©1984 Frank Herbert (P)2008 Macmillan Audio
I read and listen to books as much as possible.
And a great reader. This was my least favorite of the Dune books when i read them and I listened to an audio version I got from the library a few years ago. But this reader drew me in to this story like never before and I caught more of it than i ever did before. I look forward to hear Chapterhouse.
This series is addictive despite how disjointed the stories are as a whole. It is difficult to reign in the concept of thousands of years passing from one book to the next. Especially since with the exception of Duncan Idaho, there is not one character from the last book remaining and keeping track of who is who and how they fit into the overall plot, is a daunting task.
That said, this is not a stand alone story. The main issues posed by the storyline are not resolved and this is the first book in the series that ends in a way that is incomplete without the next book in the series. That was a bit disappointing.
It also needs to be said that there are graphic descriptions of a sexual nature that border on the pornographic. I am not a prude and was not disturbed by these descriptions but in retrospect, I don't see how these sequences advanced the storyline. They could have been done with a bit more finesse and I have no doubt that there are people who would be offended by them.
The subtle complexities of political maneuvers by the major characters provide the most intrigue of this book. Frank Herbert managed to hold my attention through the end despite the tedium of Miles Teg and Duncan Idaho spending 3/4 of the book trying to get off the planet Gammu. This reminded me of Indiana Jones trying to escape the mines in the claustrophobic "Temple of Doom."
Obviously, I have mixed feelings about the book but I enjoyed it overall and consider it a worthwhile read, if only to complete the series.
As nother reviewer has commented due to the time lapse between book 4 and 5 that the continuation of the story is difficult. I enjoyed the first four books as I was able to follow persons from the pervious books. With this book it seems that Duncan was tossed in for good measure. I never really understood why he was included in this book.
I found myself acutally wanting this book to end. The only reason I finished it was because of the investment I had made in the other four books I figured I should continue the series to its end.
This is my favorite book so far, it didn't seem slow to me at all. There's so much to these books, maybe they aren't full of hollywood style action, but the plotting and psychological action is intense, as with all the dune books (at least to me). Awesome stuff, and Simon Vance rocks.
Operatic. That's the Dune series...lots of machinations over long periods of time, interrupted by brief spates of action. More happens in Heretics of Dune than in the last few books, but most of the activity occurs off-stage, as it were.
First off, this is the fifth in Frank Herbert's Dune series; they won't make much sense if you don't experience them in order.
It is 1500 years since the death of Leto II, the God Emperor (a/k/a the Tyrant), and the planet Arrakis/Dune is now called Rakis and is desert once more. The factions of the Duniverse (mostly the Bene Gesserit, the Tleilaxu, the priests of the God Emperor and the newly arrived Honoured Matres) are maneuvering for control of the all important spice. The balance is upset when a young girl who can commune with the worms arrives from the desert.
As is the case with all of Herbert's Dune books, Heretics is a slow-mover. The story is the characters and their machinations, rather than starship and laser battles. There are more "action" bits (i.e. the starships and lasers) than the previous few books, but they are mostly referred to after the fact and not narrated directly (which is irritating).
My opinions on this book are mixed. The story itself is interesting, but slow. The prose is great but the story feels disjointed in places.
I still like Simon Vance's narration.
I'm torn about my final thoughts on this book. Herbert is a sublime writer first of all. After a spate of rather thin books, I was really excited to get into Heretics after my first few chapters. However this book ended up being SLOW. Not much happens for the majority of this novel and you spend an inordinate amount of time with the inner thoughts of certain Bene Gesserit characters. Apparently all Bene Gesserit characters think about is how their mystical training has made them particularly awesome humans and how they're going to double and triple cross everyone they see.
The last 2 hours of this book finally reach the point where all these double crosses have been leading . Unfortunately there are several clashes/battles/incredible happenings that you are eager to experience and all of a sudden Herbert jumps to a new chapter which glosses over the whole event. SPOILER FREE: Character A is about to mount an incredible ground battle against Faction B while Characters B & C are desperately trying to get Item C into a starship so they can escape the planet and save Humanity..... and the next chapter suddenly starts with said characters several weeks in the future getting on with their lives. It was a little bit of a letdown - I've waded through hours of internalized political maneuvering, thoughts, fears, and trechery.... let's see some lazer beams for a just a couple pages :)
The narrator does a very good job and his voices aren't too over the top. But I think he could have picked up the pace 20% and it would have helped keep the book moving. There were literally moments during my commute where my attention had wandered for several minutes and I just turned it off and switched to FM (gasp!)
So in the end I cannot recommend this book as an audiobook. I think it would have read better.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
Here many of the political and religious plot lines begin to converge. Set thousands of years after the time of Paul; this novel exemplifies one of the problems of a wide scope Space Opera that extends over such vast time scales: The writer has to introduce a new set of characters for every installment. Frank Herbert strives to overcome this problem in his series by always having an Atreides in a key role. He always has a Bene Gesserit trying to pull the strings behind the scenes. And, of course, the recurring figure of Duncan Idaho again makes an appearance in one of his many clones. This novel has some interesting personalities placed in these standard roles and for this reason holds my interest better than the other sequels so far. At the end of the day, it is still a far cry from the drama of the original. By the end I was longing for a conniving villain like baron Harkonnen to add a little drama.
Simon Vance again reads the text. His delivery is uncomfortably dispassionate and leads to the depiction of strangely uncomfortable antiseptic coitus in more than one scene. This book gives me a chance to editorialize: There is something commendable in translating a book from the print to the audio format with as little deviation from the mood of the original. I would say that there is a higher commendation deserved in taking a stolid, phlegmatic novel and imparting some sense of drama to it that would make it a more entertaining listening experience.
CAUTION: For those of you who have not read/listened to the Dune series, do NOT start with this book.Though I was looking forward to the last book written by Herbert himself, the thread of continuity between the central themes seems to have been broken after God Emperor.
What I find most out of character is the overt gratuitous sexuality that reared its head toward the end of the book, and was nowhere to be found in any of Herbert's other works previously. It's almost as though someone took over for him at the end, or the publisher said: "Frank, we need some sex in here or it won't sell."
Yes, I'll listen to it again, but the core trajectory and central theme of Herbert's original story line seems to have gotten lost in the sauce somewhere.
a REAL American
I read these books decades ago and honestly didn't know if I cared for the story line. Now, after hearing them, I am totally engrossed with the mind of the author.
"Slow and pointless"
Read the last two chapters and skip the rest as almost nothing happened.
This one was really terrible compared to the others in this series which is such a shame as I'm a huge dune fan. Only one more to go now (chapter house) and I hope it's not a dull as this was.
"Disappointed that so little actually happened..."
... then it ended.......... ...17 words left ... must keep writing.. or it will not left me submit a review dot dot dot
"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.
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