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Dune Messiah

Dune Messiah


Dune Messiah

ratings:
4/5 (186 ratings)
Length:
8 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Sep 4, 2007
ISBN:
9781427202376
Format:
Audiobook

Description

The epic, multimillion-selling science-fiction series continues! The second Dune installment explores new developments on the planet Arrakis, with its intricate social order and strange, threatening environment.

Dune Messiah picks up the story of the man known as Muad'Dib, heir to a power unimaginable, bringing to fruition an ambition of unparalleled scale: the centuries-old scheme to create a superbeing who reigns not in the heavens but among men.

But the question is: DO all paths of glory lead to the grave?

A Macmillan Audio production.

Publisher:
Released:
Sep 4, 2007
ISBN:
9781427202376
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Frank Herbert (1920-1986) created the most beloved novel in the annals of science fiction, Dune.  He was a man of many facets, of countless passageways that ran through an intricate mind.  His magnum opus is a reflection of this, a classic work that stands as one of the most complex, multi-layered novels ever written in any genre.  Today the novel is more popular than ever, with new readers continually discovering it and telling their friends to pick up a copy.  It has been translated into dozens of languages and has sold almost 20 million copies. As a child growing up in Washington State, Frank Herbert was curious about everything. He carried around a Boy Scout pack with books in it, and he was always reading.  He loved Rover Boys adventures, as well as the stories of H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and the science fiction of Edgar Rice Burroughs.  On his eighth birthday, Frank stood on top of the breakfast table at his family home and announced, "I wanna be a author."  His maternal grandfather, John McCarthy, said of the boy, "It's frightening. A kid that small shouldn't be so smart." Young Frank was not unlike Alia in Dune, a person having adult comprehension in a child's body.  In grade school he was the acknowledged authority on everything.  If his classmates wanted to know the answer to something, such as about sexual functions or how to make a carbide cannon, they would invariably say, "Let's ask Herbert. He'll know." His curiosity and independent spirit got him into trouble more than once when he was growing up, and caused him difficulties as an adult as well.  He did not graduate from college because he refused to take the required courses for a major; he only wanted to study what interested him.  For years he had a hard time making a living, bouncing from job to job and from town to town. He was so independent that he refused to write for a particular market; he wrote what he felt like writing.  It took him six years of research and writing to complete Dune, and after all that struggle and sacrifice, 23 publishers rejected it in book form before it was finally accepted. He received an advance of only $7,500. His loving wife of 37 years, Beverly, was the breadwinner much of the time, as an underpaid advertising writer for department stores.  Having been divorced from his first wife, Flora Parkinson, Frank Herbert met Beverly Stuart at a University of Washington creative writing class in 1946.  At the time, they were the only students in the class who had sold their work for publication.  Frank had sold two pulp adventure stories to magazines, one to Esquire and the other to Doc Savage.  Beverly had sold a story to Modern Romance magazine.  These genres reflected the interests of the two young lovers; he the adventurer, the strong, machismo man, and she the romantic, exceedingly feminine and soft-spoken. Their marriage would produce two sons, Brian, born in 1947, and Bruce, born in 1951. Frank also had a daughter, Penny, born in 1942 from his first marriage.  For more than two decades Frank and Beverly would struggle to make ends meet, and there were many hard times.  In order to pay the bills and to allow her husband the freedom he needed in order to create, Beverly gave up her own creative writing career in order to support his.  They were in fact a writing team, as he discussed every aspect of his stories with her, and she edited his work.  Theirs was a remarkable, though tragic, love story-which Brian would poignantly describe one day in Dreamer of Dune (Tor Books; April 2003).  After Beverly passed away, Frank married Theresa Shackelford. In all, Frank Herbert wrote nearly 30 popular books and collections of short stories, including six novels set in the Dune universe: Dune, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, and Chapterhouse: Dune.  All were international bestsellers, as were a number of his other science fiction novels, which include The White Plague and The Dosadi Experiment.  His major novels included The Dragon in the Sea, Soul Catcher (his only non-science fiction novel), Destination: Void, The Santaroga Barrier, The Green Brain, Hellstorm's Hive, Whipping Star, The Eyes of Heisenberg, The Godmakers, Direct Descent, and The Heaven Makers. He also collaborated with Bill Ransom to write The Jesus Incident, The Lazarus Effect, and The Ascension Factor.  Frank Herbert's last published novel, Man of Two Worlds, was a collaboration with his son, Brian.



