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Dune: The Butlerian Jihad [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Kevin J. Anderson , Brian Herbert , Scott Brick
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
RRP: 43.49
Price: 41.28 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

17 Sep 2002 Dune (Book 1)

It began in the Time of Tyrants, when ambitious men and women used high-powered computers to seize control of the heart of the Old Empire including Earth itself. The tyrants translated their brains into mobile mechanical bodies and created a new race, the immortal man-machine hybrids called cymeks. Then the cymeks' world-controlling planetary computers - each known as Omnius - seized control from their overlords and a thousand years of brutal rule by the thinking machines began.

But their world faces disaster. Impatient with human beings' endless disobedience and the cymeks' continual plotting to regain their power, Omnius has decided that it no longer needs them. Only victory can save the human race from extermination.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: MacMillan Audio; Unabridged edition (17 Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559277556
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559277556
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 12.9 x 5.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,828,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

The Butlerian Jihad opens a new series of Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson's prequels to the classic Dune by Frank Herbert (Brian's father). Set more than 10,000 years before Dune, this covers the evil times when machine intelligence ruled the Old Empire of human worlds. The implacably efficient "Omnius" AI must be overthrown.

Many familiar names appear; Salusa Secundus now green and fertile, but fated to become a hellhole prison planet, is one of the free human enclaves on the fringes of Omnius's "Synchronized Worlds". So is Giedi Prime, later the evil Harkonnen HQ. Both are attacked by fearsome robot fleets and ex-human cyborg killers when Omnius makes a new expansionist push. Much space-operatic mayhem follows.

Major characters include Serena Butler, who will become the driving force of the jihad against computer dictatorship; her lover Xavier Harkonnen, heroic defender of Salusa Secundus; Vorian Atreides, son of Omnius's chief cyborg Agamemnon, convinced by slanted histories that the Synchronized Worlds are the good guys; Erasmus, an independent robot who plays devil's advocate to Omnius and conducts unspeakably gory experiments to determine the wayward nature of humanity; and Selim, a desert exile on planet Arrakis (Dune), who becomes the first man to master the dread sandworms.

Many other firsts are rather improbably crowded together here. This is the first serious export of Dune's life-prolonging spice; the first (perhaps) spice-induced prophetic vision; first forcefield body shield; and the first antigravity "suspensors" that are invented by a girl genius who may be the first Mentat--those super-gifted humans who will replace prohibited computers. She's also busy inventing the first interstellar jump-drive. Elsewhere, telepathic "Sorceresses" prefigure the Reverend Mothers of the Bene Gesserit.

Despite a few nuances like the "good" society being flawed by its toleration of slavery, The Butlerian Jihad lacks the richness of Frank Herbert's work--his psychological intensity, the multi-layered subtlety of his characters' schemes and duel-like conversations. Instead, this is straightforwardly rousing space opera, with battle, counterstrikes, kidnapping, vows of vengeance, a fateful love triangle, and lashings of gratuitous violence and dismemberment. --David Langford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


...a compelling story that will transport readers back to the world that changed science fiction forever (Tattered Times, Denver, Colarado)

House Harkonnen is compulsive reading. I certainly enjoyed meeting pardot Kynes and Liet, learning more about the Freman, as well as Gurney Halleck, Duncan Idaho and the Lady Jessica. Such vile villains...and such a fascinating description of splendid places. (Anne McCaffrey on House Harkonnen)

Dune: House Atreides is packed with action, great story lines and twists within twists about favorite Dune villains and heroes. The result is a winning combination that keeps the two in stride with Frank Herbert's vision. (Beyond the Cover)

House Atreides is a terrific prequel, but it's also a first-rate adventure on its own. Frank Herbert would surely be delighted and proud of this continuation of his vision. (Dean Koontz)

Those who long to return to the world of desert, spice and sandworms will be amply satisfied (The Times)

In a word satisfying: all Dune fans will want to investigate, newcomers will be tempted, and it should promise fresh interest in the magnificent original series (Kirkus)

All these characters and themes will be familiar to fans of the original Dune novels. But new twists added by Herbert and Anderson will have fans, both old and new, turning pages. Having done their research well, Herbert and Anderson have succeeded in laying out the foundation for a new trilogy that will amplify the original novels and stand firmly as a class act in its own right. (Dorman T Schindler, St Petersburg Times on House A)

This book is written in a style so close to the original that it is hard to believe Frank Herbert did not direct it through some mysterious genetic link - maybe he did. Did I like it? Hey, I'm a Dune addict myself. I can't wait for the sequel to the prequel (Mark Graham, Rocky Mountain News on HA)

...a rousing story that juggles eight or so plot lines with ease. The first of a trilogy, the book is written so that those who have never read Dune can strat right here with the prequel. (Michael Glitz, New York Post on HA)

The author's research and passion for the material have served them well. Dune: House atreides captures the essence of Dune while illuminating further the workings of Frank Herbert's universe (Seattle Times) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
...I found it an enjoyable read, though it in no way is as deep as the original Dune novels. On the other hand, maybe we should stop compare these newer Dune novels to the older ones, and just view them as a new series altogether (especially in this book, few of the original story elements remain... Arrakis is only spoken of sporadically, Caladan is not spoken of, etc...)
The book is a quick read (though I was not as quick as the previous reviewer, reading 606 pages in three hours, is a fast 200 page average :)) - it's enjoyable all through... But that's it. Don't expect anything deeper than just enjoyable well-written english...
Hope this helps!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Almost astonishingly bad 26 July 2008
Way back in 1994, early in the lifespan of its line of Star Wars tie-in novels. Bantam published The Jedi Academy Trilogy by the then-unheard of Kevin J. Anderson. A fanbase invigorated by Timothy Zahn's enjoyable, excellently-paced trilogy featuring Grand Admiral Thraw eagerly seized on any new Star Wars fiction that was being produced (explaining why the so-so Truce at Bakura and the awful Courtship of Princess Leia became instant bestsellers). In the case of this trilogy, this proved to be unwise. Featuring morally corrupt would-be Jedi who kill billions and then get forgiven by Luke Skywalker because they felt bad about it, and a superweapon that makes the Death Star look pitiful (a ship called the Sun Crusher which can destroy star systems and is indestructible), The Jedi Academy Trilogy appeared to be the ultimate work of deluded fan fiction. Naturally, it sold huge amounts of copies.

