Beyond Dune- worth reading?

I have read Dune few times and have always enjoyed it but whenever I started Dune Messiah I kind of lost interest. It seems to be a much more politial than it’s predecessor, perhaps there is a payoff but I can seem to get that far.

So I just read Dune again (ok, ok, I listened to a unabridged audiobook) and am wondering should I continue?

Are the rest of Dune books worth reading? How about the new Dune books by Brian Herbet and Kevin Anderson?

Missed Cafe Society by a pixel.

Before this gets moved, I have to agree with you about Dune Messiah. It’s incredibly tedious. It took me forever to get into - I think it’s one of those books you have to force yourself to read the first 2/3 of, simply because the books beyond it are worth reading, but not if you haven’t read all of them. It does get better, but not until the back half of the book is lighter than the front half.

sorry for posting this in Great Debates. Misclicked!

I personally found Dune Messiah to be very engaging. But that’s just me. I haven’t read the later books, though. What makes them worth reading?

I read all the following books (some years ago now) and think they’re great. Dune is the best of them all, and perhaps Dune Messiah is not the best of the following, but still hang in there it’s very much worth it. However I have to say the books written after Frank Herberts death are a travesty, well I only read the first but that was a disaster.

I’m going to disagree and say that while Dune was a superb novel, the following ones got worse and worse. By about the fourth(?) one, I was seriously questioning Frank Herbert’s ability to extricate himself from the bizarre, labyrinthine world/pseudo-philosophy he’d created.

How bad did I think they were? I almost never throw out books. It takes a supreme act of will to discard a book. But when I last moved, only Dune of all the Herberts moved with me.

[Moderator Hat ON]

To Cafe Society.

[Moderator Hat OFF]

I would definately read up to God Emporer. That’s where you find out what the ‘Golden Path’ is. It was my personal favorite, but I liked them all. I could see how some wouldn’t like Messiah all that much.

Messiah wasn’t particulary good, but when you get introduced to the Golden path in Childern, then you want to go on and find out what it is, which pretty much goes on for the rest of the series.

I actually thought God Emporer was the 2nd best book of the series, because you finally start to get a payoff for Messiah and Childern.

The Dune series, with the exception of Dune tends to work over the course over the series, rather then singel books.

Oops, sorry. Didn’t mean to mislead you - I haven’t read past Messiah. But then, I just read that this summer. Having had finished it though, I get the impression it was leading up to something, rather than concluding something. (I think **HPL ** summarized it better. There’s more a sense of the books past Dune being a series, rather than stand-alone texts.)

It’s probably been close to 20 years since I read the series, but here’s what I remember.
*Dune * rocked.
*Dune Messiah * was OK. More than anything else I think it just helped set up Children of Dune.
*Children of Dune * was much better than *Dune Messiah * but nowhere near as good as Dune.
*God Emperor of Dune * was a huge waste of time. I could never get into it. Most of the story seemed to involve the introspective musings of the main character, there didn’t seem to be much going on outside his head.

Oddly enough, around this same period I remember reading Frank Herbert’s “White Plague” and found it very similar, stylistically, to GEoD. Basically you had this main character with a split personality and you spent most of the story in the guy’s head. Zzzzz…

Rabid dunatic checking in. This is my kind of thread!
I would strongly recommend the next two books. As long as you aren’t expecting Paul to continue to be a “good-guy” character or even the main character, you will not be disappointed. And if you are having trouble following what’s going on, I’d recommend watching the Sci-Fi miniseries “Children of Dune” which is actually both Dune Messiah and Children of Dune made into one mini. It is done incredibly well and is very true to the books (although not 100%). That way you will be more comfortable with the characters and know what to expect.
Every time I re-read the first three books I get chills, they’re so good.

God Emperor of Dune is harder. It is very philosophical and full of musing and portent and hints and foreshadowing and very little action. But then Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse Dune are so good that I truly think it’s worth just getting through G.E.O.D. to read the next two. And of course the series was never completed before he died, so Brian and Kevin are gonna write the conclusion based on Frank’s notes - I can’t wait. By 2007 I may finally know what happens at the end!!!

