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Dune Audiobook

Dune

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: This full-cast recording of Dune succeeds in every way the now-infamous movie version failed. The alien landscapes emerge in your imagination, while the complex plot lines and complicated relationships gain clarity. Through the talents of a marvelous voice cast, which includes Scott Brick and Simon Vance, Dune sheds the daunting burden of its epic richness - and becomes a powerful story of personal conflict and heroism. Steve Feldberg

Publisher's Summary

Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.

Frank Herbert's death in 1986 was a tragic loss, yet the astounding legacy of his visionary fiction will live forever.

©1965 Frank Herbert; (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Winner, Science Fiction, 2008

Nebula Award winner, Best Novel, 1965
Hugo Award winner, Best Novel, 1966

"Unique...I know nothing comparable to it except Lord of the Rings." (Arthur C. Clarke)
"One of the monuments of modern science fiction." (Chicago Tribune)
"Powerful, convincing, and most ingenious." (Robert A. Heinlein)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Todd (Toad) Vogel 01-26-17 Member Since 2016

    I love almost anything post-apocalyptic, zombie, scifi, ect. Always looking for some new earhole entertainment!

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    "Absolutely loved it!"

    I can't believe I've never read or listened to this before. Wow! What a great book! I will definitely be getting every book in this series! The narration was superb and the story itself was amazing. Frank Herbert does an excellent job of creating this alien world and describing it in such a way that I can clearly see this planet and all of its oddities. I can't wait to enjoy the rest of the series!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sher from Provo Utah 07-05-16
    Sher from Provo Utah 07-05-16 Member Since 2015

    Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.

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    "Not a Sci-Fi fan . . ."

    I'm not really a Sci-Fi fan but because Dune is on every "must read" list I ever saw, I put it on my "to read" list. I finally got around to it on Audible. I'm still a bit confused by it which is why I don't read Sci-Fi as a general rule. However, I have the physical book as well and, gratefully, it includes a kind of glossary of Herbert's terms which I used frequently. I can't say I came away amazed by the book, although I did enjoy it. I especially loved the analogies and symbolism within the story very much. I watched parts of the 1984 movie as I read which only made it more confusing since it is quite different from the book. For example, I kept waiting for the baron to fly around and act silly with big puss pockets all over his face like he did in the movie. What was up with that?

    Every narrator was excellent but my personal preference would have been to let Simon Vance, who is quite capable of all characterizations, read the whole thing, with the exception of the quotes from the princess that I found quite charmingly read by whoever it was.

    Although I'm glad I read/listened to it, I don't think I'll be getting the whole series but I'm really glad you Sci-Fi lovers have those to look forward to.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 01-18-14
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 01-18-14 Member Since 2013

    When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.

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    "A Muhammad-like story on galactical scale"

    I remember reading ‘Dune’ the first time in secondary school when I borrowed a copy of the book from the local library. Though I don’t return to most novels once read or listened to, ‘Dune’ have been one of the exceptions. My second acquaintance was during my study of Hebrew and Classical Arabic during postgraduate studies at university.

    My third meeting with Frank Herbert’s Sci-Fi classic was when I listened to it in audio book format. While it initially was just a great story, and during my years of study a feudal-Arabic desert mixture, the religious aspect of the novel intrigued more this time. Though the quotes by the princess Irulan felt at times as if it took away some of the suspense in the book, it had the function of giving the story the feel of a memoir.

    Paul Arteides the son of the duke Leto Artreides becomes the Mohammad-type prophet of the desert planet Arrakis, filled with dunes and huge sandworms which rules its surface. The story plays out around his transition from a duke’s son to a prophet, religious leader, genetically engineered oddity (the Kwisatz Haderach of the Bene Gesserit) and political force against the evil Harkonnen house who have been extorting the local population of the planet. It is a story filled with treachery, slyness in which good and bad, right and wrong blurs. Herbert has the ability to drag the reader or listener into a story in such a way that you change with Paul Artreides and accept the idea of a jihad against even the Emperor Shaddam IV. I was trying to think of a close parallel to what the story is about and the best I can come up with is the idea that a European kingdom loses its rightful heir just to discover that he has not died but turned Muslim and yet it is open to accept him and swear absolute loyalty to him.

