Dune Messiah Mass Market Paperback – Jul 15 1987
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From Publishers Weekly
In 1965 Frank Herbert published Dune. After it was heralded as a masterpiece of science fiction, he wrote the briefer Dune Messiah in 1969, concentrating eponymously on Paul Atreides, and then, sensing the sales potential, added sequels. They were continued by his son, culminating in the just published finale, Sandworms of Dune. Now, 38 years after its publication, four narrators capture Dune Messiah on discs, while listeners, with no glossary, try to recall the meaning of its esoteric nomenclature. The audio gets off to a lively start as the book opens with nearly all conversation, playing up the camaraderie between the narrators who have partnered on several other readings of classic sci-fi novels. While the cast works well together, some of the male narrators emphasize a stately dullness. Kellgren, the sole feminine voice, supplies real emotion and a true sense of awe. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Brilliant...it is all that Dune was, and maybe a little more".
-- Galaxy MagazineSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Set 12 years after the first novel, DUNE MESSIAH centers around the fact that Paul is not immune to human emotions and is, as are we all, flawed. Now ruling the universe as Emperor, Paul is re-awakening the planet of Arrakis (or Dune) and continuing as he had planned; however, corruption still has it's effect. As Paul confronts his inner self, a group of conspirators have assembled who seek to dethrone the young leader.
Old friends return and new enemies are made; the fitting conclusion sets the stage for the third book in the series, CHILDREN OF DUNE, which was published six years later.
It is clear that author Herbert now feels more free to work with his ideas; the book's vocabulary level has decreased from the level of DUNE, while there is also a fair amount of sexuality thrown in - which was almost absent from the first book. The major flaw of the novel, however, is that Herbert's masterfully complex universe seen in DUNE now doesn't feel so realistic; it takes down the believability of the story a bit, whilst in DUNE you couldn't help but feel that the events of the story were sure to occur.
On a closing note, DUNE MESSIAH is no doubt inferior to DUNE, but that doesn't mean it's a bad novel. It is still a fine follow-up in what is certainly the greatest sci-fi series ever written.
ENDING THEME: May not be the messiah we're looking for, but still an engulfing piece of sci-fi history
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?
Dune Messiah is a remarkable story nontheless. Were it not a sequel, however, its seemingly confusing content would hardly be passable. Unlike Dune, Dune Messiah does not have that action oriented style which complimented Dune. Instead, a more sophysticated, dialogue-high approach was presented. I also detected a large portion of romance, oddly, and yet fittingly.
As you may know, Dune Messiah carries on the story of the legendary, Kwizats Haderach, Muad'Dib. The book starts out with four conspiriters discussing their plans for killing Muad'Dib. Two of them, a face changer named Scytale, and a spice addicted Guild Navigator named Edric, are extremely interesting to learn about. The other two came into play in Dune, of which you can know only by reading Dune Messiah. Basically the story goes on with the Guild presenting Paul-Muad'Dib with a special gift. That "gift" was a ghola (a sort of reanimated person) aptly named Hayt. He was the ghola of the Duncan Idaho who initially died in Dune. The ghola truthfully tells Muad'Dib of his being a device to kill him. Muad'Dib thinks he can avoid/change that and decides to keep Hayt.
As the plot to be rid of Muad'Dib continues, Paul's younger sister, Alia, 15, begins to realize that she needs a mate. She unknowingly falls in love with a "very peculiar person."
By the way, since Muad'Dib has no living children or heirs, he and his concubine, Chani, try the most guaranteed ways to have children. (No, it does NOT describe this in detail.Read more ›
The second book takes over twelve years after Paul Atreides' triumph over Emperor Shaddam IV. He is master of all he surveys, and yet he sees trouble on the horizon, trouble which none of his miraculous powers can stop. He can only bide his time until "the inevitable" comes to pass. Herbert is not fond of this vision for humanity (to know the future in advance), and he makes that very plain in this novel. In many ways, Dune Messiah is a much easier book to read than the first one, as everything is set out in much plainer language.
There is a conspiracy against Emperor Paul Muad'Dib (spelled with a lower-case "Muad'dib," just to confuse me) in this book, as well. We have the wicked old crone, Gaius Helen Mohiam, a Spacing Guild Navigator, the history-writing, conniving Princess Irulan, and something not mentioned in the first book: Scytale, a Tleilaxu "Face Dancer" (shape-shifter). Herbert manages to conjure all of these characters up believably, and also portrays what's going on in everyone's head. The motivations are clearer in this book, and the imagery (for me) much better.
We also find Paul's sister Alia has become a power in her own right, conducting ceremonies she does not believe and which give her no peace, but which somehow manage to calm the masses. Herbert is unflinching in his judgment of Paul and Alia as religious manipulators, and manages to question (as might a suitably inclined reader) how the average person could believe such hokum.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Arrived fast, was a fairly quick read too. A good novel, though in my opinion not as good as the original Dune or the Prequel to Dune series.Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
Even a messiah must fall. Those who revile this book must understand that Herbert's vision surpassed what the reader wanted, and instead gave what the reader needed.Published 14 months ago by Spartnan
controversial, but still worth the trouble. Certainly not as good as Dune, which is to be expected.Published 18 months ago by Ricardo Q. Gouvea
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.Published on Sept. 8 2013 by 2011cardar
Dune is a colossal work. Dune Messiah is a disappointing work. I don't understand how the same man could have written both books. Read morePublished on June 11 2004 by Collin Garbarino
Sure, not much happens in the book in terms of war and political intrigue, but this book really tells you who the people actually are and how they think. Read morePublished on April 18 2004