Reviews

What people think about Dune Messiah

4.0
186 ratings / 68 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    a really good addition to the saga, and a differant story while still following along logically.
  • (3/5)
    The Dune series reread continues, although perhaps not as quickly as I’d hoped. It’s all down to me, of course; there’s nothing stopping me reading the books one after the other. Except I have a habit choosing something different to my last read for my next one. Probably not a great strategy when reading a series – but given this year I also decided to have a go at rereading the Wheel of Time series, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t survive reading those books in quick succession… Anyway, Dune Messiah. Popular wisdom would have it that Dune Messiah is the best of the original Dune trilogy – or, as some would day it, the best of the Dune sequels. Which tells you how wrong popular wisdom is. Dune Messiah is not a sequel – Herbert conceived of the trilogy as a whole, although perhaps not in detail. It’s also not the best of the three. Neither, to be honest, is the first book, Dune. Which means it must be the third one… but I’ve yet to reread it. Dune Messiah is set some years after the end of Dune. Paul Atreides is now emperor and has become increasingly disenchanted with the institution he has created. Meanwhile, there is a plot to kill him, led by some Fremen who fought with him and are unhappy with the changes to Arrakis. There are also a series of sub-plots. Princess Irulan, Paul’s wife, is angling for an heir, and has joined a conspiracy with a Guild navigator, a Tleilaxu Face-Dancer and a Bene Gesserit. It’s clear they all have different objectives, and it’s a marriage of convenience, so to speak (marriages of convenience pop up a lot in the Dune books). Meanwhile, Chani is pregnant and Paul knows she will die in childbirth. Which she does. She has twins, which Paul had not foreseen. And it turns out the Tleilaxu are more interested in finding a trigger for the ghola Hayt, a clone of Duncan Idaho, to recover Idaho’s memories. While rooting out the plot to kill him, Paul was permanently blinded by a “stoneburner”, a type of nuclear weapon. It’s Fremen tradition to abandon blind people in the desert, and eventually that’s what Paul does: walks out into the desert. Some years later, a blind Fremen called the Preacher appears in Arrakeen, the capital city of Arrakis, and rants against the regency that has taken over from Paul. Is Dune Messiah better than Dune? Yes. The prose is much better-written. But then it improves as the series progresses, so that’s no surprise. But where Dune had the fifteen-year-old Paul Atriedes as its focus, a character readers, especially male teen ones, can glom onto, Dune Messiah has no one. Which means it reads as a more distanced narrative. Paul is presented as a tragic figure – in fact, no one in the book is all that sympathetic, except perhaps, perversely, Princess Irulan. (Since first reading the book in my teens, I’ve always been fascinated the most by Skytale, the Tleilaxu Face-Dancer.) Dune was definitely a book of two halves: ‘Dune World’ and ‘The Prophet of Dune’. But Dune Messiah also feels like a book of parts, perhaps because its sub-plots don’t gel especially well. To some extent, that’s down to Herbert’s decision to have a cabal of four plotters all pursuing different aims, and a plot to kill Paul on top of that. It makes for a busy narrative, and yet Dune Messiah is only 256 pages. So the plot jumps around and Herbert skimps on some of the detail. Dune Messiah reads like Herbert stringing together his favourite scenes from the story he had planned. It works – better than Dune does, to be honest – but it does feel more like a best-of than a coherent narrative. The Dune series is a science fiction institution, and is likely to be even more so in the future. After decades of trying to raise the profile of the Dune series, leading to the questionable decision to publish a series of shit novels by Kevin J Anderson, Herbert Limited Partnership have finally got their wish, with a two-movie adaptation of the Dune directed by Denis Villeneuve and a supporting TV series. Dune is going to be up there with Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. The good news is the books are just as capable of supporting the cross-platform media giant Dune will become as Tolkien and GRRM. This is not necessarily a compliment. However, the Dune series reread continues and perhaps I will surprise myself with my re-evaluation of the following books…
  • (5/5)
    A fantastic classic. While it may not be as good as the first book in the trilogy, it is still an essential scifi book to read and very well done. If the first book is one of the top scifi books of all time, this one is very close and a must read for any self-respecting fan.
  • (3/5)
    Like many series focused around an epic revolution, the sequel just can't keep up the energy and detail of the first book in the series. And no Lady Jessica! I kept expecting her to show up, but all we get is one long-distance letter... There is some good stuff in here, especially the Duncan Idaho part, but much of it seems underdeveloped and underexplained -- the conspiracy to overthrow Paul, for instance, could have been a lot more grounded, but after the (pretty cool) introduction to the group, it all splits into not nearly as interesting individual enemies. I'm happy to keep making this journey, but I hope things regain some of the excitement of the first volume.
  • (4/5)
    2014 re-read. A much less in scope book from the initial Dune masterpiece but one that delves into the characters that were introduced in it. I really enjoyed this re-read much more than the first time I read it and will be continuing my re-read of the rest of the series in 2015.
  • (3/5)
    Soooo, hmmm. Let's first start with the things that were not good, so we can end with the things that are.

