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1965 Novel by Frank Herbert

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He who controls the spice controls the universe!

  • Mar 13, 2010
is perhaps the most original and exotic sci-fi/fantasy epic ever. Set 20,000 years in the future, it portrays a future that resembles the Middle Ages more than Star Trek. The galaxy is ruled by an emperor and several powerful feudal houses. Dune itself chronicles the struggle over the planet Arrakis, source of the crucial "spice," as well as the rise of a new politico-religious leader. Of course, for many, the stars of the book are the giant sandworms, huge creatures hundreds of meters long that ultimately create the "spice."

Frank Herbert's writing style in Dune is flowing and exotic. Each chapter begins with a quite from history or religious books in the [[ASIN:0441013597 Dune] universe, putting the story in context. The book and dialogue are littered with dozens of "pearls of wisdom" ("He who has the power to destroy a thing controls it absolutely.")

I saw the David Lynch movie Dune before I read the book, and in a few aspects of the book Dune were disappointing. First, the narrator reveals key information at points, ruining the suspense. For example, Yueh is revealed as the traitor to the reader long before any of the characters realize it. Thus, when we see the rest of the characters accusing each other (which takes up a good bit of dialogue during the first third of Dune), it loses its suspense.

Also, some of the characters' powers are never really explained. Paul at times seems more like a computer, too perfect and calculating (for example, he detects a secret door in a room because of a change in wind patterns). Paul also sees into the future even early on in Dune. I guess you just have to accept these things as possible in the Dune world.

A few notes on the audiobook: I liked the audiobook version of Dune. The narrators do a good job changing voices between the characters, as well as introducing sound effects and music to supplement the text. It did seem like some of the characters' voices changed (Baron Harkonnen goes from a deep voice to a British voice at some points). Nonetheless, if you don't have time to read the book, it's a great alternative.

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review by . January 06, 2012
I was a late comer to science fiction. I didn't begin reading fiction until high school, when an illness had me bedridden for a week. My sister came into my room and dropped a stack of her books on me, books by Langston Hughes, James Baldwin and other black novelists she admired. I was hooked. My scifi experience began in college, soon after my English instructor summoned me to her office and insisted that I change my major from Chemistry to English so as to become a writer. I didn't take her advice …
review by . February 19, 2011
posted in SF Signal
   Dune, by Frank Herbert. Along with The Lord Of the Rings is one of the finest examples of world building period.
review by . July 22, 2010
I like the direction Frank Herbert took the Dune series in his first two sequels. This book has a bit more development than the original Dune. We get to learn more about the inner turmoil of Paul, Alia, and then meet the kids. Frank has a way of creating politically exciting twists and power struggles, without making any one character the villain. Paul and Alia in their own ways are both despots and victims. In terms of storyline, I think this brings the story to a satisfying conclusion (I'm not …
review by . July 03, 2010
Science fiction by setting and technology, yet presenting ever so actual themes for humankind (politics, fight for power, war, love, learning and adapting, etc.), this book fascinated me because of many reasons, yet one idea really stayed with me a long time, changing my perception on world: how would it be to live on a desert planet? I started to look differently at the wonderful gift of vegetation and water, at the trees, lakes and rivers, maybe even with more gratitude and being more careful …
review by . July 02, 2010
A tale of humanity 20,000 years in the future, Dune beautifully recounts the tale of a single human being and an empire spanning the entire galaxy. At this point most are familiar with the plot- Paul Atreides son of a Duke has his whole life uprooted to a desert planet where he is forced into exile. He finds a home with the vast desert community of Fremen and eventually exacts revenge on his father's murderer and starts a new religion whose jihad takes the galaxy by storm.  But the astounding …
Quick Tip by . September 20, 2010
By far a most interesting and dramatic world. The people are fascinating and rarities. The religious overtones and zealous fervor makes me read this and all the Dune books with lusty speed. Bene Geserits are the ultimate witches with pizaz.
review by . June 11, 2010
Exhaustion was the first reaction to having read this book.  Then came excitement that I had been introduced to a totally new universe.      Set on a desert planet -- which could possibly be earth? -- the characters are all about power and either ignoring or abiding by the rules.  The thirst for dominion is rampant and little is taboo so long as you see yourself as the exception.      The movie was such an extravaganza, but just as tedious in details.  …
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
I have to give this book a 5 because I was named after one of the characters. And also...come on...great sci-fi!!! "I am I because I am here."
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
I can't say I've ever been a science fiction nut, but I truly enjoyed this book and it made me interested in possibly reading other science fiction.
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
A must read for all true sci fi fans, and fans of the movie, although I found it hard to get started
About the reviewer
Dominic J Nardi ()
Ranked #77
I am a recent law school grad with an interest in Southeast Asia legal issues. Unfortunately for my checkbook, ever since high school I have been addicted to good books. I have eclectic tastes, although … more
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About this book


Dune is set far in humanity's future. Within those years, Earth has been destroyed, a Jihad has taken place to free humanity from the 'thinking machines' that threatened to overwhelm the human race, and mankind has scattered throughout space. This Universe is a feudal empire ruled by the Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV of House Corrino. The novel focuses on a rivalry between two feudal houses - House Atreides and House Harkonnen.

Dune is the first of six novels written by Frank Herbert set in this universe:
  • Dune (1965)
  • Dune Messiah (1969)
  • Children of Dune (1976)
  • God Emperor of Dune (1981)
  • Heretics of Dune (1984)
  • Chapterhouse Dune (1985)

Frank Herbert died in 1986. His son Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson have written several more novels set in the Dune universe..
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Author: Frank Herbert
Genre: Scifi
Publisher: Chilton Books
Date Published: 1965

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