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House Atreides (Prelude to Dune) Paperback – 20 Apr 2000

3.4 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (20 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340751762
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340751763
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 4 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 176,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Acclaimed SF novelist Brian Herbert is the son of Dune author Frank Herbert. With his father, Brian wrote Man of Two Worlds, and later edited The Notebooks of Frank Herbert's Dune. Kevin J Anderson has written many bestsellers, 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 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 bestselling 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)

. . . 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 AtreidesM/i> does its predecessors justice. (USA Today)

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))

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)

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 Reviews)

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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback
I would imagine that the vast majority of people who come to read the Prelude to Dune trilogy have already read at least "Dune" if not all 6 of Frank Herbert's Dune novels. To say that Prelude to Dune has got a hard act to follow - er - precede is something of an understatement. In all honesty I think you'd be lying if you said that this trilogy is as good as Frank Herbert's original novel, but then none of his own sequels were either.

So let's discuss Prelude, then. I originally read Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's "Hunters of Dune" and "Sandworms of Dune", the two novels which are meant to come after Frank Herbert's last Dune - "Chapterhouse: Dune". Let's be honest, the huge majority of the most vocal fans absolutely hate these books. Which I think is rather unfair. Taken on their own merits they are decent, readable and intelligent attempts to bring the series to a conclusion, based on Frank Herbert's own notes for his unwritten Dune 7. I enjoyed these enough to decide to give "House Atreides" a try. I liked it enough that I wanted to read the whole trilogy, and here I am, having just read all three.

So what can I say? If anything I thought that these three were better than Hunters and Sandworms. While I enjoyed these two, I did think they suffered from having a little bit of padding, a criticism that I wouldn't make about Prelude to Dune. The characters in Prelude are more confidently drawn as well. Yes, there are times when you're a little surprised at what one of the characters in the original novel does or says in these, but for me it didn't happen all that often. It didn't really detract from my enjoyment knowing that whatever happened certain characters such as Duke Leto - Baron Harkonnen - Thufir Hawat - Gurney Halleck - Duncan Idaho etc. etc.
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By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Sept. 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 ›
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