Dune by Frank HerbertDune by Frank Herbert


byFrank Herbert

Paperback | August 2, 2005

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Frank Herbert’s epic masterpiece—a triumph of the imagination and the bestselling science fiction novel of all time.

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Muad'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 it undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.

Frank Herbert is the bestselling author of the Dune saga. He was born in Tacoma, Washington, and educated at the University of Washington, Seattle. He worked a wide variety of jobs—including TV cameraman, radio commentator, oyster diver, jungle survival instructor, lay analyst, creative writing teacher, reporter and editor of several W...
Title:DuneFormat:PaperbackDimensions:544 pages, 9.98 × 6.02 × 1.18 inPublished:August 2, 2005Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0441013597

ISBN - 13:9780441013593

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Rated 1 out of 5 by from no I had to read this for one of my classes and did not like it. It dragged on. The book is just wayyy too long. As much as I tried to keep up, it kept losing me. Because the characters would be in one place and then all of a sudden they're talking to new people in a new place. There was no transition at all.
Date published: 2017-09-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sci-fi Classic I found it intriguing how the relevant the politics of this book is in today's world
Date published: 2017-08-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not for me I know this is a beloved book. And it's a classic. And touted as a must-read for sci-fi fans (which I am). But oh dear god this book dragged on and on and on for me. I even found myself skipping pages. I love grand and epic books (in fact I prefer them) I just found Dune really hard to get into. Is it the very (very) rich detail which I found tedious? Is it the lack of thrilling space action? Is it the political aspect of it? I'm not sure but I did not like this book at all (and I really wanted to).
Date published: 2017-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Classic Sci-fi Epic Dune is billed as sci-fi's answer to The Lord of The Rings and it more than lives up to the hype. The journey of the young Paul Atreides on the desert world Arrakis blends politics, religion, ecology, and economy in an impressive feat of world-building. A must read for fans of sci-fi, fantasy, rich world-building in general.
Date published: 2017-06-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome I enjoyed the mix of political intrigue, action, and sci-fi. There's a lot to read, and re-read, if you have the patience. It's best enjoyed over a period of time, giving your mind time to digest everything you've read.
Date published: 2017-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An epic science fiction classic I started the book a short while back and have greatly enjoyed it from page one. One of the wonderful things about this book is that the way its been written allows for the reader to read as much or as little as they please in one sitting. This book has both slow and fast moving points throughout. As a slower read, I can appreciate the dense content involved in the storytelling of Dune. If you're a slow read, that this novel really allows you to take your time and let the story take you through a epic journey of fantastic storytelling. However, the book also has many climactic and intense portions to read through, so there is certainly the push to want to read as much as possible as well. Great mix of dialogue and action
Date published: 2017-05-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Expansive and intriguing There's so much here. Interesting universe, strong characters, and interesting plot. It is well written and enjoyable overall.
Date published: 2017-05-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sci-Fi Classic Such a wonderful sci-fi novel
Date published: 2017-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dune A masterpiece in sci-fi writing. Addictive, well written, fleshed out characters.
Date published: 2017-04-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great piece of work This book seemed a tad daunting, but before I knew it I was done. It has deep characters with rich story lines. It moves rather quickly, but it's a great story
Date published: 2017-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this book For me it started as a slow read and started transforming into the most amazing sic-fi story I have ever read, definitely a must read!
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Decent the world is crazy and the characters even more so. I can see why it's a classic, but I didn't particularly like it.
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dune The sci-fi masterpiece lives up to the hype. Ridiculously deep, great characters, fascinating world.
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Some of the Greatest Sci-Fi Has to Offer I’ve been sitting at this keyboard for longer than I care to admit trying to coalesce my thoughts about Dune into something coherent. You already know it’s fantastic though, right? Dune is one of those novels that is spoken of in reverential tones by seasoned reader and relative newbie alike. It’s considered by many to be THE best sci-fi novel of all time and Herbert’s son, Brian Herbert, rightfully calls it sci-fi’s equivalent to Lord of the Rings for inspiring all that came after its publication. So, I mean, what in the name of Shai-Hulud am I supposed to add to that? Well, I’ll begin with the story of how I came to read Dune. I’m sure that there have been ample opportunities to read the book. I can remember seeing the black-spine amidst a forest of other spines on my cousin’s bookshelf, of which I had free reign. Yet something always kept me from picking it up. It could have been my obsession with fantasy novels at that time with only the briefest allowances for sci-fi. Whatever the reason, the book continued to pop up. Its sliver of desert on a black background called to me from piles at used bookstores, the shelves of friends and relatives, and even on public transportation. All the same, I never got around to it. Two factors finally made the difference. The first, my well-read friend (Josh Bragg in real life, but he’s on Goodreads too!) always brought it up as one of the best books he’s ever read. He also took the opportunity to remind me to read it whenever book recommendations went flying between us and, foolishly, I kept putting him off. But I’m a sucked for a great looking book and these Penguin Galaxy sci-fi collections sealed the deal for me. Their elegant cover designs, the intros by Neil Gaiman, a selection of books I’d always been meaning to read, AND Dune was on it? I was absolutely delighted to find the book under the tree on Christmas morning and tore into it in earnest. THE TIME HAD FINALLY