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Everyone knows Frank Herbert's Dune. This amazing and complex epic, combining politics, religion, human evolution, and ecology, has captured the imagination of generations of readers. One of the most popular science fiction novels ever written, it has become a worldwide phenomenon, winning awards, selling millions of copies around the world. In the prophetic year of 1984, D Everyone knows Frank Herbert's Dune. This amazing and complex epic, combining politics, religion, human evolution, and ecology, has captured the imagination of generations of readers. One of the most popular science fiction novels ever written, it has become a worldwide phenomenon, winning awards, selling millions of copies around the world. In the prophetic year of 1984, Dune was made into a motion picture directed by David Lynch, and it has recently been produced as a three-part miniseries on the Sci-Fi Channel. Though he is best remembered for Dune, Frank Herbert was the author of more than twenty books at the time of his tragic death in 1986, including such classic novels as The Green Brain, The Santaroga Barrier, The White Plague and Dosadi Experiment. Brian Herbert, Frank Herbert's eldest son, tells the provocative story of his father's extraordinary life in this honest and loving chronicle. He has also brought to light all the events in Herbert's life that would find their way into speculative fiction's greatest epic. From his early years in Tacoma, Washington, and his education at the University of Washington, Seattle, and in the Navy, through the years of trying his hand as a TV cameraman, radio commentator, reporter, and editor of several West Coast newspaper, to the difficult years of poverty while struggling to become a published writer, Herbert worked long and hard before finding success after the publication of Dune in 1965. Brian Herbert writes about these years with a truthful intensity that brings every facet of his father's brilliant, and sometimes troubled, genius to full light. Insightful and provocative, containing family photos never published anywhere, this absorbing biography offers Brian Herbert' unique personal perspective on one of the most enigmatic and creative talents of our time. Dreamer of Dune is a 2004 Hugo Award Nominee for Best Related Work.


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Everyone knows Frank Herbert's Dune. This amazing and complex epic, combining politics, religion, human evolution, and ecology, has captured the imagination of generations of readers. One of the most popular science fiction novels ever written, it has become a worldwide phenomenon, winning awards, selling millions of copies around the world. In the prophetic year of 1984, D Everyone knows Frank Herbert's Dune. This amazing and complex epic, combining politics, religion, human evolution, and ecology, has captured the imagination of generations of readers. One of the most popular science fiction novels ever written, it has become a worldwide phenomenon, winning awards, selling millions of copies around the world. In the prophetic year of 1984, Dune was made into a motion picture directed by David Lynch, and it has recently been produced as a three-part miniseries on the Sci-Fi Channel. Though he is best remembered for Dune, Frank Herbert was the author of more than twenty books at the time of his tragic death in 1986, including such classic novels as The Green Brain, The Santaroga Barrier, The White Plague and Dosadi Experiment. Brian Herbert, Frank Herbert's eldest son, tells the provocative story of his father's extraordinary life in this honest and loving chronicle. He has also brought to light all the events in Herbert's life that would find their way into speculative fiction's greatest epic. From his early years in Tacoma, Washington, and his education at the University of Washington, Seattle, and in the Navy, through the years of trying his hand as a TV cameraman, radio commentator, reporter, and editor of several West Coast newspaper, to the difficult years of poverty while struggling to become a published writer, Herbert worked long and hard before finding success after the publication of Dune in 1965. Brian Herbert writes about these years with a truthful intensity that brings every facet of his father's brilliant, and sometimes troubled, genius to full light. Insightful and provocative, containing family photos never published anywhere, this absorbing biography offers Brian Herbert' unique personal perspective on one of the most enigmatic and creative talents of our time. Dreamer of Dune is a 2004 Hugo Award Nominee for Best Related Work.

