Howdy folks! It is time for the second group discussion of Dune. This group read is hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings. The questions this week were crafted by The Little Red Reviewer. Everyone’s discussions will be posted here:
Please note that if you have not read this work there will be spoilers in my discussion. Now for the questions:
Was Liet’s identity a surprise? who do you think he really works for?
I think I missed something about Liet. If I remember correctly, after he aided Paul and Jessica, he didn’t live much longer in part two since he was left in the desert to die. And I wasn’t too surprised that he was a leader of the Fremen. It is hard to oppress people and to get them to fully support the new government, especially when the new leaders only want to exploit your people and land.
What do you think of the Fremen culture? is this a culture you think you’d enjoy spending some time with?
There are some aspects of the Fremen culture that intrigue me. Their bond and sense that they need all to survive is interesting and somewhat foreign to me. Living in a large city has definitely made me notice more and more how many people only care about themselves and no one else. For the most part the Fremen respect everyone. Even the chap that Paul had to fight. The challenge was done according to the rules and the rest of the group accepted the result of the fight. It would be interesting to visit a culture like this.
However, I don’t believe I would like to live there permanently. From a strictly selfish reason, I am more of a loner. I like my quiet time and I don’t like the rigid confines of their society. And I understand that living in our current society has given me the opportunity and freedom to become a loner. Having said all that, if I was a character in the book and I had to choose a place to live, it would be with the Fremen.
What do you think of Count Fenring’s unusual verbal mannerisms?
At first I had a hard time with his verbal mannerisms and I’m still now sure of the intent. Does he speak this way to set himself apart from the action and to say that he is above others? Is he mocking the Baron? Is he bored and thinks the Baron is a buffoon? I didn’t understand the reason behind his speech pattern.
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 had heard that the society in Dune was very “low-tech” before I cracked the book open. And when I started to read the book I wondered how this society would function in the future. However, once I got engrossed in the novel, I had completely forgotten about the low-tech aspect of the novel. I think since Herbert is succeeding in creating such a well-crafted story, I just didn’t give it a second thought.
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?
I started to notice this and I thought to myself, was the first part like this and I was missing something. But I think the second part is more about what is not spoken than what is spoken. Personally I like it. It adds to the suspense if the other party of the conversation will figure things out. I like these mental duals and challenges. It’s fun to see how the characters will respond. Herbert is building a lot of suspense for me.
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?
If you’ve never read this book before, where do you think the storyline is headed?
To be honest, I’ve been reading The Castle of Otranto, Heart of Darkness, and I am currently in the middle of Frankenstein, while reading the first and second part of Dune so Herbert’s writing is a relief. It doesn’t seem dated at all for me. I haven’t read much science fiction so I really can’t compare it. But I don’t know if I really judge a book by its writing style. If the story is well told with believable characters and plot, then the writing style is a nonissue for me.
It seems that Herbert is setting up a colossal fight between Paul and the Fremen against the Baron and his cohorts. As of now, I am unsure of how the emperor will fit into the whole shebang. Also, I have a feeling that all of this will not be worked out in this book.