- Series: Dune (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 896 pages
- Publisher: Ace (September 1, 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0441172717
- ISBN-13: 978-0441172719
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.9 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews:
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dune Mass Market Paperback – Unabridged, September 1, 1990
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Praise for Dune
“I know nothing comparable to it except The Lord of the Rings.”—Arthur C. Clarke
“It is possible that Dune is even more relevant now than when it was first published.”—The New Yorker
“An astonishing science fiction phenomenon.”—The Washington Post
“One of the monuments of modern science fiction.”—Chicago Tribune
“Powerful, convincing, and most ingenious.”—Robert A. Heinlein
“Herbert’s creation of this universe, with its intricate development and analysis of ecology, religion, politics and philosophy, remains one of the supreme and seminal achievements in science fiction.”—Louisville Times
From the Back Cover
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 is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.
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From cover to cover it is interesting and exciting. There is a reason it is hailed as such a timeless story, and I implore that you find the time to experience it for yourself.
Full disclaimer here: this is a long book. But, the writing definitely keeps you engaged and there is no filler; there is a reason why this book is long. Once you finish the book you'll understand what I'm talking about.
As a side note, I am not sure what happened with David Lynch's adaptation of Dune. BUT, if it's true that Denis Villeneuve is being slated to make the next film adaptation of Dune then I'll be first in line to get tickets.
The plot is reasonably simple, interactions transparent, but there is a ton of wisdom in every other sentence. Hubert snuck in pithy statements left and right to complement the story that unfolded.
Brilliant book and worth rereads in the future.
Top international reviews
Written in 1965, Dune was the first real fantasy saga set on other worlds, and has remained in the fantasy/sci-fi bestseller lists ever since. It's often compared to the Lord of the Rings for the completeness of its world-building, but the tone of it is much more ambiguous - the dividing lines between good and evil aren't quite so clearly drawn. It's a grappling for power and control, set in a society that has aspects of the mediaeval - lordly families wielding ultimate power over their peoples, where marriages are made for political advantage rather than love, and where torture and death are accepted as the norm.
The ecological themes in Dune reflect the beginnings of the anxieties over our own earth environment, which was just starting to become a matter of public concern in the '60s. The importance of water on this desert planet is brilliantly portrayed, as Herbert shows how its scarcity has led to it becoming part of the mythology and even religion of the planet's inhabitants. Everything revolves round water and customs reflect that - from water being the major currency to the ritual recovery of water from the bodies of the dead. The Fremen inhabitants of the planet are trying to make their planet more habitable by careful use and cultivation of what they already have, but Herbert, who had an interest in ecology in his real life, shows how changing one aspect of an environment must be carefully controlled to prevent the destruction of others.
Much of the language of Dune is based on real-life Arabic languages - there is much talk of jihad, for example, and many of the names are Arabic in origin. I suspect this, combined with the desert landscape, might make the modern reader read things into the story that probably weren't intended and certainly weren't obvious to this reader when I first read the book sometime in the '70s or '80s. Our familiarity with the Middle East is so much greater now than it was then. However it's fun to draw comparisons between spice and oil, and to see the struggle between the Fremen and their imperial overlords as a reflection of the wars of the last few decades. But in truth, the reader can only go so far down this route before the comparison begins to fall apart.
The place of women in the Dune universe is not exactly a feminist's delight, and seems pretty backwards looking even for the '60s. Primarily breeding machines, even the Bene Gesserit wield their power through marriage and concubinage (yes, concubines!) and it's a bit sad that their most urgent desire is to create a male, and therefore superior, Bene Gesserit. Often called witches by the men, and mistresses of the wierding ways, the Bene Gesserit nevertheless are feared and sometimes respected, so women do play an important, if not exactly heroic, role in the stories. And despite their inferior position in society, Herbert has created some memorable female characters, not least the Lady Jessica herself who gradually develops into something much more complex than simply the mother of the Kwizatz Haderach.
