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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired me to write an essay on it
Dune is one of the deepest science fiction books of its time, you'd never really guess that it was written about 50 years ago. It tells of a boy named Paul who is destined to become the religious leader of the Fremen, the native dwellers of Arrakis. The politics and religious aspect in Dune are very well balanced and the characters are quite realistic for a sci-fi. If...
Published on June 13 2004 by Sera

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the future from the past
I enjoyed this book quite a lot but for me it fell short of the `masterpiece' hype that surrounds it. There is drama, tension and mystery. But the characters were not fully created. The main character, Paul Atreides, is treated in heroic terms, and doesn't seem completely real to me. But perhaps I was asking too much. It is well worth reading, just as a classic of the...
Published on June 30 2012 by killincarrig


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired me to write an essay on it, June 13 2004
By 
Sera (Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dune (Mass Market Paperback)
Dune is one of the deepest science fiction books of its time, you'd never really guess that it was written about 50 years ago. It tells of a boy named Paul who is destined to become the religious leader of the Fremen, the native dwellers of Arrakis. The politics and religious aspect in Dune are very well balanced and the characters are quite realistic for a sci-fi. If you're into sci-fi or not, you really should read this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable Science Fiction, Sept. 11 2002
This review is from: Dune (Mass Market Paperback)
One of the greatest science fiction epics ever written. This book has it all: mind-expanding drugs, human computers, political intrigue, interstellar economics, and big-... worms. The reader should take from this book a sense of grandness of scale. The messianic fervor of the Fremen, the calculated patience of the Bene Gesserit eugenics program, the ecological ambition of Liet Kynes, and the universal-historical vision of the Quisatz Haderach, all ought to awaken us to the necessity and danger of human activity on the universal-historical timescale. That is the scale on which we all operate, whether we know it or not. Some of the themes in this book, which was written in the mid-1960's, foreshadow the adolescent field of chaos theory. In particular, the notion that seemingly insignificant local events can have calamitous effects on future history is analogous to the butterfly effect. Also, Herbert's conception of prophecy as a probability tree branching infinitely through time enjoys some endorsement from quantum physics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's an absolutely wonderful, engrossing book., Feb. 16 2010
By 
RobinSong (Richmond Hill, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dune (Hardcover)
Dune is a wonderful book. It completely engrosses the reader, giving one an experience similar to the one which the human characters experience in the Avatar film when they are inside the world of their avatars on the planet. When you stop reading, it's like coming out of the avatar pod into the real world, you can't wait to enter the world of dune again. Dune is also a fascinating study of desert ecology, water conservation, and how desert dwellers (including humans) adapt to their environment. It is also a reprimand to humanity for becoming too dependant on technology, robotics (robots) and machinery, and forgetting how to take care of themselves. As well as a lesson that teaches us that city dwellers have become estranged from the environment (nature) and became maladapted to surviving, to say nothing of living outside their cities with all their environmental and plush residential fluff. (while reading this review, mind that the book was originally published in 1965, Herbert seems to have foreseen the ecological problems, and technological advances of today!) Dune
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Continuation..., July 16 2004
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Amazon Customer "s_mccrea" (Henderson, NV United States) - See all my reviews
but strangely short--given the first book's gargantuan size. The book also seems as tho' it didn't have Herbert's full attention. He seemed tacitly to admit this once when he said that "parts of Children of Dune were written before Dune was finished." It also suffers from the fact that it was first serialized in a SF magazine. It seems as tho' it were "remixed" after the fact.
Although Herbert continues to use the Prophet Mohammad's life as a scaffolding for his story, he departs widely from the Koran's account while still retaining an essentially Arab flavor to the story. (These books are, by the way, incredibly popular in the Muslim world.)
Those minor criticims aside, the story continues towards its headlong conclusion in the Golden Path. To say much more would spoil it for the uninitiated. If you liked Dune, read this one just to get to "Children" and, the piece de resistance, "God Emperor of Dune" where Herbert's mastery becomes complete and the Golden Path is revealed to us in all its terrible majesty.
The last two books before cancer and grief killed him were almost after thoughts. After Leto II, what was there to say?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic Masterpiece, Feb. 7 2008
By 
Harrison Koehli (Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dune (Mass Market Paperback)
Not much more can be said about this book than has already been said. I finally read it after countless recommendations and putting it off for years. I was skeptical that it would be as good as everyone said it is, but it is. Frank Herbert shows himself to be a keen observer of human nature, political intrigue and conspiracy, religion, and the depths and variations of human emotion. His characters are believable and range from psychopathic and ruthless, to morally weak and conformist, to courageous and authentic. Complex, expansive, moving, and exceedingly well written. I can't wait to finish the series.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not LOTR, No, definately not. It's much better., Oct. 14 2006
By 
Steven W. Williams (Kitakami, Iwate, Japan) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dune (Mass Market Paperback)
I will surely burn but I have to say it; "DUNE" stands head and shoulders above LOTR. LOTR is good but it is predictable. Dune has much more detailed and it's scope wider. Certainly, "Dune" is the harder read but much more worthwhile. This book digs much deeper into the nature of humanity, its goals, its weaknesses, strengths, and the nature of religions.

