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Dune

By: Frank Herbert
Narrated by: Scott Brick,Orlagh Cassidy,Euan Morton,Simon Vance,Ilyana Kadushin,Byron Jennings,David R. Gordon,Jason Culp,Kent Broadhurst,Oliver Wyman,Patricia Kilgarriff,Scott Sowers
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Publisher's Summary

Soon to be a major motion picture directed by Denis Villeneuve, starring Timothée Chalamet, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Javier Bardem, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, and Charlotte Rampling.

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family - and would 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. 

Frank Herbert's death in 1986 was a tragic loss, yet the astounding legacy of his visionary fiction will live forever. 

©1965 Frank Herbert (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC

Critic Reviews

Audie Award Winner, Science Fiction, 2008
Nebula Award winner, Best Novel, 1965
Hugo Award winner, Best Novel, 1966

"Unique...I know nothing comparable to it except Lord of the Rings." (Arthur C. Clarke)

"One of the monuments of modern science fiction." (Chicago Tribune)

"Powerful, convincing, and most ingenious." (Robert A. Heinlein)

What listeners say about Dune

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Poor performance of an exceptional book

Any number of reviews will tell you the importance of Dune, the depth and detail that Frank Herbert has taken to craft a thrilling story, amazing characters and a universe that in 2015 is still unique.

This review however, sets to highlight that this reading of Dune is exceptionally bad. The book is read mostly by a single person (altering his voice for different characters, if only slightly) but bizarrely will have characters such as Jessica and Paul be taken over by other narrators seemingly at random parts of the story with seemingly no consistency on who is 'playing'. More confusingly a narrator for one key character, such as Leto Atreides will return later with exactly the same voice (that is to say, not altering it at all) to play a different character.

This performance is disruptive and simply not good. Either have it read by a single narrator or have some consistency with who is reading each character. The most egregious case of this was halfway through a chapter in which two key characters were talking, a small break takes place, and it returns with new narrators for these characters. Why?

The story isn't ruined however. The performers are true to the words of the book and it will not inhibit your ability to get the genuine experience but at times it is jarring and confusing.

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167 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Please put me out of my misery.

Dune is a remarkable epic that sits at the epicenter of the genre. As an audiobook however...this is a shambles. Its as if the budget was expended on the atmospheric sounds effects and background music and with the funds running low the studio just randomly selected bits for the voice actors while the rest was read by the narrator. Not only is it confusing....its at times hilarious. In single scenes you can have three different voices for one character ( remembering Herbert's love of the third person or thoughts of his characters)...hilariously these innermost thoughts can be a totally different actor, voice....god even accent. there are times the primary narrator just seems to forget what voice he uses for a character....you are absolutely lost. watch out for his attempt at Chani when she first appears... How can I liken this experience? Have you ever tried to make an omelette while suffering with a hangover...... with each egg you crack, shell ends up in the bowl...no matter how much you try it just gets worse with the end result being a complete and total yoke ( egg humour)...I digress.... back to analogy... so finally after cooking the omelette you sit down ready to tuck in before throwing up last night's curry with a good helping of vodka flavoured bile. That's the feeling I had as the book ended.

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145 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

it's not unabridged

wow I feel like an idiot. I thought that it was an unabridged reading. I wish there was a full copy of this book that I could listen to because I love the story.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Exceptional Story, Jarring Performance

The story is excellent, read the book when I was a teenager, seen the movie and could hardly stop listening to this audio book decades later.

The performance was very good in parts but often jarring as voice actors were not consistent with characters. That is the same character would have more than once accent or voice actor which broke immersion in the story.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Pretty Epic

What made the experience of listening to Dune the most enjoyable?

Voice was very easy to listen to and the occasional accompanying music was a good touch.

What did you like best about this story?

The voice actors - although they tend to change occasionally which can be confusing.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Haven't listened to others

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The final two chapters are very exciting.

Any additional comments?

The voice actors change which makes the book a little confusing and the language of Dune can be hard to follow. Go with the flow and you'll enjoy it.

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15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, inconsistent narration

The book itself is great, a classic. The narration is a bit disappointing. They have voice actors for the major characters, but in half the book they are absent and all the characters are instead voiced by the narrator.

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11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A genre classic with a better setting than story

Dune is very ambitious, and now that I've finally read it I can see the obvious influence that it's had on lots of subsequent sci-fi and fantasy. Herbert is an excellent world-builder; there's lots of great anthropological detail about the people of Arrakis, and he has a very compelling way of writing about prophetic precognition, which is not only artful but also serves as a convenient workaround for preventing prophet characters from being omniscient and knowing everything that's going to happen in the story. World-building aside, however, I must confess to getting pretty bored with the plot around the mid-point, when Paul is just mucking around in the desert with his Fremen pals. Much like Tolkien, then, I guess Herbert's strengths lay more in "secondary creation" than in plotting. I'm not yet sure if I'll continue with the next entries in the series; I don't know if I want to justify pushing on if I'm going to be bored by those as well. But Dune at least had enough ambition and a sufficiently compelling world to warrant the time I spent there.

