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.
I read this book while driving across the county to Custer SD. The story starts out fast and keeps moving. Here we have people that truly teach 'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.' Salvor Hardin in "Foundation" by Isaac Asimov
Here we follow a group of people who were placed on a planet for the sole purpose of preserving our knowledge, so we could rebuild when the inevitable happens and our government and way of life collapses.
You should read it to learn how were destroying our own way of life by now following the a fore mentioned rule.
I read perhaps 1 or 2 books a year before Audible. Now I listen to 1 or 2 books a month. I'm mostly listen to sci-fi, fantasy, and classics. I'm a software developer and tabletop game designer.
I've always been scared of reading the Asimov classics for fear the outdated science would ruin the experience.
There is outdated science and technology of course, but it's not prevalent and you quickly adjust. But most of the concepts and story are timeless and it's amazing that they were written in 1950. After reading the Foundation, I downloaded I, Robot and the Foundation and Empire, which were equally as good.
In short, it's a classic for a reason. Don't be be afraid that it was written over 60 years ago. It will still make you think.
The story is engaging, the delivery was sharp. It is certainly different from when I read it as a child. I already knew the story, but it kept me engaged nonetheless. The storyline and the narrator contributed to that!
I like the intricacies of the plot and how one could draw parallels into today's society and culture.
Because of some of the "foreign" names, consistency in pronunciation probably ranks high. His telling of the story feels consistent and rhythmic with the evolution of the tale.
There are many moments ... mostly when the underlying methods employed by the protagonists were revealed. Although I knew them from my past reading, it was just as exciting to hear them again.
I love the stories (the entire trilogy) and have long admired Isaac Asimov's way of spinning a tale that keeps one (me) engaged and wanting more.
I want to know more about Psycho History!!!
He's got that tone that makes you think you're part of the conversation.
Absolutely. I want the whole series in one sitting!
I love the ideas in Foundation, and I love Scott Brick's performance, but the concepts Asimov brings out need to be mulled over. That's hard to do when the audio keeps on going, plowing through revelations and on to the next section. I need to read Asimov instead of listening to him so I can stop when I need to and think about the ideas he presents. With the audiobook, it all ends up being background, so it's harder for me to get my mind around.
That said, Scott Brick brings another great performance. Can't go wrong with him.
Other books I have preferred the visual to the audio version include John Carter from Mars because of the great language used, Flatland because of the pictures, and some YA fluff books because it takes less time to read than to listen to them and they don't sustain interest over 8 hours.
I didn't realize how much I was missing out on classic Sci-Fi until I listened to Foundation. Scott Brick has an odd voice and pronunciation of certain words, but after an hour I was hooked.
Initially I thought I'd be put off by the independent mini-stories comprising the book, but I've since found that each had a satisfying end that made me yearn to hear more when the next story came up. Definitely going to listen to the sequel now!
I have an undergraduate degree in philosophy and a Master's Degree in Professional Writing from Maharishi University of Management, am author of THE RELUCTANT VEGETARIAN COOKBOOK, and am an avid reader/listener.
I thought Brick had a good grasp of the story, read fluently, and was good overall. My only complaint was that there was a certain "sameness" in his voice that I sometimes wearied of.
I recall our enthusiasm for Asimov in the 70's but the future that seemed so imaginative in the past does not seem the future we would imagine today.
Stand-up comedian turned medical school student. I am not much of a non-textbook reader, but audiobooks have replaced TV for me!
This book was great, but unless you're familiar with science fiction I would warn you that it is not the type of science fiction that you'd see in a Hollywood blockbuster. It is far less action-packed than most stories, but it is none-the-less a very full story.
Parallels in governments from this story to those of our history start to give you a clue as to how human governments rose to power and faded away. Sometimes you need to hear someone else's story to understand your own.
Hari Seldon, the genius that out-thinks everyone for a thousand years.
Brick does a great job at level story telling. His even and calming reading helps show that while everything is in turmoil the protagonists are in control of the situations and you can feel their confidence of their actions through his voice.
Classic Sci Fi born while the world was in total war gives hope that a brighter future can evolve.