I finally got around to watching the new Dune movie and subsequently read the novel for the first time. The novel itself is divided into three parts: Dune, Muad’Dib and The Prophet. I will focus on Dune since the film portrays content through this portion of the book.
The story focuses on the character Paul and his family’s newly accepted stewardship of the planet Arrakis (Dune). Dune is the only source of melange (spice) which increases longevity and enhances mental capacity. His father is Duke Leto of the House of Atreides and his mother, Lady Jessica, is the Duke’s concubine and a member of the Bene Gesserit (a female religious order). Dune was previously under the control of the rival House of Harkonnen led by Baron Vladimir Harkonnen.
The entire venture turns out to be a trap (as suspected by the Duke) and leads to the downfall of the Duke and House Atreides, We discover that Paul’s personal physician, Dr. Wellington Yueh has disabled their compound’s defenses on Arrakis in order to discover the whereabouts of his wife who is held captive by the Harkonnens. Paul and his mother manage to escape the resulting carnage.
Dune’s storyline is interesting, although I can’t help but feel that the circumstances of Dr. Yueh’s betrayal seem a bit contrived. I will say that the current film adaptation is much better than the 1984 film. The previous film was difficult to follow for someone who had never read the novel. Dune is worth a read for those who are interested in the fantasy genre.