COME Though it took near 200 pages to really pick up speed, the novel had me hooked from its immersive opening. Here was a world that was familiar and strange at the same time. There are elements of fantasy and religion coupled with interplanetary travel and space empires. The characters touted titles that were inscrutable at the beginning, but became part of my vocabulary before the novel’s end. The novel refused to tell me everything I needed to understand, secreting mysteries without ever outright stating them. How could I not want to know what Kwisatz Haderach meant? How could I not want to know the secrets of Arrakis? The Layers of Dune I was swept away by this novel that mixes sci-fi concepts of higher dimensions with political intrigue. Environmental change mixed with an unlimited cast of enthralling characters, and a drop of religious philosophy. Dune is a novel of the highest order: it combines entertainment with brilliant questions that pull from an incredible number of disciplines. Of course, if you just want to read a compelling tale of political plotting, murder, adventure, and discovery, you can totally do that too. In the afterword, Brian Herbert notes a conversation he had with his father about the writing and structure of Dune. Frank Herbert constructed Dune so that it would be immensely dense. Herbert wanted to create a tale that could be enjoyed on the level of the central conflict: a boy becoming a man trying to reclaim his heritage against astounding odds in a world beyond imagining. Here’s an excerpt from that afterword about the layers. Ecology is the most obvious layer, but alongside that are politics, religion, philosophy, history, human evolution, and even poetry. (Pages 693 of the Penguin Galaxy Edition) The fact that the novel can be enjoyed from any number of different readings alone makes it a novel of huge significance. Dune doesn’t force you into thinking, but it invites the interested to partake in its rich metaphor and multifaceted meaning. What’s more, Herbert makes statements about his concepts, but rarely does he offer them as the only solution (barring, perhaps, an ecological viewpoint that bemoans industrialization). I dove into different fields of thought between and during readings. I contemplated elegant ideas Herbert proposes and marveled at the structure of the plot and the boundless ideas of this world. What a world it is! The world building here could fill a university course as Herbert establishes a world unlike any other, but totally believable. When I read about the stillsuit I was astonished by its creativity, but also how it imparted valuable information about the world of Arrakis. Though the sandworms scream for attention throughout the novel, equal care is given to the hierarchy of the Empire, the mystical Bene Gesserit religion, and the curiosities of culture. Herbert also seems to have invented a group of hallucinogenic compounds that are in equal parts trippy, interesting, and betray an interesting look at 1960s culture. Dune drew me in and took me for a ride that I never wanted to get off. Of course, when the ride does end, it is immensely satisfying. Dune ends leaving unanswered questions in a fashion that made me feel like I knew enough to be entirely contented. Which, of course, begs the question: will I read the other Dune novels? Welllllllllllllllll, maybe. It’s highly daunting to look at the entire Dune Chronicles and think that I would tackle that. Especially when Dune ends in a way that makes me so happy, and especially when the subsequent novels purportedly deliver diminishing returns. For now, I’m too overjoyed and impressed by Dune to consider returning to the world anytime soon other than to re-read the novel. Obviously, I can’t recommend Dune enough. That’s also not a recommendation that goes to the sci-fi crowd alone. Oh no, this is a book that has great appeal to a wide variety of people. You like A Song of Ice and Fire? Perfect: you’ll love the backstabbing, the plots-within-plots, the combat, the story. You don’t read sci-fi? No worries: there’s a wealth of important themes upon which to reflect. You like sci-fi, your friends continuously recommend you read Dune, and you keep putting it off? I think you know what you need to do!
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolute classic! Fear is the mind-killer. An essential read which science fiction and fantasy lovers alike will enjoy. The characters are great and the plot is moving. Herbert’s attention to detail and the the sheer depth of the Dune universe is incredible. If you’re looking for Star Wars meets Game of Thrones, you won’t be disappointed.
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best This is simply my favourite sci-fi book. It is densely packed with religious and philosophical thoughts, but also full of action. I cannot recommend this book enough!
Date published: 2016-12-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best This is simply my favourite sci-fi book. It is densely packed with religious and philosophical thoughts, but also full of action. I cannot recommend this book enough!
Date published: 2016-12-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best This is simply my favourite sci-fi book. It is densely packed with religious and philosophical thoughts, but also full of action. I cannot recommend this book enough!
Date published: 2016-12-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting I found this book really interesting as it was my introduction to sic-fi. I enjoyed it quite a lot but I don't think it deserves the title of the Lord of the Rings of sic-fi.
Date published: 2016-12-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Epic #plumreview A great and expansive sc-fi tale. Better character development than most books of its kind.
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Absolutely Loved It! This book is seriously awesome! It was recommended to me by a friend and I was sceptical, but after reading it I quickly understood what the hype was about!
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favourite book I bought this book and loved it. Not long after purchasing it, I had read the next 5 in the series.
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A classic fave Dune is a sci-fi classic and a personal favourite of mine. I recently came across the movie and finally decided to pick it up.. I sometimes get worried that movies will ruin great books for me, so haven't gotten to that yet. Dune and its sequels are deep, thoughtful, well-developed novels that will open your mind. You will grow fond of the characters and become intrigued by the engrossing storylines and lore/concepts of the vast and in-depth universe Frank Herbert has created. Definitely add this one to your collection!
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED IT!! I had seen the movie before. and I did liked it. But the book was just mid blowing!! So much more than I expected!! Basically it got me addicted to it. Now I need to keep reading the sequels!!
