Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1) Dune discussion


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what is the best order to read the Dune books in?

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retroj What is the best order to read the Dune books in?

Recommending not to read specific books is fair game, but please keep the discussion positive.

Please avoid spoilers, other than minimum 'book-jacket' type facts needed to make your case. Assume your audience has not read any of the books.

Feel free to post multiple orderings. There are many paths through the Dune universe.


message 2: by retroj (last edited Dec 04, 2011 07:20PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

retroj Here is my own nominal reading order. I'm trying it as an experiment, following chronological order in blocks starting from Dune: 'present', 'immediate past', 'remote past', 'future'.

present:
- Dune
- Paul of Dune
- Dune Messiah
- The Winds of Dune
- Children of Dune

immediate past:
- Dune: House Atreides
- Dune: House Harkonnen
- Dune: House Corrino

remote past:
- Dune: Hunting Harkonnens (short story)
- Dune: The Butlerian Jihad
- Dune: Whipping Mek (short story)
- Dune: The Machine Crusade
- Dune: The Faces of a Martyr (short story)
- Dune: The Battle of Corrin

future:
- God Emperor of Dune
- Heretics of Dune
- Chapterhouse: Dune
- Hunters of Dune
- Sandworms of Dune

Some notes.. I have already deviated slightly from this ordering because of convenience and uncertainty. I actually read Dune, Dune Messiah, and Children of Dune first, then proceded to Paul of Dune and Winds of Dune. Also, I read the short story A Whisper of Caladan Seas after Dune, but do not include it in this list, because I advise against reading it. It is truly awful. I haven't decided where to place Sisterhood of Dune in the list — it will go either at the end of 'remote past' or at the end of of the whole list, in a new block.


C.E. Crowder I'd recommend to a new reader the six original by Frank Herbert first (Dune through Chapterhouse), only touching on the BH/KJA novels if they've still not had enough. Then I'd say the essentials are the Jihad/Crusade/Corrin trilogy, followed by Hunters/Sandworms. All the rest can be sampled in whatever order (although the House trilogy should be read in order, if you go there.)


Hamish Buchan Dune then Dune Messiah

If you go past those 2 the quality really starts to drop off.


Ricco - Dune: House Atreides
- Dune: House Harkonnen
- Dune: House Corrino
- Dune
- Paul of Dune
- Dune Messiah
- The Winds of Dune
- Children of Dune
- The God Emperor of Dune
- Dune: The Butlerian Jihad
- Dune: The Machine Crusade
- Dune: The Battle of Corrin
- Sisterhood of Dune
- Heretics of Dune
- Chapterhouse: Dune
- Hunters of Dune
- Sandworms of Dune

Thats the order I read them in, but for a first time reader:
- Dune
- Paul of Dune
- Dune Messiah
- The Winds of Dune
- Children of Dune
- God Emperor of Dune
- Heretics of Dune
- Chapterhouse: Dune
- Dune: The Butlerian Jihad
- Dune: The Machine Crusade
- Dune: The Battle of Corrin
- Sisterhood of Dune
- Hunters of Dune
- Sandworms of Dune
- Dune: House Atreides
- Dune: House Harkonnen
- Dune: House Corrino


David As a new reader in the past couple of years now, I'll tell you how I'm reading them. I read Dune first, then I went back and have been reading everything else in chronological order. I'll leave out the short stories and only focus on the actual books here:

Dune: The Butlerian Jihad
Dune: The Machine Crusade
Dune: The Battle of Corrin
Dune: House Atreides
Dune: House Harkonnen
Dune: House Corrino
Dune
Paul of Dune
Dune Messiah
The Winds of Dune
Children of Dune
God Emperor of Dune
Heretics of Dune
Chapterhouse: Dune
The Road to Dune (not a novel, but was published just before the next two books and after almost everything else before this, so I will read it at this point rather than any other time)
Hunters of Dune
Sandworms of Dune

Maybe I'm not reading it as other people would suggest, but I've been enjoying it greatly just reading things chronologically.

With Sisterhood of Dune coming out in January as the first book in a new trilogy, I'd set those upcoming books between Dune: The Battle of Corrin and Dune: House Atriedes.

A very good series to read for sure.

I'm comparing everything - whether written just by Frank or something written by both Brian and Kevin - against the very first Dune novel. As I've been going through these I've gone back to Dune and have even re-read it for clarity.

I started with Dune because I just wanted to give my mind the right way to have it set from the very beginning thinking I might not "get" things if I started with The Butlerian Jihad, but as I've been going through all of these, I think that one can start with The Butlerian Jihad if they choose to do so, and when they get to Dune can appreciate it even more as it becomes the culmination of what they had read before leading up to it. Plus Dune shows itself as the forerunner in that what was "read before" never would have existed if Dune had never been written.

That's all if they choose to go that route. You certainly can't go wrong at all by reading Dune first though.

