who else is left?
     
  3. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Captain Premium Member

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    I interpreted "all 4 original books" to be an indication that you believed Frank Herbert had only written 4 Dune novels ("original" being a way to delineate them from the Brian Herbert/KJH work that came decades later.)

    Your reference to "the first 4" in your later post better conveys what you intended.
     
  4. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    To be brutally frank, Lynch, DeLaurentis, and Universal should have made this movie into a 10-part miniseries; the long version of the movie's a lot better for putting the scenes that were cut out of it back into it.
     
  5. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    The problem I have with the second half of the Frank Herbert series is that God Emperor starts off several thousand years after Children and completely changes the Dune universe. Which is fine, but then Heretics is another couple thousand of years and totally changes the universe again. Which I thought was rather exhausting, especially when reading the books within a month of each other.

    I think the Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson novels are unfairly criticised by fans. Maybe if you look at them as their own novels without comparing them to Frank Herbert's you can see them as entertaining novels in their own right. Though admittedly as prequels they take a bit too many liberties.
     
  6. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    How is that unfair to compare their works to the original author given they claimed to be using his original notes and ideas and were writing in his original universe? If they wanted to avoid the unfair comparisons then perhaps they should have written and done their own thing instead of piggybacking on Frank Herbert's work, but then nobody would have bought their books if they hadn't set the books in the dune universe.

    Duncan Idaho?
     
  7. lurok

    lurok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I did find it hilarious when they brought back practically everyone in Sandworms Of Dune.

    I don't mind the BH/KJA books as much as some fans, but they do feel all-plot and very little insight/perspicacity.
     
  8. Set Harth

    Set Harth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I won't go near them.

    For me it's "go Frank or go home".
     
  9. Cyrus

    Cyrus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have to say upfront that I am not a big fan of Frank Herbert. I thought the book was just OK. I read the first 4 books, but it was kind of a struggle. My interest level dropped with each book, and with book 5 I gave up after around 100 pages. And this was during my younger days when I was more of hardcore scifi book reader. If I try today I may not finish the first book.

    I thought the movie had some good moments but overall it was pretty bad. I did like both of the Sci-Fi Channel miniseries.
     
  10. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^
    That's funny because I liked Frank Herbert but I too gave up on the fifth book. The dividing line for me was God Emperor. Such a slog to read.

    I still think the Dune universe Herbert created is fascinating and would love to see it get a Game of Thrones style HBO, Showtime, or Starz treatment one day.
     
  11. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Perhaps you misunderstand me but I'm not bashing Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson. I enjoyed their House Series and would like to finish Paul of Dune and Winds of Dune eventually. However the further they got away from the main Dune storyline of the first three books the less interested I became. Granted it was the same for Frank Herbert's later Dune works as well.

    I disagree with you about not comparing them to the Frank Herbert novels though. Especially the House Series which is a prequel to Dune and the Paul and Wind books which are in betweens for Messiah and Children (I believe). The books were only written because of Frank Herbert's previous novels and part of their appeal is shedding more light on the characters and events leading up to or occurring during or around the stuff that happened in Frank Herbert's books.

    I think it's easier to not compare the Butlerian Jihad series to Frank Herbert's books, but not so sure about Sandworms since I think that's a sequel to Chapter House (?).

    From the Brian Herbert books I've read, I thought they were interesting reads for the most part and it was great revisiting some of my favorite characters and planets. Though the level of writing didn't have Frank Herbert's depth. However the newer novels were more like books you would read at the beach, which was fine with me.
     
  12. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, I was speaking generally. Brian Herbert and KJA's books are usually universally panned by fans, which I think is unfair since they are mostly half decent books. True they might not be in the same league as Frank Herbert's, but they're decent reads all the same.

    And I happen to agree with your assessment of them. The House trilogy is pretty decent, the Jihad trilogy not so much. The Hunters of Dune/Sandworms of Dune duology is pretty good even if Sandworms has a certain revelation which I understand doesn't sit well among fans. I even enjoy Paul of Dune, Winds of Dune and Sisterhood of Dune even if they maybe prequels too far.
     
