Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Dinner Party

I'm less then a third of the way through "Dune." Suffice it to say, it is a captivating book. This last chapter was all about a dinner party, and it was absolutely the most intriguing, most exciting dinner party I've ever read about, that does not have anything happen but talking and eating. I dont' know how the author does it, but every conversation is primed for mystery and intrige and every action is important and interesting. On Dune, which is a nickname for the planet called Arrakis, a Ducal family, named Atreides, has recently taken over power. It is all a set-up. They are meant to fail at ruling Dune, and they have to sift through all of the politics, all of the intrigues and all of the assassination attempts. It is clear that the father, the Duke Leto, is going to die. The real hero of the story is 15-year-old Paul, the Duke's son. Paul and his mother, Jessica, are both experts in reading people and situations, intuitive and trained in observation and calculation. At this dinner party, it is just fascinating as they see who is allied with whom, who is afraid of whom, who is distrustful, who is an enemy, and basically every trait that ever attendee has which can be understood or exploited. But there is still mystery. Why is the banker afraid of the Judge of the Change, a man of temporary position. Why is the smuggler allied with the latter figure. What are their enemy's real aims and purposes. What do they plan for Paul. Are their prophecies and mythic expectations really something, or just the implantations of a manipulating faction, called the Bene Gesserit? I'm loving this book, and I'm excited to see what happens as I continue further.

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