For 12,000 years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future, to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last 30,000 years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire, both scientists and scholars, and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a fututre generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.
But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. Mankind's last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and be overrun or fight them and be destroyed.
Please note: The text of this book includes some passages that begin or end in mid-sentence. This is intentional by the author.
Listen to all of Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, including (in chronological order):
©1982 Isaac Asimov (P)2010 Random House
Foundation series was my favorite reading of childhood, I have read it many time. Just wanted to check if I would enjoy listening. Yes, it was fun to listen. But I feel that I would not understand some sophisticated details if I would not knew almost by heart what would be next, I believe that for the best result, this book should be read and listened to.
This book is in the middle of the road for me.
On the one hand I am intrigued by the premises of the book to map out the course of history over 1,000 years to try to shorten the suffering of mankind after the collapse of the Empire.
The other side of it, that it has to describe 1,000 years of history in 7 books and around 150 years in this first volume. Because of that, the book feels like you are constantly pressing the fast forward button only seeing bits and pieces of the story, just focusing on 3 people for very brief moments of their lives.
Also, the book shows it's age and feels just plain outdated at times.
i regret having purchased this audiobook...i listened to the preview and though i didn't like the narration i was so interested in this classic work that i thought i could overlook it. i was wrong. Brick is one of those narrators constantly inserting himself and his style into the reading so obtrusively that it is distracting. he has a sing-song cadence, and a kind of vague sighing style that is hugely irritating, and gets more so with time. almost like he is relating something with an ongoing sense of vague regret and superciliousness.
i finally got to the point, after only a short while, that i just couldn't stand it any more and decided to read the book instead. i with there were other readings of this series as i would very much enjoy listening to it, but not with this narrator.
obviously, this is a highly subjective judgment and others may enjoy the reading. but listen closely to the sample and if you find yourself finding the reading a bit intrusive, just know that that sense is likely to grow, not diminsh, as you listen to the book.
simon vance would have been good.
It is a story that has many elements we could learn from today.
the background music was distracting, the narrative was ABRIDGED as I have read the book itself many times and a lot was left out of the narrative.
from Knowledge Lost
Seems like every Science Fiction novel I read that was written in the 1960???s or 1970???s they seem to substitute story for social and philosophical issues. Foundation is no different, while this book has a very interesting take on a shifting society; I found the story and the characters very flat. While I didn???t like this aspect of the book there fast paced; rise of the foundation was really great. Don???t read this for the story; read this book for an interesting social aspects and the effects change has on mankind.
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
As I personally do not enjoy Scott Brick as a narrator, I downloaded this through an Audible Sale. Redardless, the story still holds up as a classic. This is for me another 'great' that I read ages ago, and hearing it read is a little like a lazy read.
I am still listening, and as the Sale is still on I wanted to let others know this is great story. I think what holds up is a view that humanity's development is slow indeed. With so much going on at the moment in research into Global Conciousness and the effectiveness of group meditations, this is a story that is worth hearing. Well for those who not yet read or heard of Foundation.... Think along lines of who is best served by manipulating belief systems, and put that against great Research that is being done.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
I love Isaac Asimov’s ideas, but I just couldn’t suspend disbelief for the plot of this famous novel. The premise is that Hari Seldon, a psychohistorian, has calculated the course of history and made preparations for preserving humanity on a distant planet. I think it’s the psychologist in me that just can’t get past this premise. There’s no way that history can be predicted — there are just too many factors. Another issue I have with Asimov, and it’s so blatantly displayed here, is that though he could imagine all sorts of futuristic technology and possible histories, he didn’t seem to be able to imagine that someday women might find their way out of their kitchens and bedrooms.
As always, Scott Brick gives a nice performance.
Asimov's Foundation series, based on the ideas from the "Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire," starts with a 12,000 year-old Galactic Empire. The great Hari Selden has mathematically proven that the Empire will soon fall and a 30-millennium Dark Age will follow, but Selden's Foundation can shorten that time by a factor of 30.
This is the story of the formation and first few centuries of Hari Selden's plan, showing the transition of the Foundation from an academic encyclopedia foundation to (cynical) religious leadership to commercial empire. All is well with Selden's plan.
The Foundation trilogy is a bit dry, and the characters are quite one-dimensional and cartoonish. It may be more enjoyable if you think of it as a history book from the distant future rather than an adventure story. The envisioned technology was typical for the 1940's (computing your course across the galaxy with a slide-rule), but seems rather quaint now. One other complaint: Asimov got pretty wordy in places, to the detriment of the story.
I like Scott Brick as a narrator and he does a pretty good job with this.
