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Summary

The desert planet Arrakis, called Dune, has been destroyed. Now, the Bene Gesserit, heirs to Dune's power, have colonized a green world - and are tuning it into a desert, mile by scorched mile.

Chapterhouse Dune is the last book Frank Herbert wrote before his death: A stunning climax to the epic Dune legend that will live on forever. 

Don't miss other titles in the Dune series.
©1985 Frank Herbert (P)2009 Macmillan Audio

Critic reviews

"Compelling...A worthy addition to this durable and deservedly popular series." ( The New York Times)

What listeners say about Chapterhouse Dune

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling Socio-Political fantasy drama

Dune was a magnificent book; but it pales in comparison with the final two books in the Frank Herbert timeline - Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse Dune.

These two books stand together and follow on one from the other. The story focuses around the struggle of the Bene Gesserit (post Dune), the race to establish a supply of melange and a new threat that has merged from the scattering.

The best part about these books is the ingenious social insight that Frank Herbert displayed as he explored principles of power, control, and minority rule. He teaches through the story also - principles of a supply and demand economy, different political and social structures, ecology....

The Saga could not have finished in a finer way. The Author's family should be very proud of this accomplishment because it is far more than a compelling story.

15 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Truly awful narrators

The narrator of previous dune audio books in the series is good, but the ones that are new to this book are truly awful. They seem to feel the need to say everything with high energy which becomes truly grating very quickly.

I often find myself skipping forward just because I can bear to listen to a particular narrator any longer.

On top of that, no one has bothered to get the different narrators to be consistent with pronunciation of names which is very irritating.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Awful women narrators

Love the series but once again those awful women narrators appear. Ruins the book especially with the different way they all pronounce words

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Worth a revisit

Having read the Dune series years ago I wanted to re-visit my favorite book, Chapterhouse. This installment focuses on the Bene Gesserit with all their political scheming. The multiple narrators really helps make this audio book version come to life. Overall I was not disappointed.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Worst Abortion of Frank Herbert’s final book

The voice actors could have made an effort to try to pronounce the names of importance to the story. The producers have truly let down the author when they cannot even organise their voice actors to have a narrative that is intelligible to the listener without wondering how many ways the word Honoured Matres Mattress Maders and I don’t know what else.

This and the names of the main characters destroyed it for me. No effort in production very very sloppy.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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A Underwhelming (False) Finale

While it's true that Chapterhouse wasn't intended to be the final book in the main Dune series, Frank Herbert's unfortunate passing has cemented it as such. However, regardless of outside circumstances, Chapterhouse Dune was a continuance of the dull meandering that made Heretics such a bore.

Books 1-3 were centred around incredible, high-concept sci-fi superpowers and the horrific consequences thereof. The interplay between characters was informed by these ideas. Having killed off all of the interesting protagonists, books 5 and 6 form a weird soft reboot without those powerful themes. Instead, we see fairly mundane characters (in relation to the dark messiahs that preceded them) who fumble about fighting an adversary that is of no particular interest.

The Honored Matres are barely distinguishable from the Bene Gesserit, except in the petty terms of the latter, making it difficult to care about the conflict between the two. The ending of Chapterhouse almost seems to acknowledge this in an underwhelming finale.

Again, Duncan is an incredibly boring protagonist, Teg is barely any better, and the rest of the cast are barely distinguishable from one another.

Ultimately, Heretics and Chapterhouse feel like an effort to stall for time while the author tried to think up some kind of grand conclusion that might tie the disparate threads together. In practice, things just grew messier and messier and we're left with a soft reboot that may as well have been another franchise altogether for all that it contributes to the overall mythos.

That said, Dune will be remembered for an incredible first book with some strong follow-ups and while it did fizzle out in these final two books, Frank Herbert's Dune books will always stand as one of the greatest series ever written.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Vance is a treasure - a shame about the others

Fantastic book marred by constant switching between narrators with vastly different performances. Simon Vance is excellent and gives everything a real sense of gravitas - it's a shame this is ruined by other narrators with weird intonation. Would also have been nice if they could collectively agree in advance how to pronounce certain words and names.

