Dune is often called Science-Fiction's great masterpiece, and this is what attracted me to the book in the first place. However I did not like it one bit.
First of all, I have to admit that Dune is not my kind of Science-Fiction. It resembles more Fantasy in the sense that it recreates a different world. My kind of Science-Fiction is Philip K. Dick's. One that sets itself in the future of our current world an analyzes the dangers of the future/present.
Having said that, it would be unfair to say that Herbert's novel is not concerned with contemporary issues as it is filled with ecology, philosophy and religion. More importantly, it is absolutely undeniable that Dune paved the way for the SF novels we know today, with its fictional but complex worlds and its specific details about technology.
However, just like with Dan Simmons' Illium I read a couple of years ago, I simply did not care about the characters. Yes their magic, training, technology, religions and garments were discussed in details, but that does not make up for someone's personality. The problem is, once it became clear that I did not care about the characters and their world, it was hard to focus enough and understand what "the voice", "the spice", "the shield" and all those stuff were.
Finally, while I have to admit Herbert's writing style is elegant, his novel is still filled with cliche statements about the nature of people's relationships or the universe.
To conclude, all I can say is that I'm glad I did not care about the characters considering how anti-climatic the ending was.