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God Emperor of Dune (Dune Chronicles, Book…
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God Emperor of Dune (Dune Chronicles, Book 4) (original 1981; edition 1987)

by Frank Herbert

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Member:TheCriticalTimes
Title:God Emperor of Dune (Dune Chronicles, Book 4)
Authors:Frank Herbert
Info:Ace Books (1987), Edition: Ace, Paperback, 423 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Science Fiction

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God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert (1981)

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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 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & Tumblr by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: God Emperor of Dune
Series: Dune Chronicles #4
Author: Frank Herbert
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 436
Format: Digital Edition



Synopsis:


Dune is transformed. The worms are gone. The Spice is a dwindling product handed out each decade by the God Emperor from his private stores. Leto is now a pre-worm and 3500 years old. Mentats are outlawed and gone. The Fremen no longer really exist. The Tleilaxu grow Duncan Idahoes for Leto. Leto has taken control of Bene Geserit breeding program. The Ixians supply Leto with technology while experimenting on their own.

There is peace. The Great Houses are gone. Populations reside on their own planets and enjoy a level of living that has been unheard of before. Leto's Fish Speakers, an all female army, provide whatever force is needed should a situation arise.

Leto is fermenting humanity. Trying to change it from the inside out. He sees the glimmer of this in Siona Atreides, who is currently leading the rebellion against him. She can fade from his pre-sight, which means that her descendants will free humanity from the curse of prescience and prophecy.

Of course, Leto has enemies. The Tleilaxu plot his overthrow with their face dancers. The Ixians are breeding a human who is the perfect fit for Leto, and who they will control. Siona co-opts the current Duncan and they are figuring out how to kill Leto.

Leto knows.

Leto also knows that when he dies, his body will release sand trout that will begin the desertification of Dune once again and bring back the worms and the spice in a couple of hundred years.

My Thoughts:

This version that I read had an introduction by Frank's son, Brian. While I normally hold my nose at the travesty he and that son of a goat Anderson created with the Dune prequels, I did find this introduction extremely enlightening and helpful. It prepared me for the kind of book this would be.

This felt like a play, with Leto II being front and center and soloquizing for most of the book. A lot of action happens, a lot of information is told, but it is all off stage, as it were. Leto talks. A lot. With his Major Domo, Moneo Atriedes [Siona's father], with The Duncan, with Siona, with the love of his life Hwi.

Hwi. Now there is pathos. To have someone built to love you and to have them built so as to attract you. It is redeemed from pablum by Hwi knowing all of this and still choosing Leto over her Ixian masters. She does love Leto, willingly and unwillingly.

I thoroughly enjoyed this read, yet again.

However. If someone were to read this book and call it boring, dialogue heavy or unenjoyable, I would not try to correct them. Leto constantly tries to push other characters into understanding by asking them questions instead of answering their questions. Leto does that a lot and it can be frustrating. There were a couple of times that I wanted to shake him and shout “Just answer his question, you gigantic jerk!”. This was an idea book but those ideas were not all nicely queued up like bowling pins in an alley. They were disguised, hidden, scattered. It was frustrating and I will not deny that. I don't think it is a weakness of the book or the writing though. It was deliberate. Herbert wanted his readers to think and thinking can be hard work at times.

This was a re-read book, like all the other Dune Chronicles books I'm reading. My first recorded instance of reading it was only back in '12. However, I know I read it in highschool and in Bibleschool at least 3 times. So this is my fifth time? The fact that I'm still frustrated with it and yet enjoying it so much says a lot about the quality of the writing.

★★★★ ½ ( )
1 vote BookstoogeLT | Aug 26, 2017 |
My least favorite of the Dune books so far. it was a good story, but hard to read. dense. and more than just a little strange. ( )
  Grimshado | Apr 19, 2017 |
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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
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Peggy Rowntree
with love and admiration and deep appreciation
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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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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