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God Emperor of Dune (Dune Chronicles, Book 4) [Mass Market Paperback]

Frank Herbert
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)

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Book Description

More than three thousand years have passed since the first events recorded in DUNE. Only one link survives with those tumultuous times: the grotesque figure of Leto Atreides, son of the prophet Paul Muad'Dib, and now the virtually immortal God Emperor of Dune. He alone understands the future, and he knows with a terrible certainty that the evolution of his race is at an end unless he can breed new qualities into his species. But to achieve his final victory, Leto Atreides must also bring about his own downfall ...
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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?A fourth visit to Arrakis that is every bit as fascinating as the other three?every bit as timely.? ?"Time" ?Rich fare?Heady stuff.? ?"Los Angeles Times" ?Book Four of the Dune series has many of the same strengths as the previous three, and I was indeed kept up late at night.? ?"Challenging Destiny" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Frank Herbert (1920-86) was born in Tacoma, Washington and worked as a reporter and later editor of a number of West Coast newspapers before becoming a full-time writer. His first SF story was published in 1952 but he achieved fame more than ten years later with the publication in Analog of 'Dune World' and 'The Prophet of Dune' that were amalgamated in the novel Dune in 1965. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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THE THREE people running northward through moon shadows in the Forbidden Forest were strung out along almost half a kilometer. Read the first page
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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Joys and Pains of Leto II March 13 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I personally think Herbert could have ended his series here, as he manages to accomplish, with Leto Atreides II, all of the things he didn't manage with Paul. I'm going to reveal a ton of plot here, so bear with me. [Reading a review about what happens and reading the book are two different experiences, anyway, so you won't lose anything by reading what I type here.]
At the end of Children of Dune, Paul's son Leto II had merged with the "sandtrout" (larval form of the Dune sandworms) to become a super-human monster who was very close to invincible. It is speculated at the end of that book that he could live for 4,000 years. As God Emperor of Dune opens, it is 3,508 years after the events of Children, and Leto's sandtrout have transformed him into a human-sandworm hybrid, the only such animal in existence. Arrakis is now totally terraformed, and Leto has a tyrant's grip on the empire's dwindling supplies of the spice, melange.
Leto is a more powerful telepath than his father, and has the memories of all his ancestors--male and female--upon which to draw. He has become sensitive to moisture, and mostly lives in a citadel near the desert portion of Arrakis. Around him, the Bene Gesserit, the technologists of Ix, and the genetic manipulators of Bene Tleilax continue to weave their schemes in an effort to find his "secret stash" of spice.
The God Emperor has transformed society on an unprecedented level. Every world reflects the same pattern of life, and has been frozen by a ban on space travel. Only Leto's "Fish Speakers," an army composed entirely of women, are allowed free travel, and they perform the roles of conquerers and "civilizers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's sooo sloooooow. July 21 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This has to be the most tedious book I have ever attempted to read. Even by the new standards in glacial storytelling set by its predecessors, this stands out as a stupefyingly dull read. After a couple of hundred pages I was forced to start skimming, hoping against hope that something even remotely interesting was about to happen later on: it didn't. You'd have to have the boredom threshold of a slug on valium to make it all the way through this pretentious, verbose bit of authorial self indulgence.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dune, the first book in the series, was not "Great" in my estimation. The 2nd & 3rd books in the series are more solidly written, and as a result, easier to get caught up in. This particular book is fairly "thick", in that it is more overtly philosophical & theological than the previous installments. This is not to be taken that it is a struggle to get through... that is, unless you want to be!
I really believe that Herbert himself found his voice in the second in the series & had cemented, by the time he penned this book, his worldview & personal religious beliefs. As a result, there is a good deal less "self-excorcism through writing" going on in this book, but a more forceful, commanding tone to it than the previous.
If a book is measured by how many perfect sentences are in it (the average book has one if you are lucky), this one is well above average. I have noted 4 or 5 truly magnificent sentences in this book (and I am only 3/4 of the way through).