    First and foremost, the Bene Tleilax play a MAJOR role in this story. What's strange about it, though, is the Tleilaxu were mentioned maybe twice in the previous book. So for something that was a passing mention in the first book (you may have never picked up on it), it takes center stage in its sequel. This comes off to me as bad planning. Almost as if Frank didn't have his whole universe mapped out from the beginning. Instead, he writes a book, it becomes a commercial success, and then he decides to expand on it. That's fine, and it can be done correctly, but it wasn't done correctly here. Instead, I would have much rather had the Bene Gesserit take a larger role in this book than the first. It would have been a better transition, and with 12 years distance between the two books, would have played well with Alia.

    Second, this book is a political nightmare. There is so much political plotting and intrigue, that it's hard to understand when characters are insulting each other, because of the subtlety. I know people who eat up political intrigue books (which is partly why A Song of Ice and Fire is so successful). I'm not one of them. They bore me intensely. In fact, this book is so heavily politically laden, that there are no wars, battles, or really any physical conflict at all. This is unfortuate, because in the book, it's mentioned that Paul Atreides killed upwards of 61 BILLION people across the known univers. SIXTY. ONE. BILLION. So many battles, fights, conflicts, completely wasted, and never explored. Well, maybe they're explored in another book, I don't know. But it's a MASSIVE disappointment to go from a book full of conflict, to a book severely lacking in it.

    Third, a few characters are just ... sort of ... forgotten. Major characters, that are critical to the plot, just get left behind about 3/4 of the way through the book. Specifically, the Princess Irulan, Edric, and Gaius Helen Mohiam. Scytale is _almost_ forgotten, but he comes back, and is a principle character in the final couple of chapters. Those 4 characters really needed more page time. This book is only 1/2 the length of the first, so it certainly would not have hurt to write additional story surrounding them, rather than just dropping them like a rock.

    Finally, the ending of the book was a massive disappointment. I won't spoil anything here, but while Frank made the right decision regarding its conclusion, the execution was extremely flawed. Trying not to spoil anything here, but the execution of the final chapters of the book revealed how inconsistent a writer can be with character personalities, and it's deeply troubling.

    Now the good stuff.

    Even though the book focused primarily on the Bene Tleilax, I actually found them as a species fascinating. The Tleilaxu are shape changers. While nothing new in science fiction, I found Frank's innovation with them remarkably well done. Knowing that there are shape changers in the story, and they are critical in the plot to overthrow the Atreides Empire, you spend a lot of mental energy second-guessing everyone in the book. And while I usually have a good eye for finding which character is the fake, Frank did a good job keeping me guessing, when he didn't spell it out directly. This is the type of writing for great stories.

    Another incredibly well done, but not original, plot device were the gholas. Gholas are a sort of manufactured clone of the original dead body, but using the original dead body cells, tissue, organs, etc. Sort of like Frankenstein's monster. However, rather than the natural eye, they have metal eyes. They can still see normally. Duncan Idaho, although dead in the first book, comes back as the ghola Hayt, and even though some disagree with me, I thought it was well executed, and a great plot device that reveals itself in the second-to-last chapter.

    Finally, I really liked Edric the Guild Navigator. Even though the Guild Navigators were introduced in the first book, we have a larger interaction with them in this book, why they are isolated in tanks, and how they use the spice to navigate ships through space. This is probably the most original aspect of Frank's books, where a fish-like alien species is confined to a tank, requires incredible amounts of spice, and is a core navigator of the Spacing Guild. But, as mentioned earlier, he sort of gets forgotten about, and that's really a massive disappointment. I would have liked to have some sort of conclusion with his character.

    Overall, despite the book being heavily political, I found it a fun read. Not great, and I'm not sure that I would recommend it for others to read, but it had enough interesting things like Hayt, Edric, and the Tleilaxu, that it kept my interest. And really, that's all that matters.