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God Emperor of Dune

(Dune #4)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  74,683 ratings  ·  2,087 reviews
4th in Dune Chronicles Series

With more than ten million copies sold, Frank Herbert's magnificent DUNE books stand among the major achievements of the imagination. Of them all, GOD EMPEROR OF DUNE, the fourth, is the greatest and the grandest. Centuries have passed on Dune itself, and the planet is green with life. Leto II, the son of Dune's savior, is still alive but far

Paperback, 358 pages
Published April 1st 1982 by Berkley Trade (first published May 6th 1981)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  74,683 ratings  ·  2,087 reviews

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Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Thirty five hundred years has passed since the end of the previous book. Leto II (I will just call him Leto for the sake of brevity) has been the God Emperor of the known Universe practically all this time. He is not shy about using pure despotic methods of governing when he feels like it. Unfortunately with all his infinite wisdom he forgot the most important one: a smart despot knows when to leave; the stupid one remains in power until his subjects remove his head – against his wishes obviousl ...more
Katrina MacWhirter
I hated this book the first time I read it. Hated every person in it, did not understand why anyone acted the way they did. Now it's one of my top-ten comfort reads, and I see so much in Leto I want for myself.

Dune was the perfect hero book, and then Herbert turned the trope of “boy becomes Messiah and saves the noble people” on its head with Dune Messiah and Children of Dune. In those two volumes, everything assumed and trusted became so much sand, and a son had to destroy his Messiah father’s
Michael Finocchiaro
[SPOILER ALERT: if you never read Children of Dune STOP NOW!]
Leto II is now the God Emperor after merging with the sandtrout and becoming a monstrous worm-man powered by melange. He rules the known universe with an iron fist - not unlike his Aunt Alya did actually - but this is of course because he is SAVING the human race from itself. He has an army of woman, the Fish Speakers, that carry out his bidding spreading terror and, still, peace across his vast domain. He has reigned for 3000+ years a
Jan 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
It's not until the end of this book that you begin to understand Herbert's grand plan for his series. DUNE is really about shaking man out of an evolutionary cul-de-sac, showing a frustrated civil(?) society that despite its technological and social superiority is stagnating. The inventions of the Bene Gesseritt, the Guild, the Mentats, all of these are bulwarks against the decline of man that are failing. And the only one to understand this is Leto II, God Emperor of the Known Universe. In his ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
God Emperor of Dune (Dune #4), Frank Herbert

God Emperor of Dune is a science fiction novel by Frank Herbert published in 1981, the fourth in his Dune series of six novels.

Leto II Atreides, the God Emperor, has ruled the universe as a tyrant for 3,500 years after becoming a hybrid of human and giant sandworm in Children of Dune.

The death of all other sand-worms, and his control of the remaining supply of the all-important drug melange, has allowed him to keep civilization under his complete com
Eric Allen
Sep 12, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
God Emperor of Dune
Book 4 of the Dune Chronicles
By Frank Herbert

A Dune Retrospective by Eric Allen

What do you say about the book that was so completely terrible that it so turned you off of the series that you refused to read the four books that came after it for over a decade? This book is bad in a way that few things achieve. Oh, yes, there are worse things than this book in human history, and I do not mean to cheapen the horror of those atrocities, but when it comes to complete and utter fail
Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The weakest of the original series, the fourth Dune book published in 1981 and Herbert's brilliant work begun in 1965 finally bottoms out.

Like many reviewers have said, the quality of the literature diminishes with each installment, but flashes of Herbert's brilliance shines through. I can see the influence on the Star Wars films, is Leto the inspiration for Jabba the Hutt or Anakin Skywalker or both?

I became an instant fan of Dune after the original, but after reading this one I took a long b
Aug 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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 P
Lucy Black
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
God Emperor of Dune is one of those books you can measure inner growth and change by.

As a child, I hated it. I got bogged down in what I felt was a lack of story and plot. I hated the characters which I felt were very, very one dimensional and boring. I hated the protagonist, Leto II, who I thought was stuffy and pretentious.

