A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.
Frank Herbert's death in 1986 was a tragic loss, yet the astounding legacy of his visionary fiction will live forever.
©1965 Frank Herbert; (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC
Nebula Award winner, Best Novel, 1965
Hugo Award winner, Best Novel, 1966
"Unique...I know nothing comparable to it except Lord of the Rings." (Arthur C. Clarke)
"One of the monuments of modern science fiction." (Chicago Tribune)
"Powerful, convincing, and most ingenious." (Robert A. Heinlein)
For this review I am going to mostly ignore the fact that this is an audiobook: the production is first rate and in this case that means one can concentrate on the novel, not the actors.
How do you review a massive novel such as Dune?
I will let the reputation of the book assure you of its quality and literary value.
Bear in mind that this is the best selling science fiction novel of all time.
What I would like to explain is my opinion of why this novel is important.
Frank Herbert with this novel was the first science fiction author to create a properly believable world entire.
The level of detail is astounding, from the carefully worked out machinations of the various political forces in the universe to the equally meticulous ecological cycle of the planet Arrakis.
With such dilligence and the use of devices such as quoting from highly convincing yet non-existent books Herbert fully pulls off the trick of making the reader (or listener) accept the milieu of the novel without question.
This unprecedented feat accomplished Herbert then uses this fully realised background to achieve his second great accomplishment; soft science fiction.
Up until this point (1965) nearly all science fiction had been about the technology. For example two of the great previous SF authors, Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke had always felt the need to explain how their fantastical devices worked.
This is known as hard science fiction.
Herbert by contrast says "okay, you believe in my universe. Now heres the important bit: the people".
In short this novel brings the hitherto neglected literary facets of character and human interaction properly into science fiction and the genre would never be the same again.
I haven't finished yet, but I know that this will stand as one of the best recorded books I have ever listened to. I've been a member for years and have hundreds of titles. The different voices and the production quality make it easy and compelling to listen to.
Say something about yourself!
As someone who has read Dune numerous times, I found it a bit like seeing a movie of a favorite book--some things just aren't like you envisioned them. I had a problem with some of the voices because they were so different from anything I imagined from reading the book. The worst voice was that of Gurney--he sounded like a California surfer. I kept expecting him to say, "Dude!". It was really bad. The second worst, although it did improved over the course of the book, was with Stilgar. He sounded like Count Dracula at first. And there were inconsistencies in the voices because sometimes the narrator would just voice the character instead of the reader who was originally voicing him. Those complaints aside, I really love the book, and thought it was very well done. I am anxiously awaiting Book Two.
Unlike Issac Asimov's "Foundation", this production of "Dune" is Thoroughly Enjoyable Listening. The full cast production brings the pages of this book to life. The music track is subtle in the background and enhances rather than detracts.
I've been waiting for this for over 5 years and I look forward to the next 6 in this anthology.
If your a lover of "Dune", you won't be disappointed. If not, Try it, good chance you'll like it.
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.
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.
Not sure why they decided to have both a narrator reading lengthy sections, then inserting actors speaking parts in odd places. I would have preferred they had stuck to one or the other, the switching was distracting, but not enough to make me stop listening. Otherwise it enjoyable, a good recording and the main narrator that you hear the bulk of the time was good. I kept wishing Scott Brick had done the whole thing though, instead of just Stilgar's voice here and there. Love the book, I've read it at least a dozen times, it was fun as always to hear it performed. I always catch something I missed when reading.
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.
I'm a big Heinlein fan and the was my first Herbert "read", definitly won't be my last!. My throat is still dry after experiencing the world he creates. I don't usually care for "produced" stories with sound effects, background music, and multiple actors reading. Your mind's vision and interpretation of the characters and scenes changes to that of the director. Dune, however, pulled it off nicely. Like a well acted movie, these voices became the characters. Be warned though, the book switches back and forth between multiple actors and a single reader, I liken this to watching a movie where the main actor changes with every scene, very hard to grasp at first and I'm not sure why they did it. Should have been one reader or multiple readers, but not combined.
I am a great admirer of Frank Herbert's work, and I got this book without hesitation. The audio is a high quality dramatization, and I enjoyed it very much, but there were some details that a production as well devised as this should have taken care of, such as speakers switching the role they had previously, so, suddenly the baron Vladimir Harkonnen has the voice of Thufir Hawat, which I found unsettling. Besides minor points like this, it is a great work.
"A superb production of a sci fi classic!"
I won't dwell on the book itself - it is for many the highwater mark of the sci fi genre; superbly written, richly detailed, boiling with wonderful ideas and concepts, and giving an impression of historical depth that (almost) rivals Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Rather, I'd like to comment on the audio presentation. Potential listeners should have no hesitation in downloading this immediately! Simon Vance is the main reader, and - as always! - his reading is of the highest calibre - clear, faultless pronounciation, and with a fine balance of character voicing without over-acting. Although it's billed as a full-cast reading (from the superb Audio Renaissance team), the full cast are only used on some chapters, while Simon Vance reads many chapters solo. And while I love the Audio Renaissance team, I actually found the solo Vance chapters even better. A very highly recommended listen! And what great news that the sequels will be available over the upcoming months!
