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Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune (original 1965; edition 1983)

by Frank Herbert

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
31,27448862 (4.28)4 / 902
Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Muad'Dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family-and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream. A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what it undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.… (more)
Authors:Frank Herbert
Info:France Loisirs (1983), Non relié
Collections:Your library

Work details

Dune by Frank Herbert (1965)

  1. 319
    Foundation by Isaac Asimov (Patangel, JonTheTerrible, philAbrams)
    JonTheTerrible: The pace of these books are similar as well as the topics they cover: society and government. The science plays only a small role in both books but is present enough to successfully build the worlds in which the characters inhabit.
  2. 123
    Hyperion by Dan Simmons (corporate_clone)
    corporate_clone: It is difficult not to compare Dune and Hyperion, even though both series have major differences in terms of tone, style and philosophy. Those are two long, epic, elaborate and very ambitious sci-fi masterpieces where religion plays a key role. I would highly recommend the fans of one to check out the other.… (more)
  3. 82
    Gateway by Frederik Pohl (Vonini)
  4. 60
    The Faded Sun Trilogy by C. J. Cherryh (reading_fox)
    reading_fox: Same basic sort of premise - SciFi set on desert worlds inspires the rise of a galactic empire, but very different outcomes!
  5. 85
    Lord Valentine's Castle by Robert Silverberg (corporate_clone)
    corporate_clone: Both books are a subtle blend of science fiction and fantasy while being truly epic stories. Although Dune remains a superior literary achievement in my view, Silverberg's Majipoor series is a credible alternative.
  6. 30
    A Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski (Anonymous user)
  7. 41
    Grass by Sheri S. Tepper (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For the description of the planet.
  8. 31
    The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin (andomck)
    andomck: Ecological science fiction.
  9. 20
    Bright of the Sky by Kay Kenyon (amysisson)
    amysisson: Different in tone, but similar in scope, plus it's also about the lengths to which empires will go to maintain the status quo.
  10. 43
    Singularity Sky by Charles Stross (hyper7)
    hyper7: Singularity Sky could have been set in the Dune universe.
  11. 21
    The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: Similar tropes in the form of human computers and a native species capable of granting youth, and the powerful woman trying to breed a special child- The Snow Queen seems on one level a response to Dune, taking many of the same elements and twisting them around, while going in quite different directions in other ways.… (more)
  12. 10
    Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve (themulhern)
    themulhern: Duncan Idaho is not so unlike Kit Solent
  13. 21
    The King Must Die & The Bull from the Sea by Mary Renault (themulhern)
    themulhern: Young man with special powers and noble blood overthrows the established order through cunning and charisma. In the process he changes his people and then the rot sets in.
  14. 21
    Marrow by Robert Reed (Sandwich76)
  15. 10
    Ringworld by Larry Niven (sturlington)
  16. 32
    The Lazarus Effect by Frank Herbert (d_perlo)
    d_perlo: So you have read Frank Herbert's Dune series and want more? Thy The Lazarus Effect, The Jesus Incident, and The Ascension Factor, also by Frank Herbert. This is his take on a water world.
  17. 22
    Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (wvlibrarydude)
    wvlibrarydude: Substance gives power to individual. Lots of political intrigue with interesting characters.
  18. 11
    The Broken God by David Zindell (whiten06)
    whiten06: Another coming-of-age story with the protagonist gaining god-like knowledge through the use of hallucinogens.
  19. 12
    The Enterprise of Death by Jesse Bullington (Sandwich76)
  20. 24
    The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (LaPhenix)
    LaPhenix: Another messiah story drawing inspiration from similar sources.

(see all 25 recommendations)

1960s (27)

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English (478)  Italian (3)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (485)
Showing 1-5 of 478 (next | show all)
I read Dune in the vert early 1980s. I loved it and devoured all six books of the original series written by Herbert. I remember signing up at the library for the last three books and waiting to get the postcard or phone call that it was my turn to check it out! Those hefty hardbound editions were so cool back then when I was used to just generic mass paperbacks. I was heartbroken when the series ended.

