Dune Messiah picks up the story of the man known as Muad'Dib, heir to a power unimaginable, bringing to fruition an ambition of unparalleled scale: the centuries-old scheme to create a superbeing who reigns not in the heavens but among men.
But the question is: DO all paths of glory lead to the grave?
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©1969 Frank Herbert; (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC
So much plot expansion happens in this installment of the Dune series, and it's amazing. Truly a case of plans within plans, feints within feints.
I wish the narration had been kept in the same format as the first book because there were so many more characters and events in this sequel that the changes in voices for narration became a little muddy. Other than that, this was expertly read/performed.
Dune was wonderful. if you can forgive a terrible book 2 because book 1 was fantastic, then this is for you.
Story has no heart. In Dune, characters developed depth as the story progressed around them. In Dune messiah Paul sits in his throne room as a crappy story is narrated to you. There is no story that unfolds around that action of the characters. For example, The Fremen jihad is unleashed across the universe. Oh how awful. Yet there are no good storytelling examples. There is no plot that makes you feel there is a jihad. You just have to believe there is an awful jihad.This book is full of this. You are told about things but never feel it. Imagine if in Dune all that was said about Baron Harkonnen was that he is a very bad man who is evil. You don't feel it. Dune was good because you knew Baron Harkonnen was evil by a storyline that showed he was evil.
Much of Herbert's description of prescience is confusing and gets you lost. Which I think is the point. You can understand the position Paul is in and understand how he feels like a slave to his own life. Definitely worth the read.
The first installlment of Frank Herbert's Dune Saga (the original saga) is, as has been duly noted by previous reviewers, a sci-fi classic. Dune Messiah, being a sequel, lacks the introductory appeal of the first one, however rendering a more profound view of the universe created by the author throughout the whole series. It is not as action driven as the first but it is intellectually provocative as well as theologically and philosohpically moving. Having said that, I must stress that the narration is terrible. Honestly, this is not a kids' story, there was no need to disturb the essence of the characters inflicting them with ludicrous accents and mannerisms, to the point where it even tends to picture the story as if it was taking place somewhere in the Middle East when it actually takes place a few millenia away from this time and space.
I listened to this book right after finishing Dune, which I liked a lot. Sadly, I found this book to be a letdown on two important fronts. Firstly, the plot was ultra-boring. I struggled to stick with it until the end, continually hoping that something exciting or interesting would happen, but it never did.
Secondly, the narration used a different style than in Dune. In Dune, Simon Vance was the primary narrator, and other characters were acted by different narrators. I'm a big fan of Vance and the division of roles in Dune worked well. In this book, however, the narrators took turns reading. So, for example, Vance would read for a while non-stop doing every character, then the next narrator would take over. For me, this style of narration didn't work quite as well. Every time the narrator would change, I noticed it and it took me a while to get used to how the new narrator played each character. It ended up being a distraction. Too bad.
Listening.to the story was an absolute delight I'll repeat again and again. The narration and verbal characterization was impressive and added greatly to overall delight!
If, like me, you loved Dune and just wanted more of the world and Frank Herbert's writing than this could be fun. The story misses the adventure scope and drama of the first book. But it's still filled with amazing ideas and observations about the nature of the Universe that made the original so great.
"Not as good as the original book"
I had heard that this book was a bit of a week link in the Dune series so I was a bit apprehensive in ordering it. However, after listening to the original Dune audio book I knew I had to find out what happened to Paul and the others.
It was always going to be a hard act to follow but the production of this audio book is not as accomplished as that of Dune. I think this is mainly because many of the more distinctive characters from the first book do not appear in the sequel. The plot starts very very slowly and the clue is in the title - it is very Messianic and almost spirtual in the descriptions of the 'oracular vision'.
That said, there are some superb original concepts in the sequel, including the ghola 'Hate' and the descriptions of the Tleilaxu culture. The book also ends very well.
I'll certainly be downloading the next one.
