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)
The story is fantastic.
The only reason I give it 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the structure of this audio book.
It is theatrical with many characters (many voices) and then it changes to the main narrator who will also do his own versions of the character's voices.
It would have been better if it was either narrated by one person or a theatrical presentation with many actors, but not both.
I hope that I made this review clear.
WOW!! The narration in this book is always good with segments that are GREAT. There were some complaints about the changing of accents or voices. I think of this in these terms. The normal narrator goes along telling you the story, and then at times there is an 'enhanced' scene, a scene where the voices are really acted out, usually with several different voice actors. I think of this as a picture in a book, this enhanced scene has a different set of voices because of the change in actors, but at these times you are also sucked into the story a bit more. Eventually the enhanced scene ends and the story is passed back to the standard narrator. As for the sound effects and the music, I think they all add to the richness of the story. I was never distracted from the story because of them. When I first heard the change between the 'enhanced' scenes and the standard narration, I was a little confused, but I quickly recognized the extra enjoyment I got from these enhanced scenes, and looked at them as a positive factor rather than seeing them as a negative. If I had known, going into the recording that it happened this way, I don't think I would have been confused at all. I think if you go into this thinking that the story was recorded with an excellent narrator, then the producers went back and 'enhanced' certain scenes for your enjoyment, you will be able to fully appreciate the wonderfulness of this recording.
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 first read this book in 1980 in the back seat as my family did a two week camping road trip, and I loved this story. I must have read Dune over 20 times, it was that good to me. When I heard about the audio book I was a bit hesistant that they might ruin one of my favorite stories (like they did with the movie!!).
But the narration and characterization of the actors, were wonderful, giving the story a richness and fullness, a 3D immersive experience.
It made a great story that much better.
I have listened to over 100 audiobooks on audible.com and can say, without reservation, that this performance of Dune is in my all-time Top Ten. If you have never read (or heard) Dune before, understand it as a masterpiece of future fiction. It is comparable to Lord of the Rings in its detailed other-worldliness and its steady hold on the reader. The book is of a sand world populated by evolved humans and replete with political intrigue, religious overtones, love, death and battle. This performance is rich and theater-like. Each character has a voice. It never sounds contrived or overdone. I know you will not regret purchasing this book.
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.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
If your only experience with Dune was the horrific movie, read on.
The mini-series was much better, but does not hold a candle to the original novel.
If you read and loved the original, you may be surprised how much you will enjoy this audible version.
Dune is more than great Sci-Fi, it is great fiction. I recently re-saw the mini-series and immediately wanted to experience the unabridged original again. The book was even better than I had remembered. The prose, the characters, and the story are all superior.
I was surprised there were quite a few subtle nuances in the story that I had not picked up on in my pervious several readings. I enjoyed this immensely as this is rare in all but the best of fiction.
Unfortunately the rest of this series does not live up to this powerful beginning, but not to worry, Dune stands alone. I strongly recommend this book even if you really disliked the movie. There are images and characters in this novel that have affected me strongly since my childhood and influenced me as a person. There are few works of fiction that I both enjoyed and appreciated as much as Dune.
I generally don’t like music or sound effects in an audio book, but here the sound-effect are light and don’t distract from the story. The narration, although not perfect, is quite good. This audio edition does the work justice.
Overall this was a great listen. However, I was somewhat annoyed how sometimes the voice of different characters were spoken by different actors, and sometimes they weren't. At one point even within one chapter they switched back and forth which mad it somewhat confusing. I did enjoy some of the sound effects though. Great listen!
This is a terrific book that I'd read many years ago. One of the best sci-fi novels ever, and a great novel even outside that genre. This production is quite good, and most of the voices are terrific.
Very strangely, however, this production sometimes uses two VERY different voices for the same character! For example, Duke Leto is voiced by an American-sounding actor in one scene and then a Brit in the next. Later, it will be back to the American!
The same with the Baron Harkonnen: two very different voices.
This is a very confusing state of affairs and I can't imagine why it was done. Oddly, the two actors voicing the same character don't even try to sound alike at all.
The book is so good, however, that it still gets 4 stars.
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.
"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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
"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!
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