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Dune: The Butlerian Jihad

Narrated by: Scott Brick
Series: Dune Saga, Book 1, Legends of Dune, Book 1
Length: 23 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,257 ratings)

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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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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
    81
  • 1 Stars
    48

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    341
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    93
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    14

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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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.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • 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.

3 of 3 people found this review 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.

23 of 33 people found this review helpful

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

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
    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
    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.

11 of 16 people found this review 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.

9 of 13 people found this review 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 of 7 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.

57 of 87 people found this review helpful