Dreamer of Dune: The Biography of Frank Herbert
Tor Books, 576 pp.
Frank Herbert made science fiction respectable. Dune is still one of the most honored books of the twentieth century. It’s a series that I rank as one of my all time favorites, and I have read it countless times. Needless to say, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to read an insider’s account of the life of Frank Herbert. As told by his son, Brian, the story unfolds as one of intense passion and deep tragedy. Along the way, there are several insights into the creation of Herbert’s works, including the magnificent Dune series. But the true focus of the book is on Herbert’s relationships with his wife and sons. Brian Herbert writes very honestly about his father’s shortcomings and very lovingly about his strengths. He does have a tendency to repeat himself at times though. He mentions on no less than three occasions that the song “Greensleeves” may have been written by their ancestor, Henry VIII. A minor nuisance at worst and despite it, I was unable to put the book down once I picked it up.