Comparing the books is, however, like comparing apples to oranges. Yes, they are both fruits, both are round-ish, both are tasty, and both grow on trees but they are very different. One book is about a quest and the battle between good and evil. The other is about the battle between humans who are both good and evil at the same time. It is a book about "wheels within wheels" that exist in each of our natures and in our society. Dune is amazing and worthy of reading twice or three times to see the layers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the future from the past, June 30 2012
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This review is from: Dune (40th Anniversary Edition) (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book quite a lot but for me it fell short of the `masterpiece' hype that surrounds it. There is drama, tension and mystery. But the characters were not fully created. The main character, Paul Atreides, is treated in heroic terms, and doesn't seem completely real to me. But perhaps I was asking too much. It is well worth reading, just as a classic of the genre.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but perhaps not the "supreme masterpiece" it's so often labelled, March 8 2014
This review is from: Dune (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a long review, but Frank Herbert’s Dune is a long, rich book, and there’s a lot one can discuss.

For a few years I shied away from science fiction, probably because my main exposures to SF were poorly-written franchise novels. Recently, though, I discovered how rich and reflective "good" SF can actually be, and with this in mind I decided to tackle Herbert's Dune, which, as it says on its cover, is often hailed as "science fiction's supreme masterpiece".

The novel itself is divided into three Books that tell the story of Paul Atreides, heir to his father, Duke Leto Atreides. Originally, the Duke is governor of the planet Caladan, but is transferred to the desert planet Arrakis by his political rival the Baron Harkonnen. The move is ostensibly a promotion; the deserts of Arrakis are a vital and valuable source of spice, a potent but addictive substance that grants its users a kind of prescience and heightened mental activity. Of course, the Baron has ulterior motives, and much of the first Book deals with the Atreides family fending off his assassination attempts in the chaos of the move. Ultimately, despite their best efforts at security, the Atreides are betrayed from the inside, and a Harkonnen assault on the Atreides compound results in the capture and later the death of the Duke, and the re-establishment of a Harkonnen government on Arrakis. Paul and his mother, the Lady Jessica, escape into the desert, ending Book I.

What follows in the next two Books is the story of Paul’s life among the desert natives the Fremen—who come to accept him as some kind of demigod figure—his rise to a leader within their ranks, and, through some political maneuvering, a well-placed nuclear explosion, and a vicious ultimatum, to the heir of the galactic Imperial throne.

Aside from the story itself, Dune is well known for its ‘world-building’. The universe is rich with detail and history, some of which is included in appendices. Herbert’s style in this regard seems to be to mention many of these details somewhat off-hand, as if they were well-known within the universe. While this may frustrate some, it would feel like the immersion was weakened if the author stopped to explain every small detail. If this in-universe style is too much, there is also a thorough glossary of terms included. Moreover, while I haven’t read any of the sequels, it is obvious that there is a sprawling backstory (and future) to the events of Dune, especially the potential to delve into the various organizations in the universe, including the various Great Houses, the Imperial government, and the mysterious Bene Gesserit order. The latter brings me to my primary complaint with the book, and that is the essentially magic powers exhibited by both Paul and the Bene Gesserit, given that Dune seems to take place in the far future of our own (non-magical) universe.