Then, as an adult, I rediscovered it and it is now my favorite book of the Dune series (the original Dune is right behind it) and indeed one of my favorite books in the worl
Buddy read with Athena!

“I am a collection of the obsolete, a relic of the damned, of the lost and strayed. I am the waylaid pieces of history which sank out of sight in all of our pasts. Such an accumulation of riffraff has never before been imagined.”

More than three thousand years have passed since the events described in the Great Dune Trilogy, and everything has changed. Arrakis is now a planet of running water and green growth, and the days of stillsuits and crysknives are gone. The Sandworm
Adrian Ciuleanu
Nov 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, this was my second read of God Emperor of Dune. Honestly, it was quite an useful read because now I understand more precisely what was Leto's goal and the exact purpose of his Golden Path. To make a long story short the Golden Path is nothing more than the survival of the human race. At the end of the old empire (period described in the previous books) the human race has become doomed beyond hope with a corrupt and decadent feudal ruling system, stagnant and with an major addiction to subs ...more
Jul 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: masochists.
God Emperor of Dune is the red-headed stepchild of the series. Frank Herbert delves into the mind of a near omniscient god-creature. Many people feel disturbed or bored by this book, calling it the most "dull" of the series. From a philosophical point of view, this is probably the most advanced book in the series. Definitions of humanity and morality are contrasted in very personal ways in this book. Those familiar with Lovecraftian Cthulu mythos could well use this as a textbook to start thinki ...more
6.0 stars. On my list of All Time Favorite novels. The Dune series is one of the most literate and beautifully written science fiction series ever and this novel certainly continues that tradition of excellence. In fact, this may be may favorite installment of the entire series. I find I may be in the minority with that sentiment based on other reviews I have read, but I found the contemplative and cerebral nature of the story and the many expository monologues and dialogues among the characters ...more
Dec 20, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Useful background book to read if you've ever thought you might like to rule the Universe. It's a really terrible job.
Bob R Bogle
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, herbert
Having finished writing the third book of the trilogy, Children of Dune (first published in Analog, January-April 1976), Frank Herbert did not intend to revisit that imaginary universe. He had said all he wished to say about Paul Atreides and his legacy, and about the spice, and sandworms, and the Bene Gesserit, and the like. He would move on to other matters.

And so he did. The Dosadi Experiment followed hard on the heels of Children of Dune, first published in the summer of 1977. This was succe
With this book I ran out of energy to read the Dune series any further. Reading this book drained life out of me, until I died and abandoned reading science fiction (for the second time). Nowadays of course one can just read the gist of it on Wikipeadia, but in the dim and distant past, curiosity about a story could only be satisfied by the personal turning of the pages of an entire book.

The opening I thought was great and it was interesting to see the outcomes of the Fremen's plan, outlines the
edge of bubble
Apr 16, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I don't accept this monstrosity made of ramblings of an old fart as a Dune book. About 1870 pages of boring drivel that smothers you in it's contemptuous arrogance.

GEoD should have been a 50 pages of intro to the next installment of this series. And that would be about 40 pages too long in my opinion but still 1830 pages less of a torture.
Jul 25, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Please, make it stop.
Wendy,  Lady Evelyn Quince
For a book with such a great title, I sure am less than whelmed. I’m certain Leto Atreides II, God Emperor of the known universe, would chide me for my inability to fully understand the truths that he pontificates on… so just call me “stoo-pit.” That's what most of this book is: Leto pontificating and berating people for being too stupid to understand his prescient brilliance.

