As I just added the star rating shown above I screwed up and accidentally pasted 8 stars. I nearly just left them there — Dune probably deserves something close to 8 stars (on a 5 star rating system…)
Although Dune has a really compelling narrative, with a protagonist that you want to get behind, some really evil bad guys and plenty of twists and turns, it was the planet itself that kept me from putting the book down. Herbert thought through every detail, from the local population to the development of the planet’s ecology over time. Descriptions are detailed and everything ties together — it’s totally compelling.
If you’re interested in meditation and the mind, there’s also a whole layer of narrative focused on consciousness and awareness of the present moment. Tons of links to meditation that I found totally fascinating and pretty mind-bending.
Here’s a thought — Dune tells the story of a planet where water is so scarce that the idea of wasting it is almost criminal. Seems alien now… how about in 50 years time?