30 review for Dreamer of Dune: The Biography of Frank Herbert

  1. 4 out of 5

    Edward

    Frank Herbert was a jerk. But also a genius. He was also capable of intense love, loyalty, and feeling. In short, he was complicated. That may not come as a surprise to many, especially when studying the life of an artist. Complicated people often produce art that is as nuanced and disquieting as they are. I recently read the original six Dune books and was curious to read a little more about the mind that came up with such hauntingly weird stories. There is a layered complexity to Dune that alm Frank Herbert was a jerk. But also a genius. He was also capable of intense love, loyalty, and feeling. In short, he was complicated. That may not come as a surprise to many, especially when studying the life of an artist. Complicated people often produce art that is as nuanced and disquieting as they are. I recently read the original six Dune books and was curious to read a little more about the mind that came up with such hauntingly weird stories. There is a layered complexity to Dune that almost gets under your skin; after about book four you will decide it's either a masterwork of culture and religion or pretentious crap. Likewise, reading about Herbert himself may either inspire deep admiration or loathing. Some of what I learned was not surprising. Herbert was an autodidact who eschewed mainstream academics. He voraciously read everything he could get his hands on, with an emphasis on topics like religious mysticism, philosophy, and psychology. Prone to wide emotional swings and bizarre fixations, he may have had a mental illness such as a bipolar or personality disorder. Life was chaotic but adventurous to him; he experienced more on a daily basis than some people do their entire lives. This is also an interesting look at a father/son relationship, a kind of subgenre of biographies (along with any book that centers around parents and children). It reminded me other similar literary family dynamics, like "Father and I," written about Lafcadio Hearn by his son, or the relationship between Mark Twain and his daughters. There is a tenderness to such accounts that is often tinged with the bittersweet. Herbert was, by even Brian Herbert's own admission, frequently abusive, physically and especially emotionally. His family often suffered for the sake of his writing. While his admirable and long-suffering wife Beverly stoically shouldered the hardship, his children did not (and could not be expected to) understand why their father ignored them. Brian frequently mentions that one of his father's greatest weaknesses was his inability to understand children. To him their shortcomings seemed intentional; one of many roadblocks in his quest to complete his work. The tragedy of Herbert was that he produced something enjoyed by millions of strangers at the cost of his own, and his loved ones happiness. We are tempted to judge such fathers alongside the judgments being made by the children--to become angry at them if they are too forgiving, or too harsh, or even both. It reflects the struggle we go through ourselves to admit things about where we came from or how we were raised; a coming to terms with the emotional baggage that inevitably arises in any family unit. In the end Brian had a very positive view of his father, one that developed over many years and took into account his many flaws (as well as what seemed like true regret on the part of Frank Herbert and attempts to make things right later in life). I can't excuse some of the things Herbert did (like his emotional rejection of his gay son, Bruce), but I can respect the path Brian took to arrive at the conclusion he did. It was his decision to make. If you are a fan of the Dune series, this makes for a fun coda after finishing Chapterhouse. They say you should write what you know. Terrible advice if you don't know or do much, but great if you lived a life as diverse and intriguing as Herbert's. Much of what he did found its way into his fictional universes. The time they lived in Mexico, his religiously strict aunts, when he jumped a broken bridge in a car. Or when he researched desertification and the ecology of arid climates for a journalism story, something that would trigger one of the most famous sci-fi epics of all time. If you learn nothing else reading this book, it is to be endlessly curious. Never stop learning and reading, especially if you want to create something.

  2. 5 out of 5

    James

    This is more of a Brian Herbert pitty party than a biography of Frank Herbert. The writing is as bad as his Dune sequel/prequels. Really, if someone is reading this there's a good chance they're a fan of FH and have read his books, you don't have to tell us what they're about every time they're mentioned. I gave it two starts just for the information about FH I didn't know before.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tudor Ciocarlie

    I'm still waiting for the real biography of Frank Herbert.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jcrew

