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God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert
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God Emperor of Dune (1981)

by Frank Herbert

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dune (4), Dune Saga (18), Dune: complete chronology (13)

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Recently added bymuwaffaq, ggoldby, jd313, Tim_Vincent, heinemusik, avarisclari, Echinopsis, DougBaker, private library
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English (51)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (54)
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
An unsual book, a relief in some ways after the horrors that came before it; there are horrors in here of course (not the good ones, or even those found in drafty corridors and flickering lamps and inescapable dampness, but the common horror of being trapped in a story with hundreds and hundreds of pages to go) but Herbert's style and tone have shifted here that the book isn't banging its head against the immensity of Dune. Leto II, robbed of humanity through his sandworm transformation and his dignity with each mention of the "Royal Cart", has given into the destiny his father spent two scattered sequels avoiding. He will preserve humanity from stagnation and dissolution, even though humanity really, really hates its medicine.

There was a lot of odd stuff in here though. Leto II, possessed of all the memories of all his descendents makes grand, sweeping statements about humanity, religion, sexuality (don't get me started), politics, war, (let's be brief everything) with all the confidence of a philosophy major, and with as much concision and accuracy. The guy loves the sound of his voice(s).

We get introduced to several interesting subplots, but they all peter-out 'offscreen' so to better focus ourselves on Leto's activities, which include pontification, making knowing remarks, being bored, and fucking with the heads of the few people who get near him. I mean near as in 'close proximity', however much he seems to fawn over Hwi I wasn't really convinced. She was yes-girl with a pretty face (so hot).

But in the face of all that, this was immensely more readable than Children of Dune. Even as I criticized and harumphed, I kept turning pages. I have no plans of reading further in the series, I'll leave on what high notes are left. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Enjoyable philosophical musings and a wonderful further development of the Dune world. ( )
  brakketh | Nov 8, 2018 |
Compared to the first three books, God Emperor is much slower. This one focuses on philosophy and the Golden Path to justify the God Emperor's tyranny. Each chapter begins with a quote from Leto's journals, to give insight into the reasoning behind his method and the nature of humanity.

Leto's tranquility is harshly enforced, and must remain so until Leto is certain he is no longer needed. This will occur when his breeding program produces his desired result, a new strain of human that can avoid the traps he and Muad'dib fell into. ( )
  Cerelin | Apr 12, 2018 |
Full of interesting meditations on the nature of war, the military, history, men and women. I am very interested in seeing where the series goes from here, to finally get a glimpse at what the very expensive Golden Path bought in terms of humanity's evolution. ( )
  greeniezona | Dec 6, 2017 |
I make a lot of reading promises. You want me to read your favorite book? Sure, I'd love to. Let me add it to my list and I'll probably get around to it sometime in the next decade. I have the best intentions, but when it comes to books, I get easily distracted.

Thus the promise I made to my brother-in-law to read seven Dune novels may have been overly ambitious. This was ten-plus years ago. And to get through all seven required slogging through some terrible writing at times and some monotonous babble at others. First, as he'd suggested, I made my way through the Dune prequels written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. House Atreides and House Harkonnen in 2008, followed by House Corrino in 2012. There was some great story in these three novels, moments that were extremely vivid and haunting—scenes I remember to this day. But the writing left so much to be desired: it was repetitive, filled with juvenile symbolism and minimal character development. In 2013, I got around to the original book that started the series, Frank Herbert's Dune. The writing in this classic was better, but I struggled quite a bit with these futuristic feudal clashes with swords while spaceships roamed the galaxy and women were subject to male approval. Could the future really be so medieval? Later that year I read Dune Messiah and in 2015 I read the third of the originals, Children of Dune. I found much the same in them, only not as exciting.

All along, my brother-in-law told me that I needed to make it to God Emperor of Dune, that while the fourth book was one of the least popular in the original series, he believed I would enjoy it the most. So I say all that to say this: there was some anticipation going into what would be my seventh Dune novel, but there was considerable apprehension. Would God Emperor of Dune actually be my favorite in the series? Would it continue to blast me with an arduous and unbelievable future? In short, yes and yes.

God Emperor of Dune is the most cohesive and intelligently written novel in the series. While earlier books jump from one plot point to another, God Emperor... is focused. This is the story of the penultimate act of the Emperor Leto II's reign. There are some other threads floating around, but they ravel around this main focus. Following a 3500 year reign, Leto has a few thoughts on power and government. As such, this book repeatedly tackles these subjects. This Dune novel isn't like its predecessors, all action and dialogue. In fact, there isn't much action in this entire volume. This is a story full of philosophical discourse, but one which never stops feeling like a story. This is one worm-man reflecting on 30,000 years of human existence, but the plot works around this person. And while he has some backward ideas regarding gender and homosexuality, he's nevertheless an interesting mind to behold. If this doesn't sound like your kind of thing—and obviously it's not for many—then this may be the most difficult book in the series to make it through.

God Emperor... does become a bit tedious in the second half. Philosophical musings become repetitive rants. And the fabulously crafted revolution led by Siona fizzles into bland familial melodrama. Still, most of the characters actions and inactions feel more organic in this story—you sense, occasionally, that they and not the author are in control of their lives, a vast departure from the earlier volumes.

So I made it. Will I ever read another novel from the Dune universe? Unlikely, but certainly within the realm of possibility. If I do, it'll most assuredly be the final two chapters from the original series. But that may be some years down the road. In the meantime, I've got a dozen other promises to keep. ( )
1 vote chrisblocker | Nov 2, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Frank Herbertprimary authorall editionscalculated
DiFate, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holland, BradCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennington, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siudmak, WojciechCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stuyter, M.K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Webber, Phil H.Author photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
This morning I was born in a yurt at the edge of a horse-plain in a land of a planet which no longer exists.

Tomorrow I will be born someone else in another place. I have not yet chosen. This morning, though - ahhh. this life! 

When my eyes had learned to focus, I looked out at sunshine on trampled grass and I saw vigorous people going about the sweet activities of their lives.

Where ... oh where has all of that vigor gone?

~ The Stolen Journals
Dedication
To
Peggy Rowntree
with love and admiration and deep appreciation
First words
Prologue -

Excerpt from the speech by Hadi Benotto announcing the discoveries at Dar-es-Balat on the planet of Rakis:

It not only is my pleasure to announce to you this morning our discovery of this marvelous storehouse containing, among other things, a monumental collection of manuscripts inscribed on ridulian crystal paper, but I also take pride in giving you our arguments for the authenticity of our discoveries, to tell you why we believe we have uncovered the original journals of Leto II, the God Emperor.
The three people running northward through moon shadows in the Forbidden Forest were strung out along almost half a kilometer.
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AR 5.8, 22 Pts
------------------

Centuries have passed on Dune itself, and the planet is green with life. Leto, the son of Dune's savior, is still alive but far from human, and hte fate of all humanity hangs on his awesome sacrifice ....
-----------------------------
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441294677, Mass Market Paperback)

Centuries have passed on Dune, and the planet is green with life. Leto, the son of Dune's savior, is still alive but far from human, and the fate of all humanity hangs on his awesome sacrifice...

"Rich fare...heady stuff." --Los Angeles Times

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:23 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Leto II, God Emperor of Dune, trades his humanity for immortality and, as the magnificent sandworm of Dune, desperately attempts to save mankind.

» see all 5 descriptions

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