Sunday, May 02, 2010

Dune Messiah

The second book in the Dune series is much shorter than the first. It also has a much more coherent story. It continues a dozen or so years after the first, with Paul having firmly established his "empire". He has also established himself as a quasi-deity.
While the first book covered Paul "going native" and working hard to overthrow the "evil overlords", this book deals more with his struggles as a "reluctant" ruler. He desires to "get out" of his high position. However, others are plotting against him, so he seeks a way to exit without handing the position to his enemies.
A key message is that empire building may be the easy part. Holding on to the empire and keeping it running is the more difficult part. (And with it the similar theme that good conquerors tend to make bad bureaucrats.)
The last part of the book primarily involves Paul "acting out" his vision of events. This was carried out fairly well. Paul was shown to be strong enough to continue on the path that he knew would get his desired outcome - even though he also knew he would suffer in the process.
The Dune audiobooks are very polished productions with multiple "readers" covering different characters. The voicing for Paul makes him come across as a conceited jerk. (His words seem to back up this feel, so it is probably not too much of a stretch.)

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