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.
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.
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 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.
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 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!
Children's book illustrator & toy designer living in Los Angeles. Addicted to audio books.
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.
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 Fantastic Story and a Fantastic Audiobook"
It's been a few years since I have read any of the Dune books, and I decided to make the most of the never ending road works between my home and my workplace by working through them in Audio form!
Dune is a complete Sci-fi classic. Perhaps THE Sci-Fi classic. It is to Space Opera, what Lord of the Rings is to Sword and Sorcery. This fantastic tale of political intrigue, manipulations, superstition and nobility in an incredibly detailed and complex universe makes it a joy to read and explore.
The tale of the Lisan al Gaib being brought to life by a family trying to survive is a fantastic exploration of religion and the people who control it. It also is in my mind the best vision of an evolved human kind. Different people all super specialised into roles that have been developed and improved on over thousands of years to make every "Human" a force to be reckoned with.
The production of this book is also incredible. Simon Vance reads the story fantastically, and the book combines several voice actors for the different characters in key scenes, with Simon Vance doing the voices really well the rest of the time.
All in all a complete joy to listen to. Highly recommended.
I read this a long time ago, and this was a fantastic chance to relive the story, brought alive by narration. The plot is very rich and diverse, and the narration splendid. A classic science fiction tale that deserves its fame.
"Another great read"
I have all the books in this series and have had them for many years, if your in to sci-fi then you can't go wrong.
I must have read this book 10 or more times over the years and never get board of it.
If you like your sci-fi as a mixture of philosophy & action you will enjoy Dune. This is a wonderful rendition as the different readers bring this epic novel to life. I didn't want to stop listening.
If you haven't already listened to this audio book I cannot urge you strongly enough. Not only is the production of the highest quality but the story is gripping and fast paced.
The characters are very original and interesting and are really put through their paces in this book.
Do not be put off by the 20 hours run time it will fly by.
"Classic SciFi still better than most"
If you are looking for Science Fiction and have not already read 'Dune', then this is a must download. In this epic tale of competing houses Frank Herbert brings to life a planet that is both alien and somehow familiar. Superbly written in a style that at times resembles Homer's Iliad, it traces the history of an Agamemnon-like dynasty as they first come to grips with a desert planet and then, with unforseen consequences, turn its bedouin-like people into the most powerful, military force in the galaxy.
This long book is but the first volume in a series. The audible version is particularly appealing as it mostly features a whole cast of actors giving voice to the various characters. This added to my enjoyment as it sounded more like a radio play than a simple reading. I downloaded it to my kindle and found myself glued to it for days.
Be prepared, however, for long periods of inaction while the narrator gives voice to pages and pages of either description or philosophical speculation. Although it does have its moments, Dune is by no means a fast-action novel. One suspects that its writer, Frank Herbert, was not altogether unfamiliar with psychedelic drugs; sometimes the book appears somewhat unfocused, as if viewed through a smokey haze of 'melange': the spice-drug to which everyone on Dune is addicted. At these times I was grateful that the kindle was doing all the work and I could just let the words flow without having to wear out my eyes reading them! Thank you audible.
"A Good Try"
This multi-voiced mix of narration and drama doesn't always work, I'm afraid. The story is a classic sci-fi and if you know it then you won't be disappointed by the unabridged version as far as content is concerned. However, it was quite irritating to have the characters' voices interpreted in differnet ways, in a 'cut 'n' paste' audio. On the plus side, the SFX were great.
"Any Better than the film?"
The simple answer is YES! I have watched the film time and time again, but listening to the story brings so much more life to each of the characters... This by far is better than the film on so mnay different levels. I would recommend this to any serious SIFI person to listen too.
"Brings Herberts Masterpiece to Life"
This has been given a very good treatment and is almost more of a dramatisation than an audiobook really with multiple readers each using different voices for different characters. Not sure if I'd want to listen to it without reading it first but having read it a number of times, the audiobook is great and much better than any of the tv mini series or films imaginings of it.
"A Magnificent Story...."
What Lord of the rings is to Fantasy Fiction, Dune is to sci-fi.
The Audio Book Production with the various Narrators and Ambient sounds is simple the best Audio Book I have listen to to date. This Production is the bench mark that all Audio book productions should aspire to.
DUNE is a fantastic sci-fi story, filled with amazing plots, and unforgeable characters. The Sci-fi elements do not dominate but complement the story, and there is a fantasy fiction element as well which broaden the scope of the story.
A story you must experience...
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