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fear is the mind-killer. I almost feel guilty for not giving Dune a perfect score, but it’s a book not without its faults. It’s still an essential read, which science fiction and fantasy lovers alike will enjoy. The characters are great and the plot is moving. Herbert’s attention to detail and the the sheer depth of the Dune universe is incredible. If you’re looking for Star Wars meets Game of Thrones, you won’t be disappointed.
Date published: 2016-10-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dune All the Way! How this 1965 classic sci-fi novel eluded me throughout my reading years is beyond me. The war for spice and water on Dune is more than your atypical science fiction romp as it can be looked at through a political, environmental, scientific or religious lens. A deep but totally entertaining book that far exceeds the subsequent television and movie adaptations. Looking forward to reading the rest of the late Frank Hebert's Dune chronicles. Worth the wait!
Date published: 2016-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review A classic that holds its own. If you havent read it yet, you are missing out. Fear is the mind kiler
Date published: 2015-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A favorite now and forever Heady. Political. Action packed Beautifully, artfully written. Superb. A true poet of fiction. An entire believe able immersion into the world.
Date published: 2015-08-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A classic but... This is obviously one of the great science fiction classics... but I just found it to be so slow paced and dull in spots.
Date published: 2015-07-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Dune The book is great. The EPub reader sucks, can't increase the font size and you need a bloody magnifying glass to see it. Stupid app!!!
Date published: 2015-07-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best sci-fi By far the most imaginative world i've had the pleasure to read about. It's one of these books that you can read a couple of times and still enjoy every read.
Date published: 2015-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dune Was very well written, Great characters. Well played story
Date published: 2014-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely great! I read this book every summer -- I love the politics that run through the story.
Date published: 2013-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dune This is a classic that wil engulf the reader through and through. Definitely one of my favorites.
Date published: 2013-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from excellent this is a must-read for sci-fi fans, one of my favorite books. I love the whole detailed world Frank Herbert has created.
Date published: 2011-09-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not What It's Cracked Up To Be I read this book because I was told it was Epic, life-altering, fantastic. What it was in my opinion was a huge disappointment. I enjoyed the story, and where they were going with it, and when the action was there it moved well. But overall I found it to be extremely dry and I felt my eyes sagging after a few pages. I forced myself through to the end, like a trooper, but I will never read it or its sequels anytime in the near future.
Date published: 2009-06-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from As good as Sci-Fi gets. Frank Herbert creates a very deep and interesting vision of the future. A time when computers are outlawed, and the feudal system has returned. Mankind has spread across many planets, but one planet holds the key to power, Dune. Paul Atreides is a young man, just coming of age, and his family is taking over rule of Dune from their deadly enemies, the House Harkonnen. This is not a simple and direct sci-fi story - indeed it offer many layers to be explored, and each reading draws you further into the world created by the author. This, the first in the 6 book series by Frank Herbert is by far the most accessible and likable. But for those who want more, there is a lot more, and as the series develops, things can at times get a little bizarre, but a fantastic story is always on offer. A great read for anyone, whether you are new to sci-fi, or a veteran who has somehow not got around to this one yet. I would also highly recommend another series by Frank Herbert, which includes "The Whipping Star" and the "Dosadi Experiment" for those who want more of his best.
Date published: 2009-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from foreboding tale - relevant to our generation and beyond Loved this book about survival, politics, power, corruption, faith, religion, friendship, loyalty, love - ties into influences from the Arab world's "oil politics" and "desert power". Draws together ideologies from Christianity and Islam. Capacity to endure pain, suffering, and hardship to serve and protect the oppressed and be guided along a narrow and difficult path based on truth and righteousness - a journey of love.
Date published: 2008-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sci-Fi as Real as it gets. With Dune, Frank Herbert brought Sci-Fi to a new level. Not since Asimov's Foundation series has such a truly expansive yet truly human future been created. The themes are strong and deep, the characters true to life, and the the writing itself both poetic and descriptive. A must read for fans of Sci-Fi, of course, but I recommend it to the Sci-Fi 'noob' as well. This is macro-fiction at it's best.
Date published: 2008-10-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Extremely engaging This is the first book in the "Dune" series. The world that Frank Herbert creates absorbs you into it. I love this book and its rich and complex details. Highly reccommend it.
Date published: 2008-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating Once I read this book till 3-00am and next morning stirring sugar in my tea I was shocked: "My God, how much water I have in my cup!!!".
Date published: 2007-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect blend of action, mysticism, and politics Frank Herbert's epic tale of the distant future is a blend of science and fiction delicately woven into a gripping tale of action, politics and mysticism. In a far distant future dependant on a mind-altering spice, a political battle unfolds over control of its sole source, the planet Dune.
Date published: 2006-07-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Comparable to Lord Of The Rings Ok, I've read the Lord of The Rings trilogy a couple of times and i think those are the greatest books ever written. And if i say that another series is comparable to them thats sayin a lot. I read the first four in the series in a month and a half cause I was soooo hooked on them. The plot is awsome, characters unforgetable, and theres so much more to say thats good i don't want to list it. On the other hand, it reminds me to much of Star Wars. But anyways the whole series and this one is a must read!!!!!
