I borrowed the first book of the prequels from the library, and when I read the description of Baron Harkkonnen as being some kind of muscle-bound pro-wrestler overly-aggressive too-much-steroid-use type, instead of the skin-diseased plotting/conniving obese homosexual of the original, he lost me. That was like on page 2 or so. Didn’t finish it, took it back.

I have (used) the original 3 novels, and really dug 'em. Haven’t tried any of the later books.

One might say you gave up a tad early. There is a reason he goes from A to B and for some of his other traits. Feyd-Rautha in Dune is not the baron’s favourite for no reason. Feyd is very much like the baron used to be…


Uh yeah no kidding. There’s a particular reason he is the way he is in Dune and the marked difference when the prequels begin. Good job sticking with it though.

— Alan

I loved the first book. The next two were ok. After that it went downhill IMHO.

I’ll go off the reservation and say you should read the first FOUR books, not three. They seemed to wrap up the most loose ends for me. After that it’s an exercise in tracking clones and Bene Gesserit mindfucks through hundreds of pages.


I would go so far as to say that if a character in a prequel does not look/act/seem like the character in the original source material, that shouldn’t automatically be grounds for concern. That said, the right decision was made in this case, if for the wrong reason.

I’d like to say here that I was more bothered by the bodice-ripper-style description of his manliness than the fact that point B seemed so far from point A.

But I can’t. Not honestly, anyway.

Still, nice to know I didn’t miss much.

Should be ‘TEH’.

There were no Dune books written after God Emperor of Dune, I have no idea what you people are talking about.


So back when this thread was started, I went out and tried to read the “House” books. I don’t remember if I made it all the way through one and then part way through the second, or if I just made it part way through the first. Either way, not great and I couldn’t make myself finish them.

In the meantime, I got distracted and read some other stuff. However, a month or so ago I broke “Dune” out again and started reading. The mention at the beginning of the Butlerian Jihad sparked some interest in that again. So I checked out “The Butlerian Jihad”. It was pretty painful, but I forced myself to think it was interesting and finished it. However, I was pretty disappointed just how long it was taking to get around to things. I mean, we call this book “The Butlerian Jihad”, but the freaking Jihad doesn’t even start until the very end.

Nevertheless, I finished it and then started “The Machine Crusade”. About 250 pages in I just couldn’t believe I was forcing myself to suffer through this. I wasn’t worth it. Sure, I was interested and finding the origins of the many factions. But what a waste of words. The story moved at a snail’s pace. Most offensive, to me, was the absolute lack of tact or finesse in the stories. Every point felt like it was being driven into my head with a sledgehammer. I just couldn’t force myself to finish.

Now I find out they have written two books to “fill in the gaps” between some of the original books. Talk about milking the cash cow do death. Screw Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.

I will read the original 6 books by Frank Herbert. Then I may, emphasis on the may, read “Hunters” and “Sandworms” just to see how things wrap up. But wow, those prequels are just awful.

Interesting coincidence. I’m re-reading the first 4 Dune books right now, which are as far as I usually go. Herbert’s last 2 feel very forced and I’m not a fan. I read the first 3 prequel books, hated their tone and inconsistencies, and never even considered the “Butlerian Jihad” trilogy or Hunters/Sandworms as a result. If you like them, let me know, and perhaps I’ll rethink that.

Brian Herbert may well (emphasis on MAY) have access to some of Frank’s notes or something, but even if he does, he’s just a dreadful writer, and shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a word processor of any kind. I’d prefer they just publish Frank’s notes. Don’t care if they are scrawled in lipstick on a cocktail napkin, they’d still be better than Brian’s work.

No universe is so enticing that I’ll suffer bad writing for it. The first couple of Dune books were fantastic.

I guess I fall into JPR’s first category – while I’ve gone back to read the original Dune a couple of times, I have read the succeeding three books only once and didn’t particularly like them. Not hated, but I do recall each being a slight step down in scope and quality from the previous book. It just seemed like the original Dune had so much to say and so much ground to cover and also such interesting visions to show us that the following books were lesser works for covering ground we’ve already been over. But in their defense it was a long time ago that I read Dune Messiah, Children of Dune and God Emperor – think I was a teenager. Maybe they deserve a second chance.

Yeah, I’m with you, I have no idea.

And while the last two books are readable, the first is best, too.

On the other hand, if you like Herbert based on Dune, he wrote many other good books, e.g. the Bureau of Sabotage novels Whipping Star and the Dosadi Experiment which are in a fun sci-fi universe that includes alien races, unlike Dune.

Every eight years or so I try and make my way through Dune. So far this year I’ve made more progress than previously. No idea why it seems a lot more accessible now than in my younger years.

Read all of the Dune novels written by Frank, read the House prequels. I also have access to both the Jihad prequels and the two end of the series sequels. Should I tackle the prequels or the two books which end the series? I guess I am asking which of them suck less…

I can’t speak to the two that finish the series, but having read one and a half of the House books, and one and a half of the Jihad books, I can say that those are absolutely awful. I actually found myself getting angry at how bad they were while reading them. That was when I knew it wasn’t worth it.

I have read them all - woe is me.

The first 3 are extremely good. Count me in the fan club for Emperor and the Duncan novels.

I disliked the House books as there are some things they establish there like no-space and such that absolutely violate the integrity of the original books in my opinion.

The Crusade books are AWFUL and the only thing worse was the “ending” novels that tried to wrap up the stories.


I can almost see the machines as being what chased the Matres and others back in to the core universe. But not the idiotic machines as outlined by these writers. And frankly if even one machine had survived the crusade the universe is game over and I never saw Herbert as that much a pessimist.