Soon enough, Anderson was everywhere. He was writing X-Files novels. His own creations, utterly unremarkable with the exception of the mildly diverting Climbing Olympus, were soon spreading insidiously over bookshelves everywhere. Could he not be stopped? And then the final ignomy: he convinced Brian Herbert to help him co-write the books that would continue Herbert's father's Dune series.

Readers braced themselves for something horrifying, but unexpectedly the Prelude to Dune Trilogy (House Atreides, House Harkonnen and House Corrino) turned out to be okay. Not great, obviously, but readable. Naturally, the books contradicted established Dune canon all over the shop and the characters only really worked because Frank Herbert had already established them, but compared to other cash-in books out there these were definitely nowhere near as bad as they could have been.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This isn't a complete review of the book, just some points that I think others who are thinking of buying the book should know.
First of all, I did enjoy the book. I've read the other prequels (House...) which I didn't think were written very well (but they were still worth reading). Fortunately, I think the authors' style has improved.
As much as I enjoyed reading this book, my big problem was that it failed to deliver almost all of what it promised on its back cover. I was getting very worried that so much had to be wrapped up in the last few pages and, when I finally finished it, I felt that there was so much missing.
I took a quick look on Amazon to see what others thought and, to my delight, found that there are 2 more books that follow this novel (where apparently the story continues and hopefully everything gets wrapped up nicely). I really think the authors should have mentioned that this book was part 1 of 3 and restricted the précis on the back to what was actually contained in the book.
This isn't really a stand-alone book. It isn't even the first book of a trilogy. It's the first third of an 1800+ page epic.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dune? no Dune 2 Jan 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read all the House prequels after being left with an unquenchable thirst for more Dune when I finished Chapterhouse.
I've read them, and enjoyed them, but with mixed feelings.
Unfortunately, these same mixed feelings assaulted me when reading Butlerian Jihad.
A problem with this book is that the word Dune written on its cover in such large letters, yet it is the only reason I've bought it.
Other reviews have correctly pointed out that the characters and the plot are not quite what you'd call award-winning achievements, but it is a Dune book, and one feels compelled to explore the Dune universe once more.
What annoys me most, is the incapability of Brian Herbert and Anderson to keep their hands of the work of father Frank.
Of course, the books exist within the universe his father created. But I get the feeling the writers of this book are intend on seizing every opportunity to grab a concept from the old books, and insert it in these new ones (the harkonnen no-ship from the house books springs to mind) which gives the impression that Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson rather make an inconsistent, far-fetched and unnecessary reference than come up with some ideas of their own.
The legends of dune, even more so than the house books, should not be just one big build up to the original dune books. It is an opportunity to add a whole new dimension to the Dune universe, but instead the writers just stretch the original material to fill up these new series.
The effect of this is (not surprisingly) a barely average SF book and more an exploitation of Frank Herbert's Dune than a new addition to it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars i should have bought the triology box set
i loved this book so much i bought the trilogy box set because

1 it was cheaper than buying them separately

2 the covers were the same styles

3 so... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Jordanfelton
5.0 out of 5 stars worth it:)
defo worth getting for the avid fan, a much needed precule to an excellent series of books, probably not for the layman though, not an action packed series of books, more... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Adrian Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars The Butlerian Jihad
A fascinating insight that answers so many questions from the many previous Dune books I have read, excellent, I can't. wait to start the next one.
Published 3 months ago by gary hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
Great read! Very good prequel with plenty of references and origin stories that tie in well with the original dune series
Published 7 months ago by NAW
5.0 out of 5 stars Dune -The Butlerian Jihad
Another intersting book in this brilliant series. Easier to read than the original books by Frank Herbert, it answers a lot of questions that you may have wondered about, at the... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Glina
5.0 out of 5 stars The Butlerian Jihad
I first bought this book when going on holiday thinking would it measure up to the original series, not only did it measure up, it surpassed the original. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Paul Orc Like
2.0 out of 5 stars badly written and conceived
This book seems to have been rushed. The Prelude to Dune series was better as the characters thought more about situations and other people's motivations. Read more
Published on 6 Feb 2012 by ac
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice start to the series
There are loads of reviews that give this book 1 star and I think that is very harsh. The problem comes with the fact that the original books are SOOO good that anything that isnt... Read more
Published on 29 April 2011 by Martin Mcauley
5.0 out of 5 stars Dune
Having now read whole Dune Saga, from Jihad to Hunters of Dune. Wow, in a term from the 60's mind blowing. Fully recommended to every sci fi nut out there.
Published on 21 Feb 2011 by Caz
5.0 out of 5 stars Contextually superb extension of the Dune universe!
I have read many reviews of this book that give a very poor rating; the most prominent criticism tends to be that the quality of writing doesn't match the original Frank Herbert... Read more
Published on 18 May 2009 by ezytouch
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