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Dune Paperback – 1 Feb 1982
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This Hugo and Nebula Award winner tells the sweeping tale of a desert planet called Arrakis, the focus of an intricate power struggle in a byzantine interstellar empire. Arrakis is the sole source of Melange, the "spice of spices". Melange is necessary for interstellar travel and also grants psychic powers and longevity, so whoever controls it wields great influence.
The troubles begin when stewardship of Arrakis is transferred by the Emperor from the Harkonnen Noble House to House Atreides. The Harkonnens don't want to give up their privilege, though, and through sabotage and treachery they cast young Duke Paul Atreides out into the planet's harsh environment to die. There he falls in with the Fremen, a tribe of desert dwellers who become the basis of the army with which he will reclaim what's rightfully his. Paul Atreides, though, is far more than just a usurped duke. He might be the end product of a very long-term genetic experiment designed to breed a superhuman--he might be a messiah. His struggle is at the centre of a nexus of powerful people and events, and the repercussions will be felt throughout the Imperium.
Dune is one of the most famous science fiction novels ever written, and deservedly so. The setting is elaborate and ornate, the plot labyrinthine and the adventures exciting. Five sequels follow. --Brooks Peck
Unique among SF novels . . . I know nothing comparable to it except The Lord of the Rings. (Arthur C. Clarke)
One of the landmarks of modern science fiction . . . an amazing feat of creation. (Analog)
Top customer reviews
Frank Herbert's creativity is at its absolute height in this book. The list of the ingenious concepts in `Dune' would run to several pages, but some of the most memorable include: Mentats - human computers trained from early age to make astonishing mental calculations; Guild Navigators - the powerful space pilots who use the drug melange to chart the routes between planets and fold space; Sardaukar - battle-hardened troops of the Empire moulded by the extreme conditions of their prison planet; and The Bene Gesserit - the matriarchal society of `witches' who work behind the scenes to achieve their centuries long goal of creating a super being.
Among the best characters in this book is Baron Vladimir Harkkonen, who takes his place up there with Moriarty, Dracula and Mr Hyde as one of literature's classic villains.
The world Frank Herbert creates here is complex, shifting, political and full of intrigue. Readers who are new to the work may find the beginning of the novel daunting, especially the use of dense internal dialogue which some may find off-putting. However, it will not be long before they are hooked and fully immersed in the fascinating world of `Dune'.
This is one of those books that you will wish would never end and certainly one that once read you will find revisiting in your thoughts.
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