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Heretics of Dune (Dune Chronicles) Hardcover – February 3, 2009

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Product Details

  • Series: Dune Chronicles (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Hardcover (February 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441016774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441016778
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #994,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A monumental piece of imaginative architecture... indisputably magical."
-Los Angeles Herald Examiner

"Gripping...Fascinating detail, yet cloaked in mystery and mysticism."
-Milwaukee Journal

"Herbert weaves together several fascinating storylines with almost the same mastery as informed Dune, and keeps the reader intent on the next revelation or twist."
-Challenging Destiny

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.

More About the Author

Frank Herbert (1920-86) was born in Tacoma, Washington and worked as a reporter and later editor of a number of West Coast newspapers before becoming a full-time writer. His first sf story was published in 1952 but he achieved fame more than ten years later with the publication in Analog of Dune World and The Prophet of Dune that were amalgamated in the novel Dune in 1965.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Marshall on July 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A science fiction novel can bring pleasure in many ways, not least by being a good novel. A novel wants strong characters, a believable and intriguing plot (carrying you down the river like Huck Finn), maybe description of manners or society, some Dickensonian humor, or witty dialogue. Science fiction holds a few extra tricks up its sleave: it can, for example, create a world like Pandora, that so overwhelms you with its creatively imagined beauty that you forget how stilted the dialogue is, and how hokey the story. Or it can win you over with swashbuckle and humor and a few likable characters, as the original Star Wars did.

Frank Herbert is really good at interposing Machivalean politics on future worlds, the familiar within the strange that is one key to great art. His histories have a solidity and plausibility (aside from a degree of foresight in some key characters that no one in a world with so many variables could possibly manage) that show the same sort of serious craftsmanship that Tolkien engaged in. He locates the concept of seediness on another planet and time in which our "high tech" has become their "backwards:" it is almost believable.

This book however fails, in my opinion, as a novel in two ways, and as a science fiction novel in one more.

First, I don't find many of the characters very believable or attractive. The little girl, maybe. The Reverend Mothers all seem to blend into one another. Duncan Idaho is confused, then suddenly fuses with his old selves seemlessly, and is cool, but doesn't have anything to do. Teg and the little girl are Herbert's best efforts at creating interesting characters, and they succeed to some extent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gregory E. Cooper on November 11, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A Mad Man in the best sense. This book wasn't as captivating as the the first 3 Dune books, and God Emperor did drag on for a bit as did this book. But once you get to know the new characters and, of course the Duncan Idaho Dejour - the plot drew me in. I loved the Teg charachter and the witches take on a new life of their own as developing characters.
The Dune Audio books have the best readers I've ever heard - the readers are distributed throughout the reading just enough to provide a refreshing change of voice now and then.
For the die-hard Dune lovers that are debating whether or not to go on after God Emperor I'd say it's worth it. For those that thought they'd had enough after dredging through God Emperor - you may or may not want to end it there or read/listen to it again before moving on to this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bob R Bogle on May 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
[Nota Bene: As Frank Herbert's last two published novels in the Dune series, Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune, along with the unwritten Dune 7, in fact comprise a single story that happened to be divided into three parts, I'll post the same review for both of the two published volumes. This review contains no spoilers.]

During the first half of his literary career, Frank Herbert focused most on coming to terms with what it meant to be conscious. The evolution of his thinking on the subject can be traced from real-world events which happened to him in his youth, through his earliest published science fiction stories, crude as they were, and on into novels like The Dragon in the Sea and the stories that would coalesce into The Godmakers, and certainly The Santaroga Barrier and Destination: Void. This line of thinking reached its fruition in the novels Dune and Dune Messiah.

Having expanded his understanding of the full spectrum of consciousness about as far as it could go (although admittedly he never stopped tinkering with the subject), in the second half of his career Herbert refocused his attention on how the limitations imposed upon individual consciousness - or perhaps it might be better to say the limited perspective encompassing a single human lifetime - leaves humanity ill-equipped to confront an infinite and ever-changing universe. In effect we end up in a continuous crisis mode, always vainly insisting that the world of tomorrow conform to the expectations of yesterday. We're persistently and comically always shocked to discover our assumptions are wrong. Elsewhere I have described this aspect of Herbert's thinking, the human failure to deal with, or even to recognize, the implications of an unbounded universe, as an absolute-infinity breach.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mia Manns on October 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The fifth in Herbert's Dune series, Heretics sums up the shortcomings and accomplishments of the series. Long-winded and large scope, it misses the mark in creating tension for the reader, but we'll give it a break out of love. Heretics delivers on the promises made by Book 1, but do we really care anymore? Our hero Paul Atreides is long dead and his descendants are involved in a power struggle between the Bene Gesserit and the Tleilaxu. The problem is, either we don't have all of the pieces of the puzzle, or this puzzle is not complex enough to be worthy of settling the matter of universal domination.

If it comes out of nowhere that planet Rakis (formerly Arrakis or Dune) is destroyed in part of the Mother Superior's plans, it's because the solution was unforeseeable in its over-simplicity. We were looking too hard for something really clever and the simple answer went right under the radar.

I did enjoy the book in that it delivers on promises made in Dune. Paul Maud'dib has become a name of legend and we can finally understand the timelessness of that legend and the grand scope of his effect on the known universe. Dune is similar to A New Hope in that while it has an excellent stand-alone plot, it is part of a greater whole and has to be appreciated as such. Even if we agree that these introductory pieces are superior to all sequels, one is not complete without the other. That's the only merit I can see to reading Heretics of Dune - that and completing what you've started. The Golden Path is long, but once you start down it, you might as well stay through to the end.

Or you can save yourself the time and effort by reading the Wikipedia plot summary instead. Your choice.
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