Anyway, I’d say read the next two, then if you’re feeling it, carry on with the rest of the series.

As for Kevin and Brian’s books, meh. The “House” trilogy was entertaining but nowhere near as good as the originals, the current “Legends” trilogy is totally mediocre. But next year they will be putting out a book called “Road to Dune” that includes short stories, unpublished chapters by Frank Herbert and other stuff too, and that should be awesome. Then after that comes the two concluding books to the original series: Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune are the working titles, and I will be reading those even if they’re written in crayon bacuse after all these years I just want to know what happens next!!!

One might find it helpful to take notes while reading some of the later books. I’m about halfway through Heretics of Dune and finding it next to impossible to keep track of who’s betraying whom to whom in order to set up whom for their doom at the hands of whom.

Everyone seems to stop at the fourth one.

I’ve read the entire series and can’t recommend it enough.

I described it to my friends as an abortion, but maybe I was being over dramatic.

magical sea monster

No, nevermind.

Well, I have read everything - all the way up to the current ‘machine Crusade’ novel put out by Anderson. Here’s my take on it.

Dune: Classic. pretty much a stand-alone.

Messiah: sort of the Two Towers of the series…slow, intricate, but does better on the re-read. I’m a Stilgar fan, and there were some good insights into him here.

Children: a bit convoluted, but very good. Very much in the spirit of the first one.

God Emperor: blah. and the fact that Idaho feels like he has to rail against lesbianism (wtf?) seemed a bit gratuitous.

Heretics: I really liked it- Idaho and The Bashar are awesome characters. Also, the Honored Matres are set up very well.

Chapterhouse: blah. and also ends without a resolution.

As for the prequels…Anderson has the worst sense of pacing ever. And as a reader, i need some sort of sympathetic character to latch onto - they are all either pathetic, evil, or die. The contradiction of established facts from the original series also bugged me.
The first prequel trilogy was not horrible, but not good either (I enjoyed all of the Fremen stuff). But the Jihad series is just horrible on a scale I can’t articulate. Unfortunately, i need closure, and will read the third one when it comes out in paperback.

I read and enjoyed all the Dune books written by Frank Herbert. I read the first part of the first prequel and put it down and then gave it away. My brother (to whom it was given) read the first part and threw it away.

I agree with most posters - in summary:

Dune - amazing; a personal fave

Next 2 - worth reading; not as good

Next 4 - eh.

Prequels by Herbert’s son and some guy - reasonably good space-opera stuff - more like quality airport trash. Not up to the literary level of the first book. I read them for a completely different reason (decent page turners)…

It took me a long time to be able to read the rest of the dune books , the first generation ones anyways. Dune was a strange book , for some one reading sci/fi for the first time, and being used to Clark, Pohl ,Niven style of writing.

Some of the classics are definitely better read when you have aged a bit ,and been through the world and have some life experience. Some Dune fans took to it as soon as they picked it up , but not me.

The next generation dune series, with Brian and Kevin , would be like someone who has time traveled from the sixties and hit the oughts, all the names are familliar , the places and the genisis for what becomes the guild and the great houses, but its written so much different that it should be more rated on its own ,than on anything Frank Hebert wrote ,but there is as much chance as a snow ball in hell of that happening.

The most you can do is read both , the original from either the library or used book stores , and then the new series , if you get it , you will either like it or not.

However I do think that most original dune fans are pre-conditioned to not like the new stuff , from stuff I have read on the net.


Couldn’t disagree more. The execution of Taraza’s plan totally blew me away. But yes, it ends on a cliffhanger.

FWIW, I read Dune many many times (maybe 5-7 times) before I ever picked up any of the others, and when I did I didn’t like them much at first. But about 7 years after I first read Dune, I finally got into the rest of the series, and something just clicked and I LOVED THEM.