After recently talking with a friend and seeing the 1984 movie again on the big screen, I started reading Dune for the second time. I had a copy I'd picked up at a cool used book store in Eugene, Oregon. The story came back to me, including the differences with the film. But, this time through, what has happened with other scifi I've reread from my youth, happened with Dune.

I was surprised at the shocking treatment of women characters. I seemed to be offered a choice of the witch/bitch or the fantasy damsel-virgin. Women were portrayed as evil and self-serving, or damsels in dire need of a male to help them survive and complete their lives. Worse, every woman's goal, whether it is the evil or saintly incarnation, was to support a male goal or character. The last few lines of the novel nail Herbert's treatment of women. They're spoken by Jessica, the mother of the main character: "Think on it, Chani: that princess will have the name, yet she'll live as less than a concubine–never to know a moment of tenderness from the man to whom she's bound. While we, Chani, we who carry the name of concubine–history will call us wives." The end. Wow. Really?

Also, the fetishizing of the other in the characters of the native Fremen peoples is something I never thought of as a young teenager reading this novel. Things like the blind religious fervor, the need of an outside (royal power) to guide them, how easily they are manipulated, etc. While I can see behavior like this today in many religious and political groups, these traits are only imprinted on the Fremen, not the characters from the empire.

Dune is an immense book and that is both its greatest achievement and its greatest failing. Herbert created a vast universe and explored some themes of humanity, but in such an immense work, he needed to explore more and that these issues on gender, ethnicity, and colonialism needed to be touched upon. It may seem that I couldn't possibly give this 3 stars, but I was entertained by the story and did want to finish it again. It's a good story but one that could be so much better. It also was such a part of my growing up that 3 stars seemed a good choice. ( )
  drew_asson | Dec 3, 2020 |
I was so looking forward to loving this, but I just couldn't get into it, the build-up was way too slow for my taste. Maybe this series is a little too science fictiony for me. ( )
  MrsReads-a-lot | Nov 16, 2020 |
It is my first review but second reading of Dune and it was possibly better the second time around? I had trust in the way that the narrative and the world would start to make sense, eventually, again, because there is certainly a steep cost of entry with Herbert's detail and extensive glossary. After getting settled, I really appreciated the way that the story doesn't follow the tropes of the outsider that learns from and ultimately saves a more "primitive culture" although it certainly could've veered that way. ( )
  b.masonjudy | Nov 13, 2020 |
Growing up I'd only heard of Dune as a David Lynch movie that was supposed to be an extravagant failure. I knew it was based on a book and that fans of the book generally didn't like the movie. Now I see that it's the "the world's best-selling science fiction novel" , it's funny that I'd never heard of anyone reading the book or ever heard of the author's name. (in the way that I'd heard of Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke Bradbury, etc etc even if I hadn't read any of their books)
I liked it OK. Not enough to care too much about the sequels / series. Enough to watch the movies (1984 and upcoming in 2021) + TV series. I thought the best part was the world-building, he really created a detailed universe and I can see why people get into that. I found the mixture of "just the facts military / courtly procedural" and the mysticism (the regions / rituals / hallucinogens / supernatural powers" kind of weird. And the tone leaned towards the former - the hallucinogenic scenes were only kinda trippy and didn't seem to fit with the overall vibe of the book. None of the characters were particularly likable (except Pauls military teachers, who had fairly small roles), most importantly the main character & his mother. They were basically good (with a a few "not so good" feeling / thoughts / actions to keep them believably human) but it's hard to relate to an actual messiah. And even without the "chosen one" thing, they're haughty and aloof. I just wasn't that interested in their struggles beyond the basic, well I'm following the plot and they're the antagonists.
I'm glad I read it but it wasn't a favorite / wouldn't recommend to others. Anyone who is super into sci-fi probably read it. I recently read another "sci-fi classic". Ursula K. LeGuin's "Wizard of Earthsea" and was similarly disappointed. ( )
1 vote dtscheme | Oct 17, 2020 |
Apparently this will invoke a fatwa against me by the Dune fanbase, of whom the more devoted adherents consider it a slight, but Frank Herbert's influential epic reminded me much more of the fantasy genre than science-fiction. There are dukes and emperors, mind-powers (the Bene Gesserit) and monsters (the sandworms), knife fights and gladiatorial challenges, chivalric rites and prophecies, and – driving it all – the pseudo-magical element of 'melange', or 'the spice', which is apparently so important the entire civilization of the universe revolves around it and the planet it comes from: the desert world of Arrakis.