1 person found this helpful

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headline

Decent enough story, but very dragging compared to the first 4 Dune books.
Good performance, although the different pronunciations of words and names by the different actors is EXTREMELY distracting

1 person found this helpful

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The complete Saga review

In short
(the first trilogy)
Book 1: Excellent
Book 2: Great
Book 3: Good

(the second trilogy)
Book 4: Boring rumbling
Book 5: Good
Book 6: Mediocre (with the main theme that the strongest weapon in the GALAXY is between the woman leg... No joke)

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Sluggish and the story jumps

Herbert can write some amazing fiction and this book has elements of that. unfortunately it is somewhat turgid in places and the pace is off. The end is rushed and really let's it down. Accents are mixed in effectiveness for me and can detract further from the enjoyment. Overall not the best Herbert experience.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Denis
  • 26-10-18

Horrendous narration

Listened to all the books this series up to this one. Could not finish this book due to horrendous narration by a female. The absurd out of place voice inflections and intonations, the changes from audible speech to whisper, without any reason for it, the British accent that made it next to impossible to understand passages, and the overall equal pacing of her speech which blended the whole thing into a mess, and zoned me out.

At first, I had to chose between continuing the book, or dropping it all together. I had made the choice to continue, but skip the section narrated by her. Then, I just dropped the whole book.

What a waste. A wonderful saga ruined by this horrible decision, to mix narrators, and the worst of it, to introduce one who utterly ruined the whole book. I wonder how many other books were ruined by that “executive” decision.

The first out of over two hundred books on Audible that I could not finish.

24 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard
  • 29-08-18

An unfortunate and abrupt end to the Dune series

Dune. The original novel has found its way into popular culture for its meaningful themes and ideas, memorable characters and fascinating setting. As the series progresses, however, the traits that defined what is hailed as the greatest science fiction novel of all time, quickly start to fall away, until we're left with Chapterhouse: Dune.
Herbert is known for his long-winded expositions, taking his time in setting up the stage, only to pull the curtain out for a big reveal halfway (or later) through the story. These expansive opening sections, replete with quotes about life and it's hidden meanings, can seem to drag on to the new reader, you either get it or you don't. While making good use of this time to humanize his characters and set the stage in the early books, it is in the latter few (and markedly so in this one) that the pace slows dramatically, to the point where 14 hours into this audio book, hardly any action had taken place. There was no reveal. I felt disinterested in most of the characters, the plot was thin at best, and it felt like the climax of the book would have taken place much earlier, giving us more of what the story would have been if the author hadn't tragically died a year later. There were, of course, good moments mixed in. Teg and Duncan are great characters, and Odrade is a fascinating and complex individual, however she suffers from the plot and pace given to her. I would have loved to see more of Sheanna's perspective in this novel as well. This is an unfortunate end to the Dune series, I cannot recommend it for the plot or characters, only for the satisfaction of finishing a story line for yourself.

12 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • D. Wright
  • 01-07-14

Did the narrators talk to each other?

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The book would only make sense to someone who has read the other books in the series.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narrators used different accents for some of the characters; for example, one narrator gave Murbella a generic Eastern European accent, while the others used their own accents. The character Scytale was pronounced as "Skytale" by one narrator and "Sigh-tale" by another. It was distracting.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Too long.

Any additional comments?

I love all of the Dune books.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris Carl
  • 23-05-14

Great Story! Horrible way to compile a narration.

I love the story. I been reading all the dune series that Frank Herbert wrote and been doing the audio books too. The worst narration was Dune Messiah. This narration has the same problems as Dune Messiah. Instead of using differ narrators for differ characters they just had them all narrate random chapters. Like they are all practicing narrating and not taking this one seriously. A message to whoever produces this audio book: We do not want random narrations that are disjointed. We want a male narrator doing male voices and a female one doing the female voices. Quit messing up our audio books. These narrators are great but who ever produced this is dumb as all can be.

48 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Nick Tarasen
  • 27-10-19

Classic Herbert, but a terrible production

What bothers me about this audiobook is the lack of coordination in the production, which ultimately becomes quite grating. The Dune saga is full of proper nouns, and these numerous narrators managed to disagree about the pronunciation of most of them. Quite unnecessary and distracting, and a sad fate for this series of audiobooks.

