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Dune Mass Market Paperback – Unabridged, September 1, 1990
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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 the Hardcover edition.
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.
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Top customer reviews
Frank's world of Dune which I'm still continuing to explore is very well defined, he made much effort at providing credible backstory to transport the reader to this future. Early on the book delves into some of the events separating our Earth from now with this future. He's also included appendices in the vein of Tolkein to round out the details of the world, with glossaries of unique terminology and an incredible (for fiction) history of the religious politics that shaped this future.
I've always been daunted by the book for two reasons:
1. The length
2. The fact that I am not a typical science fiction reader.
Fortunately, I took the time to read this book and once I got past the first several pages, I was enthralled with the writing.
Like most great science fiction, Frank Herbert uses science fiction to make a larger point about the world we live in. In this case, he is talking about the environment and the need to preserve and take care of the world we live in and how precious its resources are.
The fact that it isn't done in a heavy handed way is testament to Hebert's ability and vision for the story.
In 1984 David Lynch brought Dune to the big screen with a mixed degree of success. Naturally he had to do some serious trimming of the sprawling novel in order to encapsulate it in a movie. He also made some marked changes to the story. I read this novel again for three reasons: 1) Because it's a favorite of mine; 2) as a precursor to watching the Sci-Fi Channel's six-hour Dune mini-series; and 3) Frank Herbert's son, Brian Herbert, in collaboration with seasoned writer Kevin J. Anderson, has written a trilogy of prequels to the Dune saga and I want to have the story fresh in my mind when I read the first of them, DUNE: HOUSE ATREIDES.
I have read five of the six Dune novels in Frank Herbert's series. The second, DUNE MESSIAH continues the story of Paul Atreides, but is otherwise unremarkable. The third, CHILDREN OF DUNE, is a tale with Paul's children as the protagonists. The fourth is GOD EMPEROR OF DUNE, and was my least favorite, as it was heavy on philosophy and short on action. The fifth is HERETICS OF DUNE which I barely remember and it is set thousands of years after the events of the first three books. Some liken HERETICS to the style of the first book and I plan on reading it again. The sixth book in the series is called CHAPTERHOUSE: DUNE and purportedly picks up where HERETICS leaves off. I'll read it after I finish re-reading HERETICS OF DUNE.
A note from the official Dune Novels site: "Shortly before his death, Frank Herbert had begun work on DUNE 7, and he had discussed writing possible future DUNE projects with Brian. Because of the beautiful and moving dedication to Beverly Herbert, Brian's mother, in CHAPTERHOUSE, for ten years Brian felt that the story should stop there, even though the last novel ends on a cliffhanger. In 1996, though, two safe deposit boxes were discovered that Frank Herbert had sealed before his death. Inside those boxes, Brian discovered the full and complete outline for DUNE 7, the final DUNE novel Frank Herbert had intended to write, which wraps up all the story threads from the previous six books.
Brian and Kevin do intend to write DUNE 7, but it will not be the next project in line. Due to the complexity of the outline, many things need to be established in earlier novels, and it also seems fitting that DUNE 7 should be the last Dune novel published."
And you will finally understand why "The Spice Must Flow."
(Disclaimer: That quote isn't in this book. But reading it will make it make sense.)