I can't say to not read any of the books as I haven't read one yet that I didn't find an enjoyable story in it. So however you read them, definitely read them all if you intend to read more than just the first one.


message 7: by retroj (last edited Dec 06, 2011 04:40PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

retroj David wrote: "As a new reader in the past couple of years now, I'll tell you how I'm reading them. I read Dune first, then I went back and have been reading everything else in chronological order."

I've seen this order recommended elsewhere. It seems very sensible to me. One really ought to read Dune first because it is the book that invents the universe that all of the other books are set in. Reading Dune twice then makes good sense—once at the beginning, and again at its place in chronological order. It probably (generally) takes two readings to absorb all of its nuances anyway, and it is certainly a good enough book to hold interest for that many readings and more.


FasterKillFastPussycat id say read all the books by Frank Herbert first......the books by his son Brian I would read last if at all because they do not compare to Frank Herbert's writing.They are not bad, just not as good.
Dune
Dune Messiah
Children of Dune
God Emperor of Dune
Herectics of Dune
Chapeterhouse Dune
.........
House Atreides
House Harkonnen
House Corrino
........
Paul of Dune
Winds of Dune


retroj With Dune, Dune Messiah, and Children of Dune fresh in my mind, I read Paul of Dune and then The Winds of Dune. I finished The Winds of Dune just a few minutes ago. I was impressed by both of these recent interquels, and I found that they enhanced my enjoyment of Frank Herbert's books. For anyone who would like to read only some of the Dune series then, but does not want to commit to all 17 (and counting), I recommend the following sub-sequence. You could even do just part of this list if you only want to read 2 or 3 books...

- Dune
- Paul of Dune
- Dune Messiah
- The Winds of Dune
- Children of Dune

In these two cases, I feel that Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson have risen to the quality of the original Dune sequels, and these books deserve pride of place as equal canon.


message 10: by Tim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tim I really think people should just read Dune and forget the rest. Almost nothing happens in Dune Messiah until the very end, and the books get quite strange after that.

I'm not very fond of Frank Herbert's son's writing style.

So really, just read Dune. Everything else is a huge come-down from that.


message 11: by John (new) - added it

John 1. Dune

2. Dune

3. Dune

And so on...you can skip the rest of them.


message 12: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Razinha Concur mostly with John (message 11), but more with Hamish (message 4). I first read Dune in 1974, and re-read it at least 15 times over the next 10 years. I enjoyed Dune Messiah, trudged through Children and only made it through God Emperor once (when it was published). My latest fail was two years ago. As I've matured (generous term for gotten older), I recognize that Herbert didn't. His last works were strained reaches for the greatness that was Dune. Sort of the M. Night Shyamalan of sci fi. Some of his non Dune novels were good. Sadly, his last three Dunes were not.

I picked up most of Brian's books but haven't read them. None of my friends who have will recommend them. At the least, read Frank Herbert's first and decide. Above all, Dune must be first.


message 13: by Dale (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dale Hamish wrote: "Dune then Dune Messiah

If you go past those 2 the quality really starts to drop off."


I thought Dune Messiah was terrible but enjoyed Children Of Dune. Was quite a few years ago I read them though. Have only read the first three as yet although I will probably revisit all six of the Frank Herbert ones at some point in the future...


Bridget Dune only. A true classic and top science fiction.
And then skip all the others--really uneven quality, many of them tough to get through and most of them I rate a "why bother?".


message 15: by A.C. (new) - rated it 5 stars

A.C. Flory The six original Dune books [those written by Frank Herbert] are worth reading again and again - I've read the whole series through at least half a dozen times - but the prequels and sequels are disappointing... to say the least.

If you are new to Dune then please, please read Frank Herbert's original six books first...and second and third before you even think about reading the 'others'.

Like most other Dune fans I read the first two novels that Brian Herbert brought out but I gave up after that because they did not take me back to the Dune I loved. Sadly the 'lights were on but there was no-one at home'.


Veeral Agree with a couple of messages here, just read "Dune" and forget the rest. I am rereading "Dune" 2nd time myself and I am not planning to read the rest.


Lacerant Plainer Personally I read children of Dune when i was 11 years old, read Chapter House and went back to Dune. Probably best to read them in order though. Brian Herbert is not really Dune, so you can read his books in any order really.


message 18: by Rolloff (last edited Dec 29, 2011 08:12PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rolloff I read Dune when I was 19 or 20 and really liked it,re-read it 30 years later and was puzzled about what I ever found to like about it the first time around.Now apparently they're being churned out like big macs. Hey,what do I know,each and every one of them could be delicious and special,but personally...I've moved on. There are too many other books to read and only so much time.


message 19: by Sal (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sal Dune is a masterpiece. I've re-read it several times. The next five in the original series are good but I agree with many of you that they don't come close to Dune. The rest are, well, I guess I'll read anything.


