Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
Dune (Penguin Galaxy) Hardcover – October 25, 2016
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
“One of the coolest gifts you can get for your favorite sci-fi geek . . . You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but these new Penguin Galaxy hardcovers make it really hard.” —Gizmodo
“Serious science fiction and fantasy readers cannot resist the classics. . . . That’s what makes the Penguin Galaxy series so appealing. . . . Each of the novels here has earned their place in the halls of literary history. . . . Their small form factor and minimalist covers call out to readers and make them fun to read all over again.” —Kirkus Reviews
“With daily reminders of the intensifying effects of global warming, the specter of a worldwide water shortage, and continued political upheaval in the oil-rich Middle East, it is possible that Dune is even more relevant now than when it was first published.” —The New Yorker
“One of the monuments of modern science fiction.” —Chicago Tribune
“A perfect, self-contained work of science fiction [with] a powerful ecological message and a reminder to its readers that their actions will have profound consequences for generations yet unborn.” —The New York Times
“Unique . . . I know nothing comparable to it except Lord of the Rings.” —Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey
About the Author
Frank Herbert (1920–1986) published more than twenty-five books, including five Dune sequels. 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. His son Brian Herbert continues to co-author new books in the Dune saga.
Neil Gaiman (series introduction) is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books for readers of all ages, including American Gods, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, The Graveyard Book, Coraline, and the Sandman series of graphic novels. He is Professor in the Arts at Bard College.
Brian Herbert (afterword) is the eldest son of Frank Herbert. He has co-authored numerous New York Times bestsellers in the Dune series and has written many critically acclaimed novels of his own. His biography of his father, Dreamer of Dune, was a finalist for the Hugo Award.
Alex Trochut (cover designer) is an award-winning artist, graphic designer, illustrator, and typographer. He has designed for The New York Times, The Guardian, Nike, Adidas, The Rolling Stones, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi and was nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award for Best Recording Package. Born in Barcelona, Spain, he lives in Brooklyn.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The novel's world is Machiavellian. The motivation of virtually every character is a lust for power. It is a crude lust in that there is no detailed vision of what purpose such power could serve. Indeed, there is no vision of what constitutes a good life. Without enemies, the characters lose all direction - if they are not openly fighting each other, then at the very least they must fight the elements, as embodied by the eponymous planet, Dune. The characters, while differentiated in some ways, share the premiss that the purpose of conversation is to manipulate the interlocutor; practical intelligence is measured by the ability to hide one's own intentions, while discovering those hidden by the other party - this secrecy implies that most intentions are intrinsically hostile. By sharing these assumptions, the characters lose their individuality, and paradoxically their struggles lose their potency, since it is not a clash of opposites (despite the superficial, and very well drawn, differences in dress, background, and supernatural abilities). Those characters who do not personally engage in such tendentious discussion ally themselves unreflectively with one party or another - and they generally express their allegiance through overt violence - these characters too fail to individuate themselves, all falling into the role of the loyal lackey. This is a world informed by "The Prince", Nietzsche, and Hobbes.
There is little or no scientific curiosity displayed by any character, nor is such curiosity venerated. It is really a misnomer to term this book science fiction - it has far more in common with medieval fantasy stories. The disciplines of body and mind at which the central characters excel would not be out of place in an Asian martial arts tale. Technology is limited and it is a given - what is mentioned has the status of an artisan craft, such as the Fremen skills in manufacturing clothing. Knowledge comes from revelation, or is passed from generation to generation - it is not earned through rational enquiry and experimental method.
Similarly, the arts are at best sources of brief diversion. As a token, the man Halleck strums a stringed instrument and recites appalling poetry. Aside from him virtually no mention is made of literature, the visual arts, music, or philosophy.
Blood ties win out over any more universal sense of morality. Allied to this are themes of overt eugenics. This ugly emphasis on genes and family loyalties speaks of the tale's respect for, if not implicit endorsement of, social Darwinism - a theory dangerous in its rampant oversimplification of real society. It is the kind of thinking which recalls that of the Nazis.
Religion is dealt with in a dismissive way. Yes, there is the appropriation of many terms from Islam, and the depiction of rituals borrows from Christianity and elsewhere, but all this is implied to be a means to an end. The Bene Gesserit "Sisterhood" implant legends, religious in flavour, so as to facilitate their "breeding program". Paul looks to his status as deity as a means to secure political power, and to inspire violence (which becomes uncontrollable, and this lack of control he admittedly regrets up to a point). This is a very instrumental and cynical view of religion. It very much neglects a more general sense of wonder and amazement at our existence which, more optimistically, fills the spirit of religion.
