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Dune, 40th Anniversary Edition (Dune Chronicles, Book 1) [Paperback]

by Frank Herbert
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,817 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Dune is to science fiction what The Lord of the Rings is to fantasy. Though fans believed they had bid a sad farewell to the sand planet of Arrakis upon Herbert's death in 1986, his son Brian has assumed writing the Nebula and Hugo award-winning series with the help of Kevin J. Anderson. But the original is always the most popular, and Ace here offers a good-quality hardcover complete with maps, a glossary, and appendixes. The book's huge fan base should expand even more thanks to a six-hour miniseries premiering on the Sci-Fi Channel later this year that is said to be more faithful to the book than David Lynch's truly awful 1984 feature film.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Praise for Dune:
 
"Unique...I know nothing comparable to it except Lord of the Rings."
--Arthur C. Clarke

"One of the monuments of modern science fiction."--Chicago Tribune
 
"Powerful, convincing, and most ingenious."--Robert A. Heinlein 
 
"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...An astonishing science fiction phenomenon."--The Washington Post
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Publisher

13 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Frank Herbert was born in Tacoma, Washington, and educated at the University of Washington, Seattle. He worked a wide variety of jobs--including TV cameraman, radio commentator, oyster diver, jungle survival instructor, lay analyst, creative writing teacher, reporter and editor of several West Coast newspapers--before becoming a full-time writer. He died in 1986.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One


A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct. This every sister of the Bene Gesserit knows. To begin your study of the life of Muad'Dib, then, take care that you first place him in his time: born in the 57th year of the Padishah Emperor, Shaddam IV. And take the most special care that you locate Muad'Dib in his place: the planet Arrakis. Do not be deceived by the fact that he was born on Caladan and lived his first fifteen years there. Arrakis, the planet known as Dune, is forever his place.
from "Manual of Muad'Dib"
by the Princess Irulan


In the week before their departure to Arrakis, when all the final scurrying about had reached a nearly unbearable frenzy, an old crone came to visit the mother of the boy, Paul.

    It was a warm night at Castle Caladan, and the ancient pile of stone that had served the Atreides family as home for twenty-six generations bore that cooled-sweat feeling it acquired before a change in the weather.

    The old woman was let in by the side door down the vaulted passage by Paul's room and she was allowed a moment to peer in at him where he lay in his bed.

    By the half-light of a suspensor lamp, dimmed and hanging near the floor, the awakened boy could see a bulky female shape at his door, standing one step ahead of his mother. The old woman was a witch shadow—hair like matted spiderwebs, hooded 'round darkness of features, eyes like glittering jewels.

    "Is he not small forhis age, Jessica?" the old woman asked. Her voice wheezed and twanged like an untuned baliset.

    Paul's mother answered in her soft contralto: "The Atreides are known to start late getting their growth, Your Reverence."

    "So I've heard, so I've heard," wheezed the old woman. "Yet he's already fifteen."

    "Yes, Your Reverence."

    "He's awake and listening to us," said the old woman. "Sly little rascal." She chuckled. "But royalty has need of slyness. And if he's really the Kwisatz Haderach ... well...."

    Within the shadows of his bed, Paul held his eyes open to mere slits. Two bird-bright ovals—the eyes of the old woman—seemed to expand and glow as they stared into his.

    "Sleep well, you sly little rascal," said the old woman. "Tomorrow you'll need all your faculties to meet my gom jabbar."

    And she was gone, pushing his mother out, closing the door with a solid thump.

    Paul lay awake wondering: What's a gom jabbar?

    In all the upset during this time of change, the old woman was the strangest thing he had seen.

    Your Reverence.

    And the way she called his mother Jessica like a common serving wench instead of what she was—a Bene Gesserit Lady, a duke's concubine and mother of the ducal heir.

    Is a gom jabbar something of Arrakis I must know before we go there? he wondered.

    He mouthed her strange words: Gom jabbar ... Kwisatz Haderach.

    There had been so many things to learn. Arrakis would be a place so different from Caladan that Paul's mind whirled with the new knowledge. Arrakis—Dune—Desert Planet.

    Thufir Hawat, his father's Master of Assassins, had explained it: their mortal enemies, the Harkonnens, had been on Arrakis eighty years, holding the planet in quasi-fief under a CHOAM Company contract to mine the geriatric spice, melange. Now the Harkonnens were leaving to be replaced by the House of Atreides in fief-complete—an apparent victory for the Duke Leto. Yet, Hawat had said, this appearance contained the deadliest peril, for the Duke Leto was popular among the Great Houses of the Landsraad.

    "A popular man arouses the jealousy of the powerful," Hawat had said.

    Arrakis—Dune—Desert Planet.

    Paul fell asleep to dream of an Arrakeen cavern, silent people all around him moving in the dim light of glowglobes. It was solemn there and like a cathedral as he listened to a faint sound—the drip-drip-drip of water. Even while he remained in the dream, Paul knew he would remember it upon awakening. He always remembered the dreams that were predictions.

    The dream faded.

