- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 21 hours and 8 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Macmillan Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: May 14, 2007
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000R34YKC
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Dune Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
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). As well as hosting titanic deadly sandworms, the desert sands feature a mysterious and narcotic spice substance known as Melange, which is central to the diet of its inhabitants, heightens powers of awareness, and is a central part of the economy. The power and value of water in this hostile sandscape environment is manifested in that shedding tears is an expression of great devotion. It becomes evident that there is a plan to rescue this planet from its barrenness and turn it into a paradise. Significantly the book is dedicated to dry land ecologists. Herbert was an accomplished ecologist himself, and one wonders whether he is expressing his own vision of the possibility of a man-achieved paradise on earth.
2. POLITICS. There is a complex interplay of people, tribes, politics and economics, with constant scheming, plots and subterfuge revolving around personal and political ambitions. Herbert has created an intricate and plausible history of tribes and peoples, with unique languages (much originating from Arabic), names and ambitions. The lust for power and wealth is combined with a determination to succeed at all costs, stopping at nothing - even murder - to achieve it. The political corruption and chaos of Dune's world is analogous to our contemporary world, as Herbert once observed in an interview: "the scarce water of Dune is an exact analog of oil scarcity. CHOAM is OPEC." Paul's triumphant leadership is also thematic. In humanizing a messiah figure, Herbert raises an important question: why do people blindly follow leaders? "Dune" conveys his theory that "superheroes are disastrous for mankind" because even the greatest leaders are human. Despite their strengths, relying completely on them is fatal.
3. RELIGION. Religion is inter-woven with politics, and centers on women, such as the powerful matriarch, the Reverend Mother. Herbert at times seems to picture religion as the manipulation of the masses by the intelligent, since the Orthodox Catholic Bible functions as a human invention rather than divine revelation. The strong religious component especially comes to the fore with Paul, a Messiah figure who fulfils prophecies, the long awaited Kwisatz Haderach who is somehow both man and god, and from whom all blessings flow. These prophecies have their own pitfalls - and are used to show the paradox of a system of predistination. The religion is a mixture of Christianity, Islam (jihad and similar Arabic words are clearly borrowed), Buddhist philosophy, and a strong eastern mystical component. Strangely, there is no active involvement of the Creator, since "the most persistent principles of the universe are accident and error." The power of the divine resides instead within oneself, and there are definite occultic overtones, such as the mention of "wierding" (a form of witchcraft), and very obvious new age Eastern spiritualism and mysticism. Herbert also makes a profound connection between technology and religion. In light of the fact that this novel was written at the hey-day of space travel and lunar landings, it is remarkable that in an appendix Herbert observes that technology and space travel affects one's view of creation. In his opinion, the god of technology and machine-logic is destined to be dethroned, and replaced with a renewed realization of the significance of man. Instead of placing hope in machines, it is to be placed in mankind. Herbert optimism about mankind is evident: a self-made paradise is attainable.
In short, Herbert has created a plausible world, reflecting his multi-faceted interests in society, culture, environment, politics, religion and science. Dune's fictional cultures (Fremen), political parties (Harkonnen, Atreides), worlds (Dune), languages, religions, customs, geography, and ecology are imaginative, realistic, and function in a rich complexity that places him in the same league as Tolkien and similar eminent writers. Though written in the 1960s, the fact that Dune is still relevant, readable and in no way outdated is a testimony to its greatness. You will find that this book has so much depth that you will not just read it once, but many times, with increasing enjoyment. So, don't hesitate, head for the sands of Dune for an unforgettable adventure!
Edit: OK, it looks like the reviews for the Kindle editions of Dune, Dune Messiah, and Children of Dune are all combined, so I can't provide separate reviews. So here's what I found:
In Dune Messiah, I noticed a total of five errors. They generally consisted of hyphens in the middle of words, or extra spaces in the middle of words.
In Children if Dune, I noticed a similar number of hyphenation or word spacing errors. At the end of the book, there was a rash of improper line breaks or quotation endings -- perhaps four of them.
I consider all three books to be perfectly readable in their current form. Personally, I do not regret buying the Kindle editions.
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."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have seen bits and pieces of Dune adaptations for many years, and always told myself that one day I would read the source...Read more