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 familyand would bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.
A stunning blend of adven...more
Short answer: No, it's not necessary to read the rest of the series. Dune can be treated as a standalone book and…more- (warning, wall of text incoming)
Short answer: No, it's not necessary to read the rest of the series. Dune can be treated as a standalone book and story.
But why would you want to do that? You'll miss most of the fun, as some of the subsequent books are arguably better (especially God Emperor of Dune which, in my opinion, is probably the best and deepest sci-fi work of all time by far). Moreover the saga of Dune by no means ends with that #1 book, as only in the second volume there are huge plot twists and the story develops drastically taking a whole new turn (quite unexpected too).
Long answer: The Dune saga practically consists of two parts. The first six books were written by Frank Herbert in the period between 1965 and 1985. These are::
1) Dune (1965)
2) Dune Messiah (1969)
3) Children of Dune (1976)
4) God Emperor of Dune (1981) (like I said, arguably the best book of its genre)
5) Heretics of Dune (1984)
6) Chapterhouse: Dune (1985)
One may read them in this exact order, as they're not only sorted by publishing date but it's also how the epic unfolds in chronological order. Unfortunately Frank left his work unfinished and the story incomplete, because he passed away before he had the chance to finish the seventh book.
But his legacy lived on and it was his son Brian Herbert who resumed the Dune series, in collaboration with Kevin Anderson (widely known for contributing to the Star Wars universe by writing lots of original stories, especially "The Jedi Academy Trilogy").
Not only that but just after they'd started writing the first few books of the "modern" Dune era, they discovered long lost and forgotten material by late Frank, sealed for 15 odd years in a bank locker. It turned out these notes were actually rough guidelines about the legendary Dune 7, the missing part of the saga, the one which would complete the series, which no one had expected to see.
Brian and Kevin have released 12 books so far (but we should be expecting more to come), which I'll cite below. They are separated by thematic context, which is required as most have been written in trilogy form and need to be read in this particular order:
--- Prelude to Dune series (it's about a period beginning about 35 years before the events of the original Dune and ending about 15 years before them):
1. House Atreides (1999)
2. House Harkonnen (2000)
3. House Corrino (2001)
--- Legends of Dune series (refers to the old galaxy-wide war between humankind and machines, about 10 thousand years before Dune, when the foundations of the saga were actually built):
4. The Butlerian Jihad (2002)
5. The Machine Crusade (2003)
6. The Battle of Corrin (2004)
- Dune 7 (as a matter of fact it's an untitled series but it's practically Dune 7, split in two parts and it obviously resumes the story from where Frank Herbert left it in distant 1985):
7. Hunters of Dune (2006)
8. Sandworms of Dune (2007)
--- Heroes of Dune series (it's about a period starting around 15 years before Dune until its very beginning):
9. Paul of Dune (2008)
10. The Winds of Dune (2009)
--- Great Schools of Dune series (OK, I'll have to admit I haven't read these two yet, so I haven't got the slightest idea what they're about! Hopefully I'll find out soon enough)
11. Sisterhood of Dune (2012)
12. Mentats of Dune (2014)
The emerging question is in which order does one have to read all these books (the usual and everlasting dilemma of non-linear/multi-volume series such as the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit/Silmarillion, Ender's Saga etc). Do we have to follow the order in which they were written/published or the chronological order in which the story develops? Do we need to first read Dune (1965) or perhaps go with the Butlerian Jihad (2002) which, after all, takes place 10 thousand years earlier?
My suggestion is to read them exactly in the order in which they were presented above. I think it'd be a sin (really) if your first impression about Dune were from the books of Brian Herbert and not from Frank's.
One could also ponder if all these books are really worth it, all 18 of them. Perhaps some might actually be skipped altogether? I'd say the first twelve of them (from Dune-1965 to The Battle of Corrin-2004) are really a must read. Obviously the first six books (by Frank) are MUCH deeper but if you could make some concessions, Brian's volumes are pretty good themselves. You only need to not expect the same level of depth and lower your requirements. They'll turn out to be pretty enjoyable.