Frank Herbert is praised for building a world, and certainly the book is influential in this regard. But some things in Dune are built up too much, others too little. The desert world is well done, and we get a sense of its limitations and challenges, but what the 'spice' is is left rather vague, and the political manoeuvrings between the Emperor, the Guild and the Great Houses are confusing and (mostly) off-screen, as it were. We get lots of crazy, made-up names thrown in all the time (Thufir Hawat, Kwisatz Haderach, chaumurky, etc.), particularly – and almost fatally – right at the start of the novel. Dune is very front-loaded, throwing you right into the world, and as you struggle through the opening volume of the book you're constantly wondering if you've not made some mistake in deciding to read it.

Where Dune becomes more recognisably 'sci-fi', as opposed to fantasy, is in its deeper discussion of ideas. The political battle over the 'spice' was intended by Herbert to mirror the battle over Middle Eastern oil, and there is also a strong and intelligent strain of ecology in the novel, about changing this arid desert world into one where water flows abundantly. This vision of abundance becomes a vision of paradise to the native inhabitants, the Fremen, who are obviously based on Muslims. The protagonist Paul Atreides' ascension to the role of prophet and warlord of this desert people forms the thrust of the narrative, and is essentially Lawrence of Arabia spliced with the Prophet Muhammad. Dune wears its influence heavily here, and there are multiple references to jihad, the Mahdi, the ummah, houris, veils, the Hajj, Sunni ancestors, and so on. In this respect, Herbert didn't so much build the world as appropriate it from Islamic history, and while that seems clumsy and peculiar to a modern audience, we should remember Islam was much less prominent in Western culture when Herbert was writing. References to jihadi courage and, on one occasion, to an aircraft being nobly suicide-piloted into the enemy (pg. 233), seem warped nowadays, but Herbert in 1965 was almost as close to Lawrence of Arabia in the past as he was to 9/11 in the future, and he wrote Dune at a time when the World Trade Center hadn't even been built, let alone destroyed.

What this Islam-tinged narrative does allow, with plenty of success, is a discussion of religion and metaphysics. The book is genuinely thoughtful, generating its own uncanny aphorisms and maxims, and I particularly enjoyed how introspective the dynamics of the plot were. I enjoyed how the action scenes are subservient to the story: the challenges the main characters have to surmount are not physical challenges – though there are knife fights, aerial chases and the like – but mental challenges. The plot pivots on certain characters being able to anticipate and navigate a sacred ritual, reach some understanding of their surroundings, or identify an enemy's – or a friend's – motives. For all Dune's lauded influence on sci-fi and pop-culture, this is one thing I wish had proved more influential on the culture, rather than the brainless action-smashes we get from our 'epics' nowadays.

However, despite all his great notions and ideas, and his (occasionally excessive) world-building, Herbert sometimes short-changes us on the storytelling. I have mentioned the front-loading on the crazy names and House allegiances already, but even when the reader has sifted through this immediate info-dump there are still plenty of rough patches ahead. Frankly, for substantial sections of the book, Dune is just not much fun to read. Herbert invests heavily in the Bene Gesserit mind-manipulations and the inter-House political manoeuvrings but, to be honest, I just wanted more sandworms. These are compelling creatures, ripe for dominance in an adventure storyline, but Herbert doesn't really use them much, either as a threat or as an asset.

Herbert also has the problem many lauded world-builders face, which is that they spend a lot of time building up their world and its tension but not so much in resolving it. Paul Atreides' proficiency in his various powers is mostly informed – we don't watch him grow. The third part of the book takes place after a time-skip of two years, so we never follow the characters for that all-important pivot from ragtag sand-dwellers to a conquering army. Consequently, their eventual victory lacks complete catharsis for the reader, and the personalities of the characters become alien as we have not witnessed their development. Emotion and adventure and spirit are second-place in Herbert's priorities to politics, setting, mysticism and lore; this is fine, but you ought not to get to the stage where, as one contemporary reviewer of Dune wrote, you are "so busy saving a world that you cannot hear an infant shriek". (This was in reference to the fact that Paul's infant son is killed offstage, and its emotional impact is never addressed.)

