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Dune Messiah (The Dune Chronicles, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – July 15, 1987

4.1 out of 5 stars 438 customer reviews
Book 2 of 8 in the Dune Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1965 Frank Herbert published Dune. After it was heralded as a masterpiece of science fiction, he wrote the briefer Dune Messiah in 1969, concentrating eponymously on Paul Atreides, and then, sensing the sales potential, added sequels. They were continued by his son, culminating in the just published finale, Sandworms of Dune. Now, 38 years after its publication, four narrators capture Dune Messiah on discs, while listeners, with no glossary, try to recall the meaning of its esoteric nomenclature. The audio gets off to a lively start as the book opens with nearly all conversation, playing up the camaraderie between the narrators who have partnered on several other readings of classic sci-fi novels. While the cast works well together, some of the male narrators emphasize a stately dullness. Kellgren, the sole feminine voice, supplies real emotion and a true sense of awe. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Review

"Brilliant...it is all that Dune was, and maybe a little more".

-- Galaxy Magazine

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Product Details

  • Series: Dune (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (July 15, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441172695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441172696
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (438 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dune Messiah suffers in the general consensus from being plot-driven and extremely complex; for readers who take the time and effort to delve into its themes and characters, it is one of the greatest sci-fi books of all time. Messiah is not so much a sequel to Dune as it is a companion; it is impossible to fully understand the themes, motivations, and implications of the original Dune (or any of the others, even) without reading and comprehending Dune Messiah. Herbert takes his average hero from the first book and shapes him into a realistic, faulted human -- ironic considering Paul's decidedly abnormal powers. Finally, we see Muad'dib as he really is: torn by his position as emperor, cursed by his vision of the future, yet still capable of his duties to kingdom and family. His ultimate fate sums up a masterful, twisted analogy to the life of Christ. This is also the incredible origin of Duncan...the Duncan you will come to know throughout the other books. Messiah is not for the faint of heart though. If you can't handle a lot of philosophy, just keep walking. Some points in Dune Messiah are so profound that I had to quit reading and just spend a couple minutes thinking about what Herbert means. What a rare treat that is; I can honestly say that Dune Messiah changed the way I think about things, about life. If you give it a chance, it may just do the same for you.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first time a read Dune: Messiah I was more than a little disappointed. By when I re-read Dune I also re-read Dune: Messiah. This was the first time I'd read them back-to-back, and I realized that Dune: Messiah was actually the conclusion to Dune and not a seperate book. As a stand alone book it's barely passable, as a sequal it's worth 3-stars, but as the fourth part of the first book it's a perfect conclusion. Dune was divided into 3 parts (called books) and the last ends with a nice Hollywood ending. Dune: Messiah shows the real conclusion to Paul's Life and the real consequences of his actions in the rest of the book. I think Herbert had to end the first book with Paul on top of the Universe because that is what reader's want, but Messsiah is a more somber look at what it means to have power. After I had re-read Dune and Dune: Messiah, I came across used cliff notes for Dune, and I noticed that it had an essay which treated to two books as one and compared them to a Greek epic pointing out that Greek epics didn't end when the hero was on top, but continued to the end of the hero's life. With the inclusion of Dune: Messiah, Dune now tells us the complete story of Paul's life, and what an incredible story it is. Do not read this book, rather read Dune and this book together.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of the problems with a sequel is that it must contend with the preconceptions of readers, who have ideas about where the plot should go. Never mind what the author thinks, thank you very much. In this case, the handicap is what we think Should Happen to Paul after all he's gone through in Dune. Isn't this the time for them to ride off into the sunset? It would be really great to think that he is a wonderful guy, marries Chani and lives happily ever after. A lot of the reviews of this second volume in the encyclopedic Dune series seem to yearn for it. Sorry, we have to disappoint you.
Imagine for a moment that you are the son of a pretty influential guy, that you are pretty happy in your present home, and dad's boss sends him on a wild goose chase after a fortune, hoping, no Planning, that you fail, in order that he can secure a fortune, kill your whole family, and discredit your name forever. Now imagine that you narrowly escape, head off to exile where you are treated with suspicion, alternately an outsider and then as a god. In taking your revenge, you acquire the most important commodity in the universe, and you acquire the status of cult hero living god and emperor of the universe. Do you really think that you would be Mr. Nice Guy after all that?
If one looks at Dune in this light, what happens in this sequel, Dune Messiah seems right. Your relcuctant bride, Irulan, is sure to be bitter, and want only to be the bearer of the next emperor. If you are Bene Geserit, you would do anything to interfere with Paul. If you are from one of the conquered worlds, you very likely not be happy about this bitter guy being emperor. If you are of the spacing guild you won't be happy about him having control of the spice.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read Dune over three years ago, and naturally I loved it. When I tried to read Dune Messiah I couldn't, I found it boring, and felt that the main character was now too old.
Recently, I reread Dune and continued on through to Dune Messiah, reading both in only two weeks.
Dune Messiah is really just a continuation of the first, and it delivers a 'triumphant tragedy' that is makes a fitting end to the life of a Messiah.
Paul is thirty now (not very old at all), and the Jihad he feared so much is serving the purpose it is supposed to, mingling the genes of humanity and ending the stagnation that existing under the old Imperial system. He has been made both an Emporer and a God, and Alia leads his religion. Pilgrims come in their thousands to Arrakis to experience his Holyness.
However, there are many who plot against him. The Bene Gesserit wish to destroy Paul before he has the chance to establish an Atreides dynasty and regain the precious genes they worked so hard to create. The Fremen long for the old ways when water was precious and Arrakis was theirs. The Bene Tleilax want to gain a kwisatz haderach they can control, and the priests of Maud'Dib's own religion wish to make a martyr of him.
And with his prescience, Paul sees disaster for all man kind unless he follows one set path of the future, but is he willing to pay the price that comes with that future?
The plots that surround Paul are intriguing in their own right, but more intriguing is the development of Paul himself. Or rather, Paul's realisation that what he has created leads to its own stagnation.
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