Have I made this book sound impossibly boring? I hope not, because after a fairly slow start when the characters and worlds are introduced, there's plenty of action. Treachery, intrigue, poisonings and battles, a little bit of romance, but not too much, the truly nasty Baron Harkonnen and his evil henchmen, and most of all Paul-Muad'dib and the heroic Fremen all make for a great adventure story. And the giant worms, the makers, are one of the all-time great creations of fantasy. Their role in the ecology of the planet and the way they are viewed by the Fremen, as something to be worshipped, feared and yet used, makes them central to the book. They are a force of nature that man, with all his technology, can't defeat - indeed, mustn't defeat, because without the worms Dune would lose the thing that gives it is unique importance. And they are terrifying in their destructive power, made worse somehow by the fact that they are driven by no intelligent purpose.
There are several sequels to Dune, and while this one doesn't quite end on a cliffhanger, the reader is left knowing there is much more to come. From memory the first couple of sequels are excellent, after which the series began to lose its edge somewhat - for me, at least. But I'm looking forward to re-reading the next one, Dune Messiah, in the not-too-distant future, and meantime would highly recommend Dune not just as an excellent read in itself, but as the book that has inspired so many of the later fantasy writers.
If I hadn't already been aware of the film and the documentary into the failure of the 70's film, I would of struggled to comprehend that this book is over half a century old.
But from that, if you are a fan of any epics, from sci-fi to fantasy, books and film, you'll never know just how many authors have been influenced by Frank Herbert.
On the surface it may seem a basic structured story, but keeping attention to what each character values and understands, you realise that as the book goes on, that every idea and thought carried are in fact wrong, that these characters all come to the realisation that their closely held truths are in fact falsehoods, as well as many characters having plans within plans, and plots within plots withing plots!
The pages just fly by once you get started and I was saddened when I realised the story was drawing to its conclusion.
A 5 star review from me, and I hope that this inspires someone else to dabble in the story of the people of Arrakis
Shorter than a standard hardcover by about one and a half inches. Great smyth sewn binding. Just the right amount of flexibility. Easily kept open. Font is readable and pretty and a great size. Paper is acid free cream. Only down side is that the cover is made from very cheap cardboard and the text on the spine faces the opposite direction to all my other English language books; turn your head left to read it as it sits on the shelf. Shame really, without these two issues it would get 5 stars.
I recommend purchasing one of two other Dune hardcover editions: Folio Society or Barnes and Noble Leatherbound.
Muchas veces cuando tienes altas expectativas de un libro y al leerlo terminas decepcionado, ponte a pensar que quizá se deba a una mala traducción. Así que antes de comprar esa edición en español me detuve a pensar. La verdad no quería que una mala traducción me echara a perder una obra como Dune; además esa edición es muy cara pues se envía desde España. Finalmente me decidí a comprarlo en su idioma original.
Este libro es parte de una serie de seis clásicos de la ciencia ficción editados por la reconocida Penguin Random House con sede en Nueva York. Los títulos (aparte de Dune) que componen esta serie llamada Penguin Galaxy son: Stranger in a Strange Land, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Once and Future King, Neuromancer y 2001: A Space Odyssey. Cuentan con una introducción del reconocido escritor Neil Gaiman y el diseño de los libros corrió a cargo de Alex Trochut.
Sabemos que los libros en inglés son más baratos que las ediciones (mal)traducidas al español, sin embargo estos no son tan baratos pero creo que al ser parte de una serie con un excelente diseño es un buen precio. La decepción vino al tener el libro físico. La verdad me esperaba algo de mejor calidad, algo mucho más resistente. Yo nunca he leído Dune y para eso compré este pero me da miedo agarrarlo pues siento que mis dedos se van a quedar marcados en la tapa ya que es de un papel mate muy absorbente. El papel de las páginas también es muy delgado. Me da la impresión de que estos libros son para tenerlos en tu repisa pero no para ser leídos.
