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Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune (original 1965; edition 1982)

by Frank Herbert

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
22,51031656 (4.31)3 / 585
Authors:Frank Herbert
Info:Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (1982), Paperback, 608 pages
Collections:Your library, English language

Work details

Dune by Frank Herbert (1965)

1960s (7)
  1. 2610
    Foundation by Isaac Asimov (Patangel, JonTheTerrible)
    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. 70
    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!
  3. 94
    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.
  4. 83
    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)
  5. 73
    Gateway by Frederik Pohl (Vonini)
  6. 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.
  7. 31
    Grass by Sheri S. Tepper (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For the description of the planet.
  8. 42
    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.
  9. 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)
  10. 21
    The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (LaPhenix)
    LaPhenix: Another messiah story drawing inspiration from similar sources.
  11. 21
    Beowulf's Children by Larry Niven (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Similar approach to exploring ecology of a fictional planet while adding to the mix of myth-inspired human interaction.
  12. 21
    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.
  13. 32
    Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (wvlibrarydude)
    wvlibrarydude: Substance gives power to individual. Lots of political intrigue with interesting characters.
  14. 43
    Singularity Sky by Charles Stross (hyper7)
    hyper7: Singularity Sky could have been set in the Dune universe.
  15. 25
    National Lampoon's Doon by Ellis Weiner (one-horse.library)
  16. 48
    Moby Dick by Herman Melville (LamontCranston)
    LamontCranston: I once heard Harlan Ellison talking about how some works are unadaptable into film and he cited Dune and Moby-Dick And thinking about it, both works use their story telling as platforms for ruminations on well everything about life
  17. 916
    The Iliad by Homer (benmartin79)
    benmartin79: Dune stands in a long tradition of epic stories. The Iliad is not the oldest recorded epic, but is perhaps the most widely read of all.

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English (308)  Italian (3)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (315)
Showing 1-5 of 308 (next | show all)
It was great rereading this book. It originally came out in 1965 and several awards and Hugos later still has a lot to say about religious fanaticism, ecology & environmentalism, monopolies and government corruption.

Not to give away the whole plot, but the book starts out rather innocently enough: Paul Atreides was the boy that should not have been. The Duke's consort, Jessica, was supposed to have a girl. Right there we have a reversal of traditional roles, which was fairly daring writing in 1965.

The Bene Gesseret is the school of mental and physical training for female students, after the destruction of machines and robots many years ago. Paul is a guy though, yet he is looked upon by the natives of the planet Arrakis as their next savior. He plays on that and develops it, especially when their family enemy, the Baron Harkonnen, destroys his father and family. Will there be revenge? How will he build his power base?

Frank Herbert builds a race and a planetary base that is so realistic and it's as if we were transported to this desert planet, where water is as precious as life; your stillsuit collects your body moisture and often you must drink your own body fluids or die.

The main part of the story deals with Spice or Melange, a drug that expands consciousness and is also the a rare substance only found on Arakkis. The sandworms may hold the key to its manufacture which cannot be synthesized.

There have been many books written since Dune, including a major motion picture (which you must read the book first to understand the film) as well as science fiction tributes (Star Wars has a desert planet Tatooine, and you can see a long skeleton on the surface -- a sandworm!).

I enjoyed the expressive writing, the glossaries and histories were very extensive, and after 90 generations of breeding, the Bene Gesserit would actually succeed or fail, depending on Paul Atriedes to close the gap between the Fremen and civilization. Paul though sees the future. Can he avoid the jihad that he keeps seeing in his future? Quite a novel!
( )
  jmourgos | Sep 12, 2014 |
Just as good as I remembered when I first read it many years ago. Herbert clearly understood the epic genre. I recently read that he began his plans for this story while visiting Oregon. He was visiting the coastal dunes in southern Oregon. Now I find myself intensely wanting to go there. ( )
  tlockney | Sep 7, 2014 |
#Dune revisited... I first picked up a tattered copy of this book thrown haphazardly into an old armchair in the sixth form common room. It was the mid to late sixties. At that time I was a fan of #science #fiction, reading the likes of: Isaac Asimov, HG Wells, Jules Verne. I was also fascinated by sci-fi movies like A Space Odyssey, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and The Time Machine. Dune had not been out very long when I read it as a schoolboy. At that time, pop culture was influenced by drug culture and the likes of Timothy Leary were advocating the use of the psychedelic drug, LSD to expand the mind to assist in psychotherapy. Most of us bought Progressive Rock albums and sought to find hidden esoteric meanings in their often hazy lyrics.

Now I don’t know whether or not Dune has been altered between then and now - I suspect it has. The Kindle version has an extremely annoying grammar quirk. Conjunctions seem to be deliberately left out, and I found myself subconsciously inserting them as I went along.

As a youngster I was attracted by Dune's excellent cover art - it was different to the present Kindle edition - and the sheer immensity of the book.

I was quickly assimilated into Frank Herbert's dystopian future worlds and civilizations. As a schoolboy the vocabulary was a little ambitious for me, and I did not notice the book’s glaring plot errors. I simply enjoyed the romp in - what has been described by others - as a feudal setting with dukes and barons and emperors. My later opinion is that the backdrop is less feudal in the historical sense and more redolent of the atmosphere in Europe around the turn of the nineteenth century and the First World War. The tale is steeped in political intrigue, spies, assassinations, and power games in a distant-future cosmos where computers and “Atomics” have been banned and the universe is totally reliant on the MacGuffin - as Hitchcock might have called it - a single narcotic called Spice, or Melange, which has been likened by others to oil in our world.

Human “Mentats”, bred and fed Spice to fulfil computing functions have replaced machine computers and the Spacing Guild Navigators need Melange to travel through space.

