Great! Scott does a fantastic job reading a Sci-Fi classic. I read this book in my early teens and have loved it ever since. Just listened for the first time and it is a very good rendition.
I may listen to it again but I am working my way through the entire series. I love the correlations to current events and I found myself not wanting stop listening even when the road trip was over.
Genre: Sci-Fi Distant space future
Rated: PG-13 mild violence
1st or 3rd Person: 3rd person, 4+ main characters
Static or Dynamic: Dynamic. This are always changing. So much so that it can get confusing.
Art or Entertainment: Art. Asimov tries to (well at his time) create the genre of inter-space statecraft so expect never ending political scheming. This is not a book that is meant to entertain you and wow you with special effects. It's a classic that is meant to be thought about.
Linear or Non-Linear: Semi-Linear. Things progress in one way but there is a secular prophet (he would hate being called that) who predicts the future with sociological mathematics.
Narrator: Well done but not inspiring.
Plot Outline: This book could very very very easily have taken place at any time in Earths history with much the same effect. It happens to take place so far in the future that humans have forgotten which planet they first came from which in 1951 was probably mind boggling. The plot is essentially a statecraft novel that follows the Cons of five Con men/politicians. Their main strategies follow along Deception -> Tactics -> Coercion -> Guile. The book takes place over several hundred years and when the cons of one civilization eventually plateau the Foundation has to undergo a paradigm shift to maintain it's footing and continue growing. I really like the idea but I've seen it so many times now that it was a little underwhelming though at the time of it's publication I'm sure that it was extreme. I've read Asimov before and he tends to make his protagonists all powerful and his antagonists thoroughly hate-able (which is good) but always suffer from extreme character flaws that get them conned out of everything they have. Asimov has been described as having almost no illustrative techniques while still making a successful book. This is the case here. There are no succulent daisies swaying in the wind of an effervescent moon beam, however, the plot formulation is stimulating and genius. I would heartily recommend this book for the effects it's had in science fiction alone and it's individual merritt only adds to that, though it's more than a little political, so prepare to do something stimulating with your hands or feet while you listen to keep from losing focus.
Ken Magerman Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Historical Fiction fan. Teacher, rockstar, medival gourmet, dungeon master, expert on secret Targaryens.
Possible, Infinite, extraordinary
The very first big reveal. It's no big mystery, Asimov tells you from the get go exactly where he is going with the story, yet, when you can't help being surprised it makes it that much more powerful.
What if you had a map to lead you to the future? Would you know how to follow it?
This is definitely one of the quintessential scifi tales from one of the masters. It is believable and incredibly imaginative at the same time. Scott Brick does a solid job at narration while trying to follow the inflection of the characters without trying to hard and stepping outside the bounds of narrator. A must have for scifi fans.
I listened to I Claudius and Plain Simple Men How amazing that human nature is virtually the same over the past 2000 years and probably will remain the same in the future. The only real difference is may be in the content of our character. But in this future there is an abundance of both character and hope.
I was a little hesitant to read an old science fiction book. I finally gave it a go and glad I did, loved the book. I have since read the book (really read) and the whole series. You can tell a great story if it holds up over time. Sure the technology is out of date, but with a good story you don't care and the story is great. I highly recommend the book, the trilogy and the rest of the series.
Scott Brick is a wonderful narrator and gives an enjoyable performance. There were a couple of times I would lose track of who was talking in a sequence because he doesn't differentiate voices overly much, but this usually did not last long. I found his narration to be compelling and entertaining.
The book itself is amazing and a solid classic. Intelligently written, superbly acted, and overall a great experience. I would highly recommend.
If you are wondering why some sentences are cut, it is because it is an excerpt. The book is full of quoutations from the Encyclopedia Galactica.
definitely yes... not only the convenience of being able to "read" while you work out, or are doing something else, but the thrill of the actors interpreting the different characters its amazing
i love how the most wise people in all the mini-stories never prefer to use violence as means of getting what they want
When seldon appeared for the first time and told them that the encyclopedia was just like a decoy... so the foundation could escape from the damnation of the empire.
it's isaac assimov... :) if it has his name on it... it's almost like a quality seal
Bloke who took to audiobooks in order to beguile long hours on the road travelling to photography gigs across his home state. Now addicted!
As a teenager I recall collecting and devouring the entire definitive sci-fi trilogy in paperback, complete with its mighty suite of muralised sci-fi cover paintings by the legendary Chris Foss, which appeared, it occured to me even then, to bear no relationship whatseover to the text.
This is because in many ways these are novels of ideas, and not semi-baroque space-Opera fantasies of arcane technologies, weird aliens, and fabulous beasties. Science fantasy this is not.
However, while they're certainly interesting, I cannot say that I think these ideas are overly-sophisticated. Particularly upon re-exposure to them as an adult. We are in no danger of learning much about the human condition here: '1984' this is not, also.
For, I'm afraid, there is something inherently adolescent about the whole notion of 'psychohistory'.
This is not to say that's it's not a fascinating idea, but I'm afraid that to any adult with a knowledge of actual history the idea of events playing out according to 'The Plan' - a kind of demographic mathematical sociology writ across the galaxy - and of the amazingly synchronous appearances of the Cassandra come-Prophet-of-Rebirth Hari Seldon, are nothing short of ridiculous. Particularly in the light of the subsequent knowledge we have gained in the field of chaos mathematics.
In its own way Asimov's view of the world could be held to be Marxist, in the strictly analytical sense. History is determined primarily by economics and geopolitical (spatiopolitical?) power-relations and rivalries. This actually elevates the books above the level of the banal heroic individualist fantasy inherent in much sci-fi.
But we know there's more to it all than that; firstly we have examples of crucial dependence upon personality - and the triumph of irrationality on a national scale - that predate these books; a Third Reich and its attendant contagious lunacies without Hitler? Hardly.
Then there's our more recent knowledge of sensitive dependence upon initial conditions and the famous 'butterfly effect'. Not to mention the recent, GFC-fuelled demise of Market Theory and the whole notion of rational self-interest as the lynchpin of economics.
These factors have really put paid to any notions of a clockwork social universe of near-perfect predictability. Thankfully so!
So I suggest you listen to this as an exercise in nostalgia - a reminder of the future that was, and very certainly never will be.
OK, we've established this isn't history, or social-prophecy: what about the big question? Does it work as entertainment? Well, yes, but the characters never rise above the 2-dimensional, and some don't even make it that far. In this, though, the book scarcely differs from contemporary airport door-stoppers that sell in the millions, so this cannot count as a drawback!
Scott Brick's straightforward and pacy 'tough-guy' narration is perfectly suited to what this is - a cynical, unlikely action yarn (actually a series of related yarns spanning nearly a millenium) that's not great literature by any means, but is more cerebral than most for all that.