"Dune is to SciFi, as what LOR is to Fantasy"
I loved the 1984 film adaptation of Dune as a child, but I have never read the book.
I went through this audio book, Twice! In one week. What a story and to think it was published in 1965.
I really loved the way this book is written and audio production is the best I have every heard, and adds to the entertainment value.
There is a the main narrator Simon Vance who is brilliant, but the additional narrators and ambient sounds used add more colour to the sound.
Scifi may be back drop to this story, but the main drama is in the relationships and the characters. I urge non Scifi readers looking for a good book with great intertwining plots, varied characters told in a oracle like voice to listen to this story.
I enjoyed this more than Lord of the Rings, which I do like. I like a long story that is well written and this is one of the best.
"read and heard now!!!!!"
I first read this book years and years ago. After getting an iPod, to while away the hours at work, cnc programmer and operator, I decided to try an audio book. I went for Dune with the thought of 'I've read it, so lets see how it listens' so to speak. AMAZED. I loved every minute, got totally engrossed, beautifully read, good background mood music, thoroughly enjoyed it. Next audio book please!
"High drama but more of it please"
Dune is a book of high tension, filled with treachery, suspicion and dangerous characters with dark motives. The early scenes of this audiobook are dramatised and they capture the mood expertly. This is edge-of-the-seat stuff and makes for compelling listening. I could feel the 'gom jabar' at my own neck as my hands went all clammy! What a pity the dramatisation lessens, giving way to straight narration as the book progresses. It is read very well throughout but it could have been so much more gripping if the full cast had been retained. Another annoying gripe, common to so many audiobooks. Why can't the audio 'chapters' correspond with those in the book instead of ending randomly mid paragraph? It makes navigating a long book unnecessarily difficult.
This is a superbly read, expertly-produced audiobook that draws the listener headlong into the world of Arrakis and the adventures of Dune. The narration, acting, music and effects all compliment each other beautifully to create an experience that does true justice to this Sci-Fi epic.
I have always meant to read the book, but on leafing through a copy in a shop it has always looked a bit dry, maybe a bit slow. I enjoyed the film years ago so I knew I liked the story.
This audiobook is very long, sometimes quite slow and often repetitive but it is also epic and involving in a way that few books ever are. The production is fantastic, the main narrator has a clear voice and the use of actors to voice certain scenes just adds to the richness. The Barron Harkonnen is especially well voiced and far more threathening than in the film.
I was sad when it ended and the sequel is already next on my download list.
This is a great book. One of the most detailed and compelling books i have ever read and now its even better to listen to. Frank Herbert(author) has created an entire universe with great detail helping you to imagine each environment easily. While it is generaly assumed that this is a sci-fi book there is no space battles and the way that Frank explains each place it is easy to fall into the assumption that its a simple fiction book.
With voices that are very easy to listen to. You can have many an hour of fun enjoying the first in the series of books by Frank Herbert, there are also many books that continue the storyline layed out by Frank written by his son Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson. After listening or reading this book I can pritty much guarantee that you will want to read or listen to the next set of books.
The only thing i would say is that currently audible uk does not have any of the other books available however they are very much worth reading.
I hope you like this book as much as i do. Personaly i would recomend reading the books in the following order. I recomend this to help explain storylines. (the numbers is the number the book is currently in, in timeline order, not order of been written). Dune(7), (then jumping back in time about 30-40 years earlier) House Atredies(4), House Harkonen(5), House Corino(6), (jumping back to after Dune) Dune Messiah(8), Children of Dune(9), God emperor of Dune(10), (jumping back in time to many many years before Dune) The Butlerian Jihad(1), The Machine Crusade(2), The Battle of Corin(3), (now the grownding for the machines and the jihad has been established back up to after god emperor) Heretics of Dune(11), Chapterhouse: Dune(12), Hunters of Dune(13), (and the soon to be released) Sand worms of Dune(14).
Anyway i hope you enjoy the series as much as i have and I look forward to more of the books coming onto this site.
This is a very good book and the reading is one of the best I have heard so far using a variety of people to produce the voices and the readers express the characters well.
"A new dimension"
When I was a teenager I thoroughly enjoyed (and found myself transported to) Dune and appreciated it as much as Catch 22 and Asimov's Foundation series. When I was a thirty-something I tried to enjoy the film version without much success. As a fifty-something I am amazed by the richness of the experience provided by this audiobook. The combination of straight narrative and dramatisation works to bring the book to life in a way I did not expect. I recommend listening via an iPod/MP3 player with headphones. If the spoken word can evkoe pictures in your mind, your are in for a cinematic treat!
"Belive the hype"
Dune is the ultimate SciFi classic and deserves the tag.
The story is rich, complex and chronicles the life of the royal families of the worlds of Dune. The story is filled with intrigue, paranoia and challenge.
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