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Dune | [Frank Herbert]

Dune

Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: This full-cast recording of Dune succeeds in every way the now-infamous movie version failed. The alien landscapes emerge in your imagination, while the complex plot lines and complicated relationships gain clarity. Through the talents of a marvelous voice cast, which includes Scott Brick and Simon Vance, Dune sheds the daunting burden of its epic richness - and becomes a powerful story of personal conflict and heroism. Steve Feldberg

Publisher's Summary

Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

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

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Winner, Science Fiction, 2008

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)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 01-18-14
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 01-18-14 Member Since 2013

    When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.

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    "A Muhammad-like story on galactical scale"

    I remember reading ‘Dune’ the first time in secondary school when I borrowed a copy of the book from the local library. Though I don’t return to most novels once read or listened to, ‘Dune’ have been one of the exceptions. My second acquaintance was during my study of Hebrew and Classical Arabic during postgraduate studies at university.

    My third meeting with Frank Herbert’s Sci-Fi classic was when I listened to it in audio book format. While it initially was just a great story, and during my years of study a feudal-Arabic desert mixture, the religious aspect of the novel intrigued more this time. Though the quotes by the princess Irulan felt at times as if it took away some of the suspense in the book, it had the function of giving the story the feel of a memoir.

    Paul Arteides the son of the duke Leto Artreides becomes the Mohammad-type prophet of the desert planet Arrakis, filled with dunes and huge sandworms which rules its surface. The story plays out around his transition from a duke’s son to a prophet, religious leader, genetically engineered oddity (the Kwisatz Haderach of the Bene Gesserit) and political force against the evil Harkonnen house who have been extorting the local population of the planet. It is a story filled with treachery, slyness in which good and bad, right and wrong blurs. Herbert has the ability to drag the reader or listener into a story in such a way that you change with Paul Artreides and accept the idea of a jihad against even the Emperor Shaddam IV. I was trying to think of a close parallel to what the story is about and the best I can come up with is the idea that a European kingdom loses its rightful heir just to discover that he has not died but turned Muslim and yet it is open to accept him and swear absolute loyalty to him.

    While Simon Vance reads the story, his reading is enriched with various voice actors that acts out important characters and scenes. These are also complemented with certain background sounds. Although some reviewers complained that some of the interpretative reading didn’t sound natural and sounded forced I there was nothing that hindered me. If there is something that I would change in the way the novel is read, it would be Vance’s pronunciation of certain words like “Lisan al-Gaib” to sound more Arabic. Then again there is nothing that says it must be pronounced the way I would like it to be pronounced.

    This 1965 Nebula and Hugo Award winning book is still a worthwhile and intriguing book to read. In some ways the story is straightforward, yet it has its surprises and it is a worthwhile Sci-Fi classic to listen to.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Rhoderick Frederick, MD USA 06-03-10
    J. Rhoderick Frederick, MD USA 06-03-10 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent! Don't worry about the narration"

    Dune is difficult to grasp at first and requires patience, even for an avid sci-fi fan like myself. Here's the trick to stories like this one: don't try too hard. You won't understand everything at first, but that's ok. Just keep reading. Everything will become clear soon.

    Dune is a superb story and rightfully deserves praise. The setting is brilliant: the planet and its inhabitants are intricate and arcane. You can feel the sand in your shoes and your lips cracked with thirst. The characters are well rounded and the spice (and its effect) is truly creative.

    Dune does have a few flaws. For one, Herbert's writing is a bit unpolished. One of his bad habits is the lack of a consistent viewpoint. Within one section, we may jump from Paul's perspective, to Jessica, back to Paul, and then into third-person omniscient for a bit of narrative. It is awkward and amateurish. The plot is detailed and well-paced and my only quarrel with it is that Paul's over-confidence and detachment made the ending feel somewhat anti-climactic. It certainly seems set up for a sequel (and there are many).

    A lot of reviewers have complained about the narration but don't let this deter you. Most of the the story is read solely by Simon Vance (who, by the way, is an excellent narrator). Yet, sometimes, and without any noticable pattern, the dialogue is read by a variety of narrators with Vance only doing the narrative. I have no idea why it was done this way and it is indeed inconsistent. Once you learn to expect this, it isn't that bad. It certainly isn't as terrible as some reviewers are claiming it to be. Regardless, all of the narrators are talented and they make easy work of the complex pronunciation and accents. Also, the background sounds and music were excellent and they really added great effect. I absolutely loved the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. It is a unique and enjoyable production.