Date published: 2005-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Frank Herbert - Dune The first book that I ever purchased on my own at age 14. I remember finding it very confusing. At 39 now, I have re-read Dune three more times and plowed through the entire series twice although I always get hung up halfway through Chapterhouse. After a while, all the learning about the different ways that power can be exerted over a populace can become quite tiring and your level of cynicism can rise dramatically. The lesson that 'Belief can be manipulated. Only knowledge is truly dangerous.' can be an exhausting one! I would say that this book is not for the SF amateur, but for the SF philosopher who enjoys being challenged. Only Orson Scott Cards, Ender Series (Enders Game; Speaker For the Dead; Xenocide and Children of the mind) have the weight to compare to the Frank Herberts Dune series (skip the stuff Franks son is pumpin out ... he does not take you any further, he only tries to add to the past ... boring)
Date published: 2005-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Story in Existence! What a mythology! I am totally in love. Best story ever! Wonderful blend of Occultism and Ecology, because the two should not be seperated!!!
Date published: 2003-09-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Endorsed by a Legend. Dune is a remarkable triumph. Herbert has invented a tapestry of philosophy, history, politics and ecology into this world - what sets this science fiction apart from the genre is that this tapestry is not unfamiliar to the reader. Modern religions are adapted, yet left intact in this vision - the reader can relate and there is not the heightened sense of detachment evident in so many sci fi novels. Besides all this, Arthur C. Clarke praises this book highly - high praise from a literary legend!
Date published: 2003-07-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Dune...not so good In contrast to most people's opinions, I think Dune is poorly written. It is extremely overrated. The plotline is slow, the characters are undeveloped, and Frank Herbert uses an excessive amount of jibberish. The story is repetitive and unavoidably boring. A recommended read for insomniacs.
Date published: 2003-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SciFi Milestone Frank Herbert's Dune series is has set the milestone for scifi writing for many years to come. He has created an entire universe which has spawned movies, video games, art, and more books. Enjoy this one.
Date published: 2003-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Masterpiece! What Frank Herbert captures with Dune has never been captured before; a grand insight into humanity as we know it (especially in today's conformist world), but in what we are capable of as humans. Aside from the science fiction aspect of the novel; the realistic experience of Arrakis, and political plot, but a very intricate and delicate balance of power that adds depth and sophistication to the story. I recommend Dune to anyone who is open to new ideas, and ready to totally immerse themselves in a new world and new experience. This is not just a Science Fiction novel, but one of the greatest works of humanity in print.
Date published: 2002-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the greatest books ever written... Dune is undoubtedly one of the greatest stories ever written. Frank Herbert was a genius. The future is so believable in his vision of the universe. This is an awesome book! Ya Hya Chouhada! Long live the fighters of Muad'Dib!
Date published: 2001-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review of Dune This book is the best book I've read so far and I'm reading the whole series because of this book. It's really good and you wont be able to put the book down once you've started reading it. I think it's a really good book.
Date published: 2001-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dune Dune is an excellent way to get into the science ficton genre. Mr.Frank Herbert shown me a great new world within a book. When I first browsed the book I was intimidated. But after getting into his world I could not put the book down. His vision of DUNE is vast, and shouldn't be missed.
Date published: 2001-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Sci-fi! This book was great and the attention to detail that Mr. Herbert shows is impressive. The world contained in this book will forever stay with you once you've finished reading it! Recommended!
Date published: 2001-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Maud'dib Maud'dib Maud'Dib Hear That Atreides battle cry , I Am Impressed i mean i knew it would be good after i got passed the first 150 (well 128) Pages but I Am Impressed.
Date published: 2001-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A possable Future This book is so believable that it's quite possable that the far future will be this way. Reading it is like a peep hole to the milliniums to come.
Date published: 2000-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wonderful for the imagination!! This book is really one of the greatest ever written in history! It sets the stage perfectly for the sequals to the book. I don't think that anything could ever be compared to this work of art and you don't have to be a reader to be able to appreciate it.
Date published: 2000-07-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Best of Sci-Fi A compelling storyline with interesting characters and plots, Dune is the greatest book of all time... But that doesn't say much so in laymens terms... Its the Best!
Date published: 2000-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from dune I think this book was one of the best books i have read in a long time and i am presently reading children of dune and and i will contunue to read all of the dune books. In the future i hope that Frank Herberts son will write more prequils to dune like the one he wrote "house Atreities". Overall i think dune is a great book and i would recomend it to anyone who likes science fiction, space or who just wants to read a good book.
Date published: 1999-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing! it was very well written and amazingly thought out. it was one of the best books i've ever read in my life. it always keeps you wanting more and frank herbert is an amazing author. i can't wait to read the rest of the series, too bad he died before he finished the 7th book. all in all
Date published: 1999-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best book on earth! This book was a compelling story about how one child fights a depression to stay alive. I refuse to tell anymore because I only choose to say a few words; "If you read any book in your entire lifetime read Dune!"
Date published: 1999-05-18