This is a book I can’t possibly review properly. I’ll need to re-read it once or twice more to really get it. Too bad the
I keep going back and forth on this rating. Reading this series has been a truly weird experience. The first book is a straight up classic that I enjoy reading, despite some issues with it being dated and gross in places. I will read it again! I will see the movie. The second two books I appreciated on an intellectual level but they did not engage me emotionally at all. I was very much dreading the rest of the series after reading those books. And then . . . this book. I don't even really know w ...more
Athena Shardbearer
Buddy Read with Markus

Actual Rating: 2.5 stars

I was born Leto Atreides II more than three thousand standard years ago, measuring from the moment when I cause these words to be printed. My father was Paul Muad’Dib. My mother was his Fremen consort, Chani. My maternal grandmother was Faroula, a noted herbalist among the Fremen. My paternal grandmother was Jessica, a product of the Bene Gesserit breeding scheme in their search for a male who could share the powers of the Sisterhood’s Revere
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A deep and unflattering meditation on the human condition and whether near absolute tyranny can free mankind from certain of these trappings, Frank Herbert's God Emperor of Dune is my favourite novel of what is a monumental series and one of the greatest in all of science fiction.
This review offers an excellent and concise summary of what the book does for the story.

Be warned however that this novel doesn't offer a smooth silk thread of a plot where characters are affixed colourful and appreciab
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
God Emperor of Dune made me feel really weird while I was reading it, and this is after like a half-summer of feeling really fucking weird reading every one of these books, but seriously -- I am saying, weird. Like, the universe opens its eye and watches you watching it. That kind of weird.

One weird thing about this book, aside from the title being the most metal thing on earth, is that it is essentially one long scene. Herbert finds ways to break it up, of course, but really, it's somehow 400 p
Melee Farr
Oct 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished this one and liked it almost as much as the first, which is really saying something. I have to say that Leto disgusted me at first ... gave me the willies just reading about him, kind of like squishing a snail, but by the end of the book, I felt dreadfully sorry for him, and had a reluctant respect for the lonely choices he made. I'd certainly have never made those sacrifices. I have a pile of quotes from the wise Mr. Herbert to add here .... ...more
Ramón S.
Sep 27, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: worst-books-ever
This book is horrible. A total mess. Frank Herbert had been writing a book without sense sometimes even ridiculous. What is the point? I ended this book almost infuriated. Leto II is disgusting and a jellyfish literally speaking. I put this book in the shelf “worst books ever”. Really a sub one star
After awhile I was feeling that I was back at my Philosophy classes back in High School, but hey, I can't argue against a best-selling author. ...more
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, sci-fic
What a tragedy, the original 1965 Dune is one of the most legendary novels of all time.

Yet the sequels leave a lot to be desired. I understand the impulse from Herbert to continue the story, I really do. Both for reasons of his own imagination, and because the fans want more of the planet Arrakis and the Atreides line. But with each sequel, it gets less interesting. They aren't so much about plot but world-building, with a new paradigm endlessly explained while little story progresses.

In this
Jack Pramitte
This book has changed my life. It's after I read it that I decided to become an immortal giant worm, and to travel across the whole universe to have sex with the most beautiful creatures (of every of the 17 existing sexes). Oh, and I've killed one trillion people but I swear they were annoying. What a wonderful life! ...more
Ivana Books Are Magic
I absolutely love this book. God Emperor of Dune is different from others novels in the series, and while I can understand why it might be off putting to some, for me this is the most beautiful and personal narrative in the whole series. I applaud Herbert for trying out something different and going for a book that was so heavily focused on an individual...and what an individual he is! A god who dislikes religion, because: “Religious institutions perpetuate a mortal master-servant relationship,” ...more
Jun 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review to come
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Dune Fanatics: God Emperor of Dune 4 42 Jun 10, 2016 09:23AM  
Sci-Fi Group Book...: God Emperor of Dune 1 28 Mar 27, 2015 02:23AM  
The Sword and Laser: I have never finished the Dune series due to dislike. 77 723 Aug 19, 2013 09:13AM  
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN 0425053121 3 28 Oct 20, 2011 09:31PM  

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Frank Herbert was a critically acclaimed and commercially successful American science fiction author.

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

Other books in the series

Dune (8 books)
  • Dune (Dune, #1)
  • Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles, #2)
  • Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles, #3)
  • Heretics of Dune (Dune Chronicles, #5)
  • Chapterhouse: Dune (Dune Chronicles, #6)
  • Hunters of Dune (Dune Chronicles, #7)
  • Sandworms of Dune (Dune Chronicles #8)

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