Certain books can represent a turning point in one's life. I don't mean the textbooks you had to devour a day before the test or the first stories mommy would read to you before turning off the light and releasing the critters from the closet and monsters from under your bed. I mean the books that change your attitude as a reader. Books that truly open your eyes.Dune is such a book. Herbert doesn't so much tell the story as show it to us with tremendously evocative prose and emotive characterisations. The worlds he created for this tale are complex, fascinating, and above all, realistic down to the smallest of details. On Arrakis, desert world, where the action primarily takes place, native fauna and flora exist in a state of parched struggle, completely adapted to the dry wilderness, and perfectly described by this most intricate of authors. The characters that are thrown into this mix, military types, futuristic shamans and computer-like Mentats, must adapt or die, and in the progress of their change, we see the story evolve into undeniably the greatest science-fiction story of our time.It is a vast tale which is as potentially infinite as the universe it inhabits. It was the first story for me that managed to make political intrigue interesting and give characters a real pull on my emotions. Also, and vitally for the story, it is not a slave to its technology. Herbert uses intelligent backstory aspects to limit the tech in such a way as to let the story fly. In this universe, beam weapons are fatally flawed, and blades have become the tools of choice. Aircraft have flapping wings, and knives can cut through shields.Truly my favourite book. After seven reads, I still find myself musing on some aspect of the plot, which may yet occur to me while I'm in my bed waiting for the monsters to come.