Christmas Rereading: Fictional Messiahs and Jihads

Dune is a truly fascinating book to read now and again, as it always seems to have something to tell us about our current situation. Herbert's book about syncretism and human nature in many ways paints a dark picture of the human soul, and points out the rather scary truth that we are all barbarians at skin level, with only the thin veneer of civilization covering us.

Posted by Final Historian at December 18, 2004 6:35 PM

Btw, Frank Herbert was not British. He was American.

Posted by David Sucher at December 19, 2004 7:21 AM

Interesting take on Dune. I was always surprised by the Arabic slant on the Fremen. That was only the language. Their culture and history ( cast from paradise, salvation coming sometime, woe be us ) stuck me as perhaps the Jews after Moses led them into the desert. They finally tire of suffering for their faith and decide to open up on someone else for a change.

Stranger in a Strange Land left me cold. I read that not too long after Glory Road and was left with the feeling that Heinlein was a dirty old man, who if married, was unhappy in his marriage and really wanted a lot of younger women to sleep with. I didn't see any insightful criticisms in the book, but it did give us a good word for the dictionary.

Posted by Aodhan at December 21, 2004 5:52 PM