Dune (Dune Chronicles, Book 1) - book cover
  • Publisher : Ace; 0040-Anniversary edition
  • Published : 02 Aug 2005
  • Pages : 704
  • ISBN-10 : 0441013597
  • ISBN-13 : 9780441013593
  • Language : English

Dune (Dune Chronicles, Book 1)

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE directed by Denis Villeneuve, starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, and Javier Bardem.

Frank Herbert's classic masterpiece-a triumph of the imagination and one of the bestselling science fiction novels of all time.

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the "spice" melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for....

When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul's family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad'Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream. 

A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Dune

"I know nothing comparable to it except The Lord of the Rings."-Arthur C. Clarke

"It is possible that Dune is even more relevant now than when it was first published."-The New Yorker
"An astonishing science fiction phenomenon."-The Washington Post 

"One of the monuments of modern science fiction."-Chicago Tribune

"Powerful, convincing, and most ingenious."-Robert A. Heinlein
"Herbert's creation of this universe, with its intricate development and analysis of ecology, religion, politics and philosophy, remains one of the supreme and seminal achievements in science fiction."-Louisville Times

Readers Top Reviews

pgm3mike langdonEdua
Many mediocre sequels followed, but this first is a great piece of political sci-fi. Imagine the oil-producers were extraterrestrial cultures, producing not lubricants and fuels but a natural psychotropic which facilitated hyperspace navigation. Now imagine an Asimovian empire trying to rest control of the source. Imagine that there is a fanatic desert uprising seeking to regain that control, resisted not by the Husseini nor the Ibn Saud but by a royal gang which looks for all the world like the Hapsburgs. Throw in a heroic noble family, political intrigue, brilliant, West-Wing level smartwriting, and just for, the helluvit, a tribe of real witches and some giant snakes which patrol the =deserts by tunneling under the sands. Completely addictive read. A modern classic..
JosephD.A. Drake
So much to love and a different take on space based science fiction. I wanted to explore this world, the characters, the universe. All of it is still exciting and fresh feeling even 50 years later. Dune stands alone as it’s own. Too bad I hate this book. It is written by a man who may have never actually had a conversation with another living being in his life. He takes the world he created, the characters he created, and renders them lifeless. I don’t care about anyone in the book because why would I? I’ve been given nothing other than basic outlines of them. Plus the second half of this book feels like it was written in a day. The best way I can describe reading this is as if I was reading it through a vaseline covered lens. I can make out something but mostly it’s just vague shapes and colors. It reads like the Bible. Hate this book. Hate it. The only reason I give it two stars is because I actually like the ideas. Too bad someone, anyone else, didn’t write it.
The hype is justified for this book. If you have not read it yet, please do yourself a favor and change that asap. I'm sure there are a landslide of other reviewers that can tell you all about the story itself, so I will skip that. This book was an epic pleasure to read. I had some apprehension going in as I repeatedly heard that it's overly jarring from the beginning. I did not find this to be the case, and I'm no prodigy. It does have some of it's own words that are explained in the back of the book if needed, but said words are also presented with enough context to give you a good idea of what they're talking about. You have to push through a little at the beginning, but everything falls into place quickly enough. From cover to cover it is interesting and exciting. There is a reason it is hailed as such a timeless story, and I implore that you find the time to experience it for yourself.
Dune is a great book, and Simon Vance, the primary narrator of the audible version I'm listening to, has probably one of my favorite voices of all time. The voice acting overall is good in this version, but I'm confused as to why some chapters feature several voice actors doing various characters while other chapters - featuring the same characters - have everything voiced by Vance. As I said, I love his voice, but the switching back and forth is odd and distracting to me.
Great book so far, what can I say? It's a touchstone of science fiction. Ordered the first three books separately (because it was actually slightly cheaper to do that than get the box set) and kind of surprised the first book is larger in width and height than the other two. It's not a big deal I guess but kind of defeats the purpose of getting three books from a series that match each other. I just thought this was odd enough to mention in a review. UPDATE: Figured it out, the first book is actually in Trade Paperback format; the other two are the NEW Mass Market Paperbacks. Unfortunately on Amazon, the latter is being sold without delineation as the "Paperback" option, often with the "Mass Market" option seeming to be OLDER editions of the MMP size. This is also true for the 6 book (unboxed) set that I later purchased twice, trying to get the rest of the books in the bigger size. Note: I prefer the bigger size because it stays open when laid on a flat surface or in your lap. That sold it for me. On top of that, the font looks better somehow, and the narrow size just looked and felt kind of weird because the font size was the same but the pages are so narrow (I had an older edition of the first book that was MMP size but smaller font so it didn't look and read weird). In all my frustrated searches on Amazon, it seemed really unusually difficult to find the rest of the books in the larger Trade Paperback size, so for your sake, here's what I figured out after way too much time: A) The official BOXED set is the Trade Paperback size of the first book. B) Or, if you are like me and only wanted to get the first few books in Trade Paperback size, go to the Penguin Random House website, find the individual Dune books, select "Paperback", and click on their Amazon link to buy it here (they also link to other major book dealers, if you prefer). I managed to find books two, three, and four this way., which were the only ones I really wanted anyway. Note that as of writing this, the second and third books in Trade Paperback size on Amazon are both $9.99 each (same price as the NEW MMP books) but God Emperor is almost full price at $16.99 for some reason.