    I just finished this biography written by Brian Herbert and......wow...I really disliked it. Let's just say I have personal reasons for reading this book. This account read like a 13-year old's diary - shoving snippets here and there - oddly mashed, incomplete and a lot of times out of place. The constant tug of pity-me/praise-me irritated me the whole way through and made it apparent that Brian has unresolved daddy issues. Cry me a river.... What strikes me most about this book is how Brian wrot I just finished this biography written by Brian Herbert and......wow...I really disliked it. Let's just say I have personal reasons for reading this book. This account read like a 13-year old's diary - shoving snippets here and there - oddly mashed, incomplete and a lot of times out of place. The constant tug of pity-me/praise-me irritated me the whole way through and made it apparent that Brian has unresolved daddy issues. Cry me a river.... What strikes me most about this book is how Brian wrote in regard to his younger brother Bruce. The "number 2 son" (an unnecessary, self propelling label - I mean really, Brian?) was barely mentioned and mostly coupled with his "unfortunate homosexuality" that Brian and his whole family "wished he wasn't". This made Brian almost seem no better than a bigot - with lines like "Brian and his gay lover arrived" or "experimenting in homosexual practices because my father didn't give him enough attention". Are you kidding me? Maybe Brian turned to drugs, because he couldn't come to terms with his homosexuality - which NEWS FLASH, isn't a choice. This book was published in 2003, not 1973. Herbert did not even mention that Bruce died from AIDS, alone, in 1993. My heart goes out to him and the unfortunate family situation that he was born into. Ultimately, this book did try and portray the fantastic life of an amazing author, but was overpowered by obvious misgivings felt by Brian. I guess I could not expect any more than this from a man who has made his living by coat-tailing off the legacy started by his father.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Post Defiance