However I believe that beginning from Hunters of Dune, the story takes a somewhat Star Wars-ish turn and deviates from Frank's original spirit (eg. instead of the usual layered plots within plots within plots with increasingly difficult to grasp notions, you're starting to read more and more about space fights and lasers and the like).
All in all, I hope you'll enjoy the Dune Chronicles!(less)
Similarly, imagine the man who was brave or stupid enough to rewrite Dune ...more
Machiavellian intrigue, mythology, religion, politics, imperialism, environmentalism, the nature of power. All this set in a mind-boggling, frighteningly original world which Herbert ominously terms as an "effort at prediction". Dune had me hooked!
The very first stirring I felt upon opening the yellowed pages of Dune was that of stumbling upo ...more
No other single syllable means as much to the science fiction genre, a single word that conjures images of sandworms, spice wars, great battles between rival dynastic families and a massively detailed and intricately crafted universe. No wonder this is widely regarded as not just a Science Fiction masterpiece, but a literary achievement as well.
Like a study of Shakespeare, the reader finds that this is an archetype upon which many influences and imitators have based their works. The comple ...more
I was so worried that I wouldn't understand a thing in this book. I will admit there are some things that went over my head but for the most part I figured it out.
I remember a billion and 65 years ago I watched the movie and was like what the? Basically all I remember is Sting and sandworms. I would love to watch it again and see if I understand it more after reading the book.
I'm still not sure what all the spices were about on Arrakis. I keep thinking it ...more
Re-read. Number 13. :) I cry when Paul meets Gurney. I shiver when Jessica consoles Chani. I'm awestruck by the peaks and troughs of time, free-will, and the weakness in Paul even as he heroically strives against the evil that is about to be unleashed upon the universe.
Perfection. Easily the number one book I've ever read. :)
I waver, sometimes, but right now, it is my absolute favorite. :)
This is a phenomenal classic of literature.
It's not just science fictio ...more
I could never give Dune five stars because I really struggled to get into the novel in the beginning. It has taken me almost two months to read. This, for me, is a very long time to spend on a book. It took me so long to read because I found the writing style incredibly frustrating. I had to read whole chapters again so I could get the gist of the plot. This was more so in the beginning, which I found particul ...more
I was an avid but novice fantasy and sci-fi reader in 1984 when David Lynch’s Dune rolled out as a big-budget adaptation of the 1965 classic book. It was an artistic and box-office failure with Roger Ebert calling it “a real mess, an incomprehensible, ugly, unstructured, pointless excursion.” Numerous references were made to its excessive length, particularly a tv edition that was over 3 hours long. I never did pick up the classic sci-fi book, assuming the commentary heard abou ...more
Dune is often said to relate to Sci Fi in the same way that Tolkien relates to Fantas ...more
Dune oh Dune, seems like I need to raise my Shield Wall for this review.
Dune is one of the most important pieces of literature for the Sci-Fi genre. I’ve been raking my brain for hours on how to properly explain the importance of Dune in the sci-fi literature but you know what? I dune (hehehe) think it’s necessary for me to do so. If you truly wanna know why, you can search it on whatever search engine you use and you'll find hundreds of articles or reviews on why this book is that im ...more
In the distant future Arrakis is a hellhole desert planet where anyone who doesn’t die of thirst will probably be eaten by one of the giant sandworms. It’s also the only place where the precious spice melange can be found so it’s incredibly valuable, and the honorable Duke Leto Atreides has been ordered by the Padishah Emperor to take over control of Arrakis from his mortal enemies, the House Harkonnen. While this seems l ...more
To begin with, the first time I read Dune, I got about three pages into it, realized I didn’t understand a thing and that I was hopelessly confus ...more
Sure, the book is sometimes like an adventure. But a lot of it has to do with politics. There is a struggle to control the only planet (Arrakis) which has the spice melange in it. The French noun mélange means mixture. Melange practically makes a superhuman out of a mere man.
