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Dune: The Butlerian Jihad

Narrated by: Scott Brick
Length: 23 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,127 ratings)
Regular price: $42.52
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Publisher's Summary

Frank Herbert's Dune is one of the grandest epics in the annals of imaginative literature. Decades after his original novels, the saga was continued by Herbert's son, Brian, in collaboration with Kevin J. Anderson. Now Herbert and Anderson, working from Frank Herbert's own notes, reveal a pivotal epoch in the history of the Dune universe: the Butlerian Jihad, the war that was fought ten thousand years before the events of Dune - the war in which humans wrested their freedom from "thinking machines."

We learn of the betrayal that made mortal enemies of House Atreides and House Harkonnen. Herein are the foundations of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood, the Suk Doctors, the Order of Mentats, and the mysteriously altered Navigators of the Spacing Guild. Here is the amazing tale of the Zensunni Wanderers and here, too, is the planet of Arrakis, where traders have discovered the remarkable properties of the spice melange...

To emerge victorious over their brutal adversaries in the Jihad, the human race and its leaders have only the weapons of imagination, compassion, and the capacity for love. It will have to be enough.

©2002 Herbert Limited Partnership (P)2002 Audio Renaissance, a Division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award Winner, Science Fiction, 2003

"Offers the kind of intricate plotting and philosophical musings that would make the elder Herbert proud." (Publishers Weekly)
"Required reading for Dune fans." (Library Journal)



What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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    87
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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Just a hint of melange.

As a Dune junkie, I have read the "House" series from Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson. So I knew what to expect with the audible version of Butlerian Jihad. A light, plot-dependent read with just enough respect to the original series to satisy my need for more info on the world of Dune. I knew it wouldn't have the depth, subtlety and richness of the original series, and it didn't. It is entertaining enough for a listen, but you'll be left wanting more.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • Camp Morton, MB, Canada
  • 02-03-03

enoyed premise but not execution

I am a huge fan of the original Dune series by Frank Herbert. They were intricately written and exciting to read.

This book has only a touch of the original spark the Frank Herbert books did. I did enjoy, though, reading of the origin of a few of the concepts, people and history that were put forth in the original series. The plot held me for most of the book nearing the completion of the book I was simply waiting for it to be over.

What I thought took away from the novel most of all was the poor narration. Audible and other sources of 'audio books' have usually never failed to impress me with the actors who read from the book. Jim Dale comes to mind as an actor made to read books. The narrator for this book, while having a good voice and being able to properly hear all the words, did not have the same acting abiliities as I have become to expect from audio books. It was the odd time to hear a character have a different voice which made it seem inconsistent to even have any character voices at all.

Overall, this audible would be only for the true die-hard Dune fans who wish to have a glimpse at Frank Herberts ideas prequeling the original series.

23 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Laird
  • new york, NY, USA
  • 11-12-03

Astounding bad, but still Dune...

I really wanted to like this book, being a huge Dune fan (I've read Dune at least four times now, and I'm sure I'll read it again) but this book was painful. Still, despite the amaturish writing and obvious plotting, it's still good to learn more about the universe of Dune.

A few bits stood out -- the writing appears not to be able to think of alternative phrasing, so the book is extremely repetitive. This might not be as annoying in written form, but after you hear the phrase "thinking machines" fifty times in an audio book, you want to scream at the author to exert a few neurons. There's no reason that the cyborgs would make their single most vulnerable component easily externally accessible in combat -- they're suppose to be smart, not suicidal. And the number of "coincidences" that occur is absurd -- most of the important inventions of the next 10,000 years occur during a few years, because the author wanted to be able to write about the origin of various interesting plot devices. To me, it looked like the editor decided that it didn't matter what they printed -- if it said "Dune" and "Herbert" on it, people would buy it.

And, damn them, it worked on me.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jessica
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 04-24-11

Dune: The Search for More Money

I listened to this book when it first came out, and then again recently, when I had forgotten just how bad it was.

The plot: boring and predictable.
The characters: one-dimensional and annoying.
The writing: stilted and repetitive.

Throughout the whole thing, I could hear the authors shouting "see? See what we did there? We made a reference to a person/place/thing mentioned in the original series! Isn't that *great*?"

I might have been able to overlook some of it if it hadn't been for Scott Brick. I really don't get why everybody loves him so much. He has a melodramatic, overblown style, which is a particularly poor fit for the awful writing in this book.

What bothered me most is that it didn't give me any insight into the original series. Sure, it filled in some backstory, but those details didn't tell us anything important about what happened in the main series or why. That's just a story set in the same universe, not a true prequel.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Amusing in a campy bad sort-of way!

About the book: This is a prequel written by Frank Herbert's son and another author. Rather than an apocryphal and an exciting extension, it is mediocre science fiction. None of the mystery of the various competing factions of the original series is present, although it attempts to explain the origination of the ban on computers, the long standing hatrid between dynastic houses, of the development of the spacing guild, and everything else in the original book, except for the Emperor. Much of the promised explanations are done as an afterthought, whereas other things tediously repeated over and over and over again. Most of the book is about man vs. machine--a longer and dumbed-down Eric Asimov. Characters are two dimensional and completely predictable. Women are ravishingly beautiful or stunted and deformed. Men are portly and red-faced politicians or tall and handsome. However, there is one loveable drug addict and another character who reminded me of my pompous dissertation advisor--I liked them.

