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Whipping Star Hardcover – June, 1970


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Putnam Pub Group; First Edition edition (June 1970)
  • ISBN-10: 0399108610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399108617
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,866,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Scott Brick narrates this classic piece of science fiction with his usual excellence. The world of the novel is rich and detailed, and Brick is no stranger to readings of this type." ---AudioFile
--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.
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Customer Reviews

And well written!
Marie Summers
I first read this in high school, to see what Frank Herbert had written besides 'Dune.'
Scott A. Conroe
This book is due for re-release in January.
M. D Schneider

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. D Schneider on November 25, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Once the Dune series reached the fourth book it was apparent that the main goal was to exploit the success of the first three. I sought out other Herbert works and found Whipping Star, (As well as the Dosadi Experiment), to be the equal of the classic series. The creative energy behind the beings, worlds and storylines here was so engaging that I reached a level of absorption in the story I rarely experience. Although the scope is certainly not equal to the Dune universe, the vivid imagery and peculiar characters make for escapism at it's best. This book is due for re-release in January. Buy it new or used and be prepared for some highly persistent images in your mind.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is the first book, though third story, in the ConSentiency Universe. In this Universe, the wheels of democratic-government run so efficiently, so well, that laws are created, discussed, and passed in a matter of hours. You could imagine where this could be a bad thing (James Madison sure did, this is the ultimate Madisonian-nightmare). In lieu of the bureaucratic red tape to prevent society from doing ill-thoughtout things like passing bad laws, the ConSentiency created the Bureau of Sabotage (BuSab). It's best agent? Jorj X. McKie, Saboteur Extraordinaire, and the main character.

This book, in particular, is about the Caleban. A race that offered the other sentient races a means of travel through a "jumpdoor" to virtually anywhere in the galaxy. Without thinking of any consequences, the government agreed. This had the unknown effect of essentially linking everyone to the Caleban. So if one Caleban died (they are apparently immortal otherwise)... everyone who had used that Caleban's jumpdoor dies or goes utterly insane. Through some social norms, legal contracts, and other contractual issues, a Caleban comes under the control of the main villain. This contracts allows the Caleban to be whipped to death.

McKie needs to find a way to save the last Caleban. Unfortunately, this falls beyond the scope of BuSab's stated mission. While it can take action to stop government... it cannot take action against a private citizen. Therein lies of the dilemma.

So, it's a story about bureaucracy, the need for checks and balances, and laws. Very different from Herbert's other works. There's a strange emotional plot involved between McKie and the last Caleban (which is essentially a star as that is their visible manifestation) that makes for more intrigue.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Z. Dodds on June 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This story picks up the life of saboteur extraordinary Jorj X. Mckie. He is sent on a mission to save all sentient life in the universe. On this mission he meets and befriends a calaban, a strange multi-dimensional creature who radiates emotion and bleeds purple sparks.
Most of the story is taken up with jumbled conversations between Mckie and the calaban named Fannie Mae. It is at times confusing and for some is enough to put the book down forever, but the diligent reader will be rewarded with a downright heartwarming tale.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Enjolras TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
From the description of Whipping Star, it sounds more like an investigative thriller. However, it seems more like a study of individual madness and sadism. The galaxy is threatened by a wealthy sadist woman who wants to inflict pain without causing suffering. In order to do this, she finds an alien species who cannot feel pain. However, the death of that alien could unexpectedly lead to the death of all sentient life.

As other reviewers have noted, this book isn't like Dune. It doesn't have the same mythic story or characters. Whereas Dune is more of a great saga in the lines of Lord of the Rings, Whipping Star is more like classic sci-fi. It has some original and interesting plot twists (such as a bureaucracy dedicated to limiting democratic governance), but ultimately probably won't please fans who like the epic qualities of Dune.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 4, 1997
Format: Hardcover
A Celedon has entered into a bizzare contract with a female sadist in order to understand life in our demension. The sadist has been brainwashed by the authorities not to inflict pain. The Celedon has no concept of pain and therefore is a perfect victim for the sadist. However, these sadistic actions will cause it to cease to exist. The Celedon has asked for Mckie's help to find loophole in the ironclad contract before the it and our universe cease to exist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on January 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
In the future mankind has met several alien species; forging the ConSentiency alliance to govern interrelationships. However, to control the dictatorship of perfect democracy run by bureaucrats, a top secret agency was formed. The mission of the Bureau of Sabotage (BuSab) is to cause problems for the ConSentiency government and its bureaucracies to fumble in reaction to their tossed figurative hand grenades with exclusions granted to individuals and to those agencies considered critical to everyone's well being.

Someone is whipping stars; killing them. Now this sadist is targeting a star whose death will have consequences throughout the galaxy and probably the universe. When a Caleban beach ball lands on a remote planet, BuSab sends its best troublemaker Agent Jorj X. McKie to communicate with the life essence living inside; no sentient race has been able to communicate with the Caleban. Likewise the Caleban have tried also. They need help to save the universe from a bad legally bound contract they signed with a human sadist Miss Abnethe. The Caleban have become her victims of pain and death based on the contract. They need McKie to find a way out of the binding contract before the universe is whipped to death by Miss Abnethe.

This is a reprint of a 1970 science fiction thriller that seems so timely with the economy freefall while extracting moral objectivism to the extreme. Amusing and satirical, fans will enjoy McKie's efforts to save the universe in between his divorce proceedings while trying not to become a masochistic victim of the wealthy sadist destroying the universe one Caleban whip at a time.

Harriet Klausner
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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.

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