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Publisher's Summary

Frank Herbert's Dune series is one of the grandest epics in the annals of imaginative literature. Selling millions of copies worldwide, it is science fiction's answer to The Lord of the Rings, a brilliantly imaginative epic of high adventure, unforgettable characters, and immense scope. Decades after Herbert's original novels, the Dune saga was continued by Frank Herbert's son, Brian Herbert, an acclaimed SF novelist in his own right, in collaboration with Kevin J. Anderson. Their New York Times best-selling Prelude to Dune trilogy (House Atreides, House Harkonnen, and House Corrino), formed a prequel to the classic Herbert series that was acclaimed by reviewers and listeners alike. 

Now Herbert and Anderson, working from Frank Herbert's own notes, reveal a pivotal epoch in the history of the Dune universe, the chapter of the saga most eagerly anticipated by listeners: The Butlerian Jihad.

Throughout the Dune novels, Frank Herbert frequently referred to the long-ago war in which humans wrested their freedom from "thinking machines." Now, in Dune: Butlerian Jihad, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson bring to life the story of that war, a tale previously seen only in tantalizing hints and clues. Finally, we see how Serena Butler's passionate grief ignites the war that will liberate humans from their machine masters. We learn the circumstances of the betrayal that made mortal enemies of House Atreides and House Harkonnen; and we experience the Battle of Corrin that created a galactic empire that lasted until the reign of Emperor Shaddam IV.

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, who escape bondage to flee to the desert world where they will declare themselves the Free Men of Dune. And here is the backward, nearly forgotten planet of Arrakis, where traders have discovered the remarkable properties of the spice melange....

Ten thousand years before the events of Dune, humans have managed to battle the remorseless Machines to a standstill...but victory may be short-lived. Yet amid shortsighted squabbling between nobles, new leaders have begun to emerge. Among them are Xavier Harkonnen, military leader of the Planet of Salusa Secundus; Xavier's fiancée, Serena Butler, an activist who will become the unwilling leader of millions; and Tio Holtzman, the scientist struggling to devise a weapon that will help the human cause. 

Against the brute efficiency of their adversaries, these leaders and the human race have only 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

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What listeners say about Dune: The Butlerian Jihad

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A very good book but poorly formatted.

Frank Herbert's Dune novels are masterpieces. This book by Brian Herbert and Anderson is very good, but don't expect it to equal the originals. It is solid, though, and a great backstory about the fabled Butlerian Jihad. Likewise, Scott Brick's narration is good. Some have said that he is melodramatic, and that is a fair critique, but in most cases, it works well with the story being about war.

My only complaint, and it is a significant one, is the setup of the audiobook. The book is well over 20 hours in length, but inexplicably there are only two chapters! The first is a little over an hour long, and then the second is just absurd. I like to listen to a chapter while falling asleep, and then I will usually have less than an hour to backtrack. With this book, I couldn't do that. Even just listening on my way to work and during breaks, if I wanted to backtrack it was a chore.

It is still worth getting for a die hard Dune fan, but make frequent bookmarks or it will be extremely frustrating if you lose your place or want to hear part of it again. As a side note, I just started The Machine Crucade, and.that book is broken up in a same way, so dont about following this book up with the next.

29 people found this helpful

  • 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.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Meh

Just not in the same league as the original books. Also it downloaded as one single chapter which made listening a treat

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

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.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful prequel to the Dune world

I listened to this book after working through the three Dune, Messiah and Children. I looked at this book because I really enjoyed the Dune books and from the summary I felt this book would be more of the same. I belive the coauthors of this book and some other prequel's to the Dune series did a good job in using a simular writing sytle and creating with Herbert's notes a vast and complex universe.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

25 people found this 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.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Where's the end?

I enjoyed listening to this book, but I felt it was published before it was completed.
Good narration otherwise.

5 people found this 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.

59 people found this helpful