North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › The Spice must flow
This was written for another website, but I thought I would share it here.
The Spice must flow
I?ve just completed reading the new ?Dune? novels by Brian Herbert and Kevin J, Anderson. Please pass the whiskey. Were these books good? The were good if you meet any of the following conditions:
a) You can?t read
b) You?ve been traumatized by years of drug and alcohol abuse.
c) You have no ability to determine good from bad, right from wrong or up from down.
The novels do contain a few good passages, one-liners here and there, and a paragraph now and again, but it?s not enough to save any of the books. The characters are simply two-dimensional cardboard cutouts. Even the ?good? guys are cynical, unprincipled, and frankly?stupid. The ?bad? guys are simply idiots. They are cruel, vicious and mean, but aren?t smart enough to be ?evil?.
The plot?oh the plot. Fiction by it?s very nature is a contrivance, but in its best form is complex and stimulating, and growth of the story is organic?it growth from within itself. The plot Herbert/Anderson have come up with is pathetic. Not only is it a contrivance of the most childish sort, it?s transparent. Many scenes seem ?tacked on? because they don?t know what to do with a particular character (such as Dorias? death scene in ?Hunters of Dune?). It?s insulting.
The final books, ?Hunters of Dune? and ?Sandworms of Dune? were, supposedly, based on notes left by Frank Herbert. I have only the authors? word that this is the case. I don?t know how extensive these notes are or if any outline exists, But I find it difficult, if not down right incredulous, that Frank Herbert would take the ?Dune? story in such a bizarre direction. Perhaps a Maestro like Frank Herbert could have pulled it off, but the clods doing the writing now should stick to writing refill instructions for fountain pens.
The greatest disappointment is the complete lack of grandeur. The characters, plot, writing style, all lack the grandeur that Frank Herbert gave to the story. Frank Herbert had something important to say about the human condition and in the process gave us great art. It?s tragic that his inheritors have given his vision such an ignominious end.