The story itself is fantastic. Deservedly hailed as one of the greatest stories ever told, sci-fi or otherwise. A fully realized and richly detailed alternate universe filled with science, religion and political intrigue. A must read.
Unfortunately, the audio recording does not fulfill expectations. While far better than the original single reader audiobook (be glad you didn't spend 25 hours listening to THAT) the 2007 version is marred by the bizarre decision to have each reader read a chapter or section rather than have each reader read a character's part throughout the book. In other words, the voices for each character change throughout the book!!! Why? Baron Harkkonen's voice suffers the most. At one point it sounds like Michael Clark Duncan is voicing him and others it sounds like a sleepy Orson Welles.
It's a shame that one of the greatest books ever written has never received a proper translation into another medium. David Lynch's movie was stylistically and visually fulfilling, but the story edited and changed dramatically. The Sci-Fi channel's 3 part miniseries held more closely to the original plot, but the budget and casting left alot to be desired. The original 1997 audiobook was read in a horrible monotone and finally the 2007 version's inconsistent readers. Hopefully someday Dune will receive a treatment that it deserves.
I liked the book and would recommend it if you like more politics and ideals driven books but the main thing I wanted to address was the audio. Alot of people seem to have issues with it and I will admit that the voices may be a little over dramatic but in general its pretty straight forward. One person narrates the quotes at the beginning of each chapter and then the main narrator, Simon Vance covers most of the rest except for things specifically in quotations which are divided by character and voiced by different narrators. Since this does not include internal thoughts that the characters aren't represented as actually saying and Vance does imbue some character related "voicing" to the thoughts as would normally be done in a single reader rendition it does somewhat seem to lead to some of the main characters having 2 sometimes distict "voices" but it does make sense and it really isn't that difficult to follow. I doubt I would have noticed it if I hadn't read the reviews of everyone complaining about it. I guess basically my point is not to let the complaints scare you away from a good book.
Frank Herbert, I OWE you. I owe you a LOT. This was one of the very first books that truly stirred my love for science fiction. You SPOILED me. You made me demand better writing from the authors I followed, and better development, as well. From this book on, I became harder on myself, to read works that challenged me, that made me ponder well after finishing the novel. I hungered for better writing that combined story, action, flow, cadence and for God's sake, CREATIVITY. Thanks, Frank.
THAT'S what good writing demands of us, and if the author excels at his or her craft, this book is the perfect example of what can happen.
In Dune, you get galaxy-sweeping politics, messianic jihads, genetically-enhanced warriors and spacefarers, pirates hiding ruling classes, clones that psychically destroy their victims, fantastic ecologies and creatures, religions that manipulate families and bloodlines, and countless castes intertwined with ruling houses that all depend upon a drug found only on one desolate planet - A planet with its own secret and massive agenda, hidden within the howling desert plains covering its surface. And wait, it's followed by yet ADDITIONAL novels in the series, some better than others, and then yet ANOTHER series by the author's SON, done decades later, that provides tremendous PREQUELS, based on his father's notes? Finally, throw in excellent male and female narrators that fit the characters they portray, and individualize each character.
Come on. Do you really need another great review to buy this audiobook?
This one of the greatest science fiction novels I have ever read. I would say it was THE greatest but for Heinlein's 'Stranger in a Strange Land'. That said, this book is undoubtedly a true literary masterpiece, both of science fiction and fiction as a whole. The universe that Herbert has created is so beautiful, so terrible, and so vast that it defies belief.
The production quality on this edition is excellent but suffers in its lack of consistency. The production alternates between a single narrator performing the voices of all the characters to a full cast production where each character is performed by a different voice actor. By themselves, either version would rate 5 stars in my opinion. Together they create a schizophrenic production that I could never settle into as comfortably as I would have liked. I would find myself getting into rhythm with the flow of the theatrical production only to have the book shift back to the single narrator at the beginning of the next chapter.
That being said, I still highly recommend this audiobook to anyone who values the art of great storytelling in the epic tradition. The universe of Dune is vast and all encompassing. The political intrigue played out between the Atreides, Harkonnens and the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV could easily have been plucked from the pages of Medieval European History (if the Valois and Plantagenats had traveled through fold space and expanded their minds with geriatric spice). Power, politics, religion, love, and war--Herbert wrestles with these themes that have marked great literature since the time of Homer. And the rich depths with which these concepts are dealt is truly remarkable. Buy this book. You will not regret it...I promise.
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
This offering has been well reviewed and there is nothing I could add. I will confirm, however, in my own humble opinion, this is one great book. The characters are well developed and the story unique. I agree with what some have said that this book is the bar to which all other sci fi must be measured.
As to the production? Well, it truly is inconsistent. There are parts, particularly in the beginning, where the actors are superb. The music and loops are always well placed and add tremendously to the ambience and telling of the story. However, things then change. The voices initially acted out by others become the single, strangled voice of the main reader himself for no rhyme or reason and with no obvious logic.
Given the story and all that is positive about the offering is so incredible, I still have to give it 5 stars.
I first read my now well-worn paperback copy of Dune in middle school and became a lifetime Frank Herbert fan. I've seen the movie and mini-series adaptations as well. This first book in his now classic series is still my favorite, and I found this multi-reader adaptation satisfying. While there were places in the narrative that I might have wished were interpreted differently, overall the characters were presented as individuals, the cultures of Caladan, Geidi Prime, and Arrakis were explicated, the rivalry between the Atriedes and the Harkonnens was developed, and the climax on Arrakis was appropriately intense. If you like Frank Herbert and love "Dune," I think you will enjoy this audio book.
This has to be the most well-produced audiobooks ever created. We all know the Dune story, and this is a perfect rendering. Well worth the price. You wont be disappointed.
This is the kind of shock I like. Instead of being disappointed that a story doesn't live up to the impossibly high standard that has been set for it, I was drawn in by this book so much that I hated every time I had to stop without finishing. I didn't really expect to like this book at all but it was great.
Makes you wonder about a place like Mars which has little or no water. What would it take to live there? This book makes an interesting case of what such a life might be like (sans the absence of oxygen), especially in the context of how we take water for granted.
Probably one of the most original and creative stories I've ever read.
Dune is a classic of science fiction - relying on character development and an intriguing plot instead of techno-magic to capture the reader. So the book is outstanding. The reading of the book is also very well done. The problem was in the production (as others have mentioned) - it switches between a traditional audio book (one person reading everything) and a dramatization (different actors reading different characters) without rhyme or reason. The Baron Harkonen is read most often by a talented, deep voiced actor, however sometimes in the next chapter or page the narrator takes over. It can be very confusing (especially if you never read the book). Unfortunately this problem continues on in Dune Messiah, the second book in the series. One really has to wonder: WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?
Overall this was a very good audiobook. The sound quality is very good. The narrator is very good. However the character actors were intermittent. Sometimes the narrator would do the voices, sometimes the actors would. It would even shift within paragraphs. The actors were very good, it just would have been nice if it was either all actors or all narrator.