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Dune Messiah

Dune Messiah


Dune Messiah

ratings:
4/5 (96 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.

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What people think about Dune Messiah

3.8
96 ratings / 64 Reviews
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  • (4/5)
    Frank Herbert’s Dune Messiah begins twelve years after the events of Dune, with Paul “Muad’Dib” Atreides ruling as Emperor and having accepted his role of messiah to the Fremen. As a result of this, he began his own jihad and has conquered most of the universe. The Bene Gesserit, the Spacing Guild, and the Tleilaxu begin a conspiracy to usurp Paul’s power, with Bene Gesserit Reverand Mother Gaius Helen Mohaim enlisting the aid of Princess Irulan, Paul’s consort through whom he legally claims the throne, although he refuses to unite their houses by having a child with her, nor does he treat her with any kind of warmth. Instead, Paul wants his offspring to be Fremen, born from his love for his concubine Chani. Irulan is secretly giving Chani contraceptives to prevent this, but Chani switches her diet, thereby eliminating Irulan’s ability to poison her food.Paul finds his prescience muddled by the acts of a Guild Navigator, while his sister, whom the Fremen revere as a goddess, likewise finds her abilities limited due to the introduction and popularity of tarot, which creates too many variables in peoples’ decisions. Duncan Idaho, who died in the previous novel, returns in the form of a ghola duplicate manufactured by the Tleilaxu to gain access to Paul and further direct his acts. Learning that Fremen may be involved in the conspiracy, Paul goes to investigate, but is blinded by an atomic weapon the conspirators use to cover their tracks. From that point on, he walks in prophecy trying to navigate the variables to the best future.Much of this story serves to set up future events, while continuing the themes of ecological science-fiction and Orientalism that characterized the previous book. The connections between Dune Messiah and its sequel, Children of Dune, led the Sci-Fi Channel to combine the two into a single miniseries in 2003 while the Science Fiction Book Club published the two books in one volume in 2002. Those who thoroughly enjoyed the tone and themes of Herbert’s first novel will enjoy this follow-up.
  • (3/5)
    Mostly uninteresting. Read Dune and forget the sequels.
  • (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…
  • (3/5)
    I must confess my heart sank when I began reading this, the sequel to Dune, to find it seemed to be not just more of the same mind games played between key characters that its predecessor relied on but also relatively devoid of action of any kind. There was the usual psychological power play conversations indulged in by powerful individuals who were either human computers, psychics, drug users with heightened prescient awareness, shapeshifters or revenants, in fact nary an ordinary human being among the lot of them. How would it be possible for the reader to make an empathic connection with beings who are palpably superhuman?And yet it didn't take long for me to be sucked into this Machiavellian and claustrophobic world of bluff and counter-bluff, political machination and character assassination. It is all patent nonsense, of course, but even though the individuals involved, from Paul Atreides the galactic Emperor to Bijaz the dwarf with a memory like blotting paper, are rarely if ever attractive personalities I found myself increasingly intrigued by how the shifting allegiances and startling revelations would allow the plot to be satisfactorily solved by the final pages. And, despite the twisted logic, it is indeed resolved in a rather satisfying way.As befits a Dune novel there is a lot of cod philosophising and mystical pretentiousness. The eco message of the first novel has been replaced by occasional meditations on the morality of near-absolute power combined with jihadism which I feel is inadequately addressed except in a very oblique way: for example, what morality is there in the acquiescing in the deaths of billions of beings on other worlds, and how does that impact on our sympathy with the apparently well-meaning elite who presided over it? I also am not persuaded by the pseudo-scienctific and technological attributes of this universe; and I regard the Dune novels as really fantasy which happen to be placed in a science-fiction setting. Still, Herbert's attempts to create a plausible apparatus for his future scenario are largely consistent within its parameters (the literary quotations heading each chapter, the historical legacy emanating from the Earth of millennia ago which allows the incongruous mix of once competing religions and beliefs on worlds unaware of and uninterested in their original context, and so on).Central to Herbert's plot is the concept of prescience which, combined with genetic predisposition, is bound up with the use of the 'spice' melange (in truth an addictive drug). This is clearly a product of ideas prevalent in the sixties, and must have been, as much as it remains now, a laughable proposition to most readers. Providing the reader accepts this premise (and it is a big proviso) Dune Messiah ends up an optimistic tale despite its atmosphere of Oresteian tragedy.
  • (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.
  • (3/5)
    Quite different tone than the first book, but still a good read full of insight into human behaviorism.
  • (4/5)
    I can't remember how many Dune sequels I read. Probably just the first.
  • (1/5)
    I wonder if Herbert actually wrote the book he wanted to write, because I have to say that he didn't write the one I wanted him to write.
  • (2/5)
    A huge let down compared to the first book. The book is downright boring, with lots of semi philosophical exposition and little action. The characters are all melodramatic and the evil plot is hilariously nonsensical. Toss in a cheesy and underwhelming ending, and you get a book that isn't worth reading.
  • (3/5)
    Haha. I have to agree with the guy who said "**** if I know what that was all about." If I thought the first book was politically convoluted, it was nothing compared to this. I gave up on the series after this one. I can't get interested in books that need to be plot mapped just to figure out.
  • (3/5)
    I like the Dune books so far, but I can't say I love them.
  • (3/5)
    Herbert's sequels to _DUNE_ are not as consistently all-consuming, but they do move the story along. If you only want to read _DUNE_ and _Dune Messiah_, you will have read the two most important books of the series.
  • (3/5)
    There is a lot of meaningless pontificating. Ultimately, it seems that Paul's only goal is to find the best death for his wife. However, isolated parts of the narrative are well-told, especially the attacks on Paul.
  • (3/5)
    We get to watch the creation of the Sandworm religion in this volume two of a long series. The characters retain their interest, and the social system is explored more fully, leading me to identify it with the one used by the Ottoman Empire on Earth. probably re-readable.
  • (3/5)
    Not nearly as action packed as Dune, Dune Messiah is filled with political intrigue as a plot to assassinate Paul-Muad'dib, who is now Emperor, unfurls.Herbert asked his readerss to suspend belief and accept his particular brand of religious mumbo-jumbo as reason enough for the failed assassination attempt, the "oracular" vision of Paul after he loses his physical eyes in a bombing, the turning of a clone into a "flesh and blood" Duncan Idaho, and the death of both Paul's concubine, Chani, while giving birth to twins. In addition, we are also expected to buy into the sudden loss of "oracular" vision which leaves Paul truly blind and wandering the desert, as the book ends.I didn't love this book, but I didn't quite hate it. Being invested in some of the characters, and wanting to read what happened next, made the plot easier to swallow. How far it moves the story forward remains to be seen in book three, Children of Dune.
  • (4/5)
    First off, I definitely see myself finishing this series now. I don't believe I've ever finished a series of books, but I think this will be the first. It's all true sci-fi love with me and this series.

