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Chapterhouse: Dune ramblings

So I’ve now completed the last Dune novel that Frank Herbert wrote. Reading it reinforced my notion that Heretics of Dune is much like the original Dune. It is re-introducing you to the universe they live in since it is now drastically changed. Chapterhouse: Dune fits in to the mold of being like Dune Messiah (except it is a much easier read). In Dune Messiah, Paul is under attack and is trying to see a path clear that will guarantee a future. In Chapterhouse the bene gesserit are being attacked and are holed up trying to find their path.

The issue of continuity in people is brought up throughout the Dune novels:

  • The bene gesserit reverend mothers have access to the memories all the back along their maternal lines.
  • In the first three novels, the rich houses can afford spice addiction which extends life 2-3 times its normal length. Which gives those ruled a political continuity.
  • The fremen have a set of practucal rules for survival that gives them continuity over the generations in addition to working towards their common goal of Arrakis no longer being a desert planet.
  • Leto II redefined what longevity really was with his rule of 3500 years.
  • Gholas grown by the Tleilaxu being able to have their original memories restored kept the same bene tleilax leaders in charge for about 5000 years.
  • The most recent Duncan Idaho ghola, being grown from all the cells from his previous gholas, is able to remember all the lives he lived across the 5000 years
  • And the Jews have maintained their religious continuity largely unchanged since the time on Earth which according to the timeline is about 26,000 years.

The Jews are interesting because they provide the example of why it is necessary to re-evaluate the past in the context of the present so you don’t get stuck in patterns for the sake of maintaining the patterns. All the other groups have that forced upon them or they go extinct. The Jews have hidden themselves so well that their neighbors wouldn’t even know what they are.

The end is as I remembered it, with a big cliff hanger just waiting for the next book, only this time I have that next book.

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