Yes! This is my favorite of the 3 Empire series books. There is more suspense in this book than the others and you have that feeling of worrying about the characters like in a war movie. The characters are well developed and they stand out from one another as having distinct personalities. The people are divided into several levels of status and the relationships between them are interesting. Some of the older Asimov books have characters that are hard to tell apart. The plot is complex with plenty of mystery. The true nature of some of the characters is deceptive which makes the characters complex. There is a theme of oppression and there are parallels to European empires and their extractive societies in the new world. One funny twist is that the oppressed people have light skin while the oppressors have dark skin and dark hair. It's fascinating to see how something like this could happen between planets within a larger empire. It's cool to see how Trantor is portrayed as a ascending empire unlike the all powerful empire of Foundation. The narration of the audiobook is interesting because the narrator uses at least 6 different accents as the voices for the different levels of the societies and cultures. From the bottom class to the top class they range from southern-US hillbilly, irish, American, Russian, French, snotty british at the very top. The british overlords sound like Wooster in the PG Wodehouse Wooster and Jeeves books. It's pretty hilarious and makes the book especially entertaining.
Grow old along with me.
The best is yet to be.
The last of life, for which the first was made.
--Robert Browning (Quoted by Joseph Schwartz)
This is a great transitional book to the Foundation series and should be read before starting it with the book "Prelude to Foundation". This is the only book which includes a person from Earth in the present day (1949). It's amusing to have someone experience Earth in the distant future like the reader would have. The main character returns to Chicago after 10,000 years have elapsed and sees a city without the remotest connection to what he was used to except for the waterline. There are some great ideas in this book like every book in the Foundation series. The development of an ability to control other people telepathically is portrayed so well as to seem kind of realistic. The characters represent the final chapter of life on earth and it really puts perspective in understanding the view toward earth in the Foundation books
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