Tom's Reviews > God Emperor of Dune

God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert
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's review
Sep 12, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: sci-fi
Read in September, 2007

Reviews for this book have called it "heady" and "deep." I cannot concur more. Few books have mastered this combination of deep material with a hurtling plot, and this is one of them.

Of the Dune Chronicles so far (this is book 4), God Emperor of Dune is my clear favorite. This profoundly philosophical installment in "the bestselling sci-fi series of all time" explores the now-verdant world of Arrakis thirty-five hundred years after the events in Children of Dune.

Leto, the nine-year old son of Paul "Muad'Dib" Atreides, has assumed control of the galaxy-spanning empire described in the first three books, and has transformed himself into a grotesque synthesis of worm and human in an effort to avert a terrible catastrophe which would render all of humanity extinct. To be sure, Leto's transformation is both disturbing and uncomfortable (and yes, the full physical ramifications of this transformation are explored thoroughly), yet it feels quite naturally based in the mythology that Frank Herbert has laid out thus far in the series. It is the logical conclusion of a mythology steeped in the surreal and otherworldly.

God Emperor of Dune explores nature of despotism, the conditions under which it's called for, and the attendant concerns that such a dictator would have (amongst them the nature of religion, government, trade, rebellions, mythology, armies, sexuality, war, family, duty, and sacrifice) and depicts Leto's difficult - near impossible - choices and the poignant destiny which results from them.

The portrait of Leto - God, Emperor, saint, tyrant, martyr, human, sandworm - is a portrait of one of the most complex, sympathetic, and lonely characters I have ever encountered. I loved, Loved, LOVED this book. Highly recommended.
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04/01 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Audrey This review gives me a kind framework to hang it all on while i'm stuck in the middle. I just couldn't for life of me see the bigger picture, but i'll try it with clearer eyes now.

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