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Hellstrom's Hive Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The human characterizations are wonderful: Herbert lets his characters live through all 5 senses in such a way that you will feel immersed in the universe of this book. You will smell fear, sexual excitement and hopeful wafts of fresh air. He also hits it right with his characters observational abilities in this book, and makes the reader wish to keep his own observations equally keen.
The plot is rich, and the tension escalates all the way through the book. Who will survive? Who will escape? Who will be caught out? A surprise ending has you feel the book end with a spasm of tension rather than the release you would have expected.
This book, written long before genetic manipulation and cloning was a reality, is scarier than ever. The insect-humans in this novel are cunning yet totally without the human reactions we would consider "normal." This makes for some very disgusting scenes in "Hellstrom's Hive" and is possibly why this book has not yet been re-released along with the other Herbert novels that were out of print.
But if you can get past some of the more chilling aspects of "Hellstrom's Hive" you are in for a real thriller. No one can write about smells, sights, tastes, and all aspects of the senses, combined with exciting action better than Frank Herbert. This book will stay with you. If you like a bit of horror in your sci-fi, this is for you.
The book serves two purposes. First, it is an explanation of what such a society as the hive would look like. Humans living as insects have none of the inhibitions that normal humans have. Such inhibitions are contrary to the functioning of such a society. The result of such a group where all minds are directed toward specific purposes has led to some rather startling new technologies that represent a threat to the world.
Second, it is a parallel of the cold war. The hive, with their lack of individuality and the belief that the whole is far more important than any individual, represents communism. The "good guys" are investigating the loss of their agents within the area, upon which they learn of the hive. I place good guys in quotations as the characters in the story belong to a secret ageny that manipulates the USA from behind the scenes (obviously, Herbert had a low opinion of the US as well). Project 40 clearly symbolizes the concept of mutual assured destruction that was central to the cold war.
The book doesn't have much of an ending. Events seemingly come to a halt for no reason with a number of plot points left unresolved. This is acceptable given the nature of the novel. The point of the book is the exploration of this hive society, which is done with great detail. Worth the read if you are into reading about strange (and disturbing) worlds.
After the success of the film, Frank Herbert appropriated the character of Nils Hellstrom and constructed an elaborate back-story that forms the basis of the book. Hellstrom is shown not only to be a documentary film-maker, but also the leader of a secret community of humans that have chosen to pattern their society after social insects. They do this believing their choice will eventually be the salvation of the human race, and that the "wild outsider" human society will eventually self destruct. For centuries the Hive has existed in secret, waiting for they day it will inherit the earth.
The plot revolves around a secret government agency that discovers evidence linking Hellstrom to a powerful weapon. Attempting to learn more, the agency sends spies to Hellstrom's farm, ignorant of the human hive that it conceals. Eventually the two groups come into conflict.
In my opinion, this is Herbert's best work outside his Dune novels. He does several interesting things with the story. The Hive can be viewed as a surrogate for any insular group that rejects conventional society.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was one of the books I remember getting from a book club years ago. I really couldn't even remember what it was about. Just that I really liked it. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
Insects. They're everywhere, and they've been here longer than we have. Maybe they'll be here after we're long gone. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Jim
I've read it before. Just as gripping the second time. Herbert is a master of Sci Fi and this speculative story about hive minds applied to human beings is no exception.Published 23 months ago by Kimberly Ward
A bit dated now but an interesting (if somewhat unlikely) premise that was well developed and very well written. Well paced, well developed characters, good build-up in the action.Published 23 months ago by John Willoughby
A lot of Herbert's themes you see in Dune are touched on in Hellstrom's Hive. Although a little dated, still a good readPublished on July 22, 2013 by RB
I have always liked the `Dune' series of books, and during periods between publications looked out for other lesser known books by Frank Herbert. Read morePublished on May 30, 2013 by Susman
There really isn't much positive I can say about this. I was very interested because I enjoy Frank Herbert's ecological emphasis, and I'm a biologist by training. Read morePublished on November 3, 2012 by JMX
I read this for second time, and the first time I got it at a used book store. It was actually different. I remember how the "old" book started, and how it ended. Read morePublished on October 21, 2012 by bno
Frank Herbert (1920-1986) wrote his masterpiece "Dune" (1965), generating a recognizable turning point in sci-fi literature. Read morePublished on August 21, 2010 by Maximiliano F Yofre