Regarding the performance of the audio version, I have to say that it was a truly baffling choice to only utilise a full cast for some portions of the book. I can only assume this was due to budgetary reasons, but this begs the question of why not to simply use a single narrator for the whole thing. The narrator they have is quite good, and could easily have carried the whole thing. The voice cast is quite good too, but the distraction of switching between them doesn't seem at all worth it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Inconsistent voices

Well read and pleasant voices. However there are inconsistent changes in voice actors which lead to confusion at the very least. Only become a problem since the voices were so good you started to miss them.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Voice acting choices ruin the story

The story seems fine, if not a little underwhelming. But 6 voice actors play specific characters in certain sections of the book, then the narrator plays the same parts in different sections. It really took me out of the story having two actors play the same character in vastly different ways.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An inspiring epic saga of a story

Frank Herbert's grand story barely feels like science fiction. Prepare to feel overwhelmed by the scope of story telling focusing on people, politics, planetary ecology and power struggles. Ideally it would be great to have the voice actors do every chapter, but what is here also works fine. Kudos to the voice actors and Frank Herbert for this, would strongly recommend.

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  • Matthew Salvo
  • 01-07-2021

This classic deserves better

Some passages from the text are omitted entirely , this is unacceptable. Even though the multicast performance is well read/acted it is not consistent. Some chapters are read by only the narrator and some utilize the multicast. Some chapters start with the multicast then part way through it switches to being read only by the narrator. This means that characters have different voices from one minute to the next, this is jarring and confusing.

I have read this book multiple times, it is a classic, one of the greatest sci-fi novels of all time. It deserves an audiobook with much more attention to detail and care then what is shown in this audiobook.

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  • Eddie
  • 03-12-2020

Read the reviews

I wish I had read the reviews. not the full story even though they bill it as unabridged. and voice acting and music. I want an audio book. Not a dramatization. I bought it over a year ago so I can't return it.

Morale of the story, read who is the narrator (of more than one name don't get it), and read the reviews.

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  • Richard Walls
  • 11-01-2021

Deceptive - not full book, full cast

Only parts of the book have a full cast of actors, most of the time the narrator does every characters voice and sometimes even the voice actors themselves change between chapters. Very jarring, completely misleading.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • kca
  • 22-10-2020

Unlistenable

This is not an unabridged audiobook. It's a really badly done audio drama. The voice acting sounds unnatural and unconvincing. The narrator isn't so bad but the dialogue is grating and difficult to follow. There is also this weird ambient background effect that I guess was supposed to be for dramatic effect or something, but it comes off as amateurish and is very, very distracting. The whole thing is a complete mess. I only made it about 15 minutes before I gave up.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Zachariah
  • 20-05-2010

Pretty Cool Story - Very Original

The story is fantastic.
The only reason I give it 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the structure of this audio book.
It is theatrical with many characters (many voices) and then it changes to the main narrator who will also do his own versions of the character's voices.
It would have been better if it was either narrated by one person or a theatrical presentation with many actors, but not both.
I hope that I made this review clear.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • J. Liu
  • 23-03-2010

One of the all time greats marred by spotty audio

The story itself is fantastic. Deservedly hailed as one of the greatest stories ever told, sci-fi or otherwise. A fully realized and richly detailed alternate universe filled with science, religion and political intrigue. A must read.

Unfortunately, the audio recording does not fulfill expectations. While far better than the original single reader audiobook (be glad you didn't spend 25 hours listening to THAT) the 2007 version is marred by the bizarre decision to have each reader read a chapter or section rather than have each reader read a character's part throughout the book. In other words, the voices for each character change throughout the book!!! Why? Baron Harkkonen's voice suffers the most. At one point it sounds like Michael Clark Duncan is voicing him and others it sounds like a sleepy Orson Welles.

