The good: The Foundation Trilogy is, itself, a great sci-fi epic. This is a very good abridgement...basically, an audio play focusing on the dialog and "action" bits, and with much of the internal narration and descriptions of technology and scenery that made the full version somewhat odd (and overly wordy) are gone. The full version is pretty dry, and this is an improvement....I think this is a great idea.
Also the voice actors are pretty good...many of them are very good actors overall and they do a good job with this material.
It's also nice and cheap.
The bad: The quality of the production is poor. Some of the voices are faint and hard to hear clearly. There is a bit of hiss in the recording as well.
The ugly: The sounds effect and music are awful. Bad 1970's "electro-music" transitions and sound effects are pretty hideous and much louder than the voices (I found this less annoying listening through speakers instead of earbuds, although I still had to keep adjusting the volume). The echo/reverb effect used for the quotations from the Encyclopedia Galactica and elsewhere are unpleasant.
The Summary: I'm giving this 4 stars for a great idea and a great job until post-production. If Audible (or the BBC) could go through it and clean up the post-production, it would be excellent. I disagree with the other reviewers that categorize it as "unlistenable," but years spent of watching "Blake's 7" and early "Doctor Who" may have partially immunized me against the more unpleasant aspects. :-)
Note: There are very good unabridged versions of the 3 books of the Foundation Trilogy, read by Scott Brick, on Audible. Of course, it's 30x the price and 3x the length of this one.
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