  13. Colonel Midnight

    Colonel Midnight Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The thing that drives me far and quickly away from the "Pinky and the Brain" (sorry, just can't resist -- love that tagline :lol:) books is their particular writing style.

    IMO, If you're going to write in the Dune universe (especially the "Dune 7 finale")... then at least TRY to mimic the style of Frank Herbert to some extent, which was somewhat similar to what Isaac Asimov did in the Foundation series -- very rarely does full-on action take center stage, it's usually after the fact, or more contemplative or interlaced with the character's thoughts at the time.

    Instead, with the newer books by Pinky and the Brain, you get to read firsthand about meks pulping brains as they go by, arms and legs being ripped off and flying about, etc. In a word, YUCK. It's a jarring transition, in short. About the only thing they copied from Herbert Sr. are the quotes at the beginning of each chapter -- and even those fall short. The chapter quotes from the "original" Dune books really made you think and pulled you into the universe, making it a richer environment. Not so much with the newer books.

    And the less we say about their so-called "intricate plots and twists" (which practically shout themselves off the page)... the better.

    Cheers,
    -CM-
     
  14. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They really lacked his knowledge and interest in ecology, religion and history to pull off any decent attempt at doing a Dune novel.
     
  15. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Commodore Commodore

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    As much as I like Frank Herbert, and enjoy almost every Dune book, the House series of Prequels were better than Herberts books after Children of Dune. Thats not to say I don't like God Emperor and later books (inlcuding the Brian Herbert/KA books finishing the series) because I dso like them, but House atreides/Harkonnen/Corrino are really good. not quite as good as Dune/Messiah/CoD, but still really good and a close second to those books. Besides the Butlarian Jihand/Sisterhood prequels set thousands of years in the past, I enjoy all of the BH/KA Dune books.
     
  16. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    I like the fact that they're writing the novels in a style they're comfortable with as opposed to trying to imitate Frank Herbert. Really, if they went that route it could have turned into a second-rate Frank knock-off. Though I agree the content is certainly jarring and while I don't mind its presence, it might not have been a bad idea to dial back on some of the more graphic violence and tortures that go on in the BH/KJA books.
     
  17. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm really interested in seeing this Third Stage Edition now. I've really grown to love the 1984 film as an adaptation rather than a scene-for-scene copy of the book.
     
  18. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    IMO, the graphic violence in the P&tB books was much less effective at conveying horror than Frank's more circumspect approach. Not surprising really since any good writer knows that nothing they can describe is as terrifying as what the reader can imagine.

    For comparison, there's a scene in on of Herbert's Pandora books ('The Jesus Incident' I think?) that has always stuck with me as being particularly effective in showing something particularly gruesome happening to someone...without actually showing it. It's been a while, so I forget the details, but at some point a female character is brought into a room euphemistically called "the flower garden" (it's actually where all the horrific genetic experiments are kept. Think 'The Fly II' and multiply it by a thousand.)

    You don't get the lurid details of what happens after they close the door on her...but you're left with your imagination spinning in some very unpleasant directions and what she does the next time she appears only adds to it.

    Compare that to the robot in the prequel books making human soup as an artistic expression...well, there's just no comparison.
     
  19. Davros

    Davros Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What the movie messed up was the Harkonans. [sp?]
     
  20. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This point was driven home in God Emperor, wasn't it? The lush green vegetation and the accompanying rains were slowly killing off the Makers. The worms were much smaller and living in much more confined smaller areas of desert on the green Arrakis.

    I got the first novel in hardback as a gift from my uncle when I was in 7th or 8th grade. I read up to God Emperor but never finished that book. I was reading God Emperor for a book report in Lit class. I got to the point where I stopped reading the book and left the book report off as a cliffhanger. I ended the report with "if you want to know how the story ends, you'll have to read the book. I got a really good grade on the report!

    Years later I went back and read the entire series (as it existed at that time) up to Chapterhouse: Dune. I agree with your assessment that Messiah felt like a half-finished book, especially after such an epoch as Dune.
     

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