The “Known Universe” is ruled by the Emperor Shaddam IV and the inhabited planets by various royal houses, which together comprise the Landsraad - a kind of futuristic League of Nations with immense power. Planetary rivalry and vendettas notwithstanding, the Landsraad, while still hooked on Spice, is collectively more than able to veto even the power of the Padishah Emperor and his awesome legions of Sardaukar terror troops and this makes Duke Leto Atreides' rising influence in the Landsraad a real threat to the emperor.

The story revolves around two antagonistic royal houses: House Atreides, and Harkonnen.

The book opens on the planet Caladan, where the House Atreides is - at Emperor Shaddam IV’s command - leaving for the dessert planet Dune (Arrakis) to replace House Harkonnen whose former lucrative duty it was to oversee the mining and flow of Spice to the rest of the universe.
Once on Arrakis the intrigue begins. Searches are made for booby traps left by the resentful Harkonnens, and poison detectors are necessary to verify that food is fit to eat. It soon becomes apparent that someone within the Atreides camp is a traitor and after Duke Leto is betrayed into the hands of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen and killed; and the Duke’s son and his royal concubine mother disappear in the wilderness of Dune when the ornithopter they are being held prisoner aboard crashes, the irrevocable events of a sacred messianic prophecy begin to unfold…

Sadly there is at least one glaring plot error undermining the whole story which the book I read failed to deal with - I won’t tell you what it is and it might have been addressed adequately in the author’s later novels.

Another flaw, and a wasted opportunity, is the use of reported speech to describe of the fate of at least one principle character towards the climax of the story. There is also a promising foreshadowing scene involving Count Fenring plotting with his wife to produce a child by Feyd-Rautha which is disappointingly abandoned, relegating it to a mere plot loose end in the book.

True science fiction? It’s won awards for such, but it depends on your definition. To me a science fiction plot is one in which existing or near-future science is extrapolated into a different time and place, and the fascination of prediction and the resulting moral construct, are central mainstays of the story, and its joy.

Dune is a good epic fantasy adventure with a space theme employing science-based plot devices, but sadly it is not a work of science fiction genius as some might have you believe. It is badly written in places, often obscure to the brink of nonsense, and second time around, I give it 3 stars….
( )
1 vote Stuart_Taylor | Aug 22, 2014 |
If you have never read an immersive piece of fiction wherein the author creates an entire new vocabulary then Dune might be a bit of a struggle (at least at the beginning). Herbert has created a vast new universe which includes new religions, cultural mores, languages, and science. From the very start of the narrative, the reader is treated as if they are already aware of the world that the characters inhabit. Once you've gotten the hang of things you are in for a real ride. Herbert does not shy away from controversy or taboo. There's talk of rape, pedophilia, prostitution, addiction, and murder to name a few. Religion, politics, and ecology are the main threads interwoven throughout and are the driving force for the action of the story. It is easy to fall into this world and to become invested in the characters (especially the main character, Paul, who is basically the coolest guy ever (understatement of the century)). There is a saying used to quell fear and I kinda want to make it my mantra:

"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 me I will turn to see fear's path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

And luckily for us, this is just the beginning of the series. >_ ( )
  AliceaP | Jul 26, 2014 |
To liberally quote the Wu-Tang Clan, "[Muad'Dib] ain't nothin' to fuck with."

It was really good. I honestly did not expect the book to be captivating as it was. I don't see myself reading all of the sequels in the next 2-3 months, but I do see myself finishing the original series in the at least the next two years.

At the end, I'm left wondering if this book was some sort of statement by Herbert on the Middle East and involvement by powers that don't belong there. It was incredibly interesting, and I think it's definitely going to dig a bit more into. If you have any insight into that point, I'd love to hear it! ( )
  michplunkett | Jul 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 308 (next | show all)
A portrayal of an alien society more complete and deeply detailed than any other author in the field has managed...a story absorbing equally for its action and philosophical vistas.
added by GYKM | editWashington Post Book World
One of the monuments of modern science fiction.
added by GYKM | editChicago Tribune

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Herbert, Frankprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cassidy, OrlaghNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary 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
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dune (1984IMDb)
Dune (2000IMDb)
Awards and honors
To the people whose labours 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
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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
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

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0441013597, Paperback)

This Hugo and Nebula Award winner tells the sweeping tale of a desert planet called Arrakis, the focus of an intricate power struggle in a byzantine interstellar empire. Arrakis is the sole source of Melange, the "spice of spices." Melange is necessary for interstellar travel and grants psychic powers and longevity, so whoever controls it wields great influence.

The troubles begin when stewardship of Arrakis is transferred by the Emperor from the Harkonnen Noble House to House Atreides. The Harkonnens don't want to give up their privilege, though, and through sabotage and treachery they cast young Duke Paul Atreides out into the planet's harsh environment to die. There he falls in with the Fremen, a tribe of desert dwellers who become the basis of the army with which he will reclaim what's rightfully his. Paul Atreides, though, is far more than just a usurped duke. He might be the end product of a very long-term genetic experiment designed to breed a super human; he might be a messiah. His struggle is at the center of a nexus of powerful people and events, and the repercussions will be felt throughout the Imperium.

Dune is one of the most famous science fiction novels ever written, and deservedly so. The setting is elaborate and ornate, the plot labyrinthine, the adventures exciting. Five sequels follow. --Brooks Peck

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:32 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

Follows the adventures of Paul Atreides, the son of a betrayed duke given up for dead on a treacherous desert planet and adopted by its fierce, nomadic people, who help him unravel his most unexpected destiny.

(summary from another edition)

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