I was drawn into the story ...more
As far as I can tell, Dune largely inspires two points of view. One marvels at its historical importance and world-building (unique, fascinating, complex, rich), and the other dislikes the stilted writing but does so apologetically because Frank Herbert couldn't help the fact that he wrote science fiction in the 1960s and that Edward Said hadn't d ...more
“To begin your study of the life of Muad'Dib, then, take care that you first place him in his time: born in the 57th year of the Padishah Emperor, Shaddam IV. And take the most special care that you locate Muad'Dib in his place: the planet Arrakis. Do not be deceived by the fact that he was born on Caladan and lived his first fifteen years there. Arrakis, the planet known as Dune, is forever his place.”
Thus begins one of the greatest novels ever written.
About ten years ...more
I've loved this book since I first plunged into it's mightily constructed, weird and obscure world. Of course it's hailed as a classic, and I am one of those that agrees. The sheer magnitude of Herbert's invention, his monumental world-building tied with an exciting story of betrayal, survival, rebellion and ulti ...more
Before we start, please do not be fooled by the three star rating. Even if I didn't like really like the book, I have to acknowledge there are reasons why Dune is a cornerstone of the Sci Fi genre.
Now, let's talk about the important stuff.
This is a masterpiece of world building.
We get a new planet, and while it's obvious that Herbert based his desert planet on real sights and cultures, it's still aw ...more
Dune in and of itself, in isolation from the rest of the numerous other Dune books, is by general consensus the greatest sci-fi novel of all time. You may not agree, and one book can not please everybody but statistically Dune comes closest to achieving just this. Witness how often you see it at or near the top of all-time best sf books lists.
I never read Dune with the ...more
I must say that I've watched the two mini-series, Dune and Children of Dune, in my teenage years. Thus, I already had a grasp of the story, what it was about.
However, nothing could have prepared me for the great writing style, the dense philosophy, ecology, and mythology of this story. It takes the term "world-building" to a whole new level.
So what is this about?
Well, that is not easily ans ...more
In the distant future the humanity is ruled by an intergalactic feudal Empire - is absolute monarchy the best the humanity could come up with after all its history? Anyway, Duke Leto Atreides accepts control of a desert planet called Arrakis (aka Dune) which also happened ...more
Islamic Thought: "Dune" by Frank Herbert
A great book full of grand themes.
Time has only made it grander in its vision. I mean, there was a time when Islam wasn't the great, dangerous "other" to Western eyes. Moderate Islam had an appeal to the west, for example, Goethe's west-eastern Divan. Dune stands in this tradition. It describes a world which is full of Islamic thought. It is world in which Islam probably pushed aside Christianity ...more
I loved the spiritual aspects of the book the best. The philosophies and practices and Pranu Bindu training of the Bene Gesserit that Paul learns and builds upon. The Bene Gesserit believe in a training regiment that results in a superior human being - one with every sense as refin ...more
UPDATE 2/15/17: I found this 2003 mini-documentary about the 1984 film on YouTube. I wasn't wrong. The film wasn't very good. Beautiful, yes; good, not so much.
I first read this novel in 1975. It seems impossible that it was over 40 years ago, but the math is inescapable and time inexorable. My teenaged brain was rewired by the read. I had a standard by which to judge all future SFnal reads, and it was a high one. I was transported into a future I was utterly convinced would be ...more
This is my 3rd attempt to read Dune and I am really grateful that I did not succeed the first two times I tried as I was too young to understand all the subtleties. I would have probably enjoyed it as a very well written adventure novel but nothing more. That would have been a pity as Dune is so much more than a story about space travel and epic battles betwee ...more
Dune isn't a light, enjoyable read. At times it reads more like excerpts from geology, ecology, zoology, sociology, pscyhology, and political textbooks. The characters are more like mega-archetypes than real human beings.
The appeal of Dune is peculiar. In order to enjoy Dune you have to enjoy complexity. All authors create little worlds in their stories but Herbert created a world. ...more
As with Anna Karenina, Dune goes beyond the ...more
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He is best known for the novel Dune and its five sequels. The Dune saga, set in the distant future and taking place over millennia, dealt with themes such as human survival and evolution, ecology, and the intersection of religion, politics, and power, and is widely considered to be among the classi ...more