    While Simon Vance reads the story, his reading is enriched with various voice actors that acts out important characters and scenes. These are also complemented with certain background sounds. Although some reviewers complained that some of the interpretative reading didn’t sound natural and sounded forced I there was nothing that hindered me. If there is something that I would change in the way the novel is read, it would be Vance’s pronunciation of certain words like “Lisan al-Gaib” to sound more Arabic. Then again there is nothing that says it must be pronounced the way I would like it to be pronounced.

    This 1965 Nebula and Hugo Award winning book is still a worthwhile and intriguing book to read. In some ways the story is straightforward, yet it has its surprises and it is a worthwhile Sci-Fi classic to listen to.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 07-20-13
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 07-20-13 Member Since 2005

    Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.

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    "Classic science-fiction/high fantasy hybrid"

    Dune is one of those books that shaped my life as a reader. My parents gave it to me a gift when I was a kid in the 1980s, after I got excited about the forthcoming David Lynch film (which turned out to be a mess). At that age, I didn't entirely get what the book was about, but I found the universe fascinating. Mind control powers, sandworms, dukes, barons, spice harvesters, stillsuits, Fremen, weird religious stuff -- it was way more far-out than Star Wars (my template for science fiction at the time).

    I later read Dune again in high school or college, but coming back now as a much more worldly adult, it's a whole new experience. Now I can admire how brilliant and original Herbert's world construction is. Set tens of thousands of years in the future, Dune's universe retains only a few traces of Earth history, the bits that still linger within now-ancient "new" religions and societies. Also, computer technology and robotics have been rejected at a cultural level because of a past war involving them, and societies now rely on humans that have been specially bred and trained to perform advanced thinking. This is really high fantasy in science fiction clothing.

    It's probably not necessary for me to recount the plot in much detail. The noble Atreides family, one house within a feudal galactic empire, takes over administration of the desert planet Arrakis from its enemy house, the Harkonnens. With this post, the Atreides also gain control of the production of a drug crucial to the affairs (and politics) of the galaxy. However, the situation turns out to be an elaborate trap, and the young Paul Atreides and his mother Jessica must flee to the tough, tribal people of the desert, the Fremen. From there, Paul begins to discover a destiny that lies in his genes, in the religious lore of the Bene Gesserit, and in the planet Arrakis itself.

    More than just escapism, Dune is a work of literature with many layers and intermixed issues. It could be, depending on how you read it, a complex drama about human politics; a complex drama about religion, prophecies, and messiahs; or a complex drama about the dangerous intersection of politics and religion, as the young Paul goes from being someone to be admired to someone more and more to be feared. There are some ideas about ecological stewardship, when humans live on the margins of survival. There are some ideas about how being able to see the future might affect human choices. Nearly all science fiction or fantasy novels that explore any of these themes, especially any that feature someone “going native” among barbaric people, can’t escape the shadow of Frank Herbert’s towering vision.

    No, Dune isn’t by any means a perfect novel. As with certain other classics that awed me as a kid (e.g. Lord of the Rings), maturity makes it somewhat less mind-blowing. Now I recognize the more derivative plot elements and character types, not to mention the more tedious parts of the story, where Herbert has made his point and we're just waiting for him to get on with it. His desire to impress readers with the Fremen gets a little tiresome, too; after a while, I found myself wishing the enemy forces could have gotten it together and won a few battles, just to show those know-it-alls.

    But, never mind. If you like science fiction or fantasy at all, this is undeniably one of the reference works you should read at some point, because it set such a high bar for rich world construction and thematic complexity. It's not hard to see the debt owed to Herbert by all subsequent space opera -- watch popular movies like Star Wars or Avatar, then see if you recognize the crude imitation.

