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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 21 months ago 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
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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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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 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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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 Immersive, Dec 13 2013
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This review is from: Dune (Hardcover)
The world in which Herbert puts us is complete and immersive. You'll most definitely want to read the prequel afterwards.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awe inspiring, Nov. 2 2013
By 
Stephane Verreault "somatophylax" (Laval, Qc, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dune (Kindle Edition)
What can I say? I've red the series many times and it's always great. But why are the Kindle editions the same price as the paperback? Not fair :(
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dune Messiah, Sept. 8 2013
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This review is from: Dune Messiah (Audio CD)
I chose this rating because I really like it and to people who are intereasted in sci-fi it is a great story written by a great author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect gift to encourage my teenage son to read., May 28 2013
By 
Dennis Mccolm - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dune (Mass Market Paperback)
I loved the book in my mid-teens, and am actually re-reading the series again at 42 - I love it every time. It got my son to actually start voluntarily read...
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Dune
Dune by Frank Herbert (Mass Market Paperback - Jan. 11 2002)
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