As for the book itself: I'm going to assume that any reader who's reached this sixth book in the original Dune series knows what they're getting with a Frank Herbert book - an incredibly complex and well-drawn world that moves at its own pace but wrestles with some heady ideas. While I don't like that Herbert increased the callbacks to current times as the series went on (Van Gogh, really?), it's hard to deny the overall monumentality of his life's work.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Loren A Goodwin
  • 06-08-12

Unchallenged Series Finale

Have read this book many times along with the rest of the Dune Series. First time listen on the audio format and all of the books were great. Could have done with out the female narrator of Chapterhouse however. She needs some serious work on tonality and timing. Other than that small irritation all was splendid!

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Nick
  • 26-10-19

After reading all 6, should have left it with Dune

overall pretty rambling/ rather boring. the first book was great, after that it kinda dragged...

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Doug D. Eigsti
  • 09-12-14

…..Bucket list complete.....

Back in the day I read the original DUNE and then followed with DUNE MESSIAH and CHILDREN OF DUNE, but then I stopped because I didn't like the direction the series was going. Over the intervening years I kept hearing high praise for the rest of the series. I just wasn't motivated enough to undertake reading all six books. But now that they are available on Audio I thought I would give it a try. After all I had been richly rewarded in a similar situation involving the works of Neal Stephenson. (I had avoided The Baroque Cycle after loving Snowcrash but disliking The Diamond Age) So, in the case of the Dune novels I felt compelled to check off this nagging omission from my bucket list. I was hopefully expecting a buried treasure. Sadly, my original estimation was confirmed. The original DUNE is wonderful and inventive, fresh and new. The balance of the Dune novels are slow plodding—focused too much on fanciful, imagined philosophy. The second book, DUNE MESSIAH, reads like an outline—just advancing the plot so the third, CHILDREN OF DUNE can be told. This third book has some mildly interesting characters and promises a Space Opera scale expansion of the story for the remaining novels. The fourth, GOD EMPEROR OF DUNE, documents the tyrannical reign of human-turned-worm Leto II but does not make good use of the vast scale of a multiple-planet empire. The creepy giant larvae-like emperor, and his entire dialog, seems less then majestic or oppressive, as later recollections will portray his reign. The idea is there but the execution is lacking. The next, HERETICS OF DUNE, advances the plot but leaves much to be desired when it comes to holding my interest; which it could have done with more interesting people or with witty dialog (Again the reader is referred to The Baroque Cycle). And this last novel is no improvement. Mercifully, Frank Herbert ended his series with CHAPTERHOUSE DUNE. This last novel has the same feel as the previous two books. I did not like it. And unless someone can convince me that the other Dune books, written by Frank Herbert’s son are of a completely different quality, my exploration of Dune is at an end.

As a public service I can say that if you enjoy exploring the outlining of a future society based on treachery and long range planning—but without fleshing out the characters or establishing an engaging storyline, then the last five Dune novels may be for you. My chief complaint is that the new characters which necessarily populate the later novels are just not very interesting. I was never made to care about them and so had a hard time following their concerns.

I sympathize with the plight of the narrators. The dissertation-like nature of the text as a sociological treatise demands a slow monotone reading, and the narrators faithfully comply.

24 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-12-19

Worst of the 6 original books, very disappointed.

Narrators misspoke terms. Character Plots that go nowhere. 16 hours of anticlimactic garbage. Don't Buy.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • N. Geninatti
  • 04-09-12

Exciting all the way to the end.

If you could sum up Chapterhouse Dune in three words, what would they be?

Suspenseful, Engaging, Thrilling

What was one of the most memorable moments of Chapterhouse Dune?

I found the moment when O'drade took to the failing sea for one last swim to be the emotional low of the book.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Duncan Idaho is the character who is most interesting as a person. His unwavering morals make him my favorite.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. I use audio books to get through long sessions such as those in a work environment which involves repetitive labor.

Any additional comments?

Chapterhouse Dune ends the Dune Chronicles nicely and gives the reader a sense of completing a great epic journey through humanity's common history in the universe.

5 people found this helpful