Driving over 100,000 mile a year since 1983, I got hooked on audible books on tape 30 years back. I now listen from my bicycle 2 hours a day
Having read this series long ago I was pleased to renew an acquaintance with an old love. This is a great series and this first book is performed flawlessly. The tale of science fiction that improves with age is rare. A wonderful book with a great narration.
"On Audible at last!"
A brilliantly thought out book that was a pleasure to listen to. The story is ambitious in scale to say the least but Asimov is more than up to the task and creates a fascinating world in which to immerse the reader. The format is that of short stories encapsulated within the broader Galactic history. These stories drive the prophecy of Hari Sheldon with glacial inevitability - they are clever and the characters engaging and sharp in their depiction. I will definitely be finishing the trilogy. As always, Scott Brick does a great job of narrating this epic series.
"A great interpretation of Foundation"
Foundation is clearly one of the best science fiction books ever written. Any audiobook interpretation of a good story can be compromised both by choice of reader and the addition of background music or sound effects. I have listened to both versions of Foundation offered by Audible narrated by Scott Brick and Jim Gallant. The Scott Brick interpretation completely outclasses the Jim Gallant version. To be fair, Scott Brick has the advantage of working with the unabridged book and he does a wonderful job - his narration is clear and his phrasing is good whereas Jim Gallant had to work with an abridged version padded by long periods of awful music. Anyone listening to this version of Asomov's greatest stories will, I am sure, not be disappointed.
"A classic from a different age"
Foundation is from a different age and it it feels it.
It is no doubt a true classic and it is vasty influential, but I did find it difficult to like.
One of the problems is that the story is all about the idea of a 1000 year plan to save civilisation, there are characters in the story, but they are difficult to tell apart.
This is a basic problem with the story and nothing to do with the performance of the work, Scott Brick does a good job with material, but it is difficult to make such a work, interesting .
The attitude towards technology and notably women also feels very dated.
Having said all of this, I probably will try the next book in the series, since this was written as a single story, rather than as a series of linked short stories maybe that will work better?
"I wasn't sure when I chose it...."
Foundation is one of the best audiobooks I have purchased, its right at the top of the pile.
I have always been a fan of sci fi but I really enjoyed the low fantasy element. This led to a more plot and character driven story.
I wasn't sure about Scott Brick to start with although after a while I found his performance to be pleasant and clear.
I think its a lot of story to listen to in one go and found it better to break the story into parts to let me think about the plot.
"A strange experience"
It is what it is!
Yes, of course
There aren't any characters - that's one of the problems with the book. But probably Hardin.
This was a strange experience. I remember loving this as a teenager, but this comes across rather poorly now. It's not the outmoded attitude towards technology - Asimov can't be blamed for that. It's just the stories. They are pretty dry - it's all very talk driven. Most of the characters are interchangeable, and there's barely a woman in the entire book.
It's funny how attitudes change. That said, I'll still probably listen to the next one at some point. But not now - I need something with more dynamics!
Oh, Scott Brick does a very decent job - particularly as the text is 80% dialogue!
"asimov at his best"
For me the narrator seemed just to fit the part and his voice (Unlike many others) did not intrude into the story line
Just griping from start to finish
This question seemes to paraphrase the question before last "What was one of the most memorable moments of Foundation"? so I refer to that answer
Asimovs depth of story line and characters have such relevance and a great understanding of our own society. The Foundation Trilogy could be said to almost explain some of the theories of Karl Marxy. Any one who reads the Foundation should without doubt get the rest of the Trilogy
"A Classic Written By A Genius"
I've read and re-read the Fountain books 'til the spines broke. As an introduction to Sci-Fi it still stands as a great epic. I love the thought processes of the characters, the ideas and plot twists.
When the true purpose of the Foundation is revealed and the extent Harry Seldon has planned becomes apparent.
I thought Scott Brick did very well in coping with a multitude of characters and did not let it become 'pantomime' in any way.
Every time there is a triumph of reason and thought over aggression and bullying - a point that is laboured throughout the Foundation Saga but still gets me every time.
We get a glimpse at the seeds of epic sci fi in its infancy here - many things we now recognize as clichés started in such literary epics. for this reason, I'd recommend foundation as a must read for sci-fi fans...
however, leave all need for a solid through line, character development or in-depth lore behind you - like Harry Seldon, they all perform functions in the greater story for Asimov.
I found the reading sometimes hard to follow the character but it was clear and expressive.
"Enjoyed it but hard to follow the characters"
OK stories but sometimes it was difficult to tell which character was speaking. Chapters would skip entire periods of time with new characters being introduced. You had to hope that you generally picked up on who these new ones were, or keep open a wiki page that explains it instead. I enjoyed the book overall but I don't know if I'd rush to recommend it to others.
"as good as the book"
easy listening and a great book and series. loved it a great deal listen and enjoy it
Report Inappropriate Content