    The book started out incredibly slow, and there was a point where I was thinking of just dropping it to move on to something else. Once the final 150 pages hit though, the book started moving a lot faster, and became a lot more enjoyable. It wasn't nearly as engrossing for the bulk of the book as the original was, but I understand that to be because this was basically setting up for the third novel, which was supposed to be the finale.

    If you intend on finishing the series, this one is definitely worth reading, as it gives you A LOT more insight to how the characters act and why they do what they do. On the other hand, if you do not intend on finishing the series, this book likely isn't worth that much of your time, as it is more of a builder than something that stands on its own.

    In summation, while Godfather Part II this is not, it is still quite enjoyable and I look forward to finishing the rest of the series.
  • (3/5)
    Not as good as Dune, because it seems like very little happens in it until the end - but it really sets the stage for the next book.
  • (4/5)
    Fascinating book. The whole concept is quite fun but I'm seeing that some of Star Wars came from these pages.
  • (4/5)
    The only thing that kept this from being 5 stars for me, was Herbert's tendency to drift into areas of philosophy, leaving the advancement of the story behind altogether. For pages nothing would be happening, save for ramblings of religion and government. While these thoughts were interesting, I found myself skimming these sections in later parts of the book so I could get back to the actual action of the story, which was worth wading through endless exposition.
  • (4/5)
    Webs within webs. Lies within lies. Dune is always so complicated. I enjoy reading it, but afterward, I always feel the need to read something that's much more straight forward.
  • (3/5)
    Why are all the reviews here a synopsis of the whole book? Why bother to read the book if the whole story and plot are laid out in the reviews? Come on people all I want to know is if it was an enjoyable read. Let the author tell the story.
  • (4/5)
    Overall, this was a good book. The reader’s voices are great, very entertaining. The story is quite dense, so if you find yourself daydreaming, you’ll miss something important.

    As others mentioned, a lot of this story revolves around characters planning, scheming and talking. Not a lot of action, but good discussions and mental imagery.
  • (4/5)
    Good. Nice ending to sequel. Be careful what you wish for
  • (3/5)
    Another Dune read-along with the husband. I felt like I missed more while reading this book than the previous on - it's very intrigue-based/everything has double meanings/plots within plots kind of thing so I felt like I was missing a bit of that since I'm not a big political intrigue girl. Still, I have watched the Children of Dune miniseries before so I knew what was going on.

    I imagine I'll do the next book sometime but will stop there. The overall storyline is kinda depressing.
  • (1/5)
    I sure wish I could listen to this book! Unfortunately, it’s marked unavailable after I’ve listened to zero books in the past month. Thanks Scribd. You suck.
  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    This book is not Dune. That seems obvious, but it's not just the plot is different, the writing is also different. Herbert gives you a very different side of his characters.

    It's not a BAD book, but it's certainly not what I was expecting. Despite being half the size of Dune, it took just as long to read. It is very DENSE, and deals with some tough subject matter. It was physically harder to read. I understand the role of the book in the series, but it was just less fun than Dune.

    Ready to start the next Book and see how it plays out before deciding if I want to read the final three books in the series.

    1 person found this helpful