Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I'd give water to the dead (book) but I'm not done with the series so I'll hold off AKA why aren't you reading Dune so you know what I'm talking about

Monday kind of blew...a gasket. Seriously, I don't know what else to call the corroded metal steam holder thing-y on the side of my radiator which decided to spray hot water all over my dining room. And myself. And the kitty litter. And the floor.

And so, when Tuesday came around, I needed a little me time that didn't involve bailing scalding water.

Hence a night of reading.

Just as I promised Face years ago to read Dune, this year I have promised to read the second and third books in the series.

Over the weekend, I found myself - surprisingly - book-less. I had just finished The Little Stranger and was getting through More Book Lust, but I was in need of a story. And so I went to the Face Library and said, "Bring me the book!"

After reading the first book, I was all fear is the mind killer...and I was excited to start the second. But then time and many books passed. Once again, I wonder what took me so long. Reading Dune Messiah was like breathing fresh air.

Sometimes I feel bad for perfectly fine books I read around the time I read great books. Inevitably, the perfectly fine books will lose ground in my mind. They can't possibly keep pace.

I feel bad for Little Stranger and I feel bad for the Eve Ensler book I started today. Because all I have on my mind is Dune.

Dune Messiah picks up 12 years after the first book. Paul has had time to reign and take over planets and get married for political reasons while still keeping his true love Fremem woman. Unfortunately, his enemies have also had time. Time for plans within plans. Conspiracy. Only, Paul knows the plans within plans but he keeps walking his dangerous destiny so that something worse doesn't happen. Aaaack.

I really liked this book. Really. It was almost like I had missed the desert planet. I missed the values and philosophies and statements that have to be searched around in for meaning. The second book feels like a commentary on Earth's way of life. Of the rise and fall of empires. Of the rise and fall of religion. Of the burden of perception as a god but reality as only a man. Paul's empire - which is intrinsically linked to the religion - has grown and thrived. But now it is time for worry and laziness and complacency. Not. Good.

The second book was also a giant sparring match. All the characters warily edging around each other until it was time to strike. And strike they did.

*SPOILER ALERT. The ending is bittersweet. Important people die, but an important person returns and the future is born. And you're all YAAAAAY. But then, Paul gets blinded by some crazy laser molten beam thing that explodes down into the planet, and - oh yeah - disintegrates eye balls.

But since he is Fremem, after he saves the day, he has to be put out to pasture due to this weakness. Only there isn't pasture on Dune. There is DESERT.

Blind emperor in the desert, people!

And that is where it ends!

The moment I finished the book - which was quite late - I called Face and yelled, "WHY DIDN'T YOU GIVE ME THE THIRD BOOK AS WELL??"

He would answer none of my questions. All he would say was if I liked this one, my mind will be blown by the third book. Whaaa?? And so I was forced to restlessly go to bed.

Where I dreamed my family was at a library searching for the third book.

"Here lies a toppled god -
his fall was not a small one.

We did but build his pedestal

A narrow and a tall one."

Frank Herbert

1 comment:

  1. When I think of Dune - and I'm saying this with no knowledge of the story whatsoever - all my brain comes up with is an image of a dirty, dusty old VHS tape sitting on a shelf.
    I have no idea why this is - maybe it's because my dad was totally into it when I was younger...but this is all I've got.

    I have to get over this. I'm penning this into my book list and am vowing read Dune this year.