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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

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What listeners say about Heretics of Dune

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    3,096
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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.

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.

15 people found this helpful

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

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.

8 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.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    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.

2 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.

8 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.

14 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.

23 people found this helpful

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

…..Variations on a Theme.....

Here many of the political and religious plot lines begin to converge. Set thousands of years after the time of Paul; this novel exemplifies one of the problems of a wide scope Space Opera that extends over such vast time scales: The writer has to introduce a new set of characters for every installment. Frank Herbert strives to overcome this problem in his series by always having an Atreides in a key role. He always has a Bene Gesserit trying to pull the strings behind the scenes. And, of course, the recurring figure of Duncan Idaho again makes an appearance in one of his many clones. This novel has some interesting personalities placed in these standard roles and for this reason holds my interest better than the other sequels so far. At the end of the day, it is still a far cry from the drama of the original. By the end I was longing for a conniving villain like baron Harkonnen to add a little drama.

Simon Vance again reads the text. His delivery is uncomfortably dispassionate and leads to the depiction of strangely uncomfortable antiseptic coitus in more than one scene. This book gives me a chance to editorialize: There is something commendable in translating a book from the print to the audio format with as little deviation from the mood of the original. I would say that there is a higher commendation deserved in taking a stolid, phlegmatic novel and imparting some sense of drama to it that would make it a more entertaining listening experience.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written but slow

I'm torn about my final thoughts on this book. Herbert is a sublime writer first of all. After a spate of rather thin books, I was really excited to get into Heretics after my first few chapters. However this book ended up being SLOW. Not much happens for the majority of this novel and you spend an inordinate amount of time with the inner thoughts of certain Bene Gesserit characters. Apparently all Bene Gesserit characters think about is how their mystical training has made them particularly awesome humans and how they're going to double and triple cross everyone they see.

The last 2 hours of this book finally reach the point where all these double crosses have been leading . Unfortunately there are several clashes/battles/incredible happenings that you are eager to experience and all of a sudden Herbert jumps to a new chapter which glosses over the whole event. SPOILER FREE: Character A is about to mount an incredible ground battle against Faction B while Characters B & C are desperately trying to get Item C into a starship so they can escape the planet and save Humanity..... and the next chapter suddenly starts with said characters several weeks in the future getting on with their lives. It was a little bit of a letdown - I've waded through hours of internalized political maneuvering, thoughts, fears, and trechery.... let's see some lazer beams for a just a couple pages :)

The narrator does a very good job and his voices aren't too over the top. But I think he could have picked up the pace 20% and it would have helped keep the book moving. There were literally moments during my commute where my attention had wandered for several minutes and I just turned it off and switched to FM (gasp!)

So in the end I cannot recommend this book as an audiobook. I think it would have read better.

5 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.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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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

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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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)

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • John P.
  • 12-29-20

Better than God Emperor, but...

I did enjoy this book. It wasn’t as hard to get through as ‘children’ or ‘God emperor’. Messiah was the most difficult to get through in terms of rambling and intense introspective political / social satirical commentary. This was much more story. More characters. More location and backdrop. Some action. And a bit of sex - a nice surprise for Dune. We’re moving away from the political / resource monopolising / religious / devious and social trickery and power brokering that controls people en mass and are looking at another base instinct that is used to control men. A mind blowing sexual encounter - and the promise/threat of more once a fellow is hooked.

I would recommend this after the first 4 and it’s not so much of a slog at this point just to finish the series (as I thought it would be) because this was entertaining and gripping. I wanted to come back to it. I consider myself fully immersed into the ‘Duneiverse’ now and I got where the story was going. The deep background needs to be understood - the who’s and the whats of the various ‘tribes’ encountered in the series so far.

In terms of story this book moves away from the direct Atreides dynasty and into the wider universe they have ‘spawned’. It’s got a wider scope, and uses that freedom to explore a bit.

The only negative is that it is a bridging piece. There isn’t any conclusion. No real sense of an ending or concluding arc or even a culmination of events. It’s just a link between God Emperor and Chapter house. It was interesting don’t get me wrong... and expertly done... but I felt like the sheer size of the universe and possibilities is overwhelming Frank Herbert at points and he’s struggling to get it nailed down into stories that can be told in a book. This could have been twice as long and still not getting to the point. Probably why he never finished the series.

One more to go - and I hope it gets somewhere. Although I know it probably won’t I have to keep going now.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-14-20

Slow, but satisfying.

An extremely slow book at first, but in its final third it accelerates to a godly speed, till it reaches the conclusion - a fine one, if I can say that.
There were a lot of things I loved in the book, but it took awhile to make myself go through the long, slow part of it.

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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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  • Michael R.
  • 12-13-20

Best in the series.

This is up there as one of my favourites of all time. All the characters feel important. Every scene is interesting and entertaining. It plays on the expectations set by the previous titles magnificently. What more could you ask for?

  • Overall
    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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  • Mr. DJ Rendell
  • 12-10-20

another great chapter but not as good as first one

This chapter of the Dune Saga is much more confusing than previous chapters IMHO. less action and more plot and counter plot. still a great read/listen as it takes the saga on a new path.

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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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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-21-20

amazing.

such an incredible book. I couldn't put it down. can't wait to read the final book!

  • 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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  • M. Hirsi
  • 01-28-19

dune book 5 is amazing

I would like highly recommend the whole 6 books of dune as they are a masterpiece in English literacy

r I p Mr Herbert

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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

  • Overall
    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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    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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    5 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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    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.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Luke
  • 06-07-18

dunno

Dunno yet till I finish the 3rd one.. but it was better than the last one, good story characters at least. still have no idea what's going on. it's clear it's meant as a trilogy. but it was engaging none the less.