Junto con este libro compré otros artículos, entonces me mandaron todo junto en la misma caja y este libro se maltrató un poco. No traía ni celofán ni trataron de protegerlo. Tomen en cuenta que es lo que van a pedir y si sus productos pueden maltratar otros durante el envío. Por cierto, el envío fue rapidísimo, sin duda Amazon es mi plataforma favorita para hacer mis compras.
When Paul Atreides has to leave his comfortable home planet with his family and trusted retainers, all seem to know that moving to the desert land of Arrakis. From this tension building start, Frank Herbert builds up a fascinating world full of politics, treachery, religion and different cultures. Duke Leto's family face their initial culture shock with much the same confusion as the reader feels, having been thrust so suddenly from a relatively Earthlike planet to the harsh and dry land of the desert. Dry quite literally and for that reason, the greatest wealth one can have is water. Technologies exist for preserving even the smallest amounts of water out of the air, for water is a precious and scare commodity among the dwellers of this strange land.
Quickly the tensions rise with a traitor amongst the ranks of the most trusted retainers and servants... and even the family itself. Trust is misplaced, suspicion is rife and in this atmosphere the trap springs closed and Paul and his mother find themselves living a very different life than the one they had anticipated. A harsher life and a far more brutal life, living on the constant boundary of life and death, in hiding and yet building an force that could perhaps threaten those who took so much from the Atreide House. Individuals who were so closely bonded at the beginning of the tale are split across the country, working to different aims and goals, many not even aware that the heir of the Duke lives still, even as Paul works to bring another man's dream to life on this barren planet.
Dune is a tale of both the minuscule and the overarching overview, a tale of the individual and the whole. It is a beautifully sculpted work that is told on so many different levels and layers, politics on an inter-planetary level inter-playing with the individual desires and dreams on the day to day basis of small little lives. Individual choices and actions have resounding consequences throughout the novel and each characters role is important, regardless of how large a part they play. Interspersed with this huge scope of politics on a multi-world level, Herbert has included a convulated yet understandable branching of religions and technologies working towards sometimes unintelligible goals of their own, in turn merging with ecology concerns and plans for this desert land.
Herbert's writing is nothing short of superb and even his switching of character POV's that irritated me so much in some of his unpublished work is deftly handled. The novel is interspersed with lore of the world or specific quotes, often directly linked to whatever you are about to read next and this sets up the world-building on a far grander scale than just what the individuals in front of you can see. Helpfully, all of the characters are so individual that you are never left in any doubt of whose point of view you are reading from at any given moment, and that alone is a mark of the strength of this novel. His characters come to life; all of them. All of them are flawed and imperfect and all of them felt utterly real, even Paul himself who could easily have become something of a superhero character. There are moments where his mother is so determined to focus the future down the path she has foreseen, that she stands in the way of what others believe is the right way of acting or an important decision. There is very real conflict between many of the characters when two strong individuals are placed in awkward disputes and conflicts. It is real.
And Herbert's imagination was immense. You can see that he has laid the groundwork for much of future science fiction in both literature and the screen. There is no need to go massively overboard with a whole ecological fount of strange creatures and lifeforms, instead Herbert has taken his desert world and created a simple yet superb display of life that is both utterly realistic and terrifying. The way he then moulds this into the ecological force of the planet itself is beyond clever and shows a foresight and understanding of ecology that is far beyond his time. In face, much of this novel is beyond his time. It doesn't read like an old novel. It doesn't read like a cliche, even though many of his ideas have been used in future narratives and stories. It reads like a fresh and vibrant piece that could have been a contemporary work.
This is a novel that is undoubtedly going onto my all times favourite list for wonderful dialogue, expansive world building and an epic narrative that truly stunned me in its scope and depth. I was truly blown away by this novel and I deserve every kick for not having gotten round to it sooner!
I’m kind off disgusted with myself that I have never read the classic book Dune before. The film is one I grew up watching with my Dad and also the different attempts oat mini-series based on this and other books in the series, but never quite got around to reading the source material.
