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Publisher's Summary

Heretics of Dune, the fifth installment in Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi series.

On Arrakis, now called Rakis, known to legend as Dune, 10 times 10 centuries have passed. The planet is becoming desert again. The Lost Ones are returning home from the far reaches of space. The great sandworms are dying, and the Bene Gesserit and the Bene Tleilax struggle to direct the future of Dune. The children of Dune's children awaken as from a dream, wielding the new power of a heresy called love. 

©1984 Frank Herbert (P)2008 Macmillan Audio

Featured Article: Dune (2021)—Book vs. Movie


The very first book to win the Nebula Award, Frank Herbert's Dune has long been a fixture of the sci-fi world. It's no surprise, then, that yet another filmmaker has taken a stab at bringing this classic to the screen. The latest effort, by Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve, captures the first half of the epic novel. The reviews have been generally positive, with critics and audiences blown away by the scale and sheer ambition of the adaptation. Overall, Villeneuve's 2021 adaptation of Herbert's sci-fi classic is quite faithful. But in what small ways does the film differ from the book?

What listeners say about Heretics of Dune

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Without great pain, it is impossible to transcend

A must read for any fan of the series, KEEP GOING, for only a true fremen would.

16 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Strong start; ridiculous, stupid ending

After 5-10 chapters, I had decided this was my favorite book in the Dune series. Wonderful characters and plot lines. The book continued to be very strong through the middle 1/3 before Herbert drove it off a cliff.

**SPOILER ALERT**

In the final 1/3 of the book, one of the main characters develops what is, essentially, a super power - an almost catastrophic broadside to the book’s integrity. Worse, descending further into farce and totally catastrophic, we learn that the villains enforce their political domination through violence and, wait for it, mind blowing sex. The sex is so mind blowing that one conjugal experience has you hooked forever - you can’t live without it and will do anything for the villains, who supply you with it.

Utterly stupid.

I believe Herbert died shortly after this book was published. I’d like to think he just didn’t have to write a non-ridiculous ending.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Herbert is a genius

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.

20 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A Marked Departure

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Good Book

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.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

The opera continues

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.

13 people found this helpful

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The worst parts of the Dune series in one book.

The original Dune and Dune Messiah are my favorites for many reasons. They are decently composed and the themes were interesting. as the series progressed, more and more the mood becomes oppresive and pretentious. specifically the constant self referencing "philosophy" Herbert insists on hammering into your awareness becomes grating and tiresome (see God Emperor Of Dune). This book is a sequel of GEoD, not of Dune, and has the same monotone pacing and obnoxious non-sequitors. the ending is jarring, and the odd fixation the author has on sex comes across as unhealthy in the last chapters. Overall, I choose not to include this, children of dune, and God Emperor in the cannon. it's easier to imagine this series ended at Messiah and Maud'dib's retreat into the desert to die.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Mixed Feelings

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.

25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Disapointing and disjointed

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.

15 people found this helpful

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Okay dune book

This dune book has some really good character setup, and it seems to be preparing for some cool stuff in later books. the later part of the book got really cool, but was marred with cringy sex content. not sure what the author is getting at here, but that could have been left out.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 03-31-15

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mdk
  • 03-05-19

Not very good

It was all over the place - seems to just cobble bits together to make a book.
Desperate to keep the story going. The endless revamp of individuals has be come meaningless

3 people found this helpful

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  • Andras Kovacs
  • 04-09-21

The complete Saga review

In short
(the first trilogy)
Book 1: Excellent
Book 2: Great
Book 3: Good

(the second trilogy)
Book 4: Boring rumbling
Book 5: Good
Book 6: Mediocre (with the main theme that the strongest weapon in the GALAXY is between the woman leg... No joke)

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Aa Kondeatis
  • 05-12-15

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

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-07-22

Simon Vance's ministry of silly voices

Narrator Simon Vance really upped the ante in terms of generic pseudo-ethnic accents compared to the previous four Dune audiobooks. Maybe the size of the cast stretched his range. Maybe Herbert's meandering narrative meant I was less immersed in events. All I know is one female character sounded like Harry Enfield's Stavros.

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  • Daniel Lee
  • 03-06-22

Fantastic!!

I absolutely love this chapter in the Dune universe. I found myself completely enthralled, and unable to stop listening.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-10-22

Brilliant

such a brilliant story and a brilliant performance. I struggled to put it down!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Erin
  • 02-07-22

Good gripping read, dated in some places

I really enjoyed this book - I never mind what others sometimes call the rambling philosophy and politics, I think they are part of what makes the Dune series great. Slow to start then lots of action. I did not like some of the language and emphasis on the erotic powers at play, for me that theme detracted from a great book with a facile, immature gratuitousness. Other than that, loved it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-30-21

A real epic

Really enjoyed this one. Certainly one of the best in the series. I am consistently amazed by the depth of these books

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Delo
  • 10-04-21

Addictive Sequel

This follow up to the Dune books is completely compelling! Fully fleshed out new characters and great story of thousands of years in the making. Bring on the next book.

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  • patrick
  • 04-05-16

Solid Dune book

Real heavy sci-fi but if you've made it this far you know what to expect, much stronger than the last book and maybe even better than book 3, worth a listen if you are a fan.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-12-22

A great continuation to an epic story!

Frank Herbert's 5th book in his Dune series continues taking his epic story in new directions. The first time I had read this book, I hinted at where he was taking the story, some of which happened in Chapter House Dune, however we will never know what true ending he had envisioned for his much beloved epic. While the story did get finished by his son and another writer that feels more like fan fiction that what Frank Herbert would have created. I try to think of this now as the penultimate book in the series.
The narration, is A1 and he conveys the many different characters in distinct and easily recognisable voices. Truly a talented voice actor.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves the Dune series.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-15-22

Brilliant - again

Can't stop to write - another volume to start.
Get typing Brian, more please... please 😊🤞

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-06-22

Great read.

The character development and the complexity of the story. So many threads are developing simultaneously.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ahmet
  • 11-30-21

A Masterful Revival

The story of Dune never tapers out, but there are times its luster diminishes to an extend below the general mean of the saga. That might have been the cass with the previous two books, some argue, though honestly I believe not. Whether you hold the notion that the saga was losing speed or not, Heretics of Dune brings a masterful revival to the story. Enjoy with abandon!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-14-21

Great listen

One of the best novels in the Dune series I reckon. Loved it and worth the listen

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-14-21

Addictive

Amazing story, the back quarter could have been further fleshed out but it was simply great.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-27-20

Good

Another installment in the Dune series. More political intrigue, an more large scale action (building on Chapterhouse: Dune). We also have much more discussion of political philosophy, governance and administration. And I think they’re the points the book lost me on. It felt like Atlas Shrugged all over again, albeit with a lower page count and less free market "Bible" bashing.

Individual narrators are good, but I’d prefer if it was just one narrator.

Not a bad book, but it didn’t leave me wanting to read more.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-04-20

More of the same from the dune books.

Took a long time to essentially go no where in typical Herbet fashion.
Last 10 chapters are where the action happens. The rest is filler.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John Cougar
  • 06-03-20

eye opening awesome

Although rich with context and form, this book went fast even with replays. Love the story.