It's a much-warranted criticism, and perhaps the best advice I can give a prospective reader of Dune is this: expect a bumpy ride, but ultimately a worthwhile destination. The book doesn't ascend through the gears so much as start off at full speed, before coasting and then screeching to a halt. But the best advice comes not from myself, or even from the reviewer (Algis Budrys) who wrote the fine line I quoted above. It comes from Frank Herbert himself, or rather from one of his characters: one must get across "the importance of this planet as an enemy. It's madness to go in there without that caution in our minds." (pg. 32) ( )
5 vote Mike_F | Oct 13, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 478 (next | show all)
Why is Blanch’s influence on Dune worth recognizing? Celebrating Blanch is not a means to discredit Herbert, whose imaginative novel transcends the sum of its influences. But Dune remains massively popular while The Sabres of Paradise languishes in relative obscurity, and renewed public interest in Blanch’s forgotten history would be a welcome development.

Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy was famously inspired by Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. J. R. R. Tolkien’s background in medieval languages helped shape the mythology of Middle Earth. Frank Herbert’s Dune is no different, and rediscovering one of the book’s most significant influences is a rewarding experience.
One of the monuments of modern science fiction.
added by GYKM | editChicago Tribune

» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Frank Herbertprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cassidy, OrlaghNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Fontaine, DorothyMapsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Di Fate, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dirda, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herbert, BrianAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morton, EuanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennington, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schoenherr, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siudmak, WojciechCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stuyter, M.K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toivonen, AnjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weber, SamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dune (1984IMDb)
Dune (2000IMDb)
Awards and honors
To the people whose labors go beyond ideas into the realm of "real materials" - to the dry-land ecologists, wherever they may be, in whatever time they work, this effort at prediction is dedicated in humility and admiration.
First words
A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct... from "Manual of Muad'dib" by the Princess Irulan
In the week before their departure to Arakis, when all the final scurrying about had reached a nearly unbearable frenzy, an old crone came to visit the mother of the boy, Paul.
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.
Let us not rail about justice as long as we have arms and the freedom to use them.
The thing the ecologically illiterate don't realize about an ecosystem is that it's a system. A system! A system maintains a certain fluid stability that can be destroyed by a misstep in just one niche. A system has order, a flowing from point to point. If something dams the flow, order collapses. The untrained miss the collapse until too late. That's why the highest function of ecology is the understanding of consequences.
The willow submits to the wind and prospers until one day it is many willows — a wall against the wind. This is the willow's purpose.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
If you are combining a translated copy please check carefully as in some languages this book was split into two volumes. In some languages there is a single volume edition and a split edition - you should only combine the single volume edition with the English edition. Languages known to have multiple-volumes: French, German,
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Muad'Dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family-and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream. A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what it undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Set in the far future amidst a sprawling feudal interstellar empire where planetary fiefdoms are controlled by noble Houses that owe an allegiance to the Imperial House Corrino, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides (heir apparent to Duke Leto Atreides and scion of House Atreides) as he and his family accept control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the spice melange, the most important and valuable substance in the universe. The story explores the complex and multilayered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion, as forces of the Empire confront each other for control of Arrakis and its spice.

AR 5.7, 28 Pts

Herbert, Frank, 1920-1986.
Ο πλανήτης Dune-Τόμος 1 / Φρανκ Χέρμπερτ · μετάφραση Γ. Κουσουνέλος. - Αθήνα : SPACE Ε.Π.Ε., 1989. - 277σ. · 18x11εκ. - (Cosmos: Επιστημονική Φαντασία · 022)
Γλώσσα πρωτοτύπου: αγγλικά
Τίτλος πρωτοτύπου: Dune, 1965
(Μαλακό εξώφυλλο) [Εξαντλημένο]
Haiku summary
Foretold one gets dumped
in desert, then goes native.
Returns, beats baddies!
Fear the mind killer
Worm vomit expands the mind
Kwisatz Haderach

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