    20 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jtprime 08-02-09
    jtprime 08-02-09
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    "Excellent Again!"

    I first read Dune the regular way in 1979, watched the 1984 movies and the SyFy minis 2000/2003. I started reading it again in 2006. I found this audio version even better than the reading and watching.

    The actors/readers lend dimension to the scenes and characters that for me are missing from my personal reading of the book, the two versions of the 1984 movie and the various SyFy mini series.

    The epigraphs by Princess Irulan are great as is the music that is featured at cetain times throughout the work.

    Both my understanding and imagination are much better now making the listening a much better experience. I listen on two diff PMDs and a docking appliance with good speakers - a must in my opinion if you're not on the road.

    Dune is a great story to be told and in the case of this version the story is told in a great way!

    It is simply excellent - again.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Alhambra, CA, United States 10-08-07
    David Alhambra, CA, United States 10-08-07 Member Since 2009

    Children's book illustrator & toy designer living in Los Angeles. Addicted to audio books.

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    "Starts out great"


    Starts out great but then the narrations begins to vary, sometimes it sounds like a full cast performing, then it switches to a single narrator doing voices, then that narrator is switched with another who sounds totaly different. Then it goes back to the full cast w/ many voices. The changes are jarring and happen without warning often in the middle of a chapter so you are constantly confused as to who is speaking and what is going on. There is no consitency in the narration of voices- all very random and sporadic. A headache of a listen and considering the level of detail and involved plot elements this makes for a very confusing experience.
    Not well executed.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    F. Girlando Santa Barbara, CA USA 06-23-07
    F. Girlando Santa Barbara, CA USA 06-23-07 Member Since 2012

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Dune Fan"

    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.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael New Orleans, LA 10-06-12
    Michael New Orleans, LA 10-06-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Please. Do You Really Need Another Great Review?"

    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?

    Please.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dielle 05-12-10
    Dielle 05-12-10 Member Since 2015
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    "Main narrator good, but others are shaky"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve High Lancaster, PA 01-28-10
    Steve High Lancaster, PA 01-28-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Brilliant storytelling, brilliant narration"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    07-11-09
    07-11-09 Member Since 2009
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    "Strange World, Stranger Presentation"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruy Wolfenbuettel, Germany 06-22-07
    Ruy Wolfenbuettel, Germany 06-22-07 Member Since 2012
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    "great work"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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  • Peter
    Lymm, Cheshire, United Kingdom
    7/21/07
    Overall
    "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!

    73 of 74 people found this review helpful
  • Apollon
    Caterham, Surrey, United Kingdom
    11/26/10
    Overall
    "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.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Burnley, Lancashire, United Kingdom
    9/7/07
    Overall
    "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!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Steven
    EdinburghUnited Kingdom
    1/18/10
    Overall
    "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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Petersfield, Hants, United Kingdom
    8/16/10
    Overall
    "Outstanding"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    6/27/07
    Overall
    "Dune"

    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.

    16 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    6/21/11
    Overall
    "Rather fragmented production of a wonderful book"

    I read 'Dune' in my teens and adored it - the complexities of the story and the depth to which the eco-system of the desert planet is planned are quite breathtaking. So I was looking forward to having the audiobook so I could re-live the wonder. Unfortunately this is a bit of a fragmented production. The main narrator has a voice fitting to the scope of the book and reads well. However, my guess is that originally the production company brought in other actors to read the dialogue - but for an ABRIDGED version. But they didn't bother to use them to complete the unabridged recording. Therefore, at some points, we have dialogue of the main characters read by other actors (often with some annoying 'atmospheric' sound effects, music or irritating echoic effects in the background). Then at other sections of the story all the voices of dialogue are provided by the main narrator, which makes the whole thing sadly disjointed. Ironically, I think it works far better with the narrator alone providing all dialogue - so the company could have saved themselves the cost and trouble of getting other people in and would still have ended up with a better, more choherent performance of the book. I will still finish listening to the audiobook, just to enjoy the marvellous story, but I feel the oddities of the recording will always keep me from being completely immersed in the tale.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Lal-Akash
    London, United Kingdom
    1/1/11
    Overall
    "Excellent reading"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Roy
    derbyUnited Kingdom
    9/9/08
    Overall
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Clive
    PitsfordUnited Kingdom
    2/8/08
    Overall
    "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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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