Read from the Book

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. Dr. Yueh, his teacher, had hinted that the faufreluches class system was not rigidly guarded on Arrakis. The planet sheltered people who lived at the desert edge without caid or bashar to command them: will-o'-the-sand people called Fremen, marked down on no census of the Imperial Regate.     Arrakis—Dune—Desert Planet.     Paul sensed his own tensions, decided to practice one of the mind-body lessons his mother had taught him. Three quick breaths triggered the responses: he fell into the floating awareness ... focusing the consciousness ... aortal dilation ... avoiding the unfocused mechanism of consciousness ... to be conscious by choice ... blood enriched and swift-flooding the overload regions ... one does not obtain food-safety-freedom by instinct alone ... animal consciousness does not extend beyond the given moment nor into the idea that its victims may become extinct ... the animal destroys and does not produce ... animal pleasures remain close to sensation levels and avoid the perceptual ... the human requires a background grid through which to see his universe ... focused consciousness by choice, this forms your grid ... bodily integrity follows nerve-blood flow according to the deepest awareness of cell needs ... all things/cells/beings are impermanent ... strive for flow-permanence within....     Over and over and over within Paul's floating awareness the lesson rolled.     When dawn touched Paul's window sill with yellow light, he sensed it through closed eyelids, opened them, hearing then the renewed bustle and hurry in the castle, seeing the familiar patterned beams of his bedroom ceiling.     The hall door opened and his mother peered in, hair like shaded bronze held with black ribbon at the crown, her oval face emotionless and green eyes staring solemnly.     "You're awake," she said. "Did you sleep well?"     "Yes."     He studied the tallness of her, saw the hint of tension in her shoulders as she chose clothing for him from the closet racks. Another might have missed the tension, but she had trained him in the Bene Gesserit Way—in the minutiae of observation. She turned, holding a semiformal jacket for him. It carried the red Atreides hawk crest above the breast pocket.     "Hurry and dress," she said. "Reverend Mother is waiting."     "I dreamed of her once," Paul said. "Who is she?"     "She was my teacher at the Bene Gesserit school. Now, she's the Emperor's Truthsayer. And Paul...." She hesitated. "You must tell her about your dreams."     "I will. Is she the reason we got Arrakis?"     "We did not get Arrakis." Jessica flicked dust from a pair of trousers, hung them with the jacket on the dressing stand beside his bed. "Don't keep Reverend Mother waiting."     Paul sat up, hugged his knees. "What's a gom jabbar?"     Again, the training she had given him exposed her almost invisible hesitation, a nervous betrayal he felt as fear.     Jessica crossed to the window, flung wide the draperies, stared across the river orchards toward Mount Syubi. "You'll learn about ... the gom jabbar soon enough," she said.     He heard the fear in her voice and wondered at it.     Jessica spoke without turning. "Reverend Mother is waiting in my morning room. Please hurry." The Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam sat in a tapestried chair watching mother and son approach. Windows on each side of her overlooked the curving southern bend of the river and the green farmlands of the Atreides family holding, but the Reverend Mother ignored the view. She was feeling her age this morning, more than a little petulant. She blamed it on space travel and association with that abominable Spacing Guild and its secretive ways. But here was a mission that required personal attention from a Bene Gesserit-with-the-Sight. Even the Padishah Emperor's Truthsayer couldn't evade that responsibility when the duty call came.     Damn that Jessica! the Reverend Mother thought. If only she'd borne us a girl as she was ordered to do!     Jessica stopped three paces from the chair, dropped a small curtsy, a gentle flick of left hand along the line of her skirt. Paul gave the short bow his dancing master had taught—the one used "when in doubt of another's station."     The nuances of Paul's greeting were not lost on the Reverend Mother. She said: "He's a cautious one, Jessica."     Jessica's hand went to Paul's shoulder, tightened there. For a heartbeat, fear pulsed through her palm. Then she had herself under control. "Thus he has been taught, Your Reverence."     What does she fear? Paul wondered.     The old woman studied Paul in one gestalten flicker: face oval like Jessica's, but strong bones ... hair: the Duke's black-black but with browline of the maternal grandfather who cannot be named, and that thin, disdainful nose; shape of directly staring green eyes: like the old Duke, the paternal grandfather who is dead.     Now, there was a man who appreciated the power of bravura—even in death, the Reverend Mother thought.     "Teaching is one thing," she said, "the basic ingredient is another. We shall see." The old eyes darted a hard glance at Jessica. "Leave us. I enjoin you to practice the meditation of peace."     Jessica took her hand from Paul's shoulder. "Your Reverence, I—"     "Jessica, you know it must be done."     Paul looked up at his mother, puzzled.     Jessica straightened. "Yes ... of course."     Paul looked back at the Reverend Mother. Politeness and his mother's obvious awe of this old woman argued caution. Yet he felt an angry apprehension at the fear he sensed radiating from his mother.     "Paul...." Jessica took a deep breath. "... this test you're about to receive ... it's important to me."     "Test?" He looked up at her.     "Remember that you're a duke's son," Jessica said. She whirled and strode from the room in a dry swishing of skirt. The door closed solidly behind her.     Paul faced the old woman, holding anger in check. "Does one dismiss the Lady Jessica as though she were a serving wench?"     A smile flicked the corners of the wrinkled old mouth. "The Lady Jessica was my serving wench, lad, for fourteen years at school." She nodded. "And a good one, too. Now, you come here!"     The command whipped out at him. Paul found himself obeying before he could think about it. Using the Voice on me, he thought. He stopped at her gesture, standing beside her knees.     "See this?" she asked. From the folds of her gown, she lifted a green metal cube about fifteen centimeters on a side. She turned it and Paul saw that one side was open—black and oddly frightening. No light penetrated that open blackness.     "Put your right hand in the box," she said.     Fear shot through Paul. He started to back away, but the old woman said: "Is this how you obey your mother?"     He looked up into bird-bright eyes.     Slowly, feeling the compulsions and unable to inhibit them, Paul put his hand into the box. He felt first a sense of cold as the blackness closed around his hand, then slick metal against his fingers and a prickling as though his hand were asleep.     A predatory look filled the old woman's features. She lifted her right hand away from the box and poised the hand close to the side of Paul's neck. He saw a glint of metal there and started to turn toward it.     "Stop!" she snapped.     Using the Voice again! He swung his attention back to her face.     "I hold at your neck the gom jabbar," she said. "The gom jabbar, the high-handed enemy. It's a needle with a drop of poison on its tip. Ah-ah! Don't pull away or you'll feel that poison."     Paul tried to swallow in a dry throat. He could not take his attention from the seamed old face, the glistening eyes, the pale gums around silvery metal teeth that flashed as she spoke.     "A duke's son must know about poisons," she said. "It's the way of our times, eh? Musky, to be poisoned in your drink. Aumas, to be poisoned in your food. The quick ones and the slow ones and the ones in between. Here's a new one for you: the gom jabbar. It kills only animals."     Pride overcame Paul's fear. "You dare suggest a duke's son is an animal?" he demanded.     "Let us say I suggest you may be human," she said. "Steady! I warn you not to try jerking away. I am old, but my hand can drive this needle into your neck before you escape me."     "Who are you?" he whispered. "How did you trick my mother into leaving me alone with you? Are you from the Harkonnens?"     "The Harkonnens? Bless us, no! Now, be silent." A dry finger touched his neck and he stilled the involuntary urge to leap away.     "Good," she said. "You pass the first test. Now, here's the way of the rest of it: If you withdraw your hand from the box you die. This is the only rule. Keep your hand in the box and live. Withdraw it and die."     Paul took a deep breath to still his trembling. "If I call out there'll be servants on you in seconds and you'll die."     "Servants will not pass your mother who stands guard outside that door. Depend on it. Your mother survived this test. Now it's your turn. Be honored. We seldom administer this to men-children."     Curiosity reduced Paul's fear to a manageable level. He heard truth in the old woman's voice, no denying it. If his mother stood guard out there ... if this were truly a test.... And whatever it was, he knew himself caught in it, trapped by that hand at his neck: the gom jabbar. He recalled the response from the Litany against Fear as his mother had taught him out of the Bene Gesserit rite.     "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."     He felt calmness return, said: "Get on with it, old woman."     "Old woman!" she snapped. "You've courage, and that can't be denied. Well, we shall see, sirra." She bent close, lowered her voice almost to a whisper. "You will feel pain in this hand within the box. Pain. But! Withdraw the hand and I'll touch your neck with my gom jabbar—the death so swift it's like the fall of the headsman's axe. Withdraw your hand and the gom jabbar takes you. Understand?"     "What's in the box?"     "Pain."     