    Unfortunately, the most recent audiobook production is unevenly put together. A cast of voice actors performs the dialogue of different characters, which would have been great if this had been done consistently, but much of the dialogue is also handled by the main narrator. Thus, Paul sometimes sounds like the teenager he is, and sometimes like the middle-aged man he isn't. Likewise, the Baron Harkonnen is much more in character when his deep baritone is in effect, which makes its absence distracting. Someone told me that the production was expanded from an abridged version, which would certainly explain things. However, the musical vignettes that accompany certain passages and Princess Irulan's interludes work quite well.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen west pymble, Australia 11-10-11
    Stephen west pymble, Australia 11-10-11 Member Since 2016
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    "What an epic tale"

    I must admit I am a Science fiction person, so was always going to like the story... having read the book when younger and watched the TV show. However the Audio book was just amazing, it has been produced in an epic manner and it is impossible not to get dragged into the story.
    I used it to pass time on two very long trips and it made them fly past, the first leg of 13 hours I was almost disappointed to arrived as it meant I had to put a hold to listening to the book

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Denton, TX, USA 07-07-10
    Mary Denton, TX, USA 07-07-10 Member Since 2006
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    "Satisfying Adaptation of a Sci-Fi Classic!"

    I first read my now well-worn paperback copy of Dune in middle school and became a lifetime Frank Herbert fan. I've seen the movie and mini-series adaptations as well. This first book in his now classic series is still my favorite, and I found this multi-reader adaptation satisfying. While there were places in the narrative that I might have wished were interpreted differently, overall the characters were presented as individuals, the cultures of Caladan, Geidi Prime, and Arrakis were explicated, the rivalry between the Atriedes and the Harkonnens was developed, and the climax on Arrakis was appropriately intense. If you like Frank Herbert and love "Dune," I think you will enjoy this audio book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toyz etc 06-04-10
    Toyz etc 06-04-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Absolutely Wonderful Version - WELL DONE!!"

    Being a big fan of the book, the movie and sci-fi in general I had high hopes for this audio book and it didn't let me down one bit. Many of the words and names in the book are tongue twisters and the readers (actors) did a splendid job in voicing tham. This was closer to a radio play than an audio book. This is the best audio book I have listened to and can't wait to listen to the rest of the series.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Pitts Farmington, AR USA 04-25-10
    Mike Pitts Farmington, AR USA 04-25-10 Listener Since 2008
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    "Fantastic, Period"

    Dune easily stands as one of the great works in Sci-Fi, with good reason. Frank Herbert had a unique ability to tell stories, and an even more unique view into the human psyche.

    Much to my surprise, I saw that many reviews complained about the audio. My experience was just the opposite - I have found this recording to be one of the best on Audible. With a full cast of characters I though the voice work was all very well done. The one valid complaint that I have seen is that character voices are sometimes read by the narrator rather than the actor who has been portraying the character - this is somewhat jarring at first, but I ultimately found it forgivable.

    As for the story itself, many dozens of reviews and reviewers have done a far better job than I ever could of explaining why Dune is such a classic. If you've never experienced Dune (and no, none of the movies or mini-series even get close), do yourself a favor and get this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jtprime 08-02-09
    jtprime 08-02-09
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    "Excellent Again!"

    I first read Dune the regular way in 1979, watched the 1984 movies and the SyFy minis 2000/2003. I started reading it again in 2006. I found this audio version even better than the reading and watching.

    The actors/readers lend dimension to the scenes and characters that for me are missing from my personal reading of the book, the two versions of the 1984 movie and the various SyFy mini series.

    The epigraphs by Princess Irulan are great as is the music that is featured at cetain times throughout the work.

    Both my understanding and imagination are much better now making the listening a much better experience. I listen on two diff PMDs and a docking appliance with good speakers - a must in my opinion if you're not on the road.

    Dune is a great story to be told and in the case of this version the story is told in a great way!

