The Spice Must Flow: The Story of Dune, from Cult Novels to Visionary Sci-Fi Movies by Ryan Britt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is neither your typical author biography, or a dissection of the themes and philosophies of the titular novel. It touches on both subjects a bit, but that is not the author's focus. Instead, Ryan Britt details the publishing history of the Dune series, its film history, and how Dune and especially its sandworms has gradually been absorbed into the popular culture.
The sections on the various film/TV incarnations of Dune, including the famous Alejandro Jodorowsky non-filmed version, were the most interesting to me. Each version gets its own in-depth chapter, with various actor/director/producer interviews. (It also helps that Denis Villeneuve's Dune is one of my favorite movies of the past few years.) The author also points out how Dune the book influenced cinema as a whole, as even the versions not made inspired other films and filmmakers, including Alien and George Lucas.
This is not a long book, but it is a well-researched and well-told story. From the forward:
What I hope lifelong fans get from this book is a larger view of the sweep of the Dune phenomenon and how its journey is as improbable as it is amazing. I hope, by experiencing the real-life story of Dune, you fall in love with the science fiction world of the novels, films, and TV versions all over again.
Maybe Herbert purists will be disappointed that this is not a deep dive into Duneworld, but the author does exactly what he set out to do. This is an entertaining, informative book.
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