Zenodotus 'Dune' is brilliant, 'Dune Messiah' is short, and 'God Emperor of Dune' has an interesting central conceit, but the rest are very weak. Heavily padded sequels churned out for the money. If you liked 'Dune, you're better off skipping the sequels entirely, and trying out some of Herbert's other stand-alone books, many of which are brilliant. I particularly recommend 'The Dosadi Experiment' and 'The Godmakers'.


message 21: by Jimbo (last edited Jan 05, 2012 12:57PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jimbo The first four books, through God Emperor, are worth reading. Read those in order. The rest, not so much.

God Emperor is really the culmination of the idea begun in the first book, which remains the gold standard in the genre. The rest, both the last Frank Herbert books and all of the Brian Herbert books, are filler.


Joseph I like reading them in the order that they were written. I feel like it lays out the story better that way.


Holden Attradies Like many have said, I highly suggest reading Frank Hebert's original in order. And, once again as someone else said, if you still want more then read the rest.

There is a lot of variety in Herbert's original books, both in how he tells/paces the stories and the kind of stories they are. They are all amazing, but I would be the first to admit that not all of them are for every one (do to story pacing or story type).


Peter Read the original Frank Herbert works in the original order. I personally would recommend skipping his sons works, the quality is just not on par. Though I do find it interesting some of the criticism of the later 4 Frank Herbert works. I have read the whole series a few times, and though I do love Dune as one of my all time favorite books, the quality of writing goes up with each of the later books. If you are too attached to Paul and a few characters you may have a hard time with the later books like God Emperor and Chapter house which are devoid of most of the original characters. But, these are better written books.


Sheila Dune then Dune Messiah then Dune again.


Trike Hamish wrote: "Dune then Dune Messiah

If you go past those 2 the quality really starts to drop off."


I agree. Read Dune. If you like it, read Dune Messiah. Then stop.


Matthew Boersma Hamish wrote: "Dune then Dune Messiah

If you go past those 2 the quality really starts to drop off."


Hamish wrote: "Dune then Dune Messiah

If you go past those 2 the quality really starts to drop off."


I violently agree. Dune changed my perspective on my life. Dune Messiah had it's own qualities, but Children was a chore to finish and I lost interest in reading further books.


message 28: by Mary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mary Smith Trike wrote: "Hamish wrote: "Dune then Dune Messiah

If you go past those 2 the quality really starts to drop off."

I agree. Read Dune. If you like it, read Dune Messiah. Then stop."


I agree too, the rest weren't worth the effort for me.

Tim wrote: "I really think people should just read Dune and forget the rest. Almost nothing happens in Dune Messiah until the very end, and the books get quite strange after that.

I'm not very fond of Frank ..."



message 29: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill Whitaker Hamish wrote: "Dune then Dune Messiah

If you go past those 2 the quality really starts to drop off."


I agree: Dune, Dune Messiah--full stop. (Except I'd add that even those two can get tedious at times. I remember thinking, "Okay. He's got this AWESOME destiny. Got it. PLEASE don't tell me again!")


message 30: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Scott Having been an avid fan of Frank Herbert's work for a long time now, I think that most of the posts on here are echoes of my own personal views regarding the Dune books. Dune itself is excellent, Dune Messiah, short and not quite as good, and Children of Dune wraps things up more or less as far as you need to go. God Emperor, Heretics and Chapter House are okay, but nowhere near essential reading, and having ploughed through most of Brian Herbert's work, felt rather deflated and annoyed at the notion of milking the Dune gravy train that his father had built so long ago. Things start getting weird with God Emperor and then get weirder still after it...and don't get me started about the awful film that they made during the eighties...the television version was not much better either...


message 31: by Rob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob Gaines DUNE -- the first one -- is a great work. Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, and God Emperor are interesting science fiction novels, but I lost interest after Heretics. I don't even remember most of Heretics.

The first novel goes beyond being an interesting and thought-provoking science fiction novel about exotic cultures and planets. It is one of the best novels I've ever read about spirituality in the real world. It has its flaws.


Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) I agree that none of them capture the "Dune" we get in Dune an Dune Messiah; Children of Dune worth adding in there to kinda complete the "trilogy." The movie, as far as movie adaptations in that time went, wasn't that horrid. The mini-series of Dune and Children of Dune were curiously uninteresting and somehow neither action packed or getting the atmosphere and ecological/spiritual stuff right -- weird because I also thought both series followed the books extremely closely.

I haven't made it thru all the Brian Herbert books; read one and a half in published order and I don't think they are terrible books; but, I also don't think they capture the "Dune" worldbuilding/atmosphere very well either. (*shudder* definitely not as bad as the continuation of Isaac Asimov's Foundation series done after his death and most definitely not as good as Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time that Sanderson is currently doing)


Brenda I'll have to agree with John at Message 11; I read Dune, Messiah, Children, God-Emperor, and Heretics a long time ago, and I recall my incredible disappointment in all but Dune.

