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House Atreides (Prelude to Dune) Hardcover – 7 Oct 1999


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 498 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (7 Oct 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340751746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340751749
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 24.2 x 5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 905,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Acclaimed SF novelist Brian Herbert is the son of Dune author Frank Herbert. With his father BH wrote Man of Two Worlds, and later edited The Notebooks of Frank Herbert's Dune. Kevin J. Anderson has written many best sellers, alternating original SF with novels set in the X Files and Star Wars universes. Together they bring personal commitment and a life long knowledge of the Dune Chronicles to this ambitious expansion of a series which transformed SF itself.

House Atreides chronicles the early life of Leto Atreides, prince of a minor House in the galactic Imperium. Leto comes to confront the realities of power when House Vernius is betrayed in an imperial plot involving a quest for an artificial substitute to melange, a substance vital to interstellar trade found only on the planet Dune. Meanwhile House Harkonnen schemes to bring Leto into conflict with the Tleilax, and the Bene Gesserit manipulate Baron Harkonnen as part of a plan stretching back a 100 generations. In the Imperial palace treason is afoot, and on Dune itself, planetologist Pardot Kynes embarks on a secret project to transform the desert world into a paradise.

Dune remains the best-selling SF novel ever, such that three decades later no prequel can possibly have the same impact. Yet in House Atrides the authors have written a compelling, labyrinthine, skilfully imagined extension of the world Frank Herbert created, which ably commands the attention for almost 600 pages. It is powerful SF continuing a great tradition, and in itself is a very considerable achievement. --Gary S. Dalkin

Review

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)

'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.

'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.

. . . Herbert and Anderson have met the challenge admirably. Within a web of relationships in which no act has simple or predictable consequences, they lay the foundations of the Dune saga . . . Even readers new to the saga will be able to follow it easily as the narrative weaves among the many interconnected tales. A TERRIFIC READ IN ITS OWN RIGHT . . . Will inspire readers to turn, or return, to its great predecessor. (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY)

Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson succeed in weaving their own intricate saga. Dune: House Atreides does its predecessors justice. (USA Today)

'...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

'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

Congratulations to Herbert and Anderson for transporting us back to this richly excavated world...A spicy melange treat for both new and long-time fans of the series (Billy Dee Williams (of Star Wars, Lady Sings the B)

'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.

In writing a prequel to what is arguably the best science fiction novel of all time, Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson set themselves a monumental task. They succeed brilliantly. This cynical old critic found himself engrossed from page one, and eagerly looks forward to the rest of the series. Buy it now! (Dave Wolverton (NYT bestselling author))

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

'Herbert and Anderson have brought this classic saga back to an exciting and dynamic life' - Denver Post

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

IN A WORD, SATISFYING: all Dune fans will want to investigate, newcomers will be tempted, and it should promote fresh interest in the magnificent original series. (Kirkus)

opulently epic...always engrossing...In short, I can't wait for the next insalment. (Johannesburg Star)

'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

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 May 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Prequels are unusual novels. They should be written to introduce a book and series for someone who has not yet read any of the material. Yet their prime readership will be from those who have already read the series and want more. So you have to evaluate prequels from both prespectives. Usually, they favor one dimension or the other.
As is the usual case for prequels, Dune: House Atreides will primarily appeal to those who have read the Dune novels. The Harkonnens are beautifully cast as thoroughly nasty, despicable, and incompetent. The tension between the religion of not having thinking machines and the potential to create new technology is nicely developed. You will also get a good sense of Emperor Shaddam IV. Duke Paulus Atreides is a very enjoyable character, and you will delight in the places where he comes into the story.
I found much of the novel to be competent, rather than compelling. Unfortunately, these sections included Duke Leto Atreides, Duncan Idaho, and Pardor Kynes. These characters could have been magnificent, and provided much more fascination for the series. They come across as attractive, but not as people you want to grasp and hold onto because they are so appealing.
As a result, interesting, additional details comprise a reasonably small part of this book.
For those who have not yet read Dune, I felt that the book had one mistake in it. Readers will discover a bit more about physical changes that Guild navigators experience than is desirable for enjoying the whole series. In all other ways, this book will help the new reader anticipate and enjoy the beauties of the Dune series more. The background of much of what is happening will still seem mysterious after reading about it in this book, which is good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Sep 2001
Format: Paperback
Prequels are unusual novels. They should be written to introduce a book and series for someone who has not yet read any of the material. Yet their prime readership will be from those who have already read the series and want more. So you have to evaluate prequels from both prespectives. Usually, they favor one dimension or the other.
As is the usual case for prequels, Dune: House Atreides will primarily appeal to those who have read the Dune novels. The Harkonnens are beautifully cast as thoroughly nasty, despicable, and incompetent. The tension between the religion of not having thinking machines and the potential to create new technology is nicely developed. You will also get a good sense of Emperor Shaddam IV. Duke Paulus Atreides is a very enjoyable character, and you will delight in the places where he comes into the story.
I found much of the novel to be competent, rather than compelling. Unfortunately, these sections included Duke Leto Atreides, Duncan Idaho, and Pardor Kynes. These characters could have been magnificent, and provided much more fascination for the series. They come across as attractive, but not as people you want to grasp and hold onto because they are so appealing.
As a result, interesting, additional details comprise a reasonably small part of this book.
For those who have not yet read Dune, I felt that the book had one mistake in it. Readers will discover a bit more about physical changes that Guild navigators experience than is desirable for enjoying the whole series. In all other ways, this book will help the new reader anticipate and enjoy the beauties of the Dune series more. The background of much of what is happening will still seem mysterious after reading about it in this book, which is good.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Silas Wegg on 15 Jun 2004
Format: Paperback
The idea behind the Preludes books is that Frank Herbert had discussed at length the history of his created universer with his son Brian. This may very well be the case, but unfortunately, Brian (and his writing partner) really aren't up to such an awesome task, following on from a trully brilliant author as Frank Herbert.
The reason that this and it subequent prequels fail (although they aren't particular bad for what they are) is that firstly, there isn't the depth of plot or description of the original Frank Herbert novels. Also, there are parts that do contradict the later books. Mohiam being Jessica's mother for one.
They are readable and fairly quickly paced, but I re-read Messiah after reading House Harkonnen and the difference was over-whelming. It was like reading a different series. It was certainly a different author.
I do, however, applaud Brian Herbert's courage in taking on this task. He must've known that he would be unfavourably compared to his genius father. I suspect this might've been the case even if he had proved to be a visionary himself. I look forward to reading his legends of Dune series and will try one of his original novels before making a judgement about his writing ability. But the preludes are not a patch on his father's brilliant masterpiece.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Oct 2004
Format: Paperback
Sadly, I think "Dune" is being seen as a cash cow, and all 6 of the preludes have been rushed out unfinished, or so they seem. The plots generally are pretty good, and if you can just focus on them, the books are enjoyable. But they suffer in a few ways. The bad guys are too evil. Both the Harkonnens in the "Preludes" like this, and the Titans and machines in the "Legends" series are evil tyrants who spend half the books enjoying grisly torture. It's rabidly overdone and dimishes the bad guys in the process. More irritating than that (to me anyway) is that the book doesn't seem to have been proof-read. The number of times a character's name appears where he/she should have been used, making you think that we've changed to a different person when we haven't, are almost beyond count. It's a real pity because there are some good plots and stories here, much better than any of the sequels Frank Herbert wrote, but they just don't seem to have been completed properly before publication.
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