So, I decided that now is the time and I’m really glad I did. I can now see why all the adaptations of the book, including the film, which I really quite enjoy, never have hit the mark fully and always seem to be lacking something. It’s because they are! The book is so much more detailed and encompassing that it must be nearly impossible to create this world on the screen, though I am now really looking forward to seeing what Denis Villeneuve creates in the latest adaptation.
Anyway, back to the book. Frank Hebert is a master maker of worlds, Arrakis, House Atreides., House Harkonnen and the Freman are created with such care and diligence that each aspect springs to life, as you venture along the life journey of Paul Muad'Dib Atreides.
The book is split into three sections, the first two are gripping reads, but to be honest the third is a bit rushed and mystic for my liking.
Part One: Dune, creates the back story, the rivalry between the two main houses, the scheming of the Emperor, the importance of Arrakis and the spice it introduces. This is a financial as well as honour-based war. You are introduced to Duke Leto and his Bene Gesserit concubine/life partner Jessica(it all gets a bit mystical whenever she’s about), their fifteen year old son Paul and the Duke’s Lieutenants, Gurney Halleck, Duncan Idaho, Thufir Hawat, Dr Yueh, all with important roles to play in the story – Patrick Stewart played Gurney Halleck in the 1984 film and I heard his voice every time the character spoke. Also, to the opposition, The baron, The beast Rabban and Feyd (Sting in the film and had trouble getting his image out of my head whilst reading) and Piter De Vries, a whole mixed bag of evil!
Part Two: The Prophet, focuses on the aftermath of a betrayal and the consequences for each of the characters, it introduces the religious side of Arrakis and most importantly the Freman, natives whose way of life contrasts drastically will all that we’ve met before. Among them are Chani(again if you’ve seen the film, I could not get Sean Young with Blue Eyes out of my head for this character) and Stilgar, the leader of a tribe of Freman and the man voted most likely to kick everyone’s butt in the Freman end of season awards.
Part Three: Muad'dib, this is where my issues start, not only does Paul Muad’dib go slightly religious zealot crazy as do everyone else – except Gurney Halleck/Patrick Stewart but it rushes through the story, one minute Paul is talking about training everyone in the weirding way(which is never fully explained in the book as to what it was, so I think the film took license to create a shouty weapon) and suddenly he is running the place, defeating the standing Harkonnen army and about to launch and attack on the all the remaining baddies. His sister has turned from being a foetus into a four-year-old bossy boots (Alicia Witt’s version in the film is just superbly creepy and I love the actress to this day because of this). The fight at the end is over in about four pages, I mean they described him and Jessica climbing a rock face in more detail earlier in the book. There are many events that happen in this last section and all seem rushed, the final chapter was over in about 90 pages out of 560. This did disappoint me as I was so invested by this stage, I felt really let down.
So, reading this book brought up(as you might be able to tell) the age old, do you read the book or watch the film first, or do you bother doing the other one if you’ve done one of them, will it ruin one or make it better? In my opinion, I’m glad I watched the film before reading the book, I’m glad I knew the film inside out because the book then built upon the world I already had in my head and I was able to vividly imagine everything that occurred. I also understood why the film was sometimes disjointed. Not only that I watched the film first as a ten-year-old and this book would’ve gone right over my head then, I mean blimey some sections went over my head now!
I can see why this is a cult favourite and I am looking forward to reading the follow up books, though maybe not just yet. I think I need a little lightness in my reading life first. Also, there’s only so many descriptions of sand a man can take.
I remember being enthralled by 'Dune' as a teenager, captivated by the descriptions of the bleak, desert planet and the hardy Fremen who inhabited it. Its scope (even within this first volume) is immense, resembling an old fashioned family saga.