There is one love scene in the book which was embarassing to listen to (alone): I winced. It involved a hunt for deadly wild charging boars, a secluded hot spring, and much ripping of each other's clothes, between the two most important young people of the universe. Think dumbed-down Jackie Collins in space.

The format includes the made up quotes of the original book, but these are really, really bad, and don't seem to have any relationship to the text.

Never-the-less, it is a Dune book, so I listened to the entire thing, and I didn't feel cheated; esp. on a per-word basis.

The Production: It is narrated by a single reader. He attempts to do a few accents and voices, but they are really, really bad. But he had to talk a long time. Some of the voices (esp. of the robots) will make you laugh.

Conclusion: Get it if you are a real Dune buff. I ended up enjoying it because it is so much worse than the real thing that it is funny.

12 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Can't believe Kevin J. Anderson co-wrote this crap

This book should never have happened. Poorly written, riddled with plotholes, ridiculously dumb storyline, targeted at 10 year olds. Can't believe Kevin J. Anderson put his name under this. I struggle for words to describe how bad it is.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Poorly written

Sorely disappointed in this book. I disliked 95% of the characters finding the dialogue poorly written and characters one dimensional. A sad addition to a great series. If you want background on the Dune universe it is worth a read/listen. But beware as the writing is not good. The narrator is one I usually enjoy but I think the layout of this writing worked against him. I also found the quotes at the beginning of each chapter to be disruptive to the narrative and basically meaningless. I’m saddened by what could have been a much better book if a better writer had undertaken it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Very disappointed, can’t compare to Dune

I read Dune and it’s direct sequels many years ago and enjoyed them immensely.
I feel this book was written for young adults or even younger readers. The story has many inconsistencies, both in plot and characters.
I only finished it to try to understand the history behind Dune, but it was very difficult to finish it.
Maybe my expectations were just too high.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Dune this is not.

This might have been a slightly better book if it were about 1/3 it's current length. The authors have a tendancy to repeat the exact same thing over and over and over and over again using only slight variations in word choice.

There are huge logic wholes such as the thinking machines being held back by a planetary shield that would fry their gell brains but not those of the cymechs (because just using the term cyborg is so uncool) under their control who had human brains. The cymechs drop through the shield to the planets surface and attempt to disable the shield in a combat where all them apparently stood around doing nothing while the humans ganged up on one after another because that was the only way the puny human weapons could destroy the cymechs. Of course after only destroying a few of the cymechs the remainder flee the planet. Um, since cymechs and human ships and their electronics could go through the sheild why would the thinking machines waste time sending the cymechs through rather than just firing missiles or bombs on the shield generators? Or, since their objective was to destroy the humans anyway, why not just bomb the entire surface of the planet into oblivion -- they had 100 years to prepare for this battle.

The characters seemed like they were drawn up by an illiterate 13 year old and were praised ad nauseum by the authors. For instance an officer is referred to as a military genius because he ordered soldiers to defend the shield generators mentioned above rather than defending a city. I'm sorry, but there's just not a lot of thought necessary to determine that defending the only thing keeping the entire planet alive is probably a better option than protecting a nearby city.

The narrator is also pretty bad. He has a good voice but occasionally speaks for characters in his narrator voice which was distracting enough to snap me out of the story. Some of his character voices are pretty weak too, especially some of the robots.

If you think the "G.I. Joe" movie had a solid level of realism, or the plot of "The Last Airbender" was deep, complex and intriguing, then this may be a very entertaining book for you. If you are a die hard fanatic of the Dune mythos, this might be bearable. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else.

I only listened to the first 4 or 5 hours before I just couldn't take saying "Oh please, that is so stupid!" anymore.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Full of Sound and Fury....signifying nothing

This is ~really, really bad~ science fiction, from writers who are Cuisinarts of mixed metaphors and perpetual motion generators of scientific impossibilities. But there are enough scenes of graphic violence, enough different venues, enough subplots (most left unresolved, to be taken up in the inevitable next book) and enough characters (badly drawn though they are) from Frank Herbert's notes to have kept me listening for 23 hours. I'll admit, though, that part of what I enjoyed was the number of times I got to say, "Oh, that is just so stupid," and the number of times I got to laugh at some ridiculously bungled turn of phrase. And I'll admit I'm glad to be done. This book is worse than "House Atreides" or "House Harkonnen" -- and they were both pretty dismal. I suggest victims of this "Jihad" listen to the Arthur C. Clarke collection after this book. The excellent science, superb plotlines, and sound psychology in characterization of which Clarke is such a master will help said victims recover any damaged faith in how inspiring ~good~ science fiction can be.

56 of 86 people found this review helpful