Why I recommend this — 5 years ago
I’ve owned this book for years, felt I ‘should’ read it as one of the big sci-fi classics, knew I liked the story from the (bizarre, hard-to-follow) film, and yet… Actually, I kept putting it off, thinking it was going to be one of those slogs through hard-going text, but that would be worth it in the end.
Well, I was half right – it was worth it! :)
There is a lot crammed into the 500-odd pages here – I imagine in this day and age, the one book would be done as a 12-volume series. This compression of story does mean you have to keep your wits about you a bit, but it’s really not that hard to follow. In fact, my biggest problem was trying to forget the stray bits of movie imagary stuck in my head, so I could actually focus on a more coherent version!
Story-wise, there is a feel that you’ve come into things halfway through (hence the sequels, prequels and everything else!), but that does up the tension. The start is still a bit slow, scene-setting, but the whole thing is just huge in scope of imagination.