There are, of course, some significant incongruities. Set some twenty thousand years in the future, there are no computers, and although mankind has spread across thousands of planets throughout the universe, technology seems oddly sparse. Imperial dictat was the reason for the lack of computers, though many of their functions are undertaken by specially trained humans, known as 'Mentats'. There are special technically accomplished weapons (known as 'lasguns'),and special shields have been designed that can counter their impact. Most people still rely on swords and knives, and poison seems to be the weapon of choice for Imperial assassination.
Duke Leto Atriedes is despatched under Imperial command to take over the governing of Arrakis, a desert planet also known as 'Dune'. This was previously the fiefdom of the Harkonnen family, sworn enemy of the Atriedes. Arrakis is bleak, with most of its surface covered by fierce desert which is patrolled by vicious monstrous worms. The indigenous population, known as the Fremen, have adapted to life with a minimum of surface water available to them, and wear special suits which capture and recycle their sweat. The importance of Arrakis lies in 'melange' a spice that is only found there, and which is treasured for its mind-bending powers. Indeed, melange forms part of a vital recipe used by the mysterious Space Guild who have learned to bend space to enable travel between planets.
Frank Herbert weaves an intricate web of Imperial politics and religious fanaticism, with odd throwbacks to classical Greece (the original Atriedes being Agamemnon and Menelaus, the sons of Atreus). The principal character is Paul Atriedes, son of Duke Leto and his concubine, Jessica. We learn that Jessica is a priestess of a mysterious sect known as the Bene Gesserit which has been monitoring ducal bloodlines. Prophecies abound, especially among the Fremen, of a messianic figure who will come to Dune to lead them. Jessica wonders whether her son might be the one.
A well-constructed novel that works on many levels. The absence of any lengthy, context-setting introduction actually helps the reader to become engaged. We are thrown right in, with the Atreides household preparing for their encounter with Arrakis, and all the mysteries it holds.
But, having finally decided to take the bull by the horns and make a real effort to read it, I have been very impressed.
Like one of the other all-time classics (Nineteen Eighty-Four), this book has a slow start that takes a number of pages to get through – even more so with this, as it takes quite a bit to get past the build-up to the action… but that adds to a nice level of suspense building to when the action kicks off – and, as with 1984, once you get into the action, the book becomes un-put-downable.
I have been a fan of fantasy books for a number of years, but have continually put off leap to the world of Sci Fi, as I have always been unsure of whether it would draw me in – which is strange, as I am a big fan of Star Trek/Wars, Fringe and the amazing Firefly.
But I must say that Dune serves well as gateway book.
While the book is considered a Sci Fi classic, the actual tale of the story is a lot closer to that of a fantasy book, and with some 90% of the story centred on the one planet, there are only the odd hints to the Sci-Fi trimmings.
Consider the book to be more other-worldly.
The story mainly centres around Paul Atreides and the turbulent few years that see him grow from a young boy into a man of legend. There is a brilliant level of both actual and internal conflict that ride through the book, and political intrigue and deceptions provide a lot of the turning points – and there will be times when you start to wonder what treacherous act will happen next.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wanted a book that would take them away to another world and keep them glued to well-paced action.
-and with the book due to reach the grand-old age of 50 next year, there are no indications that age had diminished the book at all.
There are some comparisons between this and Lord of The Rings, and that is understandable, and it is (at heart) a fantasy book – but I would stand out and say that it is a better book.
While I love LOTR, and appreciate the wonder of the story, the books are very heavy with unnecessary sequences where little happens, or padded out with long songs that don’t add a huge amount to the story.
Dune, however, is a lot tighter, and after a slow start that draws you into the world, there is a lot that happens – and no endless chapters of characters running.
Additionally, the (much) shorter songs and quotations that break-up the book into chapters add to the story, rather than jar with the running of the plot.
This is a book that people consider to be a classic, and it truly lives up to that legend.
Recommended for most readers, I would particularly recommend it to people who like Peter V. Brett’s “Demon Cycle” series – as both books spend a good amount of time in creating an Easter-Style way of life that is something wonderful to behold.
I paid around £8, incidentally. Price is creeping up.