Short Excerpt Teaser

Chapter One

A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct. This every sister of the Bene Gesserit knows. To begin your study of the life of Muad'Dib, then, take care that you first place him in his time: born in the 57th year of the Padishah Emperor, Shaddam IV. And take the most special care that you locate Muad'Dib in his place: the planet Arrakis. Do not be deceived by the fact that he was born on Caladan and lived his first fifteen years there. Arrakis, the planet known as Dune, is forever his place.

-from "Manual of Muad'Dib"
by the Princess Irulan
    In the week before their departure to Arrakis, when all the final scurrying about had reached a nearly unbearable frenzy, an old crone came to visit the mother of the boy, Paul.

    It was a warm night at Castle Caladan, and the ancient pile of stone that had served the Atreides family as home for twenty-six generations bore that cooled-sweat feeling it acquired before a change in the weather.

    The old woman was let in by the side door down the vaulted passage by Paul's room and she was allowed a moment to peer in at him where he lay in his bed.

    By the half-light of a suspensor lamp, dimmed and hanging near the floor, the awakened boy could see a bulky female shape at his door, standing one step ahead of his mother. The old woman was a witch shadow-hair like matted spiderwebs, hooded 'round darkness of features, eyes like glittering jewels.

    "Is he not small forhis age, Jessica?" the old woman asked. Her voice wheezed and twanged like an untuned baliset.

    Paul's mother answered in her soft contralto: "The Atreides are known to start late getting their growth, Your Reverence."

    "So I've heard, so I've heard," wheezed the old woman. "Yet he's already fifteen."

    "Yes, Your Reverence."

    "He's awake and listening to us," said the old woman. "Sly little rascal." She chuckled. "But royalty has need of slyness. And if he's really the Kwisatz Haderach ... well...."

    Within the shadows of his bed, Paul held his eyes open to mere slits. Two bird-bright ovals-the eyes of the old woman-seemed to expand and glow as they stared into his.

    "Sleep well, you sly little rascal," said the old woman. "Tomorrow you'll need all your faculties to meet my gom jabbar."

    And she was gone, pushing his mother out, closing the door with a solid thump.

    Paul lay awake wondering: What's a gom jabbar?

    In all the upset during this time of change, the old woman was the strangest thing he had seen.

    Your Reverence.

    And the way she called his mother Jessica like a common serving wench instead of what she was-a Bene Gesserit Lady, a duke's concubine and mother of the ducal heir.

    Is a gom jabbar something of Arrakis I must know before we go there? he wondered.

    He mouthed her strange words: Gom jabbar ... Kwisatz Haderach.

    There had been so many things to learn. Arrakis would be a place so different from Caladan that Paul's mind whirled with the new knowledge. Arrakis-Dune-Desert Planet.

    Thufir Hawat, his father's Master of Assassins, had explained it: their mortal enemies, the Harkonnens, had been on Arrakis eighty years, holding the planet in quasi-fief under a CHOAM Company contract to mine the geriatric spice, melange. Now the Harkonnens were leaving to be replaced by the House of Atreides in fief-complete-an apparent victory for the Duke Leto. Yet, Hawat had said, this appearance contained the deadliest peril, for the Duke Leto was popular among the Great Houses of the Landsraad.

    "A popular man arouses the jealousy of the powerful," Hawat had said.

    Arrakis-Dune-Desert Planet.

    Paul fell asleep to dream of an Arrakeen cavern, silent people all around him moving in the dim light of glowglobes. It was solemn there and like a cathedral as he listened to a faint sound-the drip-drip-drip of water. Even while he remained in the dream, Paul knew he would remember it upon awakening. He always remembered the dreams that were predictions.

    The dream faded.

    Paul awoke to feel himself in the warmth of his bed-thinking ... thinking. This world of Castle Caladan, without play or companions his own age, perhaps did not deserve sadness in farewell. ...