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)
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.
A well paced and engaging story in spite of being dramatized. I usually only buy unedited and undramatized audiobooks but I must admit this dramatized version is not bad. However, I still prefer a good single narrator without sound effects.
"An engrosing plot and high quality production"
The Dune story is one of the original classic sci-fi stories, so it's unlikely you'd be picking this up without some knowledge of it already as the story has been retold in film, tv, and games a number of times. Because of that, there isn't that much to say about the story, it didn't become so popular by accident, mixing politics, religion, genetics and science fiction into a well balanced plot that moves at a very fast pace even with the rich amount of detail it includes.
The production it's self is very well put together and clearly read, taking advantage of some brilliant voice acting for the characters, and some incidental music is used to very good effect normally around the start and end of chapters which build the mood and become very engrossing.
As other reviews have mentioned, for some chapters they don't use the full compliment of voice actors, and have their lines read by the narrator (I think) which makes it a little inconsistent, and a very odd choice which I can only imagine was done to save costs on their part. Which is a shame, I'd have knocked them half a point for that if there was the point, but it's still an amazing audiobook and I'll be getting the next Dune book right away without hesitation.
"Excellent story beautifully told"
I'll start by saying that I'm not a huge sci-fi fan, but I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. The story itself is engaging and it's full of detailed descriptions and rich character development. The narration is excellent and very entertaining, with the use at times of actors for certain characters. I must say it reminded me of a sci-fi Hamlet at times, as if written by a futuristic Shakespeare. My only negative comment would be that the story seemed to wain in the second half and that it wasn't as interesting as the first. Taking everything into account, it's an excellent audiobook and it's length means that you'll enjoy it for days if not weeks.
"Fear is the mind killer"
It's difficult to not give 5 stars to this as it's such a classic sc-fi read, George Lucas later pinched the basic plot for his Star Wars saga. There's a great cast of characters to meet, all well represented vocally, this is one book to totally immerse yourself in. Is it as good as it's hyped up to be? Well, not entirely for me, Herbert does like to think himself as something of a sage a bit too often for my liking, it's almost his 'bible' at times and can get a bit pious in a zen-like way. If I'd read it as a teenager, I'd probably have thought it the best thing ever, but as an adult I take it all with a small pinch of salt, but go with the swing of it and you'll enjoy it. A story most people will get something out of, sci-fi fans or not.
"Keeps going right to the end"
My wife bought me a SatNav for my birthday which is a great present but which could find its self used only occasionally. However it came with a built in Audible player and so I decided to give it a go. I use it on my way to and from work and I've even used it whilst mowing the lawn. Dune is the first book I've listened to on it and it was superb. I could write pages on all the twists and turns ( within turns within turns ) but the best part for me was that it keeps you going right until the very end. I read lots of books and I'm quite used to guessing the finale several chapters from the end but with Dune, even as the last scene played out, I had no idea how it would end...I'd recommend it to anyone sci-fi buff or not.
It feels almost superfluous to review this book given all the previous positive reviews but I made a new year's resolution to review each audiobook I listened to so here goes. The book itself is recognised as a classic of science fiction. I had previously read the book and suffered through the movie version. I would strongly recommend this audio version of it to anyone, even those averse to SF. It is the first multi-voice audio-book I have bought and I thought this added significantly to the quality of the narration. All voices were excellent and with such resonance that I could hear them in my head when I later read through the wikipedia entry for the book (well worth looking up if you start getting confused about the plot). Great start to the New Year!
Yes, because the story is so involving and well read, with a complex plot and fascinating characters.
Asimov's Foundation and Empire as it has the same sweeping grandeur and complete imagined universe.
Having read the book previously, hearing someone else's interpretation of it was intriguing and gave me a different view.
They have made a film of it! But the tag line should have been "Fear is the Mindkiller".
This is a book everyone should experience at least once. And it doesn't stop there - there's the rest of the classic series, plus the add ons Brian Herbert wrote with Kevin Anderson - immerse yourself in Dune!
Good pace througout
No real favourites although main narrator did a good job
No too long to do in one sitting and to keep the plot lines in your mind. Believe best over 4-5 good sittings
This was a well paced narrative as it is a long story. I remrembered reading the book in my youth and seeing the film release which was a let down. This was an ideal way to go over the story again and it was interesting that you picked up things missed when I initially read it. Overall a very good audio book which does the original story justice
"enacted like a play"
it's a classic, so it has to rank high.
all the characters are great for different reasons; it's just a great book, that's why it's lasted.
there are many 'narrators'. sadly, there are a couple of criticisms. the baron switches from 'john earl jones' to 'ian mckellen', which is to say the least a little perturbing the first couple of times it happens. this happens, less noticeably, with other characters too. it would have been better a better experience for the listener to have kept the voices consistent. thankfully though, scott brick didn't do any long sections.
"A great telling of an epic story"
Top 5 easily.
The performance of Thufir Hawat was the most consistent.
The changes of characterization between different chapters was grating.
A world that holds creation's greatest treasure... and greatest terrors.
It's a great and very complete version of a complex story, and is very atmospherically told. It's a mix between a straight reading of the book and a sort of audio play with different people voicing the characters. A lot of the story is told in narration or internal monologue which lends itself well to an audio book.
The slightly disconcerting thing is that it moves between two different styles from chapter to chapter and the character's voices change. In some chapters they are voiced by some American-sounding voice actors of variable quality and in others by english voices (which are generally better). It doesn't ruin it but it is distracting, and lessens the impact of some passages where the american voice acting isn't very good.
"Shows it's age - read for 'history' reasons only!"
When written, this was probably innovative, with imaginary landscapes, giant worms etc. However, in the age of endless CGI there's nothing memorable and the characters flat. Endured it to the end so that I could say I'd 'read it'.
The narration was extremely wierd. There seemed to be a main narrator and then occassianally multiple actors would take over. Never became clear to me why or when! Much better when the single narrator.
Would not recommend... unless you want to see what a "classic" sci-fi novel is like!
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