    Paul awoke to feel himself in the warmth of his bed—thinking ... thinking. This world of Castle Caladan, without play or companions his own age, perhaps did not deserve sadness in farewell. Dr. Yueh, his teacher, had hinted that the faufreluches class system was not rigidly guarded on Arrakis. The planet sheltered people who lived at the desert edge without caid or bashar to command them: will-o'-the-sand people called Fremen, marked down on no census of the Imperial Regate.

    Arrakis—Dune—Desert Planet.

    Paul sensed his own tensions, decided to practice one of the mind-body lessons his mother had taught him. Three quick breaths triggered the responses: he fell into the floating awareness ... focusing the consciousness ... aortal dilation ... avoiding the unfocused mechanism of consciousness ... to be conscious by choice ... blood enriched and swift-flooding the overload regions ... one does not obtain food-safety-freedom by instinct alone ... animal consciousness does not extend beyond the given moment nor into the idea that its victims may become extinct ... the animal destroys and does not produce ... animal pleasures remain close to sensation levels and avoid the perceptual ... the human requires a background grid through which to see his universe ... focused consciousness by choice, this forms your grid ... bodily integrity follows nerve-blood flow according to the deepest awareness of cell needs ... all things/cells/beings are impermanent ... strive for flow-permanence within....

    Over and over and over within Paul's floating awareness the lesson rolled.

    When dawn touched Paul's window sill with yellow light, he sensed it through closed eyelids, opened them, hearing then the renewed bustle and hurry in the castle, seeing the familiar patterned beams of his bedroom ceiling.

    The hall door opened and his mother peered in, hair like shaded bronze held with black ribbon at the crown, her oval face emotionless and green eyes staring solemnly.

    "You're awake," she said. "Did you sleep well?"

    "Yes."

    He studied the tallness of her, saw the hint of tension in her shoulders as she chose clothing for him from the closet racks. Another might have missed the tension, but she had trained him in the Bene Gesserit Way—in the minutiae of observation. She turned, holding a semiformal jacket for him. It carried the red Atreides hawk crest above the breast pocket.

    "Hurry and dress," she said. "Reverend Mother is waiting."

    "I dreamed of her once," Paul said. "Who is she?"

    "She was my teacher at the Bene Gesserit school. Now, she's the Emperor's Truthsayer. And Paul...." She hesitated. "You must tell her about your dreams."

    "I will. Is she the reason we got Arrakis?"

    "We did not get Arrakis." Jessica flicked dust from a pair of trousers, hung them with the jacket on the dressing stand beside his bed. "Don't keep Reverend Mother waiting."

    Paul sat up, hugged his knees. "What's a gom jabbar?"

    Again, the training she had given him exposed her almost invisible hesitation, a nervous betrayal he felt as fear.

    Jessica crossed to the window, flung wide the draperies, stared across the river orchards toward Mount Syubi. "You'll learn about ... the gom jabbar soon enough," she said.

    He heard the fear in her voice and wondered at it.

    Jessica spoke without turning. "Reverend Mother is waiting in my morning room. Please hurry."


The Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam sat in a tapestried chair watching mother and son approach. Windows on each side of her overlooked the curving southern bend of the river and the green farmlands of the Atreides family holding, but the Reverend Mother ignored the view. She was feeling her age this morning, more than a little petulant. She blamed it on space travel and association with that abominable Spacing Guild and its secretive ways. But here was a mission that required personal attention from a Bene Gesserit-with-the-Sight. Even the Padishah Emperor's Truthsayer couldn't evade that responsibility when the duty call came.

    Damn that Jessica! the Reverend Mother thought. If only she'd borne us a girl as she was ordered to do!

    Jessica stopped three paces from the chair, dropped a small curtsy, a gentle flick of left hand along the line of her skirt. Paul gave the short bow his dancing master had taught—the one used "when in doubt of another's station."

    The nuances of Paul's greeting were not lost on the Reverend Mother. She said: "He's a cautious one, Jessica."

    Jessica's hand went to Paul's shoulder, tightened there. For a heartbeat, fear pulsed through her palm. Then she had herself under control. "Thus he has been taught, Your Reverence."

    What does she fear? Paul wondered.

    The old woman studied Paul in one gestalten flicker: face oval like Jessica's, but strong bones ... hair: the Duke's black-black but with browline of the maternal grandfather who cannot be named, and that thin, disdainful nose; shape of directly staring green eyes: like the old Duke, the paternal grandfather who is dead.

    Now, there was a man who ap...

From AudioFile

This full-cast performance, augmented by sound effects and music, does justice to a classic of the science fiction genre. Dune, a complex tale of greed, the quest for power, and the indomitable human spirit, follows the development of young Paul Atreides into the messianic MuadDib. Euan Morton imbues Paul with an effective mix of vulnerability and conviction in his destiny. Simon Vance is a stalwart anchor narrator. Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, and others contribute to an engrossing presentation. This prose is well suited to being read aloud, and this production makes the book easily accessible to newcomers and Dune fanatics. The only thing missing is a complete list of the cast members and the parts they narrate. J.E.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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