God Emperor of Dune

Narrated by: Simon Vance
Series: Dune, Book 4, Dune Saga, Book 15
Length: 15 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (5,655 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

More than 3,000 years have passed since the first events recorded in Dune. Only one link survives with those tumultuous times: the grotesque figure of Leto Atreides, son of the prophet Paul Muad'Dib, and now the virtually immortal God Emperor of Dune. He alone understands the future, and he knows with a terrible certainty that the evolution of his race is at an end unless he can breed new qualities into his species.

But to achieve his final victory, Leto Atreides must also bring about his own downfall.

Don't miss other titles in the Dune series.
©1981 Frank Herbert (P)2008 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"A fourth visit to Arrakis that is every bit as fascinating as the other three - every bit as timely." ( Time)
"Rich fare...Heady stuff." ( Los Angeles Times)

What listeners say about God Emperor of Dune

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Almost as good as the original

God Emperor of Dune compares well with the original Dune, better than the previous two sequels (Dune Messiah and Children of Dune). It doesn't quite measure up to the standard of the first book, but few books, anywhere, do.

Warning: God Emperor of Dune is the third sequel to Dune. Ignore this book until you are familiar with Dune and the first 2 sequels.

It is 3500 years since Leto II Atreides donned his living sandtrout armor. Leto is now a living deity as well as galactic emperor...prescient, super-intelligent, supremely strong, vengeful...and more sandworm than man. Arrakis is now lush and green; the sandworms (except for Leto) are all but extinct. There is no more spice, excepting centuries-old stockpiles.

This is Leto's Golden Path...the future for humanity that he foresaw and planned 3500 years ago.

Like most of Herbert's Dune books, this book has an operatic feel...it moves slowly and most of the book is taken up with dialogue. The story really is the people, their motives and their schemes. This book revolves almost entirely around the title character (more so than the prior books), but, then, the God Emperor is the dominant story of this time and place.

The narration is very well done; Simon Vance narrates most of the book, with Katherine Kellgren reading the occasional female-dominated chapter and Scott Brick delivering the epigraphs at the start of each chapter. Three excellent readers who did a great job.

38 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The art of reading.

There is little need of me further commending the Dune series. My main purpose here is to praise Simon Vance's reading of this extremely long book - as it is perhaps most natural to think of all six of them as one book. He manages to balance an extremely clear enunciation with the right sense of emotion and complex character composition required. I'm eagerly waiting for Audible's publication of "Chapterhouse Dune" , and I certainly expect that Simon Vance will be entrusted with the whole project. He's given new life to a book which is already very alive.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful continuation of the Dune saga

Im working my way through all of the Dune books. While there is a significant amount of time passed between Children of Dune and this book the plot continues well with out the sense that a significant amount of the story is lost. This book is a little long in the tooth and IMO could have been a few hours shorter and not have lost the overall story. This book defiantly leaves me wanting to listen to the next part of the saga.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent production

Frank Herbert's Dune series are among my all time favorite books. God Emperor is by far my favorite of the series. I have been waiting anxiously for the release of this production. I have not been disappointed. The story is at least as compelling in audio as it is in print. This production does the job excellently.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great performance.

After I read God Emperor about five years ago, to me, it was one of the most engrossing book I had ever read.

This audiobook does the novel justice. Each of the voice actors match the mood and atmosphere nicely.

My one dislike I have with the audiobook, in my opinion, would have to be the woman narrator. She was great up until she did the voice of Leto. Having the male narrator do all the voices even the women kind of became stale. So allowing a lady to add a touch of feminism sure kept me listening. That being said, the male should have jumped in. Again that is my opinion.

I would definitely recommend this audio to all the fans of the dune novels for sure. Also, to individuals who may of had a hard time reading the novel.

And of course, to those who enjoy audiobooks in general.

My rating comes from my true opinions which I have just expressed.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Heavy but excellent book

I was 15 when I first tried reading the Dune series. I quickly devoured the books until I reached God Emperor. Despite trying to push through, I had made it about 2/3 of the way before giving up. After going back to it all these years later, I understand why.
God Emperor of Dune is a book about how a person can choose to act in a way completely counter to how most feel that someone should act in order to bring about an outcome meant for the greater good. The novel is somewhat dense, highly political, and very introspective. After going through God Emperor today, it's easy to understand why my 15 year old self struggled with making it through, as I hadn't experienced enough life to prepare me for the subject matter the novel deals with.
The novel is seen from the point of view of the guide, rather than the adventurer. It's a more mature view that it rare in science fiction, and for those who can identify with that mindset, the novel is very natural and free flowing. This story includes preparing a protege, passing the torch to those that will follow, and the joy that comes from that experience.
All in all, the piece is well written, remains relevant, and worth reading for anyone who wants to understand mentorship. The reading was very well done. It uses the same cast from the previous Dune novels who keep up the same level of quality.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Golden Path is obvious!

They are doing a great job with the production on these books, The readers are fantastic!
Of course they are the Dune books by Herbert so they are great. This one was as good as the rest.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The best of Dune...

I'm a big fan of Frank Herbert's original works in this series. After the first book (Dune), this one ranks highest in my opinion, but it's true that you have to appreciate Herbert and the world he created in order to 'get' this book. I suspect most people who are fans of this book identify strongly with Duncan Idaho, who bridges the world of the first three books with God Emperor of Dune. Leto Atreides II is such a fascinating character - love him or hate him. The reading is very well done, especially Simon Vance and Katherine Kellgren. Fortunately Scott Brick only reads the chapter introductions... very much over the top as usual, but you can tune those out.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Must be a Dune fan

When asked my favorite book, I answer Dune. I understand that it is not everyone's cup of tea.
Of the series, God Emperor is my favorite and this audiobook brought forth other aspects to consider. I enjoy contemplating Frank Herbert's writings.
If you have interest, please be sure to have checked out the others prior to this in the series: Dune, Dune Messiah, and Children of Dune.