    The following originally posted at http://postdefiance.com/son-of-tacoma..., written by Erik Hanberg. He wrote one of the bestselling science fiction novels ever. He won both the Nebula and the Hugo Awards – the two most prestigious awards in science fiction. NASA has officially approved the naming of geographic features on Saturn’s moon Titan after words coined by him. He’s from Tacoma, but no one here seems to know it. The man is Frank Herbert, and he is the author of the science fiction classic The following originally posted at http://postdefiance.com/son-of-tacoma..., written by Erik Hanberg. He wrote one of the bestselling science fiction novels ever. He won both the Nebula and the Hugo Awards – the two most prestigious awards in science fiction. NASA has officially approved the naming of geographic features on Saturn’s moon Titan after words coined by him. He’s from Tacoma, but no one here seems to know it. The man is Frank Herbert, and he is the author of the science fiction classic Dune, as well as five sequels set in the world that book imagined. Frank Herbert was born in Tacoma on October 8, 1920 – his mother’s 19th birthday. His binge-drinking father rarely held a steady job. At the time of Frank’s birth, his father operated a bus line between Tacoma and Aberdeen. Among other jobs, he later sold cars, managed a dance hall, and worked for the Washington State Patrol. Frank Herbert had the kind of childhood that would cause statewide news alerts today, filled with tales that sound more like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn rather than anyone’s actual experiences. At the age of nine he rowed from Burley on the Kitsap Peninsula to the San Juan Islands alone, often hitching rides with tugboats by holding on to their hulls. In his youth, he went hunting (alone) and brought back game for his family to eat. At 14, he swam across the Tacoma Narrows (there was no bridge until 1940). Shortly thereafter, he and a friend sailed nearly 2,000 miles round-trip to the fjords of British Columbia. In Brian Herbert’s biography of his father, Dreamer of Dune (which provided many of the details in this article) he writes that on the Puget Sound, “Frank Herbert developed a deep respect for the natural rhythms of nature. The ecology message, so prevalent in much of his writing, is one of his most important legacies.” Frank Herbert loved the Puget Sound, and anytime he traveled or moved away for a job, he always returned, calling the Sound his “Tara,” a reference to Scarlett’s refuge in Gone With the Wind. Herbert’s feats weren’t all in the natural world, however. At 12, he read the complete works of Shakespeare, and gobbled up Marcel Proust and Herman Melville. Like many avid readers, he tried his own hand at writing, and at 14 he was given his first typewriter. “One day my father went for advice to a writer living in Tacoma who had sold a couple novels and several short stories,” writes Brian Herbert. “The response: ‘Work like hell, kid.’” Herbert took this counsel to heart. His writing career included work as a journalist, a political speechwriter for a US Senator from Oregon, and as a short story writer before he was finally able to devote himself to writing his novels full time. When reviewing the life of Frank Herbert, one gets the impression that he was trying to live in every part of Tacoma and do all things quintessentially Tacoman. At various points, he lived on Day Island, in Dash Point, Browns Point, and on the Eastside. He attended Stewart Middle School and Lincoln High School. He wrote for the Tacoma Ledger and the Tacoma Times. At age 21, he and his sweetheart fell in love in Salem, Oregon, where they were then living. On a whim, they drove to Tacoma to get married, because he thought it would be meaningful to have the ceremony in his hometown. In 1955, Herbert had a budding family in Tacoma and needed a car for them. Being short on funds, as writers often are, he found a sweet deal on a used car: $300 for a funeral home hearse. He enjoyed wearing his darkest suit, impersonating a funeral director, and pulling his hearse up next to carloads of teenagers. Herbert would leave them sobered, giving them a dark scowl and intoning a significant “Drive carefully,” and then peel rubber as he drove away. The origins of the novel Dune came to Herbert while visiting the sand dunes of Florence, Oregon. But the idea of a world destroyed by environmental catastrophe and the environmental theme at the heart of Dune, draw directly from Herbert’s life in Tacoma. Brian Herbert reveals the connection to Tacoma in Dreamer of Dune: In a conversation with Dad, [his lifetime friend] Howie told me he said angrily, “They’re gonna turn this whole planet into a wasteland, just like North Africa.” “Yeah,” Frank Herbert responded. “Like a big dune.” By the time Dad said this, the elements of his story were coming together. He had in mind a messianic leader in a world covered entirely with sand. Ecology would be a central theme of the story, emphasizing the delicate balance of nature … Dad was a daily witness to conditions in Tacoma, which in the 1950s was known as one of the nation’s most polluted cities, largely due to a huge smelter whose stack was visible from all over the city, a stack that belched filth into the sky. The air was “so thick you could chew it,” my father liked to quip. The increasing pollution he saw all around him, in the city of his birth, contributed to his resolve that something had to be done to save the Earth. This became, perhaps, the most important message of Dune [emphasis added]. In other words, Tacoma’s pollution was so bad, primarily due to the ASARCO smelter, that it inspired Herbert’s message of conservation. It may not be a legacy that Tacomans want, but it is a legacy nonetheless. The growing environmental awareness of the 1960s, of which Dune was very much a part, led to environmental reforms and regulations to put a stop to the most egregious assaults on the environment. ASARCO shut down its smelter, and on January 17, 1993 – exactly 20 years ago this week – its stack was demolished. Just as the iconic stack is gone without a trace (save for remnants of its toxic plume), it seems all memory of Frank Herbert has disappeared from Tacoma as well. How could a Tacoma artist with his fame, literary significance, and quirks of character have so little recognition in his hometown? Thea Foss has a waterway. Murray Morgan and Dale Chihuly both have bridges. Where is the Frank Herbert Bridge or Frank Herbert Park? Dune Boulevard? The Frank Herbert Center for the Literary Arts? The tourism slogan we currently use to promote Tacoma is “Where Art and Nature Meet.” That describes Frank Herbert to a T. It’s time to embrace the boy who swam the Narrows, who fished on Tacoma’s beaches, and who grew up to be one of the most influential science fiction authors of all time. Erik Hanberg is a Commissioner on the Metro Parks Tacoma Board, elected in 2011. He is also the author of The Saints Go Dying and The Marinara Murders and will be publishing his first science fiction novel in 2013.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kieran McAndrew