    It is simply excellent - again.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John APO, AE, USA 07-29-08
    John APO, AE, USA 07-29-08 Member Since 2017
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    "A Pleasant Surprise"

    This is the kind of shock I like. Instead of being disappointed that a story doesn't live up to the impossibly high standard that has been set for it, I was drawn in by this book so much that I hated every time I had to stop without finishing. I didn't really expect to like this book at all but it was great.

    Makes you wonder about a place like Mars which has little or no water. What would it take to live there? This book makes an interesting case of what such a life might be like (sans the absence of oxygen), especially in the context of how we take water for granted.

    Probably one of the most original and creative stories I've ever read.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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  • Peter
    Lymm, Cheshire, United Kingdom
    7/21/07
    Overall
    "A superb production of a sci fi classic!"

    I won't dwell on the book itself - it is for many the highwater mark of the sci fi genre; superbly written, richly detailed, boiling with wonderful ideas and concepts, and giving an impression of historical depth that (almost) rivals Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Rather, I'd like to comment on the audio presentation. Potential listeners should have no hesitation in downloading this immediately! Simon Vance is the main reader, and - as always! - his reading is of the highest calibre - clear, faultless pronounciation, and with a fine balance of character voicing without over-acting. Although it's billed as a full-cast reading (from the superb Audio Renaissance team), the full cast are only used on some chapters, while Simon Vance reads many chapters solo. And while I love the Audio Renaissance team, I actually found the solo Vance chapters even better. A very highly recommended listen! And what great news that the sequels will be available over the upcoming months!

    82 of 83 people found this review helpful
  • Apollon
    Caterham, Surrey, United Kingdom
    11/26/10
    Overall
    "Dune is to SciFi, as what LOR is to Fantasy"

    I loved the 1984 film adaptation of Dune as a child, but I have never read the book.

    I went through this audio book, Twice! In one week. What a story and to think it was published in 1965.

    I really loved the way this book is written and audio production is the best I have every heard, and adds to the entertainment value.

    There is a the main narrator Simon Vance who is brilliant, but the additional narrators and ambient sounds used add more colour to the sound.

    Scifi may be back drop to this story, but the main drama is in the relationships and the characters. I urge non Scifi readers looking for a good book with great intertwining plots, varied characters told in a oracle like voice to listen to this story.

    I enjoyed this more than Lord of the Rings, which I do like. I like a long story that is well written and this is one of the best.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Steven
    EdinburghUnited Kingdom
    1/18/10
    Overall
    "High drama but more of it please"

    Dune is a book of high tension, filled with treachery, suspicion and dangerous characters with dark motives. The early scenes of this audiobook are dramatised and they capture the mood expertly. This is edge-of-the-seat stuff and makes for compelling listening. I could feel the 'gom jabar' at my own neck as my hands went all clammy! What a pity the dramatisation lessens, giving way to straight narration as the book progresses. It is read very well throughout but it could have been so much more gripping if the full cast had been retained. Another annoying gripe, common to so many audiobooks. Why can't the audio 'chapters' correspond with those in the book instead of ending randomly mid paragraph? It makes navigating a long book unnecessarily difficult.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Burnley, Lancashire, United Kingdom
    9/7/07
    Overall
    "read and heard now!!!!!"

    I first read this book years and years ago. After getting an iPod, to while away the hours at work, cnc programmer and operator, I decided to try an audio book. I went for Dune with the thought of 'I've read it, so lets see how it listens' so to speak. AMAZED. I loved every minute, got totally engrossed, beautifully read, good background mood music, thoroughly enjoyed it. Next audio book please!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Roy
    derbyUnited Kingdom
    9/9/08
    Overall
    "Epic"

    I have always meant to read the book, but on leafing through a copy in a shop it has always looked a bit dry, maybe a bit slow. I enjoyed the film years ago so I knew I liked the story.

    This audiobook is very long, sometimes quite slow and often repetitive but it is also epic and involving in a way that few books ever are. The production is fantastic, the main narrator has a clear voice and the use of actors to voice certain scenes just adds to the richness. The Barron Harkonnen is especially well voiced and far more threathening than in the film.