"Great Book, Great readers"
Great reading. clear and easy to understand. while the reading does change a few times to different narrators i found this a good thing. A superb book explaining what happened 12 years after Paul Atreides took over Dune. As gripping as it is intricute. This is a must read for those who want to know what happened to Paul, channi and the others in the royal court
"Too much melange by the author?"
I listened to the first book and loved it. Although I found the first book hard going at the beginning you drop into the new words, and now 50 years on a lot of the Arabic words the author drops in a more familiar to westerns - Haj, Jihad.
I can't help thinking though that this book is slightly addled and more of it's time - 1969! Book one seemed timeless and I was amazed that after 50 years it still felt fresh and relevant, but this one felt like something from the height of flower power and hippy trippy acid frenzies. The author seems to jump from event to event, with little to interlink the story and long, rambling, impenetrable, and frankly nonsensical passages that drift off to nowhere describing the nature of Paul’s visions of the future with a torrent of words that seem thrown together and make little sense. Maybe the author is genius and the nonsense of his passages were meant to reflect the confusion of Paul trying to read the right path in the future … but frankly I got bored of listening to long passages of babble and garbage thrown together with little attempt at a coherent story thread.
Here’s just one extract (and I could find many) that will give you an idea of how mind bendingly nonsensical it is
“He became a motionless chain of relative existence, singular, alone. Old memories flooded his mind, he marked them, adjusted them to new understandings, made a beginning at the integration of a new awareness, an new persona achieved a temporary form of internal tyranny, the masculating synthesis remained charged with potential disorder, but events pressed him to the temporary adjustment, the young master needed him.”
I won’t be listening to the rest of the saga, this just disappeared up it’s own behind. I found myself listening to it more, just so I could get it over with faster. Thankfully it was under 10 hours so less than a week of my driving schedule, if it had been longer I'd have just ditched it.
"A narrative bridge, not well executed"
The source material isn't as good as the first book but still a very worthy read. Sadly the decision to share the narrative between the voice actors makes the experience confusing and distracts. The original has a set actor for character and one narrator, which is much more immersive.
"Another really good audio book"
The voice acting is strong throughout but actors read entire chapters which can be a little disconcerting.
The story isn't quite as strong as the first Dune but still a deep and compelling tale, even if it felt a little unfinished.
"What Matrix Revolution/Reloaded is to the Original"
We all loved The Matrix the same way we all loved Dune.
The exact same thing happened in Messiah as it did in Matrix Revolutions and Reloaded. It got waaaayyy too preachy, mystical and messiahry with no real thread to keep it held together.
It seemed in Messiah, Paul had just become a pain in the arse teenage with too many powers where no conversation was straight forward, it always had to mention "the infinite opportunities or prescient vision" in some manner, by the end of the book it got tiring.
Duncan - "Paul, would you like porridge for your breakfast?"
Paul - "I must meditate on this Duncan. The endless outcomes from the smallest minutia of mundane choices will echo an eternity like the muddied sands flowing through the giant mouth of mystical beasts, the Worms"
Paul sat quietly focusing all his attention on whether to have porridge for breakfast as Bene Gesserit mother had taught him.
This is essentially how the book went.
"Impossible to live up and follow Dune"
I have always liked Frank Herbert stories so would willingly read / listen to another. Not sure about the narrators though they were never going to live up to how I heard it in my head as a youth.
Paul's consort Janey. She had something special about her, untainted and live. Though I did sympathize with the Princess Wife and felt we could have had more of her.
That is the thing about this book it does not have the big scene just the much trailed and expected tragedy and followed by exit stage left.
I did enjoy this story again so many years after first reading it. However, I was surprised by the amount of "filling". I had not remembered the extensive descriptions.
"a (mostly) worthy successor to Dune"
Starting off excellently, fizzled towards the finale. The ending and conspiracy climax the main dissapointment.
Second book in the series, carries on the story of Paul. Great performances by all the readers. Found it difficult to stop listening as the storytelling was very gripping. Shorter story than the first book. Now to get the next in the series.
has been 20 years since i read the original book. i cant believe i left it so long but the climax &character stories in this sequal are fantastic. took me a couple of chapters to get into but great
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