9 people found this helpful

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

It's a mixed bag

I have loved the Dune books so far. However, this book introduced a homophobic subplot, which is terrible in itself, but the real kicker was it was never resolved or tied into the main story. If it was vital to the storyline or any sort of character development I could look past it like I looked past the 10 year old siblings describing their sexual desires and marrying eachother in the previous book, but it was simply a hate filled rant hidden in an otherwise decent book.The reader was fantastic though.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicholas Tuck
  • 03-02-20

Pretentious and pompous ramblings of a narcissist

The seeds of an interesting story and characters ruined by pompous and pretentious rambling. It’s Dune Messiah, but double the length. Not only is it boring (and oddly homophobic?) but it’s also made me think less of Children of Dune and Mark that down from a 4 to 3. I came into this after Children of Dune hyped to read the next instalment, and was even more excited after a really great and effective first chapter, but now I’m done with the series. Maybe someday I’ll come back, but for now I’m done.

At one point I accidentally skipped forward 2 hours in the audiobook and listened to a forty minute chapter, without noticing. That’s how little happens.

I hate this. Shame.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • jennifer
  • 11-24-19

Confusing and boring in equal measure

I love the Dune books and expect to have my brain tested and expanded in order to capture the vast universe that Herbert has cast us into however this book, placed thousands of years after Children of Dune and thousands of years before the next book does not hold sufficiently new information, the storyline such as it is becomes mind numbingly boring and stilted and its impossible to empathise or even dislike any of the characters as they are all so one dimensional and stereotypical.
Furthermore the audiobook has some really annoying background noises and every now and then at the beginning of some of the chapters, a different narrator appears with a very weird and annoying way of speaking and it sound like he is speaking through a trumpet. This also happened in the first Dune book but the storyline was so fascinating I managed to ignore it most of the time.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • O. J.
  • 05-07-19

Only one problem

The female narrator is really out of tone and her voice is piercing. My speakers on my phone cant handle her voice so much and it hurt my ears. She also doesnt seem to be in the book as much as reciting without knowing. For instance she says things very drawn out and emotional twang then describes that it was said flat and emotionless. Apart from the female narrator for a very small amount of the book I thought it was a good rendition and this is my favorite dune book. I just skip the parts with the woman speaking

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Thorvald
  • 01-09-19

Multiple readers positively ruins the immersion.

The multiple voices ruins this book. Using a different reader for the quotes is a good idea, but when a chapter suddenly is in a different voice with different interpretations of the cahracters, the magic is gone.

The story is fantastic.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Zplintz
  • 01-19-17

Love this book.

Mind bending scale of structure, space and thought.

I would advise reading/listening to the previous books in the series first though.

Very well read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Leon
  • 09-30-08

Close,but no cigar

I liked it but it lacked the pace and enthralling approach of the preceding books.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Gerbil
  • 08-06-20

Heavy at times, but still enjoyable.

Having seen the bad press this book has generated, I started this with some trepidation. Although not the best book in the series it is still enjoyable, it is not the slog it is made out to be, it doesn't have lots of action but you are instead invited to figure out the motives of the God emperor through his journals and dialogue. What unfolds is an epic plan which will determine humanity's future in this universe.

Like Clarke & Asimov the scale of Herbert's plan is mind boggling.

So read and see where the golden path takes you.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dan
  • 07-14-20

i can't stop listening

bought the whole series and I can't stop listening. i need to find out what happens next.
i do love how each book has a cathartic ending but still sets the scene for the next book to happen.i see glorious use of words that inspire and opens your mind to the reality of today.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Darth Dylage
  • 04-01-20

My favourite Dune novel

As the headline says – this is my favourite... detailed, rich, deep and in Leto II it has one of the best characters in sci-fi.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • glen curtin
  • 08-08-19

Heavy going

Enjoyed the story but compared to the early books I found this one heavy going

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • BooksAreAwesome
  • 08-01-19

Way way too much pretentious philosophy

It seems that almost half the book was pretentious philosophy. Apart from that, the story was ok, but still not a good as the earlier books.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-30-20

A Very Distinct Decline.

Give this one a pass.

I really liked Dune, tolerated Messiah and liked CoD.

God Emperor, however, is worse than each and every one. There are few characters and none of them are interesting. There's not much of a plot, and none of it is interesting.

Gone is the Dune you loved. Pretend it ended with CoD.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-27-19

Dense, meandering and self glorifying

Having audioread the earlier books over the past month, I was compelled to continue and complete the story. This book significantly is half baked philosophical dialogue and little action by the characters. It was disappointing.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-10-19

All round brilliance.

After a lackluckster second book, Frank Herbert set a new standard with the third and fourth in the series.

God Emperor was as thrilling and grand as the original Dune and the originality stands alone as a titan of sciencr fiction.

The narration was fantastic as always. Multiple actors, real emotion in the lines.

One of the best reads ever in my opinion.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-24-19

The magnificent jewel in the Crown of Dune

Sianoq, The Golden Smoke, Leto! I believe!

Of the many Dune books I love to revisit, GEoD is the one I find myself coming back to the most.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Travis
  • 11-13-18

compelling but confusing

This was a very confusing listen but well performed and a compelling piece of dune