I've very recently re-read Dune, and that book was written to stand alone. Although I own the remaining ones I've mentioned, I have absolutely no desire to re-read any of them. In a way, they're just taking up valuable space other collections I own would appreciate occupying.


Matthew S. I think you should read them in the order they were written.


Allene If you must read past Dune (the first written and the first in the main plot arch), read them in the order written. I read the first one, and then either Dune Messiah or Children of Dune (all I really remember is that it was weird and not at all like what I enjoyed about Dune).


message 36: by Dave (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dave West I would say don't feel as though you must read further than Dune. It is far, far superior to any of its sequels. Having said that, if you do want to keep going a bit I'd suggest Dune, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune. This seems to resolve the main plot nicely and honestly I can't really reccomend any of the further books in the series as I found them extremely disappointing.


David I think it is important to read "Dune" as it was the first novel to be written. It sets the tone for everything else in a way that might be hard to fill in reading some of the other books first. It makes sense from there to read them in order, but since I came across them randomly I read them out of order and seemed to have no trouble keeping up.

Dave


Michael Brady I recommend the order of original publication. I am apparently one of the few who like Dune Messiah as much or more than Dune itself. Reading the newer prequels is by no means necessary.


message 39: by Ben (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ben I'm with 20 and 21 here. For me, God Emperor is essential. I usually tell people who haven't read any of them to read Dune, and if they like it then they should either try slogging through the next two so they can read God Emperor of Dune or just skip straight to that one.


Jennifer Hamish wrote: "Dune then Dune Messiah

If you go past those 2 the quality really starts to drop off."


I agree with you!!


Jennifer There seems to be a consensus....Dune...then its all relative...Dune is the best.


Ignotu I read “Dune”, love it and stop there!
I still think I did the best thing.
It’s more assured that I’ll reread “Dune” than go on its sequels.


message 43: by C.M. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.M. Truxler I love these books. Frank Herbert was a genius. I really believe this is a kind of moot point. The best line of reading is the way and order inwhich they were written.


message 44: by David (last edited Apr 09, 2012 10:08AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David I'm not entirely sure why there are so many negative comments about many of the other books in the series. I read them all and enjoyed them. In creating a fictional universe Frank Herbert has given rise to being able to sustain it with further writings. Later books written by his son and co-writer were well done as well and worked out much of the history prior to the first book to be written. Sometimes it's a mater of some getting bored quickly and being unable to sustain or concentrate their enthusium for anything. Usually critics never write well, since criticism tends to destroy the creativity in many of them.


message 45: by Rob (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rob Jim wrote: "Concur mostly with John (message 11), but more with Hamish (message 4). I first read Dune in 1974, and re-read it at least 15 times over the next 10 years. I enjoyed Dune Messiah, trudged through C..."

Jim:

It sounds like Frank Herbert was following in the footsteps of Arthur C. Clarke in his later years. The original Rama series. The first couple were good and then it seemed like Clarke was getting senile and trying to just wrap up the series.


retroj Rob wrote: "The original Rama series. The first couple were good and then it seemed like Clarke was getting senile and trying to just wrap up the series."

Rama books 2 and later were more the work of Gentry Lee, I am given to understand.


message 47: by Rob (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rob NibbledToDeathByCats wrote: "Rob wrote: "The original Rama series. The first couple were good and then it seemed like Clarke was getting senile and trying to just wrap up the series."

Rama books 2 and later were more the work..."


You are correct, Gentry Lee was involved with the books, but they were co-authors. :)


David Read in the order of original publication. They were written deliberately - remember, the most urgent and compelling stories were told first, because they were what the author NEEDED to get out. If it could wait until the 8th book, then it just isn't as important.


message 49: by retroj (last edited Apr 10, 2012 01:20PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

retroj Rob wrote: "You are correct, Gentry Lee was involved with the books, but they were co-authors. :)"

Ok, grant that I can't (or won't bother to) provide a source showing the true division of work on the Rama sequels. I would still like to speak to the comparison you made, Herbert following in footsteps of, and Clarke & Lee just trying to wrap up the series. I don't agree. There is the tangential point that all of the Dune sequels were published years before the Rama sequels (so who follows whom?), but more centrally, both the Rama books and the original Dune books have clearly designed story arcs fit squarely to the number of books in the series (excepting that Frank Herbert died before he could finish). A better example of an author who wanted quits of his series and was just trying to wrap it up is Douglas Adams with the fifth H2G2 book, but I see no comparison that can be made to Frank Herbert and Dune. Cheers.


message 50: by Stephen (last edited Apr 19, 2012 11:25AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stephen Herfst That's a trick question as there's only one book in the Dune series :3


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