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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not LOTR, No, definately not. It's much better.
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...
Published on Oct. 14 2006 by Steven W. Williams

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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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9 of 10 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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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
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read, July 20 2014
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Z. Zhu (Toronto, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dune (Kindle Edition)
I liked the movie, but this book just makes everything so much better!

Frank Herbert puts science and politics into this scifi classic, and it's a joy to read.

Too bad the sequels got boring.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading for Sci-Fi Fans, July 1 2014
This review is from: Dune (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is the Lord of the Rings but for Sci-Fi fans. The deeply reach world and character struggles will keep any reader entertained.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book, June 30 2014
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This review is from: Dune (Mass Market Paperback)
its got a cover, pages, those wordy things inside, everything you could want in a book! one of my all time favorite reads
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3.0 out of 5 stars Very 70's, June 19 2014
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This review is from: Dune (Mass Market Paperback)
Yeah, very 70's. It's a must-read for sci-fi, but not really my style. I prefer Kim Stanley Robinson, Timothy Zhan...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must read, May 27 2014
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This review is from: Dune (Kindle Edition)
For everyone interested in science fiction, this book is a must. Cleverly written, keeps you turning page after page in order to discover more about the complex political/religious scene developing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A literary masterpiece, April 9 2014
This review is from: Dune (Mass Market Paperback)
Despite the slow buildup and a moderately difficult vocabulary at times, Dune stands on a very high pedestal, towering above its sci-fi counterparts. This is a work of fiction that will challenge the mind and inagination, but also one that is extremely rewarding, and will ultimately leave you wanting more.

Any fan of science-fiction should without a doubt delve into Frank Herbert's undisputed creative genius.

10/10
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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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Dune (40th Anniversary Edition)
Dune (40th Anniversary Edition) by Frank Herbert (Paperback - Aug. 2 2005)
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