Sunday, May 24, 2020

[Roll Your Own Life] The Books that Hooked Me (Part 2)


Onto the second of the books that have had a bit of an impact on my life. DUNE. Another one of those books that I came to too early. I'd seen the movie, the awesome David Lynch adaptation of Dune that I still absolutely love to this day. I watched it with the old D&D group, "the Eight", and I felt like I was in a minority that I hadn't read the book. Heck, if I remember correctly, when I joined the D&D group one of the characters was called Muad'dib. We watched the movie, and the others kinda chimed in to say "that's not like the book", or "that's wrong". So, I felt like I had to check it out.

This was back when I wasn't really reading a lot - roleplaying, movies, and videogames were the primary forms of entertainment to me at that time. I bought the novel, gave it a go, and I probably did the same thing I usually did which was give up after about a hundred pages as the payoff wasn't fast enough.

So stupid.

But I loved the movie, and the setting was fascinating. And I ended up buying this cool book on a whim - the Dune Encyclopedia. It was a mammoth reference work about the Dune books, and I found that even more intriguing. It was great. I devoured that book, possibly more than I should have done, and watched the movie multiple times.

Skip forward many years, and I discovered reading for pleasure - thanks to Stephen King (see yesterday's blogpost). It must have been after I left University, after I'd read Lord of the Rings and loved it, I thought to myself - 'You know, you really should read Dune.'

So I did. I blasted through the first four books, loving every moment. We relocated across the country, and without a job I needed to read to keep my head busy, and Dune was where I went. I remember going into the Waterstones in our temporarily adoptive new hometown and asking for the final book - Chapterhouse Dune - and they didn't have it but would order it. All the rest were on the shelves, except that one. A few days later, book six arrived and it had the old cover before the reprints - with the old logo that matched my beaten old copies of the rest of the series. I was ecstatic.

Illustration of Paul Atreides from the
Dune Encyclopedia 

We located again, and I started working in Ottakar's, and the prequel trilogy just started to come out. I picked up the paperback of House Atreides, the start of the Prelude to Dune series. I have this weird memory of starting to read the first volume and finding a typo early on - and stopping reading right there. I mean, a typo. I remember it being something obvious like Atreides. I honestly don't know if it was actually there, or me misreading it. I've just had a look through my copy and can't find anything - though I'm not very awake...

After I got over myself - and working in a bookstore those covers kept tempting me - I finally gave House Atreides another go and devoured the Prelude to Dune series, loving those as well.

I'm sorry to say that it was the Legends of Dune series that stopped me. I tried. I started reading The Butlerian Jihad, the legendary story of why sentient machines were outlawed in the Imperium that I was eager to read. I just couldn't get into it. I still have the paperback, and I even have the hardback of the next volume - The Machine Crusade - but never got any further.

Maybe one day I'll go back to it, but the lure of rereading the original six again is always on my mind.

Especially with the new adaptation coming later this year. Can't wait!!

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