Not long after I started reading a lot of science fiction, I thought I should read “the classics.” Catch is, many of them didn’t really interest me as much as they supposedly should have.
I remember struggling through Dune and I was about 2/3 of the way through. For me, the book never “caught” — it never became an easier read — and generally I’ll give a difficult book about 1/3 of the way through to catch. (As a comparison with a more recent book, it took about 1/3 of the way through for The Windup Girl. Incredible book.)
Anyhow, I happened to see this article again today when I was checking Don Melton’s blog to see if there were any updates, and thought back to reading Dune.
Back then, I called his sister up and we went to Denny’s. She was writing in a notebook (as she often did), and I was reading. At the time, California was going through a drought and there was a law passed about not serving water in restaurants unless the customer asked.
Without my asking, the waitress brought me water, and I was offended. It’s then that I realized the book had creeped in under my defenses and changed me.
I remember thinking: Nicely done, Mr. Herbert.