He felt increased tingling in his hand, pressed his lips tightly together. How could this be a test? he wondered. The tingling became an itch.     The old woman said: "You've heard of animals chewing off a leg to escape a trap? There's an animal kind of trick. A human would remain in the trap, endure the pain, feigning death that he might kill the trapper and remove a threat to his kind."     The itch became the faintest burning. "Why are you doing this?" he demanded.     "To determine if you're human. Be silent."     Paul clenched his left hand into a fist as the burning sensation increased in the other hand. It mounted slowly: heat upon heat upon heat ... upon heat. He felt the fingernails of his free hand biting the palm. He tried to flex the fingers of the burning hand, but couldn't move them.     "It burns," he whispered.     "Silence!"     Pain throbbed up his arm. Sweat stood out on his forehead. Every fiber cried out to withdraw the hand from that burning pit ... but ... the gom jabbar. Without turning his head, he tried to move his eyes to see that terrible needle poised beside his neck. He sensed that he was breathing in gasps, tried to slow his breaths and couldn't.     Pain!     His world emptied of everything except that hand immersed in agony, the ancient face inches away staring at him.     His lips were so dry he had difficulty separating them.     The burning! The burning!     He thought he could feel skin curling black on that agonized hand, the flesh crisping and dropping away until only charred bones remained.     It stopped!     As though a switch had been turned off, the pain stopped.     Paul felt his right arm trembling, felt sweat bathing his body.     "Enough," the old woman muttered. "Kull wahad! No woman-child ever withstood that much. I must've wanted you to fail." She leaned back, withdrawing the gom jabbar from the side of his neck. "Take your hand from the box, young human, and look at it."     He fought down an aching shiver, stared at the lightless void where his hand seemed to remain of its own volition. Memory of pain inhibited every movement. Reason told him he would withdraw a blackened stump from that box.     "Do it!" she snapped.     He jerked his hand from the box, stared at it astonished. Not a mark. No sign of agony on the flesh. He held up the hand, turned it, flexed the fingers.     "Pain by nerve induction," she said. "Can't go around maiming potential humans. There're those who'd give a pretty for the secret of this box, though." She slipped it into the folds of her gown.     "But the pain—" he said.     "Pain," she sniffed. "A human can override any nerve in the body."     Paul felt his left hand aching, uncurled the clenched fingers, looked at four bloody marks where fingernails had bitten his palm. He dropped the hand to his side, looked at the old woman. "You did that to my mother once?"     "Ever sift sand through a screen?" she asked.     The tangential slash of her question shocked his mind into a higher awareness: Sand through a screen. He nodded.     "We Bene Gesserit sift people to find the humans."     He lifted his right hand, willing the memory of the pain. "And that's all there is to it—pain?"     "I observed you in pain, lad. Pain's merely the axis of the test. Your mother's told you about our ways of observing. I see the signs of her teaching in you. Our test is crisis and observation."     He heard the confirmation in her voice, said: "It's truth!"     She stared at him. He senses truth! Could he be the one? Could he truly be the one? She extinguished the excitement, reminding herself: "Hope clouds observation."     "You know when people believe what they say," she said.     "I know it."     The harmonics of ability confirmed by repeated test were in his voice. She heard them, said: "Perhaps you are the Kwisatz Haderach. Sit down, little brother, here at my feet."     "I prefer to stand."     "Your mother sat at my feet once."     "I'm not my mother."     "You hate us a little, eh?" She looked toward the door, called out: "Jessica!"     The door flew open and Jessica stood there staring hard-eyed into the room. Hardness melted from her as she saw Paul. She managed a faint smile.     "Jessica, have you ever stopped hating me?" the old woman asked.     "I both love and hate you," Jessica said. "The hate—that's from pains I must never forget. The love—that's...."     "Just the basic fact," the old woman said, but her voice was gentle. "You may come in now, but remain silent. Close that door and mind it that no one interrupts us."     Jessica stepped into the room, closed the door and stood with her back to it. My son lives, she thought. My son lives and is ... human. I knew he was ... but ... he lives. Now, I can go on living. The door felt hard and real against her back. Everything in the room was immediate and pressing against her senses.     My son lives.     Paul looked at his mother. She told the truth. He wanted to get away alone and think this experience through, but knew he could not leave until he was dismissed. The old woman had gained a power over him. They spoke truth. His mother had undergone this test. There must be terrible purpose in it ... the pain and fear had been terrible. He understood terrible purposes. They drove against all odds. They were their own necessity. Paul felt that he had been infected with terrible purpose. He did not know yet what the terrible purpose was.     "Some day, lad," the old woman said, "you, too, may have to stand outside a door like that. It takes a measure of doing."     Paul looked down at the hand that had known pain, then up to the Reverend Mother. The sound of her voice had contained a difference then from any other voice in his experience. The words were outlined in brilliance. There was an edge to them. He felt that any question he might ask her would bring an answer that could lift him out of his flesh-world into something greater.     "Why do you test for humans?" he asked.     "To set you free."     "Free?"     "Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them."     "`Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a man's mind,'" Paul quoted.     "Right out of the Butlerian Jihad and the Orange Catholic Bible," she said. "But what the O.C. Bible should've said is: `Thou shalt not make a machine to counterfeit a human mind.' Have you studied the Mentat in your service?"     "I've studied with Thufir Hawat."     "The Great Revolt took away a crutch," she said. "It forced human minds to develop. Schools were started to train human talents."     "Bene Gesserit schools?"     She nodded. "We have two chief survivors of those ancient schools: the Bene Gesserit and the Spacing Guild. The Guild, so we think, emphasizes almost pure mathematics. Bene Gesserit performs another function."     "Politics," he said.     "Kull wahad!" the old woman said. She sent a hard glance at Jessica.     "I've not told him, Your Reverence," Jessica said.     The Reverend Mother returned her attention to Paul. "You did that on remarkably few clues," she said. "Politics indeed. The original Bene Gesserit school was directed by those who saw the need of a thread of continuity in human affairs. They saw there could be no such continuity without separating human stock from animal stock—for breeding purposes."     The old woman's words abruptly lost their special sharpness for Paul. He felt an offense against what his mother called his instinct for rightness. It wasn't that Reverend Mother lied to him. She obviously believed what she said. It was something deeper, something tied to his terrible purpose.     He said: "But my mother tells me many Bene Gesserit of the schools don't know their ancestry."     "The genetic lines are always in our records," she said. "Your mother knows that either she's of Bene Gesserit descent or her stock was acceptable in itself."     "Then why couldn't she know who her parents are?"     "Some do.... Many don't. We might, for example, have wanted to breed her to a close relative to set up a dominant in some genetic trait. We have many reasons."     Again, Paul felt the offense against rightness. He said: "You take a lot on yourselves."     The Reverend Mother stared at him, wondering: Did I hear criticism in his voice? "We carry a heavy burden," she said.     Paul felt himself coming more and more out of the shock of the test. He leveled a measuring stare at her, said: "You say maybe I'm the ... Kwisatz Haderach. What's that, a human gore jabbar?"     "Paul," Jessica said. "You mustn't take that tone with—"     "I'll handle this, Jessica," the old woman said. "Now, lad, do you know about the Truthsayer drug?"     "You take it to improve your ability to detect falsehood," he said. "My mother's told me."     "Have you ever seen truthtrance?"     He shook his head. "No."     "The drug's dangerous," she said, "but it gives insight. When a Truthsayer's gifted by the drug, she can look many places in her memory—in her body's memory. We look down so many avenues of the past ... but only feminine avenues." Her voice took on a note of sadness. "Yet, there's a place where no Truthsayer can see. We are repelled by it, terrorized. It is said a man will come one day and find in the gift of the drug his inward eye. He will look where we cannot—into both feminine and masculine pasts."     "Your Kwisatz Haderach?"     "Yes, the one who can be many places at once: the Kwisatz Haderach. Many men have tried the drug ... so many, but none has succeeded."     "They tried and failed, all of them?"     "Oh, no." She shook her head. "They tried and died."

Table of Contents

DuneBook I. Dune

Book II. Muad'dib

Book III. The Prophet

Appendix I: The Ecology of Dune

Appendix II: The Religion of Dune

Appendix III: Report on Bene Gesserit
Motives and Purposes

Appendix IV: The Almanaken-Ashraf
(Selected Excerpts of the Noble Houses)

Terminology of the Imperium


Editorial Reviews

“I know nothing comparable to it except Lord of the Rings.”—Arthur C. Clarke   “A portrayal of an alien society more complete and deeply detailed than any other author in the field has managed...a story absorbing equally for its action and philosophical vistas.”—The Washington Post Book World“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