    This is the biography of one of the greatest science fiction authors to ever live. Frank Herbert's magnum opus, 'Dune', should be required reading for every English Literature degree course. More than that, though, this is the story of a troublesome relationship between father and son. Brian writes candidly about his father's overbearing nature and his intolerance for his children. Ultimately though, this is a love story. Brian expertly draws the outline of his parents' successful marriage, where This is the biography of one of the greatest science fiction authors to ever live. Frank Herbert's magnum opus, 'Dune', should be required reading for every English Literature degree course. More than that, though, this is the story of a troublesome relationship between father and son. Brian writes candidly about his father's overbearing nature and his intolerance for his children. Ultimately though, this is a love story. Brian expertly draws the outline of his parents' successful marriage, where each sacrificed success for the other in a wonderful relationship that stood the test of time.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alex Gregory

    Brian Herbert's "Dreamer of Dune" is a solid, if unpolished and narratively unfocused, look at his father Frank Herbert. As any of you reading likely already know about the man's work and legacy, I'll skip the preamble and go straight to brass tacks. This feels like the first draft of a manuscript. What interesting insights there are about Frank's life and work are marred by repetitive writing and a matter-of-fact writing style that comes off as plain boring. It reads like "babby's first novel" - Brian Herbert's "Dreamer of Dune" is a solid, if unpolished and narratively unfocused, look at his father Frank Herbert. As any of you reading likely already know about the man's work and legacy, I'll skip the preamble and go straight to brass tacks. This feels like the first draft of a manuscript. What interesting insights there are about Frank's life and work are marred by repetitive writing and a matter-of-fact writing style that comes off as plain boring. It reads like "babby's first novel" - Frank's full name is repeated constantly in the middle or end of paragraphs, the writing boils down to "we went to x location, we did y thing" and a lot of the compelling facts (how Frank worked for politicians, the genesis of ideas that would later show up in Dune) are buried beneath mountains of family drama and Brian whining about how much his daddy hated him. This runs into the exact same problem as a number of other biographies written by a author/actor's child - they feel that they were aggrieved and let their bias filter into the pages. The only thing that sets this above those other biographies is that the material is JUST compelling enough to finish, although it was a chore doing so. Only recommend for diehard Dune fans. Everyone else should skip it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ian Chapman

    Interesting work, although maybe would have been better with some editing. Brian Herbert reveals that his father, partly of Catholic Irish-American background, was extremely anti-English. This shows in the Dune universe, where there is no reference to any specifically English cultural heritage out in the future, that I can recall. Frank Herbert is also shown as a longterm Republican Party supporter, on the grounds of extreme anti-marxism, and supporter of President Nixon. He went on a mission to Interesting work, although maybe would have been better with some editing. Brian Herbert reveals that his father, partly of Catholic Irish-American background, was extremely anti-English. This shows in the Dune universe, where there is no reference to any specifically English cultural heritage out in the future, that I can recall. Frank Herbert is also shown as a longterm Republican Party supporter, on the grounds of extreme anti-marxism, and supporter of President Nixon. He went on a mission to Vietnam to check on the development of agriculture, as part of his work as an ecological journalist, and to Pakistan, for the US government. Not much on the themes in Herbert's science fiction, so a personal rather than literary biography, but revealing and worthwhile.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kingsley L. Dennis

    There is a lot of detail here about Frank Herbert's life - I mean, a lot of tiny family details...so a real peek into his daily life. What is lacking is insight into the inspiration behind Frank Herbert. This is a well-written 2-D account of FH.... yet it shows that Brian Herbert doesn't - or didn't - really know what was going on inside his own father...