His commentaries on bureaucracies & bureacrats, for example, are brilliant.
I would recommend giving this series a 600 page grace period... the payoff is huge. By the time you hit this book, you will be completely consumed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars In service to Secher Nibw (the Golden Path)..... Jan. 14 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
....one must be willing to give up one's humanity: that is the God Emperor Leto's path as well, and we are left wondering about the multi-levelled brutality of his choice.
Herbert worked as a reporter, and it shows in the precision and compactness of his diction. He wrote dozens of novels and stories, and that shows up in the depth of his characterizations and the almost Shakespearian neatness of each scene. On that level the book is entertaining, witty, clever, alluring, and thoughtful.
It is also a novel of poignant moments. As Leto reviews his lost humanity and thrashes about, his fanatical Fish Speaker guards overhear him. "The Lord is troubled tonight," one comments. The other replies, "The problems of this universe would trouble anyone." Leto overhears them, and weeps.
His justifications for an all-female army to the macho Duncan are priceless, if rather biological, and the scene with the Tleilaxu ambassador priceless.
Previous readers (and reviewers) have wondered: what exactly is the Golden Path? I won't spoil the mystery, but I will mention this: its outcome is Siona, and what she leaves to her descendants.
Leto's tyranny is troubling. Like all tyrants, he insists on its necessity for the good of the people. That it does in fact open up the Secher Nibw still leaves us with the dilemma of a being formerly human but mutated into something else, and dominated by a past personality (Harum) known as a ruthless autocrat. But one we pity for his isolation and aloneness and the lost humanity that comes with every predatory occupation. "Your failure" (he accuses the Bene Gesserrit in a later book) "condemned me, the 'God Emperor,' to millennia of personal despair."
Yet even he has his moments of kindness and even love--and gratitude, as when he replies to a question about whether his Golden Path might fail: "Anyone and anything can fail, but good brave friends help."
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars I was disappointed
I was (and still am) a big fan of the original Dune trilogy. It captured my imagination and I could not put the books down. Read more
Published on July 13 2005 by Kevin Nelson
4.0 out of 5 stars A book made to make you think
Before I say anything, I would like to state my outright disgust of Mr. Chow's review. He is the classic example of a man who pretends to be a "intellectual" by snubbing... Read more
Published on July 14 2004 by SystemStructure
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Of all the Dune books so far, this one reads the slowest. You can easily skim past paragraphs and not miss much except for descriptions gone on too long and philosophical babble,... Read more
Published on May 22 2004 by S.
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST OF ALL DUNE BOOKS
God Emperor of DUNE is by far the best of all the DUNE books. The Plot, the character development and the sheer scope of Herbert's imagination. Read more
Published on April 23 2004 by Heidi Fowlkes
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Of All DUNE Books.
God Emperor of DUNE is by far the best of all the DUNE books. The Plot, the character development and the sheer scope of Herbert's imagination. Read more
Published on April 23 2004 by Heidi Fowlkes
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a fine piece of literature
Everyone should have a chance to read the dune books. Sci-fi fan or not it coalesce's religion,ecology,politics,philosophy and even moral guidelines into one long stretch of epic... Read more
Published on March 3 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW
This is quite possibly my favorite book of all time. I have never read a book with a larger scope. The series encompasses thousands of years and thousands of light years and this... Read more
Published on Feb. 29 2004 by Matt
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the pinnacles of human creativity!
This is the fourth of the magnificent dune chronicles.It is amazing that the first three were masterpieces ,but this borders on something even greater,a book of nearly divine... Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2004 by B. Braughton
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best book outside the first Dune
This is where you first really get that the main character has changed from an Atreides to Duncan. It is a hard sell at first for Dune fans, but it pays off for Herbert in the end... Read more
Published on Dec 15 2003 by Steven M. Balke Jr.
4.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing read
The fourth book in the Dune series picks up several thousand years in the future where the third book left off. Read more
Published on Dec 1 2003 by Derrick Testa
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