As an aside, I find it interesting to contrast Dune with The Mote in God's Eye by Niven and Pournelle, which I also recently finished. Both novels have an Imperial government headed by an Emperor; in Dune, the Emperor is a shady figure with various criminal dealings and back room plots, whereas in Mote, the Emperor seems to be a typical military/political figure: tough but virtuous, and will sit down with his Admirals for a drink or two. It’s also interesting to note that in Dune, there is no intelligent alien life. While there are of course the famous sand worms of Arrakis, and some kind of societal distinction between man and human that is not fully developed, there are no extraterrestrials in the same sense as in Mote. Despite spreading across the galaxy, the humans of Dune have not encountered intelligent alien life even in the year ~10 000 AD, whereas First Contact in Mote occurs in 3017. Lastly, coffee in Dune is ubiquitous—so much so that even the rather spartan Fremen will indulge—while it is a rare commodity and a sign of wealth in Mote. Keeping details such as these in order was an exercise at times, and while it will probably only get worse as I read more SF, I think it worthwhile to maintain distinctions among various authors’ universes.

As mentioned, there are several sequels to Dune. The first six books penned by Frank Herbert himself are fairly well-regarded (though the same cannot be said for most of those by his son Brian), and I plan to read at least the next two at some point. I am especially interested in seeing the promised darker side of Paul that is only glimpsed in Dune when he manipulates the Fremen with his power as a religious icon and eventually gives in to his prescient visions of a jihad under the Atreides name.

Overall, Dune was a good novel, perhaps even a great one, and seems to be very important to the historical development of SF, but I don’t think I can agree with its mantle as “science fiction’s supreme masterpiece”, at least not while I’m still relatively new to the genre. Dune is quite consistently ranked #1 on lists of the top SF novels, but I expect a novel to be more than just “great” if it is to deserve these honours. I give Dune 4/5 stars, plus some bonus points for helping to shape the entire genre of science fiction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A "tour de force" on the transformation of Man and Land, Jan. 19 2014
This review is from: Dune (Hardcover)
Dune is a science fiction master piece by all accounts. It is an instant classic in this type of genre. It is not a Star Wars soap opera nor is it an intellectual/moral adventure as we see in Star Trek. Dune feels like a piece of theater with emphasis on dialogues more than an action-driven story. It is an adventure into the human transformation as they evolve into something greater (or darker). It is a vision on how the power of Humanity (not machine, computers or laser guns) transform civilization. On this last point, Jon Michaud has suggested in his article, "“Dune” Endures", that the lack of mainstream cultural acceptance of Dune may be related precisely to the lack of robots, machines or advance guns. I add to that and say it is not a redemption story nor is it a typical Good versus Evil (although undoubtedly the fight between the Houses does point at a moral stand). The emphasis of Dune is on the inner transformation and how it is mirrored by a transformation of the land.

If you are looking for a fast-pace read, this may be not the one for you, but it is nonetheless a good read for those who want to go beyond the `mundane` sci-fi genre.

You do not have to read the trilogy, this book is a standalone classic in its own right.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite Sci Fi book of all time!!!, May 25 2012
This review is from: Dune (Mass Market Paperback)
Lets rewind back to the early eighties. To a time before we were spoiled by 200 plus channels, netflix, the internet, and a home computer being as common in a house hold as a telephone, or stove.

I was at a friends house, and his parents had cable. They also had first choice movie station. While I was there I caught the last climatic battle of the David lynch movie DUNE.

I was totally fasanated by this movie. It was strange and mysterious. It would be some years later before I actually got to see the whole movie.

Then a few years after that I discovered that the movie was based on a book. Frank herberts DUNE.

When I finally got a copy of DUNE I was blown away. There are only a handful of artworks that really have affected me, and DUNE is one. I read this book three times. Then went on to read the rest of the series.

This book has it all, mystery, action, and romance. Its grand, and timeless. Filled with themes and symbols you could disect for years.

So if you are a fan of science fiction novels, and you have not read DUNE. You MUST read it ASAP. You will not be disapointed.
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Dune (40th Anniversary Edition)
Dune (40th Anniversary Edition) by Frank Herbert (Paperback - Aug. 2 2005)
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