It's a shame that one of the greatest books ever written has never received a proper translation into another medium. David Lynch's movie was stylistically and visually fulfilling, but the story edited and changed dramatically. The Sci-Fi channel's 3 part miniseries held more closely to the original plot, but the budget and casting left alot to be desired. The original 1997 audiobook was read in a horrible monotone and finally the 2007 version's inconsistent readers. Hopefully someday Dune will receive a treatment that it deserves.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Charles
  • 18-09-2008

brought an old classic to life

I first read this book in 1980 in the back seat as my family did a two week camping road trip, and I loved this story. I must have read Dune over 20 times, it was that good to me. When I heard about the audio book I was a bit hesistant that they might ruin one of my favorite stories (like they did with the movie!!).
But the narration and characterization of the actors, were wonderful, giving the story a richness and fullness, a 3D immersive experience.
It made a great story that much better.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Patrick
  • 26-07-2021

Utterly Horrific

Why? Why was the book butchered and the audio cast so discombobulated? I love Dune, and was excited to hear it come to life in an audiobook with a diverse cast, but this rendering is absolutely atrocious. The music is not in line with the narrative. The cast comes in goes, chapter to chapter, sometimes paragraph by paragraph. If you can, find another adaptation audiobook of Dune, not this disconjointed mess that is not a true rendering of Frank Herbert's book. What an utter mess.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Scott
  • 10-04-2008

Good book!

Overall this was a great listen. However, I was somewhat annoyed how sometimes the voice of different characters were spoken by different actors, and sometimes they weren't. At one point even within one chapter they switched back and forth which mad it somewhat confusing. I did enjoy some of the sound effects though. Great listen!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 06-10-2012

Please. Do You Really Need Another Great Review?

Frank Herbert, I OWE you. I owe you a LOT. This was one of the very first books that truly stirred my love for science fiction. You SPOILED me. You made me demand better writing from the authors I followed, and better development, as well. From this book on, I became harder on myself, to read works that challenged me, that made me ponder well after finishing the novel. I hungered for better writing that combined story, action, flow, cadence and for God's sake, CREATIVITY. Thanks, Frank.

THAT'S what good writing demands of us, and if the author excels at his or her craft, this book is the perfect example of what can happen.

In Dune, you get galaxy-sweeping politics, messianic jihads, genetically-enhanced warriors and spacefarers, pirates hiding ruling classes, clones that psychically destroy their victims, fantastic ecologies and creatures, religions that manipulate families and bloodlines, and countless castes intertwined with ruling houses that all depend upon a drug found only on one desolate planet - A planet with its own secret and massive agenda, hidden within the howling desert plains covering its surface. And wait, it's followed by yet ADDITIONAL novels in the series, some better than others, and then yet ANOTHER series by the author's SON, done decades later, that provides tremendous PREQUELS, based on his father's notes? Finally, throw in excellent male and female narrators that fit the characters they portray, and individualize each character.

Come on. Do you really need another great review to buy this audiobook?

Please.

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  • Peter
  • 21-07-2007

A superb production of a sci fi classic!

I won't dwell on the book itself - it is for many the highwater mark of the sci fi genre; superbly written, richly detailed, boiling with wonderful ideas and concepts, and giving an impression of historical depth that (almost) rivals Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Rather, I'd like to comment on the audio presentation. Potential listeners should have no hesitation in downloading this immediately! Simon Vance is the main reader, and - as always! - his reading is of the highest calibre - clear, faultless pronounciation, and with a fine balance of character voicing without over-acting. Although it's billed as a full-cast reading (from the superb Audio Renaissance team), the full cast are only used on some chapters, while Simon Vance reads many chapters solo. And while I love the Audio Renaissance team, I actually found the solo Vance chapters even better. A very highly recommended listen! And what great news that the sequels will be available over the upcoming months!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 21-06-2011

Rather fragmented production of a wonderful book

I read 'Dune' in my teens and adored it - the complexities of the story and the depth to which the eco-system of the desert planet is planned are quite breathtaking. So I was looking forward to having the audiobook so I could re-live the wonder. Unfortunately this is a bit of a fragmented production. The main narrator has a voice fitting to the scope of the book and reads well. However, my guess is that originally the production company brought in other actors to read the dialogue - but for an ABRIDGED version. But they didn't bother to use them to complete the unabridged recording. Therefore, at some points, we have dialogue of the main characters read by other actors (often with some annoying 'atmospheric' sound effects, music or irritating echoic effects in the background). Then at other sections of the story all the voices of dialogue are provided by the main narrator, which makes the whole thing sadly disjointed. Ironically, I think it works far better with the narrator alone providing all dialogue - so the company could have saved themselves the cost and trouble of getting other people in and would still have ended up with a better, more choherent performance of the book. I will still finish listening to the audiobook, just to enjoy the marvellous story, but I feel the oddities of the recording will always keep me from being completely immersed in the tale.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian
  • 04-01-2016

The narration wasn't for me.

I do like Dune. It is a classic of science fiction. Given the current warnings from prominent scientists about AI, and the impact of religious violence on our world, it raises interesting speculation about the future. I've read the book in print several times over the last 30 years.

