Listener of history, biography, and science, with some fiction and sci-fi thrown in for good measure.
I was excited to read/listen to this book because it is well-regarded and often considered a classic must-read in the sci-fi genre. Indeed, I found Dune to be imaginative, creative, and mostly interesting. However, it suffers from a number of major issues that reduced my enjoyment of the book.
First is the general shift in pace and tone of the book. Book 1 (of 3) is good. It’s filled with intrigue, betrayal, drama and plots-within-plots. Everyone’s out to get everyone else. You don’t know who to trust, and you don’t trust who you know. This reminded me of a cross between "Game of Thrones" and the "Ender’s Shadow" series, which I enjoyed. However, the pacing of Book 2 and all but the last 30 minutes of Book 3 is completely different. The story completely shifts from the intrigue that filled Book 1, to a singular story of survival, travel, and integration. This part is imaginative, but the drama and intrigue are gone.
Second, the performance was inconsistent. Don’t get me wrong, the narrators did a good job, but the audio book shifts at random parts between simple one-reader narration to multi-reader performances. The performance parts are fun, except that the same actor will read different characters with the same voice, which is confusing if you do not know who is supposed to be in the scene. Then on the flip side, because of the shift from narration to performance in parts, one character can be voiced by two actors in a single chapter. This is less confusing than it is just annoying. There is no rhyme or reason to explain this odd hodgepodge performance. In short, whoever edited this audiobook should be fired, and whoever produced it should be dragged out in the street and shot.
Overall, unless you are a super hard-core sci-fi reader (which I’m not), then I recommend just skipping this one. Moderate readers of sci-fi might be better off with a different audio version (if one is available) or just reading the book.
A disappointing 3 stars.
Dune attempts to do too much in a short period of time. The biggest problems are character development and confused story telling. Frank Herbert does a unique writing style where the point of view switches to different characters on the fly, and it just doesn't work effectively. I had no real attachment to any of the characters and nothing seemed epic or earned. Eventually it turned out that the good guys had bad things happen to them by the bad guys, but eventually the good guys win.
If i consider Dune to be only a setup book for the rest of the series in terms of world building, I'd might look into the sequel. At the end of the book, I was just so uninterested in where things where left I don't feel the compulsion to look into it any more.
The problem I had with the narration is that there is one main narrator for most of the book, then when enough characters come together, other narrators step in. However, one sentence could be narrated by one person, and then the next sentence done by another, for the same character! It really threw things off from a listener's point of view.Each individual's efforts were good.I would suggest many other of Euan Morton's narrations.
Mainly I was shocked that this book get such high praise from much of the sci-fi community. I'd label it mediocre at best. Maybe, just maybe, the 16 or however many books in the series improves the overall outlook, but Dune did not just draw me in.
For proper deep character development and proper use of mysterious forces, I would point you towards the Hyperion by Dan Simmons or Game of Thrones.
This just couldn't hold my attention. No matter how many times I tried, my mind would drift, unlike with many other good listens where I get wrapped up in the story.
I think the multiple voice actors throws me off.
Can't think of any
Long commute = Lots of time for audiobooks
Disclaimer: A few years ago, I tried to read Dune, and gave up about a quarter of the way in. I just couldn't get into it. So when I saw this audiobook, with such good reviews and a full cast narration, I was excited to give it another go. I know that Dune is incredibly significant in the annals of science fiction, and I absolutely don't want to diminish that importance in any way. That said...
First, the story itself. Dune is world-building sci-fi, and if that's your thing, you are going to love it. The universe that Frank Herbert creates here is really spectacular. If you are looking for complex, interesting characters, however, you may want to look elsewhere. Spoiler alert for the next paragraph.
Dune has some Lady Problems. Jessica does nothing but worry about and/or stand in awe of her son's brilliance. We know he's brilliant because she spends a lot of time thinking about how brilliant he is. Chani has no real personality other than being (pretty understandably) bummed when Paul informs her that she's going to be his concubine because he's got to marry Princess Irulan, for political reasons that don't actually make a lot of sense, but whatever. For her part, Princess Irulan apparently did nothing with her life except write approximately 57 books about her husband, who we're told will be cold and unloving to her until his death. Sounds awesome, sign me up. And despite all we're told, Paul's no prize either. He's kind of mean to his mother, and again with the making the woman he loves a concubine (that's a family tradition) and marrying another chick who he's not even going to try to be nice to.
Then there are the Harkonnens. Of course the bad guy is gay, morbidly obese, and a pedophile. Subtle stuff there, Herbert.
Anyway, the main reason I was so excited about this audiobook was the narration. Simon Vance! Scott Brick! I would listen to either of those guys read the phone book. My beef with the narration is probably more about the production than about any of the narrators. Specifically, the entire audiobook is not a full cast recording - only certain parts with a lot of dialogue involve the full cast. That gets confusing, because there are more than a few places where the overall narrator uses a completely different tone and/or accent for a character (Count Fenring is perhaps the most glaring example). The accents are another issue altogether. Look, I get that it's sci-fi and that as such, there's no reason why a wide variety of accents can't be used. But it's confusing as hell to have a character with an American accent one minute and an English one the next. Not to mention the fact that both of Paul's parents have American accents, while his is British. How did that happen?
At the end of the day, I'm not sure Dune stands the test of time well for a wide audience. It's certainly an important book, and I think sci-fi lovers ought to read it. This particular recording disappointed me, but listeners ought to seek out other works read by these narrators, because they are truly some of the best.
A lover of audiobooks of all kinds, since childhood, when long car journeys were accompanied by Discworld stories. @ReineDesLivres (Twitter)
This audiobook is an epic telling of a grand story. Frank Herbert's narrative of destiny, bravery, interstellar politics and inter-family wars is engrossing. This has something for everyone - a coming of age narrative, an ecological tale of life in an inhospitable place, dynastic tales of power and posturing, philosophy, drama and romance. The tale is long, but it will maintain your interest.
However, the production is rather strange, in that some sections are fully dramatised, and others have a single narrator performing all the roles. It takes some time to get used to (and I dare say that the dramatised sections make for better listening through variation and the skill of the performers), but this is an audiobook well worth having in your library.
Yes. Engrossing. The full cast recording with a narrator for each character was AWESOME. So good in fact that no other audio book of the 80 or so Ive read hasn't lived up to the VERY high bar set by this recording. To bad all audiobooks are produced in the same fashion.
Illini fan and bibliophile
A classic science fiction epic that is only marred because it is more of an audioperformance than an audiobook. The primary narrator has a rich magical voice, and I believe he could have easily voiced the entire book himself. I also found the addition of sound effects and occasional segue music unnecessary. It was more distracting. Frank Herbert wrote a masterpiece that can stand by itself. However, the overproduction didn't horribly detract fromt he story, and some individuals would probably enjoy it as it makes the book much more cinematic.
I can't get over how more enthralling this version of Dune is. I love the way that the narrators interact and overall this version is the best of the Dune series yet. Yep, I purchased the others years ago, but I wish that they would do all of them this way. Listen to it, you definitely won't be disappointed.
This is a very complex and well-written book. The voice acting was spot-on for the Baron, his mentat, Paul, the narration--the girl reading Bene Gesserit history clips between chapters was a small detail, yet still handled with full attention to quality. The worst it ever got was Duke Leto's voice acting, which wasn't too terrible--disconnected, flat, with obviously faked emotions and overacting, but not bad enough to actively detract from the performance.