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House Harkonnen (Dune: House Trilogy, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback

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Frequently Bought Together

House Harkonnen (Dune: House Trilogy, Book 2) + House Corrino (Dune: House Trilogy, Book 3) + House Atreides (Dune: House Trilogy, Book 1)
Price for all three: $21.57

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Product Details

  • Series: Prelude to Dune (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books (August 28, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553580302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553580303
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 1.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (192 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Don't even think about reading House Harkonnen without reading its predecessor Dune: House Atreides; anyone who does so risks sinking in the sands between Frank Herbert's original Dune and this prequel trilogy by Herbert's son, Brian, and Kevin J. Anderson. The purist argument that had Frank Herbert wanted to go backwards he would have done so is, at least in part, negated by the sheer narrative verve, and by the fact that Anderson and Brian Herbert manage to pull some genuine surprises out of this long-running space-opera. House Harkonnen is a massive book, and there are places where it becomes plot heavy, but in following the story of Duke Leto Atreides and the conflicts with House Harkonnen, the authors succeed in spinning a gripping adventure while going off in some unexpected directions. Anderson, who has written many successful Star Wars novels, has noted his particular admiration for The Empire Strikes Back, and his desire to emulate that film's dark take on the genre. In House Harkonnen, the conflict encompasses the tragedy of nuclear war, marked by grief and horror, vengeance and torment, and all while the complex intrigues continue to unfold. As one character puts it:

Everything has its cost. We pay to create our future, we pay for the mistakes of the past. We pay for every change we make--and we pay just as dearly if we refuse to change.

Ultimately this is the theme of a compelling game of consequences, choices, and responsibility, a study of Leto's growth into power and the price of politics and love. --Gary S. Dalkin, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Second in a triology that serves as prequel to the phenomenal Dune, this collaboration from Herbert, son of Dune creator Frank Herbert, and sf novelist Anderson investigates the legendary Harkonnen dynasty.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

The prequels just sort of read like documentaries and really don't ever get you involved all that much.
The plotting is thick as befits a Dune novel and there are many characters, but authors Herbert and Anderson juggle it all very well and it's quite a good read.
If you've gotten to this point, you've presumably read the six original Dune novels by Frank Herbert as well as the first House book.
Brandon J. Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 124 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Spann on October 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Perusing the reviews for both House Atreides and House Harkonnen it is easy to find a common current of disatisfaction. It has in fact been noted by all of the great Frank Herbert's readership that with his passing, so to went the genius behind the most imaginative and captivating science fiction series of all time. But isn't it lovely that Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson have accepted the all but impossible task of finishing the story? While neither H.A. or H.H. approach the mastery of the original Dune (deserving of 10 stars) or the philisophical complexity of God Emperor Dune (simply brilliant), they serve the story and the readers admirably by simply giving us a window into the Pre-Paul world of Arrakis. With familiar characters, explained mysteries, and a fast paced, entertaining gait, House Harkonnen is cause for the true Dune afficianado to give cheer. What's more, I recently read Dune again, and found that my further understadning of the characters gave the original series an additional depth which certainly isn't necessary, but nonetheless entirely pleasing. Naysayers will paint this book and H.A. as borrowed and simple, but in truth they reframe and carry on with all the reverenance and stylistic approximation they could possibly muster.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Thomas on December 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The biggest problem with the Dune prequels is that they do not have the engaging writing style of the originals. Of course, Frank Herbert is dead, but his son is not completely incompetant. He knows how to tell a story, and that's what "House Harkonnen" does well. You have to read "House Atreides" to understand what's going on. This book ties up some loose ends left by that book, but leaves just as many. These, I presume, will be tied up in the third prequel "House Corrino". The plot is very complicated and jumps around from character to character, but it is also engaging. You get to find out some interesting history about some of the best characters from the original series, such as the Emporer's aide Count Fenring.
"House Harkonnen" reads like one of those Star Wars novels. This makes sense, because co-author Kevin Anderson has written several Star Wars novels. His writing style (along with Brian Herbert) just doesn't fit in well with the other Dune novels, which were known for their rich style. My other big complaint with this book is that it is chock-full of torture scenes. Why? I mean, we get it - the Harkonnens are evil. Is it necessary to give all the grisly details? Frank Herbert was far more subtle and effective in portraying good vs. evil. He did not have to resort to shock value.
Still, this book is interesting, at least for its storyline and its insights into Dune's history. I think it's a worthy read for hardcore Dune fans
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Walk Softly on May 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I gave this book two stars based on its own merits plus one for the attempt. In all fairness, I don’t think anyone could continue Frank Herbert’s work with his expertise, and I’m impressed that someone tried. Were I to compare this with Frank Herbert’s work it would receive half a star. This was a quick, easy read that provided entertainment for a few hours and let me again enjoy the world of Caladan, Dune and the Atreides dukedom.
Unfortunately, the characters were shallow and the short chapters, which bounced from subplot to subplot (in fact, I don’t think there really was a plot, just lots of subplots), became tedious. Some themes, such as Duke Leto’s concubine’s disgruntlement with her status and plotting for marriage so she could be a duke’s wife and attend high court functions in full regal costume and ensure her son the dukedom (breath) were [not very good]. C’tair’s efforts to free the planet Ix from the Tleilaxu were irrelevant. I mean, who cares about Ix? The Harkonnens were well represented as a disgusting house of animals but lacked the scheming trickery for which the Baron is so well known.
I did not find the depth, political maneuvering, and religious genius here that Frank Herbert gave us. With Herbert’s books my mind was able to see everything he wrote; but with this book it was often just words and no internal pictures. There are too many discrepancies in characters and times between this book and Frank’s books.
Please, if you intend on reading Frank Herbert’s Dune series, start with Dune. Let Frank fill your mind with pictures and let him show you the harsh world of Dune and the honorable Fremen people and especially the ever-conniving Bene Gesserit. You’ll better understand the Atreides power at acquiring loyalty. Don’t go into Frank Herbert’s books with the characterizations given by this book. Come back to this later, if you like.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 19, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm a big fan of the Dune series, like most folks seem to be who've written reviews here. I was prepared to like this trilogy by Herbert's son, and really gave it the old college try.
I didn't expect the writing to be up to Herbert's standard, but even with that said, the whole book is in serious need of a firm editor's hand.
What killed it for me was finding the word "muscular" used three times on a single page to describe the same person. I suddenly realized that I couldn't waste any more time on something written this badly.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Travis Kavulla on October 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It's almost infinitely hard to match the talent of Herbert the elder; however, Brian Herbert does a good job in trying. "House Harkonnen" fills in some of those missing gaps and provides additional info that you're left wondering about if you truly love the book "Dune." It provides additional traits about the Atreides impending rise to power and offers an intensely in-depth look at some of the main characters, and also the smaller ones, like Hasimir Fenring, which are never entirely explained in the original Frank Herbert series. The series is about as addictive as melange. Although true Dune fans will certainly be disappointed, they should recognize that nothing comes close to the Elder Herbert. It's still a stimulating fast read for those that want to be labeled as true addicts.
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