  10. 5 out of 5

    C.R. Elliott

    I appreciated this book for the unique perspective Brian was able to share of his family who were overshadowed by Frank Herbert's legacy but were all intertwined as they lived their lives together. As other reviewers note, there are some uncomfortable subjects such as Brian's brother's homosexuality and the family response to it as well as Frank's poor parenting. As a reader who prefers memoir I appreciated Brian's approach to the subject of his father. It's hard to say about what he includes ab I appreciated this book for the unique perspective Brian was able to share of his family who were overshadowed by Frank Herbert's legacy but were all intertwined as they lived their lives together. As other reviewers note, there are some uncomfortable subjects such as Brian's brother's homosexuality and the family response to it as well as Frank's poor parenting. As a reader who prefers memoir I appreciated Brian's approach to the subject of his father. It's hard to say about what he includes about his brother, I think that Brian chose not to gloss over how poorly the family treated his brother, especially after he came out because he recognized it as problematic. Brian doesn't really make excuses for anyone's behavior but leaves this to the reader, which seemed in the spirit of his assertion that Frank did not especially trust heroes and hero worship. No one in the Herbert family comes off especially well but I don't think this was about airing grievances. What I appreciated throughout the book was that Brian's approach gave an unvarnished picture of the sacrifices that a working writer makes in order to attempt to make a living off of it. The ways in which Bev worked to support her husband, took care of the kids as best as she could and also channeled her creativity toward Frank's work was illuminating. But so was Frank's lack of patience towards his young sons and eventually towards his grandkids. Do I think this is the definitive biography on Frank, not necessarily. However, I think it is an important book for writers to read. We often get varnished stories that over glamorize the creative process and Brian's biography isn't glamorous. It is filled with insights into the process, struggles and the impossible balancing act.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Dreamer of Dune is the biography of Frank Herbert - the masterful creator of the Dune science fiction series, as told by his son, author Brian Herbert. I will say from the outset that this is one of the finest biographies I have ever read. Brian Herbert helps the reader understand the real man behind the books as well as gives great insight into the genius that was his father. That is no small task - presenting someone in all his humanity and, at the same time evoking his brilliance - and Brian H Dreamer of Dune is the biography of Frank Herbert - the masterful creator of the Dune science fiction series, as told by his son, author Brian Herbert. I will say from the outset that this is one of the finest biographies I have ever read. Brian Herbert helps the reader understand the real man behind the books as well as gives great insight into the genius that was his father. That is no small task - presenting someone in all his humanity and, at the same time evoking his brilliance - and Brian Herbert shows that as an author, the acorn didn't fall far from the tree.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Casey Carter

    Very informative and detailed. My living in the Seattle area for a time made it more of a trip to read about the families raising and exploits in the San Juans and Olympic Peninsula etc.... Brian does get a bit whiny but not overshadowing the narrative or historical direction of the book. Overall would recommend.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Moisés

