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Dune (S.F. MASTERWORKS) Hardcover – 25 Oct 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 444 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 25 Oct 2001
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (25 Oct. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575073349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575073340
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 3.6 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (444 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,600,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Originally serialised in Analog during the early 1960s, Dune has sold over 10 million copies, becoming the most successful science fiction novel ever and giving rising to five sequels and a prequel, Prelude to Dune: House Atreides. With Lord of the Rings, 1984 and Catch 22, it is, regardless of whether one normally reads science fiction, a defining novel of the 20th century. Author Frank Herbert always preferred the original magazine illustrations by Hugo Award-winning artist John Schoenherr to those of other artists, and this illustrated edition features 12 colour plates by Schoenherr together with an evocative dust-jacket painting.

Dune is epic space opera, a saga of dynastic rivalry rooted in history and ecology, the story of the planet Arrakis 10 000 years from now, and of the conflicts over possession of Melange, a psycho-mutagenic "spice" vital to maintaining the galactic Imperium. It is the story of Paul Atreides, the man who would become Dune Messiah, and of the giant sand worms which haunt the desert landscapes. More elaborate and complex than preceding SF, Frank Herbert laid the foundations that made Star Wars and Babylon 5 possible. Dan Simmon's Hyperion and David Zindell's Neverness launched even richer, more dazzling and thrilling galactic epics, but Dune retains its premiere place in the collective imagination. Decades after initial publication it is still the benchmark for popular SF, a book everyone should read, if only to know what everyone else is talking about. --Gary S Dalkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A portrayal of an alien society more complete and deeply detailed than any other author in the field has managed...a story absorbing equally for its action and philosophical vistas".

-- Washington Post Book World --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I know some people who hate the movie and will not touch this book. I know a few who own and love the movie but have never read the book. I have lent DUNE to friends who could get no further than page 20 because it was too "out there" or too difficult, with its array of characters and glossary of made-up terms. But of all the people who have gotten past page 20- I don't know one who doesn't praise it among their absolute favorites. I am no exception.
I love sci-fi but don't read much of it because I prefer fantasy. DUNE feels like a perfect blend of the two. A war of noble houses set in space. Paul Atreides is heir to the duchy- and to say that he is well trained for the job would be an understatement. His father, Duke Leto, is given charge of Arrakis- a hellish desert-world and the sole source of "the spice" which the entire universe needs. A very prestigious assignment, but treachery and peril comes with it. Paul finds himself thrown into the mystery of Dune and its fierce natives, the Fremen. Is he the savior their prophecy speaks of?
I was first blown away by DUNE at the age of 16, and have since considered it "the one to beat". In 8 years, very few books have made me question that judgment: Game of Thrones, Foundation, Lord of the Rings, Ender's Game. I had to reread it to be sure I wasn't just naïve at the time. Was it really THAT great? Absolutely.
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Format: Paperback
Epic in scale. Epic in vision. Epic in ideas. Dune’s place as the greatest science fiction novel of all time can be attributed to these three phases. Whilst the other contenders that are frequently thrown around as the best ever (such as The Demolished Man, Ender’s Game, Foundation, 1984, The Forever War, etc.), Dune surpasses them in all aspects from writing style, story and, most overlooked in the genre, depth of character.
What really sets this apart from other books is its length. Whilst this has never ensured consistent quality (quite the opposite in many cases), Herbert has filled the 600-odd pages with superb prose that never wanders, never sags and always is delightful to read. The story is told from multiple points of view (often changes occur within a paragraph), so we learn effectively about the characters but we are never confused by this style. Every thought is recorded for our digestion which means the characters of Dune are wonderfully complex, each with their own nuances and failings. However I don’t imply that the book is full of dense, terse, symbolic writing that would make English graduates salivate. Rather the plot moves along with a large amount of dialogue and the subtle action sequences ensure even the most impatient reader is never bored.
The story revolves around Paul Atreides of the House Atreides. In a galaxy far away and far into the future, Dune features no aliens and few of the usual SF trappings. This is essentially a character-driven story so a hard SF fan may not enjoy it to the extent that I (and others) have. As we follow Paul and his family relocate themselves to the planet Arrakis/Dune as new rulers, much of the first act is concerned with the ducal court that surrounds Paul.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I've read this book multiple times in the past and so won't comment on just how good the story is.

The low mark reflects problems with formatting on the Kindle version. Repeatedly, almost once per page, I find instances where quotation marks are missing. Speech starts from characters and I find myself not realising that the story has transitioned from description to speech, meaning I end up going back a sentence to get the full context.

Hopefully Amazon will get the publishers to update the Kindle version with corrected formatting.

In conclusion: great real book, not a great electronic book.
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By Tom on 27 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not going to lie, I found Dune hard going; at times it was the literary equivalent of wading through desert sand. That's not to say it is not an enjoyable and rewarding read, but rather that it does require an element of concentration and persistence on the behalf of the reader. It's a catch twenty-two though, because many of the elements that make it a more complicated read also add to the richness and texture of the book, its characters, and the setting. It is also these elements that draw you so completely into the alternate world of Arrakis that you begin to understand how this book is viewed as a classic of (not just sci-fi) literature.

Dune is built on a grandiose scale, one of interstellar travel, imperial emperors and apocalyptic reckoning. It is one of few books I know of that not only boasts a glossary of terms, but also essays on the ecology and religion of the subject [planet]. It also requires the digesting of a myriad of `made up' terminology, and the buying-into of some metaphysical shenanigans. In amongst all this there is always a danger that everything can become so detached from our reality that the story lacks a familiar grounding and is diluted by consequence. However, it is through the central characters, namely Paul Atreides and his mother Jessica, that the story is really held together as a tale of personal attrition, retribution, and discovery.

I cannot believe it has taken me so long to get around to reading this, I will certainly be reading Dune Messiah now.
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