Study Guide

Dune Tough-o-Meter

By Frank Herbert


(3) Base Camp

Here at Shmoop, we like to think of novels as mountains to explore. If that is true for Dune, then this mountain has multiple trails running through it, and it's up to you to decide the one to hike.

The standard trail, Base Camp, treads lightly through lower altitudes. Herbert's writing style is simple and precise. The plot practically turns the pages for you, and the story provides an enjoyable yet intelligent twist on the standard coming-of-age tale we love to revisit, from Star Wars to The Lord of the Rings. It's at once familiar and easy-going while remaining engaging.

But more difficult trails ascend to the higher altitudes. If you choose, you may want to explore Herbert's galaxy at a deeper level, learning all about the people, places, and things that populate it. This task is more daunting, but it's also more rewarding. How daunting can it be? Well, let's just say there's a Dune Encyclopedia to keep track of it all—and this encyclopedia is thick.

Of course, you can always return to Mt. Dune and tackle more difficult trails with each visit. The choice is yours.