    La escritura a ratos dispersa y un tanto amateur, pero en general muy interesante. Pese a lo que pueda parecer (biografía escrita por hijo que sigue estirando el chicle de la obra de su padre), esta no es una hagiografía: Brian no se corta a la hora de contar las sombras de Frank Herbert. Imprescindible para conocer el trasfondo de una de las obras de ciencia ficción más influyentes.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This is an essential read for anyone interested in the Dune series. I loved reading about Frank Herbert's evolution as both a writer and a person. Brian Herbert does an impressive job by writing about his father truthfully, examining both his strengths and weakness. One paradox within Frank's character was how brilliant and gregarious he was with adults and yet was a vicious harbinger of discipline with his sons (Brian and Bruce). He went to great lengths to help his friends and was possibly the This is an essential read for anyone interested in the Dune series. I loved reading about Frank Herbert's evolution as both a writer and a person. Brian Herbert does an impressive job by writing about his father truthfully, examining both his strengths and weakness. One paradox within Frank's character was how brilliant and gregarious he was with adults and yet was a vicious harbinger of discipline with his sons (Brian and Bruce). He went to great lengths to help his friends and was possibly the most faithful, loving, and devoted husband I have ever read about; yet, he would strap his children to a lie detector test when they misbehaved, spanked them, yelled at them, and never showed them any love until their adulthood. At first, I was disturbed to read about this tragic, cruel flaw in his character; by the end, I really admired and respected Frank as a person. He did change once his children grew up, and eventually he and Brian became the closest of friends. I actually cried reading a few places where Brian finally challenged Frank (as an adult) about the cruelty inflicted on him and his brother: Frank was unable to respond, and in one case shut himself in his room and sobbed over his failures. I admired Frank Herbert for coming to grips with his treatment of his sons and at least trying to compensate. At least, compensate where Brian was concerned. I was not sure about how I was supposed to feel about Bruce, Frank's younger son who was also gay. Apparently, Frank could never accept this fact, nor could the rest of the Herbert family, and as a result, Frank and Bruce never fully reconciled. Unfortunately, Brian provides little details about his brother. He mentions how Bruce never truly stood up to his dad and gives a small amount of space to his drug use, but there is so much we never learn about him--the most startling fact being that Bruce died of AIDS ten years before this book was published! I do not know if his family always saw Bruce as an embarrassment or if Brian just wanted to protect his brother's privacy and legacy. It seems it could be a combination as we learn about how unhappy he was, but Brian makes it very clear he himself as well as his sister, mother, wife, and father, were not happy that Bruce was gay. I do not intend to make any assertions, but I came away from the book feeling Frank's prejudices left a residual effect on Brian, an effect of which I am not even sure he is aware. It reminded me a bit of when I listened to a recent interview with Richard Carpenter (Karen Carpenter's brother), who still did not seem to understand eating disorders. Some may find this irritating or selfish, but to me it was heartbreaking (both Richard Carpenter and Brian Herbert). I kept wanting to know more about how Bruce or Penny (Frank's daughter from his first marriage) related to their dad, but the book is mostly about Brian's experiences. Again, I really think this had to do with Brian's wanting to protect his siblings' privacy and not egotism, as some reviewers have alleged. Honestly, this book provided so much insight into Dune, especially in regard to father-son relationships and the novel's treatment of gender. Herbert's wife Beverly, undoubtedly his soul mate, was the inspiration for Lady Jessica, which illustrates how he thought of her: beautiful, wise, prescient, sensitive, and, above all, completely devoted to her duke and son. What struck me was the on-going theme of father-son connections that completely contradicts his relationship with his own sons--at least on the surface. Frank's relationship with his own father was distant at best. Both of his parents were alcoholics in the 1920s, causing Frank at a very young age to completely fend for himself. I do not think he resented his parents for this, but there is an absence of love that undoubtedly affected his treatment of Brian and Bruce. This theme carries through at least the first three Dune books, in which we see sons worshiping their absent fathers, almost revering the idea of them more than their actual personalities. In Dune, we see Paul revering his father, Duke Leto Atreides in spite of the fact that his mother and trainers were really the ones who raised him; in Dune Messiah we see Paul become a father, but leave (I won't say how to avoid spoilers!) when his twins, Leto II and Ghanima, are born; in Children of Dune, Leto has at best a subconscious relationship with his father--he relates to him through his collective memory. I think this springs from his own relationship with his dad and, perhaps, the way he viewed himself as a father. It is impossible to be certain, but I'm sure there is something to this. The paradox of this, though, is that he could imagine loving fathers and loyal sons, but he could not give this to his own children, mainly the boys. This, too, broke my heart for the whole family, and it provided a clearer prism through which to understand Dune and Frank Herbert. There is so, so much more to discuss about this book, mostly because Frank himself was such a complex personality. I'll just leave with this thought: if you are at least mildly interested in Dune, then you have to read this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    César

    Me ha gustado conocer un poco de la vida de Frank Herbert y el papel que representó Beberly Stuart en su vida y su obra, especialmente en toda la serie clásica de novelas de Dune. También la génesis de una novela como Dune que ha marcado un hito en la ciencia ficción de todos los tiempos.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Emery

    Had it been titled, My Father and Me, or somehow indicated that it was as much about son Brian as Frank Herbert, then perhaps three stars.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Angelo

