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Whipping Star Hardcover – 1979


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Hardcover, 1979
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: New English Library; Reprint edition (1979)
  • ASIN: B002LCR0RG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,579,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 May 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have recently finished reading Whipping Star by Frank Herbert and like ninety percent of his works it was amazing! The depth of characters ( McKie, Bildoon, Cheo and Mliss Abnethe) can only be compared with the amazing quality with which Mr Herbert crafted Dune and its sequels. The story itself is set around the mysterious Calebans, a race which little is known about. When one of there spacecraft/homes crash lands, Busab's ( Bureau of Sabotage) finest agent is dispatched to the scene, what he finds out could end almost all sentient life. I wish that there were more writers of Mr Herberts quality, Intellect and imagination - His works are a piece of art , he is dearly missed. Not only do i recommend this Frank Herbert novel but all Frank Herbert novels.
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Format: Paperback
Whipping Star takes some seemingly outrageous concepts and turns them into a believable and enjoyable story. The main characters are very likable and the dialogue and humor will have you smiling while reading it. Somehow the fate of the universe is almost treated in a comic way, due to Mckie, the main character and his bumbling conversations with Fanny Mae. In this sense there are almost shades of hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. It suits this book well. And I would say it is best to go in to this looking for a fun and humorous book, rather than expecting too many serious and in-depth psychological reflections. There is a serious back drop to the story that makes it believable, but it is the humour along the way that makes this particular story so good.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Glen Gilchrist on 18 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
Frank Herbert never disappoints (OK - The Green Brain is a bit zzZZZZ) - this is a great introduction to the even better Dosadi Experiment The Dosadi Experiment. I must confess that I read Dosadi before read this - and I think that was a wise move.

This is a short book that sets up and interesting premise -- Stars can be inhabited by living creatures. What the book does really well, is get you to buy into such a leap of imagination.

If these two books had been combined into one, longer story I feel that the result would have been a more satisfactory outcome.

By both and relive the hay day of early SciFi

Glen Gilchrist
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By A E Griffin on 12 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
Enjoyed the book but took some getting my head round the theories/storylines discussed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 33 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Best of Herbert after first 3 Dune books 25 Nov. 2008
By M. D Schneider - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Once the Dune series reached the fourth book it was apparent that the main goal was to exploit the success of the first three. I sought out other Herbert works and found Whipping Star, (As well as the Dosadi Experiment), to be the equal of the classic series. The creative energy behind the beings, worlds and storylines here was so engaging that I reached a level of absorption in the story I rarely experience. Although the scope is certainly not equal to the Dune universe, the vivid imagery and peculiar characters make for escapism at it's best. This book is due for re-release in January. Buy it new or used and be prepared for some highly persistent images in your mind.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Not One of His Best, but a Good Story 28 Mar. 2010
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is the first book, though third story, in the ConSentiency Universe. In this Universe, the wheels of democratic-government run so efficiently, so well, that laws are created, discussed, and passed in a matter of hours. You could imagine where this could be a bad thing (James Madison sure did, this is the ultimate Madisonian-nightmare). In lieu of the bureaucratic red tape to prevent society from doing ill-thoughtout things like passing bad laws, the ConSentiency created the Bureau of Sabotage (BuSab). It's best agent? Jorj X. McKie, Saboteur Extraordinaire, and the main character.

This book, in particular, is about the Caleban. A race that offered the other sentient races a means of travel through a "jumpdoor" to virtually anywhere in the galaxy. Without thinking of any consequences, the government agreed. This had the unknown effect of essentially linking everyone to the Caleban. So if one Caleban died (they are apparently immortal otherwise)... everyone who had used that Caleban's jumpdoor dies or goes utterly insane. Through some social norms, legal contracts, and other contractual issues, a Caleban comes under the control of the main villain. This contracts allows the Caleban to be whipped to death.

McKie needs to find a way to save the last Caleban. Unfortunately, this falls beyond the scope of BuSab's stated mission. While it can take action to stop government... it cannot take action against a private citizen. Therein lies of the dilemma.

So, it's a story about bureaucracy, the need for checks and balances, and laws. Very different from Herbert's other works. There's a strange emotional plot involved between McKie and the last Caleban (which is essentially a star as that is their visible manifestation) that makes for more intrigue. It's intriguing but not nearly as serious as Herbert's later work in the ConSentiency Universe: The Dosadi Experimet (Mass Market Paperback)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
GREAT READ 20 Jun. 2009
By Christopher Z. Dodds - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This story picks up the life of saboteur extraordinary Jorj X. Mckie. He is sent on a mission to save all sentient life in the universe. On this mission he meets and befriends a calaban, a strange multi-dimensional creature who radiates emotion and bleeds purple sparks.
Most of the story is taken up with jumbled conversations between Mckie and the calaban named Fannie Mae. It is at times confusing and for some is enough to put the book down forever, but the diligent reader will be rewarded with a downright heartwarming tale.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Madness and sadism 12 April 2010
By Enjolras - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
From the description of Whipping Star, it sounds more like an investigative thriller. However, it seems more like a study of individual madness and sadism. The galaxy is threatened by a wealthy sadist woman who wants to inflict pain without causing suffering. In order to do this, she finds an alien species who cannot feel pain. However, the death of that alien could unexpectedly lead to the death of all sentient life.

As other reviewers have noted, this book isn't like Dune. It doesn't have the same mythic story or characters. Whereas Dune is more of a great saga in the lines of Lord of the Rings, Whipping Star is more like classic sci-fi. It has some original and interesting plot twists (such as a bureaucracy dedicated to limiting democratic governance), but ultimately probably won't please fans who like the epic qualities of Dune.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
McKie must circumvent ironclad contract to save Universe 4 Nov. 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A Celedon has entered into a bizzare contract with a female sadist in order to understand life in our demension. The sadist has been brainwashed by the authorities not to inflict pain. The Celedon has no concept of pain and therefore is a perfect victim for the sadist. However, these sadistic actions will cause it to cease to exist. The Celedon has asked for Mckie's help to find loophole in the ironclad contract before the it and our universe cease to exist.
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