Just finished reading Dune by Frank Hebert and I must say it has been very enjoyable. I was always put off reading it by the bad reviews the film always gets and it just didn't seem like my cup of tea. But I was sucked in by the good quality of the prose and the way the story is elegantly unfolded. Frank Herbert has a way of using the lightest of touches to describe an awful lot of content.
All the way through the book I was expecting a huge battle between the Fremen army and the Imperial forces as a grand finale. In fact the ending does involve a battle and even a final duel between Paul and Feud Rautha and all the loose ends are tied up but this occupies very few pages.
Now I have finished it I have realised what the story is really about; how a people must coexist with an environment of they are to tame it. The other big aspect of the story is personal development and awareness of and sensitivity to the motives of others. It has made me think more and more about being subtle in my dealings with people and holding things back until I'm certain it's to my advantage to reveal them openly.
The main character is very likeable. He's a scrawny kid who gradually accumulates powerful but subtle abilities over a number of years of personal growth as he becomes the Kwisatch Haderach. Not a super hero who one day acquires magical powers. Paul is aware of himself and able to identify his strengths and his limitations, a skill that all of us need to become balanced adults.