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Before The Matrix, before Star Wars, before Ender's Game and Neuromancer, there was Dune: winner of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, and ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of Dune

Overall customer rating: 4.286


by db25 on Apr 7, 2009

the best science fiction book of the last century. herbert draws you into his world full of spice, prescience, witchcraft, revolution, and everything else you can imagine. it's elegant and lively, stimulating and suspenseful. i've read it probably a dozen times and don't plan on stopping anytime soon.


A great idea but clunky writing

by Ellyb on Sep 29, 2008

Let me tread carefully here. I fully understand why so many reviewers are so taken with this novel, and I cannot blame them. The idea behind the story is a good one, maybe even a great one, and I can only imagine that if Herbert were working in Hollywood today, he would be the creator behind some pretty amazing shows (and I'm not talking about that travesty of a film version). But what bothered me about "Dune" is that the writing did not hold up to the level of the idea. Throughout, Herbert utilized a bizarre device in which a character's thought would appear in italics, usually set up with the phrase "s/he thought," which to me just screams of the amateur. Isn't the big advantage of the written word the fact that the reader can know the character's thoughts without it having to be presented in voice-over narration? Then, the main character, Paul, was pretty much a cipher up until the last chapter or two, and even then he was...not much. At times Herbert revealed the ability to turn a phrase beautifully, which only made it more frustrating that the writing elsewhere was so....not what it should be. I really wanted to know how the book would resolve itself, and so I carried through to the end. I guess I could say that the infrastructure of the book is quite good. The world-building, the political intrigue, the religious complications, were all interesting and deftly woven. It's just that the actual writing of the thing was too much of a distraction for me to really enjoy myself.


A Comparison of Mini Series to Novel

by toonboi on Jan 19, 2008

The SciFi channel mini series got me interested in the "Dune" saga. Frank Herbert's writing was choppy and not easy to read compared to Herbert & Anderson's, which really flowed. I enjoyed comparing the book to the mini series. I learned more about the saga, like Jessica's personality was a lot more hard in the novel, and Paul's personality went through phases from being a immature child, to an adult trying to survive, to being a god like entity. I did miss the butchering that Rabban did in the mini series. But understood more when Piter was killed off, and Hawat became the Baron's new Mentat. It was the little things like this that made the novel so enjoyable, like the prequel trilogy, and the House trilogy. I highly recommend all scifi readers to read the Dune books.



by sleepn on Aug 20, 2007

Not everybody may like Dune, but nobody may simply ignore Dune. The scope of Dune is dizzying. It chronicles the life of one boy, Paul Atreides, growing up in the harsh desert world Arrakis. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. Frank Herbert weaves in an enormous number of layers into this novel. There is the political power dynamics between House Atreides and House Harkonnen. You have the Spacing Guild who control space flight, and the Bene Gesserit women who are a mystical group of women with special abilities. On Dune itself, you have the indigenous Fremen and their mysterious ways, the Sandworms, and the spice Melange, the ultimate source of currency in the universe. Spice is only found on Dune, thus placing it in the middle of all of these forces. I think that the planet Dune itself is the main character. Every detail, every aspect, and every force that seeks to tame and control it ultimately serves to reveal more about Dune. Be careful, you just might get addicted to this series.


One of the best SF books of the 20th Century

by Rexton on Apr 3, 2007

This is the story of a boy named Paul, and how he learns to survive and to live in an extremely hostile universe. It is also possibly the first SF novel where ecology plays a major political and religious role in the story. It is at least 10,000 years into the future, and the known galaxy is ruled by the Sublime Padishah Emperor, Shaddam IV. Society is basically a variant of feudalism, where Lords and Barons rule peasants and a small technical class on various planets. Advanced computer technology is anathema, because in the far past AIs tried to control civilisation. Interstellar travel is a monopoly of the Spacer Guild, and there are various societies and power groups interacting with all of this. The spice Melange is important in this civilisation for various reasons. It is rare, expensive, and is only produced on the desert planet Arrakis (Dune). Paul's family, while not overly important, is given control of Dune so they can produce and distribute the spice, as part of the constant power struggle and intrigues going on. The story concerns the conspiracy and how it impacts Paul and his family. Through this the true secrets of Melange and Arrakis, and why it is more important than originally thought come out. But a large part of this story is about friendship, trust, faith and love. It is also about making hard decisions and living with them. It is the best of the Dune series, and is probably Frank Herbert's greatest book.

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