Written by: Frank Herbert
Narrated by: Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, Simon Vance, Ilyana Kadushin
Length: 21 hrs and 8 mins
Series: Dune, Book 1
Series: Dune Saga, Book 1
Release Date: 05-14-07
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
This is the one folks. The one sci-fi book to beat! I consider myself a sci-fi fan and ever since I read Dune a few years back, my view of the genre was changed forever. I’m sure the story might be ‘too much’ for some but even people that usually prefer fantasy have given Dune high praise. You could say it’s fantasy but in space and it’s nothing short of epic!
More than 21,000 years in the future, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides – a member of a noble house that stewards the desert planet called Arrakis. A unique world that is the only known source of the most valuable substance in the universe – the “spice”. Being assigned control over such an important resource has it’s downsides, as we understand with the progression of the plot.
Let’s talk about the narration. You’ll often see the phrase “brought to life” when reading audiobook reviews, and while it’s a little bit of a cliche, it certainly rings true here. The narration is multi-voiced which might seem a little strange at first because there’s the “main” narrator who tells the story and does different voices for the characters but then there are scenes that are acted out by the rest of the narrators again with different voices for the characters. It’s like they recorded the audiobook with one narrator and then went back and edited in enhanced scenes narrated with the full cast.
Once I got what was going on I didn’t mind it at all and it wasn’t degrading the experience in any way. The music and sound effects were a very nice touch and made me sink in even deeper into the Dune universe. Overall I’m very happy with this narration and the new layer it adds to Dune. I’m happy to report that there aren’t any issues regarding the audio quality of the recording. The editing and sound levels are perfect. This is of course an unabridged recording. I don’t know why you’d want an abridged one with a book such as Dune, that would be terrible.
When I started listening to Dune I was curious whether I’d like it as much as when I read it while I was still in university or my younger more naive self overrated the book. It was every bit as good as I remember it, now even better thanks to the wonderful cast of narrators. I recommend that you give it a try even if you don’t read sci-fi frequently. After all, it’s become a benchmark not only for good science fiction but for good fiction for a reason and will probably be one the best novels you’ll ever read.
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