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

4.5 out of 5 stars 2,889 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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,889 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I know some people who hate the movie and will not touch this book. I know a few who own and love the movie but have never read the book. I have lent DUNE to friends who could get no further than page 20 because it was too "out there" or too difficult, with its array of characters and glossary of made-up terms. But of all the people who have gotten past page 20- I don't know one who doesn't praise it among their absolute favorites. I am no exception.
I love sci-fi but don't read much of it because I prefer fantasy. DUNE feels like a perfect blend of the two. A war of noble houses set in space. Paul Atreides is heir to the duchy- and to say that he is well trained for the job would be an understatement. His father, Duke Leto, is given charge of Arrakis- a hellish desert-world and the sole source of "the spice" which the entire universe needs. A very prestigious assignment, but treachery and peril comes with it. Paul finds himself thrown into the mystery of Dune and its fierce natives, the Fremen. Is he the savior their prophecy speaks of?
I was first blown away by DUNE at the age of 16, and have since considered it "the one to beat". In 8 years, very few books have made me question that judgment: Game of Thrones, Foundation, Lord of the Rings, Ender's Game. I had to reread it to be sure I wasn't just naïve at the time. Was it really THAT great? Absolutely.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Frank Herbert's Nebula and Hugo award-winning "Dune" is widely acclaimed as the best science fiction work. And rightly so. As entertainment it's a suspenseful tale of adventure that sparkles with imaginative creativity. When the family of Paul Atreides arrives on the desert planet "Arrakis" or "Dune", they find that their goal to take over rule from the Harkonnen family is difficult to achieve. Paul faces treachery, murder, as well as the rigorous conditions of a dry and deadly planet where water is more precious than gold. It is only with the help of the mysterious battle-hardened desert tribe of Fremen, and his newly-discovered religious powers that Paul stands any chance of triumphing over the powers of evil. The plot has a complexity of layers reminiscent of Tolkien.
The sci-fi classification does not mean "Dune" is inaccessible to non-sci-fi fans, because most of the traditional sci-fi elements are either absent or mere background. Several remarkable scenes of hand to hand combat are more reminiscent of ancient Roman gladiators than of science fiction! There are weaknesses: mature themes (such as allusions to pedastry) make "Dune" unsuitable for children, and Herbert's use of language is not outstanding. But what especially makes "Dune" great is the complexity of ideas. Herbert has created not just a story, but a memorable world conveying an elaborate philosophy of ideas, with three outstanding themes:
1. ECOLOGY. Arrakis is a barren and bare planet of desert sands, with characters reminiscent of desert Arabs (Herbert studied Arabic extensively in researching for the novel).
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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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