My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The story and narrative style is crisp and wastes little space. The scope of the story is breathtakingly immense. Ten thousand years since the man-machine wars– and those are only hinted at by reference to the Butlerian Jihad. Act I is the Atreides taking possession of Arakis. Act II is the fall of House Atreides and the rise of the lisan al gaib, Paul Muad’dib. Act III is the culmination of the legend wherein the lisan al gaib takes possession of the position of the imperial emperor, the landsraad, Dune and the future of humanity. (Although that is another story.)
A huge cast of narrators retells this story lovingly. There’s little more that I can say about this story than what I said about the paperback version (above)– I do wish to note that the primary narrator is sometimes tasked with reading lines from characters who have been previously narrated by other narrators (e.g., sometimes there is a different narrator for the Baron Harkonnen– and sometimes the primary narrator reads the Baron’s lines.) I am pretty sure that Paul, Jessica, Chani, Stilgar and Gurney are all voiced by the same narrator throughout the audiobook.
Despite the oddity of inconsistant narrator selection for a single character, the primary narrator is skilled enough at narration that it is easy to tell the difference between his general narrative voice and the various characters he narrates for.
I highly recommend both the paperback and this most recent audiobook from McMillan audio, released in 2007.