    Uma das melhores biografias que já li, fruto do hábito de Brian Herbert de manter diários e de sua exaustiva pesquisa na qualidade de curador da herança literária de Frank Herbert.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    ...Brian Herbert has received a lot of criticism for the way he has dealt with Frank Herbert's literary legacy. Some of it even justified given the quality of the recent Dune books. I was afraid that with a book weighing in at well over 500 pages he had gone a bit overboard on this project. I read the book in four days in which I ought to have been studying a lot more than I actually did. Brian Herbert's description of his father's life is a fascinating read. He shows us a complex man, at once b ...Brian Herbert has received a lot of criticism for the way he has dealt with Frank Herbert's literary legacy. Some of it even justified given the quality of the recent Dune books. I was afraid that with a book weighing in at well over 500 pages he had gone a bit overboard on this project. I read the book in four days in which I ought to have been studying a lot more than I actually did. Brian Herbert's description of his father's life is a fascinating read. He shows us a complex man, at once brilliant and clumsy, ambitious and stubborn. A man who has written some of the finest science fiction novels ever but only a shadow of himself without his wife Beverly. It's written in a way that will reach out and grab you, a book that will put Frank Herbert's stories in a new perspective and above all a book that will leave you with the feeling Frank Herbert wasn't nearly done with life when his time came. I should not have waited so long before reading it. Full Random Comments review

  19. 5 out of 5

    Scott Golden

    It's a mixed bag: Part fond reminiscence, including heretofore unrevealed family history; Part cheerleading session, if you don't know after reading this book that "Dune" & "Soul Catcher" were Frank's favorite of his own works then you haven't paid attention during the MULTIPLE repetitions of this fact; Part airing of grievances, Frank was less-than-accepting when Brian's brother 'came out'. The book is uneven -- more focused during the early 'family history' section, long and drawn out during an ov It's a mixed bag: Part fond reminiscence, including heretofore unrevealed family history; Part cheerleading session, if you don't know after reading this book that "Dune" & "Soul Catcher" were Frank's favorite of his own works then you haven't paid attention during the MULTIPLE repetitions of this fact; Part airing of grievances, Frank was less-than-accepting when Brian's brother 'came out'. The book is uneven -- more focused during the early 'family history' section, long and drawn out during an overly detailed description, culled from Brian's diary, of his mother's (Frank's wife) battle with fatal illness. Despite its flaws, if you're a fan of the man's work it's worth taking the time and effort to read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Fantasy Literature

    In 2003 Tor released Dreamer of Dune, a biography of Frank Herbert (1920 - 1986) written by his son Brian Herbert, who has written a number of novels as well. The best known of these are the DUNE prequels and sequels written in collaboration with Kevin J. Anderson. Dreamer of Dune is not the only book about Frank Herbert or his works but the others I am aware of are currently out of print. My copy had been sitting on a shelf for years before I finally picked it up after finishing Frank Herbert’s In 2003 Tor released Dreamer of Dune, a biography of Frank Herbert (1920 - 1986) written by his son Brian Herbert, who has written a number of novels as well. The best known of these are the DUNE prequels and sequels written in collaboration with Kevin J. Anderson. Dreamer of Dune is not the only book about Frank Herbert or his works but the others I am aware of are currently out of print. My copy had been sitting on a shelf for years before I finally picked it up after finishing Frank Herbert’s The Green Brain. Dreamer of Dune covers Herbert's entire life from his birth in 1920 to his untimely death in 1986. ... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    The fascinating story of the life of one of my favorite authors. The writing is at times amateurish and in need of editing, but at other times beautiful and poignant. Despite this complaint, I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Frank Herbert.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    Wonderful biography of Frank Herbert

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mike Frizzell

    In places the prose is clunky, but overall a decent look at the life of a ground-breaking Amercan writer.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I love Frank Herbert, but this biography was very poorly written. Sped read the entire book just so I could finish it as quickly as possible.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Boland

    A very interesting man, journo and jack of all trades.

  26. 5 out of 5

    James Resch

    The story of Frank Herbert is as interesting to me as the stories he wrote. Not completely for everyone, but for Dune nerds its a must.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Scott Bodien

    How could I not be swept away by the Evergreen state imagery and the fact Group Health saved both of their lives?!?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sam Dupont

    reading now

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tabitha

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anne Norwood

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