12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
BREAKING WIND ON DUNE,
This review is from: The Winds of Dune (Paperback)
If history teaches as anything is that heirs usually inherit only a fraction of their predecessors' talent and abilities. In the case of the Herberts, make that a tiny fraction. Trying to build onto the legend of a classic series of novels is only forgivable if one brings new life to the story and does so with fresh skill. Neither of which are achieved here.
Anderson's writing (I doubt that Brian Herbert contributed anything besides his last name and claims of finding yet more of his father's..."lost notes") is immature and trivial. Case in point: the word "panoply" means suit of armor. Frank used ancient words to spice up his prose and give it a patina of retro futurism - but he knew what he was doing. In these McDune novels, words such as panoply are used in a wrong way (p.223:"Alia scattered the cards on the table, a panoply of ancient icons modified..." simply makes no sense) and because the rest of the prose is so poor they stick out like sore thumbs.
On top of that, Anderson's dialogue seems forced and limited to a very small number of pre-rendered cliche phrases. His character development is not only inadequate but also does great injustice to the original works.
Alia seems to be stuck in a fugue state coupled with sadistic hysteria. The idea of the Duke's son (without any serious motivation whatsoever) accepting "jobs no one wants" and then running off to join a circus is absurd. And the notion that Paul is later liked only because he picked up how to use... Master Jongleur hypnosis on everyone is a direct insult to the character of the man that would later become the Kwisatz Haderach! Forget about the greedy writer(s), whoever edited and proofread this never bothered to even browse through any of the original DUNE books!!?
Adding details and expanding on the background of a classic story hardly ever improves it - not anymore than adding fluorescent highlights to Mona Lisa or electric guitar riffs to Beethoven's Fifth. These DUNE prequels/sequels are a disgrace to Frank Herbert's oeuvre and memory. And this one may be the worst to be put to print ever.
I made the mistake of picking this one at an airport stand; "how bad can it be?", I though. Well, I soon found out it was more disgusting than the airline food served.
You want a writing carrier Brian? For Shai-Hulud's shake, get some ideas of your own!
AVOID. At all costs.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Jun 2011 18:39:29 BDT
Acacio Martins says:
After reading your comment about the usage of the word Panoply, I couldn't help myself but started to laugh.
I am sorry... but, if you are so sure to comment a book that uses such kind of words with such harsh terms, I think that you should be a little more careful how to express yourself on a place that can be and will be read by so many people worldwide.
Your opinion is valid of course, you don't like the book, that's perfectly all right. Anyone is entitled to his opinions and to share them.
I also have the Brian Herbert books and of course they never reach the same level that Frank Herbert had, and I share some of your opinions about the BH books.
But criticizing a book using an argumentation based on a word that you in fact don't know how to use, is a bit dumb... :)
Indeed the roots of the word Panoply came from the Greek, and it means full set of armour. But as words and languages tend to evolve through time, you should know that the world "panoply" has other usages has well.
In my native language, Portuguese, that word in particular has a wide usage, and it's not ancient as you may think. It was a word adopted and included in other languages, even in English.
A simple search on Google showed this link: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pa
And it gave the following results:
World English Dictionary
- n , pl -plies
1. a complete or magnificent array
2. the entire equipment of a warrior
[C17: via French from Greek panoplia complete armour, from pan- + hopla armour, pl of hoplon tool]
and as the french say... et voilá... a complete or magnificent array...
That make as a bit more sense, no? At least for me, that I'm used to read in different languages, it makes perfect sense to me. ;)
No hard feelings... but one should never talk about what he does not know, that is my opinion. ;)
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2011 19:24:42 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Jun 2011 07:47:40 BDT
Thank you for the time you took to write your polite and thoughtful comment Acacio.
However, allow me to disagree. I am well aware of how words acquire new meanings when they migrate from one language to the next. And your dictionary information is correct of course. So, let's give the writer(s) the benefit of the doubt and accept that they aimed at the new meaning, the "complete or magnificent array".
The phrase "Alia scattered the cards on the table, a [complete and magnificent array] of ancient icons modified" still feels awkward and verbose to me - and the effort behind it is too evident.
Even if that were not the case, one cannot ignore the very serious issue of series continuity. Frank Herbert used to word "panoply" to mean "a set of armor", both physical and mental. Does it make sense to change meaning mid-course?
Of course, the story of DUNE has been completed decades ago. These books are nothing but cheap attempts to exploit the fans of a classic SF story. Misuse of words such as "panoply" is the least of their problems.
Comments such as yours are always welcome - even if we disagree ;-))
In reply to an earlier post on 3 Aug 2011 06:35:24 BDT
M. J. McWalter says:
Stop trying to literally translate words into paraphrases; in the context used in the partial quote supplied a panoply means nothing more than a display or parade.
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