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
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.
It's extremely hard to follow this story. There are tons of jumps in time with no explanation as to why we went to whatever time it is. The characters are all forgettable. There is no firm ground for you as a reader to explore this world. Way to much happening with no common theme or character to hold it all together. Interesting concepts but not executed brilliantly.
It was hard to sort out all the various characters (almost all are male),since the narrator does not modulate his voice enough...so it made for a tough listen.
Asimov understands human history and plays with it joyfully at the stars. Very well written and very well narrated. I enjoyed the entire journey.
I was fascinated by I, Robot and enjoy Scott Brick's readings. I, Robot defines AI and raises ethical and philosophical questions related to humanity and machines. I expected to find The Foundation equally interesting. While the start was compelling, somewhere about 2 hours into the story I felt I was listening to a repetitive conversation between a few leaders rather than a story line. I will be listening to this a second time to see what I missed.
"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.
"Hugely frustrating, for such an epic book"
I love this book. I read it as a child. So every glitch in the story telling is so frustrating! Scott Brick is great. His performance is brilliant. The characterization is gently and well delivered. So what is the problem?
Edit faults? Glitches? Splicing errors? I don't know what they are but they are there. The first is at 58 seconds. The second at 1:24. Third at 1:41 and I stopped counting at chapter 5, 45 seconds in.
If you can not let that effect your enjoyment, this will be a great listen.
"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?
"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.
"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
"Astounding piece of political sci-fi"
Great book, satisfying and intriquing with excellently written characters and events. Much more political than expected, this made the book all the more interesting. Top class narration.
"Fast moving Adventure"
This is the first Asimov book I have listened to. The narration was spot on, and I would have listened to it in one sitting if I had had the time.
It starts with an empire on the verge of crumbling, which is predicted by Harry Seldon and his team at the University and it describes brilliantly the twists and turns over time.
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