Dune, by Frank Herbert, is one of the all-time classic science fiction books, and it’s a sizeable read. Many people are also confused because if they pay attention when shopping for a copy, it seems like the book can have anywhere from 400 to nearly 900 pages…how can there be such a difference in book size?
Is Dune one of those books that was split up against the author’s will? Did publishers mess around to make it a multi-part series?
The number of pages in Dune depends on the edition, publisher, and page & font size with many versions in the 412-520 page range and the unabridged versions running from 792 to 920 pages. The original first edition hardcover was 412 pages in length.
Dune is just short of 188,000 words, which makes it a chonky book by any standards, so we’ll dive deeper into it and take a look at this modern Science Fiction classic and why it comes in so many sizes with so many different page counts.
How Many Words Are In Dune?
There are 188,000 words in the original Dune, and the average mass market paperback has 280 to 300 words per page. Some pages are more (no dialogue, longer paragraphs), some are less, but the average tends to come out there, which would make Dune 626 pages at 300 words per page and 671 pages at 280 words per page.
That might not quite be George R.R. Martin levels of long, but it does show just how much text is in the book. There are also unabridged versions that are even longer, and some abridged versions that generally go unread.
The original Dune is the largest book in the series, and while there have been some versions where the original book was split into three books or parts, but this was just done for readability. Children of Dune and Dune Messiah are not just sections of book one, they are books two and three in the series that make up the full Dune Trilogy.
This means even fast readers are likely to take 12-14 hours to read the book, while a more moderate pace with take 15-16 hours.
Whatever the number of pages in Dune whether 480 or 900+, the same amount of words are there in an incredible book and a deep delve into an interesting world. So if you’re looking for a short sci-fi read, this isn’t it. However, if you’re the type of reader who enjoys a deep dive into the world of interesting alien worlds then Dune has plenty, and I mean, plenty, to offer!
A Sizeable Book – Worth the Read
No matter which edition you get, Dune is going to be a sizeable book. The size of the font, size of the pages, and spacing different publishers used means anywhere from high 400’s in pages for smaller print on larger pages, or as high as 900 pages for larger print and spacing. While this can make Dune intimidating to some readers, it’s a staple of Science Fiction for a reason and well worth the read.
If you can give it 100-150 pages to hook you, you’ll be flying through the rest and won’t even notice the size of the book by the end. Dune is the longest book in the Dune trilogy, and can even look comically large in boxed sets compared to the other two.
So the final answer is 480-912 pages is the range of how long Dune is with most being either at around 480 or 750 area to contain almost 190,000 words of science fiction goodness!
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