The protagonist Paul Atreides is horribly solipsistic. Ok, so he's the Messiah, but he doesn't have to believe his own publicity. He can see the future, but he has great trouble empathizing with anyone - compared with his overarching ambitions, the lives and desires of others seem at best trivial, and at worst invisible. This solipsism is married to a kind of determinism, or, if you like, fatalism - in making decisions he has a very limited choice, and the making at times feels more like the toss of the coin than a willed act. Possibly Herbert had read Sartre and was impressed by the Existentialist notion of radical choice - Sartre writes of a being attaining Messianic status, or perfection, and being faced with only one last authentic choice: that of self-annihilation. This is truly a bleak vision, and one deeply disrespectful of the reality of other lives and the interconnectednes of them too.
Unsurprisingly, given all the above presumptions, the world of Dune is unremmittingly humourless. There is deadly earnestness hanging over everything. Life is nasty, brutish, and tediously prolonged. It's a shame that a movie version of this wasn't made in the 60's, directed by Jonathan Miller, with Dudley Moore as Paul, and Peter Cook as Stilgar; Peter Sellars would make an outstanding Jessica, and possibly Peter Ustinov could be stuffed into a worm-suit...having finished reading this book the two things I imagine most readers would need would be a glass of water and a good laugh.
First, let's start with the good: The setting of Arrakis is cool. So much for the good.
On the bad side, we have uniformly unappealing, sterotypical characters. We have utterly plain, unlyrical, and occasionally incomprehensible writing that belongs in a middle school literary journal, not in a published novel. Worst of all, it seems like fully half this book consists of the internal thoughts of the characters. Where's the "show, don't tell" concept that everyone learns on the first day of creative writing class? This book is 450 pages of "tell" and 50 pages of "show."
Finally, if you haven't read this monstrosity yet, here's a paragraph from the book to show you the kind of writing you're missing: "This realization returned a small measure of confidence, and again she ventured to focus on the psychokinesthetic extension, becoming a mote-self that searched within her for danger." Writing of this quality speaks for itself.
This is a nicely put together edition, though there are a few editting errors here and there (three I can think of off the top of my head) and any fan of the Dune series, I think, would be pleased with having a copy.
The story itself is well written and it is clear that Frank Herbert took great pains into the creation of his universe and the concepts behind the spice and worms, the Empire and the Fremen, the Guild and space travel, and the rivalry and intrigues between the Houses Atreides and Harkonnen.
*** Possible Spoilers Beyond ***
Unfortunately, the end was rather anti-climatic. Yes, there was a big battle at the end, but all the Baron Harkonnen's plans fell flat and there was not struggle of any sort between him and Paul Atreides. I wanted to see Paul counter the Baron's treachery, not have the emperor come in and squash everything.
Also, the last fight with Feyd-Rautha, and the threat to Paul seemed forced and exaggerated. Up to that point, Paul had become Maud'Dib, the uncontested top fighter of the entire Fremen people, who themselves were the best fighters in all that universe. Feyd-Rautha, though a decent fighter, fought nothing more than drugged slaves. An Atreides common soldier nearly took him down. Paul should have been able to dispatch him with barely any effort, yet everyone was afraid for him. Why?
Another thing that greatly lessened Paul's character (apart from his coldness) was his need to know what the future held before he was willing to make any decision. (Not to mention the arrogance in that he felt he should be making decisions about the fate of teh entire human race.) "Dune" has often been called "The Lord of the Rings of Sci-Fi", and to a degree, I agree, with regards to the richness and depth of the world created. The characters, however, are sorely lacking when compared to LOTR. The heroes of that saga never faltered in doing what was right, regardless of whether or not they thought they could succeed. But then, LOTR was intended to show the virtue of heroes, while the Dune saga aims to rip heroes down. (A theme seen more clearly as the series progresses. I'd personnally advise, if you wish to read more, to end at "Children of Dune".)
Final thought, in keeping to the LOTR comparison, no character in Dune would have ever thought to destroy the Ring.
Personally, I think the story would have been more enjoyable if Paul had more of his Father Leto's compassion and value for his men and was more confident. I'd rather see him confident in his values rather than trying to follow some perfect future he is trying to (literally) envision.