It is the year 12,020 G.E. and Emperor Cleon I sits uneasily on the Imperial throne of Trantor. Here in the great multidomed capital of the Galactic Empire, forty billion people have created a civilization of unimaginable technological and cultural complexity. Yet Cleon knows there are those who would see him fall - those whom he would destroy if only he could read the future.
Hari Seldon has come to Trantor to deliver his paper on psychohistory, his remarkable theory of prediction. Little does the young Outworld mathematician know that he has already sealed his fate and the fate of humanity. For Hari possesses the prophetic power that makes him the most wanted man in the Empire... the man who holds the key to the future - an apocalyptic power to be know forever after as the Foundation.
Listen to all of Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, including (in chronological order):
©1988 Isaac Asimov (P)2011 Random House
This is my first Asimov novel, and what an introduction indeed! He does an excellent job drawing you into a world that never quite has existed and does just enough to make you feel his books are merely a forecast of humanity's distant future.
The narrator is awesome. He's narrated a few books my husband and I have listened to so far.
Asimov's books are great... though I want a huge fan of his empire trilogy, foundation is starting off wonderfully.
I never read the print edition; I know, I'm embarrassed to admit it as well, especially since I have always been a Sci-Fi fan. I decided to read/listen to it now, but barely having free time to read a physical book, this audible book was the better option; I could listen to it in the car, at the gym, etc.
I decided to start the Foundation series in chronological order of the storyline, not the publication date. Asimov himself had once stated in an interview that it might be a better way to go about reading the series. So far, so good! Loved the story and the universe it sets up.
Eto Demerzel, by a landslide. He's essentially the entire empire by himself. And has been so for an unknown number of years!
Not really. The book was written in the 80-90s, so the "shock value" in it isn't derived from extreme emotional string-pulling, but more from plot twists and their implications. Neither made me laugh or cry out loud.
I would strongly suggest reading the Foundation series in their chronological order of the timeline versus the publish date. I'm on book-3 of the series now and while conversing with a friend who had read them by publication date, found that I had a better grasp of the (excuse the pun) foundation of the story, hence found later elements more enjoyable.
The chronological order by story timeline is:
(Start with this book) Prelude to Foundation
Forward the Foundation
Foundation and Empire
(End with this book) Foundation and Earth
Perhaps it's a result of the writing style of Isaac Asimov, but this reading eventually got on my nerves. There was too much forceful, dramatic pronunciation, and not enough variety and modulation in tone. I was left feeling that there was one main character in the book: that of Scott Brick, the narrator. More nuance and colour would have made it more enjoyable.
It's a little slow in the beginning but towards the end of the book everything comes together and you see why things were like they were. I liked that Asimov explained everything and you weren't left wondering why an event had happened. It was quite satisfying this way.
Ok fellow Foundation fans - this review is not pretty (but, there are also no spoilers), but it's honest. And it's from a fellow Foundation fanatic who LOVED the first five books.
Plain and simple, there is not story here. Instead of clever plot twists and surprises, you get one straight-forward, predictable read, without the slightest interesting story until the final 30 pages of the book. The last 30 pages contain several large, ingenious surprises. Problem is, none of the previous story was needed to justify the final surprises.
In the first five books, we have a genius of a storyline with great suspense. In this book, no suspense to speak of. Someone gets left atop a rooftop and almost freezes to death, then someone complains that they have to wear a bald wig on a planet, then someone gets in a knife fight, and really nothing enlightening happens along the way.
I suggest you read the final 30-50 pages and call it a day. Trust a fan of the first five books, the high ratings this book is receiving would NOT have been provided had this been the first book in the Foundation series. There's no story here.
Caveat, The narrator did a Fantastic job.
I focus mainly on History, Endurance Sports and Science/Speculative Fiction books.
Harry Seldon Begins...
This book is consistent with Asimov's writing style throughout his career. There is a nicely tied up ending, that begs another question(s) ... if you liked his other books, you will love this one as well. I would say the ending was terrific, but the scenes in the region where hair was unacceptable were priceless...
Scott always does a great job, I wish he did the last 2 books in this series, but that should not stop anyone from reading this book. Scott does great job.
No, too long, but that is not a negative. These books become companions, and spending time with them is time spent well.
Asimov is a unique writer. There is depth but this is not over philosophical. The characters are developed but these are not character studies. These are old fashion stories, meant to entertain, challenge your ideas and keep you involved. They are based on logic, not fighting or sex or melodrama. The story evolves, reveals itself and enthralls you until the end. I always suspect Asimov wrote these to primarily amuse himself, and the reader is invited into that approach. I highly recommend this book to any Asimov fan or fan of the Foundation Series.
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