Bravo! This is an excellent performance. I hope the others in this series will become available in such high quality unabridged versions in the near future.
The desert planet Arrakis is the source of the Empires most valuable commodity, the spice Melange. When the minor Royal House of Atreides is handed stewardship of Arrakis, Duke Leto Atreides knows he has been given a poison chalice and his only hope for the survival of his family is to unravel a complex web of intrigue and treachery before those plotting against him can execute their plans. Thus begins one of the most popular epics of the modern age. Ostensibly a science fiction novel, this work is in actuality a genre transcending accomplishment, a story for the ages. Shakespearian in its scope; feuding Royal Houses, despotism, unbridled ambition, greed, jealousy, plots within plots within plots, murder, revenge, war and love; it is an ambitious reworking of timeless themes. Herbert also deftly touches upon subjects of more modern concern, namely environmental. However, of all the themes it is the condition of the messiah/prophet that Herbert explores with particular insight and perspicacity. This novel is a fully realized concept, a triumph of imagining. It is what the art of story telling is all about. As an audio production it is near faultless, thoughtfully crafted, atmospheric and seductive - the hours slip away. Thoroughly recommended.
(Note: Nothing ages a sci-fi novel more than the taint of outmoded technology, and by choice or chance Herbert has avoided this route by keeping the technical description subtle, consequently the story continues to feel fresh).
This is a fantastic presentation of an SF classic, combining the best of two worlds: a dramatized, full-cast rendition that still retains the full unabridged text. I love this style of recording, where each character is done in a different actor's voice, but the whole text is read, with another actor doing the main narration. It allows you to get the feel of a "radio play" without the massive cuts and loss of background narration that actual dramatizations normally suffer. If you've listened to other SF works from Audible, you'll recognize many of the usual suspects at work here (especially the Ender's Game crew), and they do their usual top-notch job. As to the story . . . well, what needs to be said? One of the all-time greats, a truly magnificent piece of science fiction. One could call it "Lawrence of Arabia in space" (and it was published just a few years after the film was made), but that would be to underestimates the complexity and power of the book.
If you've read or listened to Dune you're acquainted with the story. It has all the elements of religion, politics, genetics, economics, and ecology with colonialism, cronyism, and military theory thrown in. The story is especially pertinent today as the Fremen are a direct offshoot of Islamic nomads turned extremist fanatics, and how, because of their solid and unquestioning belief system are able to take down the existing super-power. Don't get me wrong, Herbert doesn't portray the Fremen in a negative light, quite the contrary, as he shows what a people dedicated to a religious belief are capable of achieving.
Spice=oil, Herbert was clear on this in interviews before his death, and is crystal clear about how all elements of the known universe, CHOAM, Landsraad, the Guild, in fact everybody, are hopelessly dependent on the Spice, and how the empire built on Spice would crumble without it. Interestingly relevant.
My only complaint is the ensemble cast of narrators. While the different voices lend to character differentiation, there is no semblance of order or structure to them. The main narrator will be reading, then different voices will come in mid-chapter. I counted three different voices for Baron Harkonnen throughout the book. I would have preferred the single narrator, who does a great job. Fair warning; the non-narrator voice of Count Fenring is painfully awful to hear. Not the voice, but the stuttering syntax of his voice, though it is written that way.
For continuity's sake I wish they had either stayed with the single narrator or stayed devoted to an ensemble cast. Pick one style and stay with it, that is my only complaint about this recording.
I had read Dune many years ago in my teens and was very interested in hearing the book in audio form now that it is available. It is very good, the multiple voices seem to fit the characters perfectly. I am looking forward to listening to the rest of the series when they come available.
I think this is the first fiction audio book that I will listen to more than once.
I purchased this book based on some of the positive reviews I've read. Wow, I've never been so happy to finish a book. I really tried to get excited and caught up but it's difficult listening for hours at a time to two people having an exchange or an hour listening to a character analyze their inner thoughts. Move on already. Very slow. I think I needed some of that spice they talked about so much to ease my pain. Very disappointed. I should have ended it earlier but I kept thinking how good this is supposed to be and its coming. But hey, can't please everyone.
The narrator was good. The side characters were so inconsistence. Some of the readers did theirs version with an accent and then no accent and lower (Stilgar) some had a high voice and then a low voice (Gurney Halleck). Some of female characters were done by the narrator and then by woman and back and forth. Only Princess Irulan was done well
This book is just not for me. It seemed like the author kept trying to find more and more words that were just a bunch of jumbled letters. Ive heard this book is great, but I just dont see it.
A slow epic novel, lacks rhythm if compared with most modern books. Herbert "paints" a universe, characters and a unique planet, Dune and makes you believe in it! The reader is indeed fine but sometimes lacks empahasis, and this slows down the listening a lot, specially in a book like this, which is already slow and ponderous. The cover is in very low resolution and looks poor on your screen. As for the book itself, it is a classic, so if you want to liten to a weel written sci-fi book go for it. Especially interesting is how well you come to understand and know the Fremen religion.
They should have utilized the full voice cast for more than 10% of the narration. Simon Vance's voices don't match the other voice actors, making the overall performance disjointed and distracting. The story has also not aged very well and has lost a lot of luster over time.
Yes. I will not be pursuing the rest of the series and will be a lot more aware of how narration by a "full cast" is actually performed.
The cast only appears in 10% of the full read, so I didn't understand why they were there in the first place. Simon Vance's own voices for the characters in the rest of the book didn't even come close to what the other voice actors were doing, so it was very distracting and badly directed.
The characters all serve their respective purposes, though most of them aren't fleshed out as well as they could have been.
Sadly, the story just doesn't hold up as well as it did on the first read. A lot of the culture and character development needs more explanation or work; it feels like a lot of ideas are unfinished, glossed over, or just left up to inference, leaving the reader to make a lot of extra leaps that ultimately leads to dissatisfaction with the story as a whole.