    I was sad when it ended and the sequel is already next on my download list.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Petersfield, Hants, United Kingdom
    8/16/10
    Overall
    "Outstanding"

    This is a superbly read, expertly-produced audiobook that draws the listener headlong into the world of Arrakis and the adventures of Dune. The narration, acting, music and effects all compliment each other beautifully to create an experience that does true justice to this Sci-Fi epic.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • clivemac28
    2/8/08
    Overall
    "A new dimension"

    When I was a teenager I thoroughly enjoyed (and found myself transported to) Dune and appreciated it as much as Catch 22 and Asimov's Foundation series. When I was a thirty-something I tried to enjoy the film version without much success. As a fifty-something I am amazed by the richness of the experience provided by this audiobook. The combination of straight narrative and dramatisation works to bring the book to life in a way I did not expect. I recommend listening via an iPod/MP3 player with headphones. If the spoken word can evkoe pictures in your mind, your are in for a cinematic treat!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    6/27/07
    Overall
    "Dune"

    This is a great book. One of the most detailed and compelling books i have ever read and now its even better to listen to. Frank Herbert(author) has created an entire universe with great detail helping you to imagine each environment easily. While it is generaly assumed that this is a sci-fi book there is no space battles and the way that Frank explains each place it is easy to fall into the assumption that its a simple fiction book.

    With voices that are very easy to listen to. You can have many an hour of fun enjoying the first in the series of books by Frank Herbert, there are also many books that continue the storyline layed out by Frank written by his son Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson. After listening or reading this book I can pritty much guarantee that you will want to read or listen to the next set of books.

    The only thing i would say is that currently audible uk does not have any of the other books available however they are very much worth reading.

    I hope you like this book as much as i do. Personaly i would recomend reading the books in the following order. I recomend this to help explain storylines. (the numbers is the number the book is currently in, in timeline order, not order of been written). Dune(7), (then jumping back in time about 30-40 years earlier) House Atredies(4), House Harkonen(5), House Corino(6), (jumping back to after Dune) Dune Messiah(8), Children of Dune(9), God emperor of Dune(10), (jumping back in time to many many years before Dune) The Butlerian Jihad(1), The Machine Crusade(2), The Battle of Corin(3), (now the grownding for the machines and the jihad has been established back up to after god emperor) Heretics of Dune(11), Chapterhouse: Dune(12), Hunters of Dune(13), (and the soon to be released) Sand worms of Dune(14).

    Anyway i hope you enjoy the series as much as i have and I look forward to more of the books coming onto this site.

    19 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    6/21/11
    Overall
    "Rather fragmented production of a wonderful book"

    I read 'Dune' in my teens and adored it - the complexities of the story and the depth to which the eco-system of the desert planet is planned are quite breathtaking. So I was looking forward to having the audiobook so I could re-live the wonder. Unfortunately this is a bit of a fragmented production. The main narrator has a voice fitting to the scope of the book and reads well. However, my guess is that originally the production company brought in other actors to read the dialogue - but for an ABRIDGED version. But they didn't bother to use them to complete the unabridged recording. Therefore, at some points, we have dialogue of the main characters read by other actors (often with some annoying 'atmospheric' sound effects, music or irritating echoic effects in the background). Then at other sections of the story all the voices of dialogue are provided by the main narrator, which makes the whole thing sadly disjointed. Ironically, I think it works far better with the narrator alone providing all dialogue - so the company could have saved themselves the cost and trouble of getting other people in and would still have ended up with a better, more choherent performance of the book. I will still finish listening to the audiobook, just to enjoy the marvellous story, but I feel the oddities of the recording will always keep me from being completely immersed in the tale.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Lal-Akash
    London, United Kingdom
    1/1/11
    Overall
    "Excellent reading"

    This is a very good book and the reading is one of the best I have heard so far using a variety of people to produce the voices and the readers express the characters well.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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