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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Dreamer of Dune, the biography of Frank Herbert written by his eldest son, Brian, is an intensely honest, heartfelt, and unforgettable account of the extraordinary life of one of the most popular authors in science fiction history.
Covering Frank Herbert's tumultuous childhood during the Great Depression in Washington, his stint in the Navy, and his work as a newspaper editor and political speechwriter, Brian Herbert sheds light on the people, places, and experiences in his father's life that played integral roles in the conception of the Dune series. Frank's strict Irish Catholic aunts, for example, were models for the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood. His grandmother was a paradigm for the Mentats, human computers with cognitive functions honed through discipline and breeding. An article Herbert researched for the USDA about stabilizing sand dunes sparked a potential setting for a science fiction story.
While Dreamer of Dune sheds light onto the enigmatic author behind the bestselling saga in science fiction history, it isn't so much a biography of a writer as it is a beautiful love story -- between a husband and his wife and, later in life, between a father and his estranged son. One line in particular stands out: After Herbert lost his wife to heart disease after a long battle with cancer: "No matter the glory my father achieved from writing, no matter how many millions of people read his books, it all meant nothing to him without her."
I recommend this biography not only to fans of Herbert and his Dune series but to aspiring writers as well. Herbert's bits of sage advice to his son as he was writing various novels are invaluable. Paul Goat Allen