The narration didn't really work for me, however. The main narrator had a kind of 'grand' tone to his voice, a little too reverent, as if every sentence was a morsel of deep importance. I found myself turned off. His female voices suffered that problem many male readers have, of making them too 'fluffy' (surely not, for Jessica!), but it was the overall tone that defeated me. I didn't make it through to the end, it became a chore, so I finished it off in my printed book.

A lot of people here seem to disagree, and thought the reading was exceptional. I am very willing to accept it just didn't work for me. I prefer readers who sound like they're enjoying the story.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 07-09-2007

read and heard now!!!!!

I first read this book years and years ago. After getting an iPod, to while away the hours at work, cnc programmer and operator, I decided to try an audio book. I went for Dune with the thought of 'I've read it, so lets see how it listens' so to speak. AMAZED. I loved every minute, got totally engrossed, beautifully read, good background mood music, thoroughly enjoyed it. Next audio book please!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Apollon
  • 26-11-2010

Dune is to SciFi, as what LOR is to Fantasy

I loved the 1984 film adaptation of Dune as a child, but I have never read the book.

I went through this audio book, Twice! In one week. What a story and to think it was published in 1965.

I really loved the way this book is written and audio production is the best I have every heard, and adds to the entertainment value.

There is a the main narrator Simon Vance who is brilliant, but the additional narrators and ambient sounds used add more colour to the sound.

Scifi may be back drop to this story, but the main drama is in the relationships and the characters. I urge non Scifi readers looking for a good book with great intertwining plots, varied characters told in a oracle like voice to listen to this story.

I enjoyed this more than Lord of the Rings, which I do like. I like a long story that is well written and this is one of the best.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Steven
  • 18-01-2010

High drama but more of it please

Dune is a book of high tension, filled with treachery, suspicion and dangerous characters with dark motives. The early scenes of this audiobook are dramatised and they capture the mood expertly. This is edge-of-the-seat stuff and makes for compelling listening. I could feel the 'gom jabar' at my own neck as my hands went all clammy! What a pity the dramatisation lessens, giving way to straight narration as the book progresses. It is read very well throughout but it could have been so much more gripping if the full cast had been retained. Another annoying gripe, common to so many audiobooks. Why can't the audio 'chapters' correspond with those in the book instead of ending randomly mid paragraph? It makes navigating a long book unnecessarily difficult.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-10-2019

confusing

Overall very good, but the inconsistency of the voices really bugged me. Simon Vance is great, so are the others, but having randomly cut in and out was kinda strange.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-06-2007

Dune

This is a great book. One of the most detailed and compelling books i have ever read and now its even better to listen to. Frank Herbert(author) has created an entire universe with great detail helping you to imagine each environment easily. While it is generaly assumed that this is a sci-fi book there is no space battles and the way that Frank explains each place it is easy to fall into the assumption that its a simple fiction book.

With voices that are very easy to listen to. You can have many an hour of fun enjoying the first in the series of books by Frank Herbert, there are also many books that continue the storyline layed out by Frank written by his son Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson. After listening or reading this book I can pritty much guarantee that you will want to read or listen to the next set of books.

The only thing i would say is that currently audible uk does not have any of the other books available however they are very much worth reading.

I hope you like this book as much as i do. Personaly i would recomend reading the books in the following order. I recomend this to help explain storylines. (the numbers is the number the book is currently in, in timeline order, not order of been written). Dune(7), (then jumping back in time about 30-40 years earlier) House Atredies(4), House Harkonen(5), House Corino(6), (jumping back to after Dune) Dune Messiah(8), Children of Dune(9), God emperor of Dune(10), (jumping back in time to many many years before Dune) The Butlerian Jihad(1), The Machine Crusade(2), The Battle of Corin(3), (now the grownding for the machines and the jihad has been established back up to after god emperor) Heretics of Dune(11), Chapterhouse: Dune(12), Hunters of Dune(13), (and the soon to be released) Sand worms of Dune(14).

Anyway i hope you enjoy the series as much as i have and I look forward to more of the books coming onto this site.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • clivemac28
  • 08-02-2008

A new dimension

When I was a teenager I thoroughly enjoyed (and found myself transported to) Dune and appreciated it as much as Catch 22 and Asimov's Foundation series. When I was a thirty-something I tried to enjoy the film version without much success. As a fifty-something I am amazed by the richness of the experience provided by this audiobook. The combination of straight narrative and dramatisation works to bring the book to life in a way I did not expect. I recommend listening via an iPod/MP3 player with headphones. If the spoken word can evkoe pictures in your mind, your are in for a cinematic treat!

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  • Zackattack
  • 17-10-2021

DEAR AUDIBLE

Stop changing the front covers of audiobooks whenever a movi comes out. This needs to stop.

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