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Second Foundation | [Isaac Asimov]

Second Foundation

The fate of the Foundation rests on young Arcadia Darell, only 14 years old and burdened with a terrible secret. As its scientists gird for a final showdown with the Mule, the survivors of the First Foundation begin their desperate search. They too want the Second Foundation destroyed, before it destroys them.
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Publisher's Summary

Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels are one of the great masterworks of science fiction. As unsurpassed blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building, they chronicle the struggle of a courageous group of men and women dedicated to preserving humanity's light in a galaxy plunged into a nightmare of ignorance and violence thirty thousand years long.

After years of struggle, the Foundation lies in ruins, destroyed by the mutant mind power of the Mule. But it is rumored that there is a Second Foundation hidden somewhere at the end of the Galaxy, established to preserve the knowledge of mankind through the long centuries of barbarism. The Mule failed to find it the first timebut now he is certain he knows where it lies.

The fate of the Foundation rests on young Arcadia Darell, only 14 years old and burdened with a terrible secret. As its scientists gird for a final showdown with the Mule, the survivors of the First Foundation begin their desperate search. They too want the Second Foundation destroyed, before it destroys them.

Listen to all of Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, including (in chronological order):

Prelude to Foundation
Forward the Foundation
Foundation
Foundation and Empire
Second Foundation
Foundation's Edge
Foundation and Earth

©1991 Isaac Asimov (P)2010 Random House

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1042 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Shukhrat Martinez, GA, United States 01-24-11
    Shukhrat Martinez, GA, United States 01-24-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Culmination point"

    This is third book of trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation). Of course, it is culmination point and Issaac Asimov is a master of suspense and unbelievable twists. I loved this book in childhood and I still love it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Y. 05-21-10
    Joseph Y. 05-21-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Distractions"

    Great to re read this classic but I have to say that the background music and additional audio tracks are a great distraction. I have listened to hundreds of audio books...some good...some great in their presentation and reading. This is one of the most difficult to listen too and stay focussed on the story. Unfortunate since this is a timeless classic from Asimov.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel Columbia, MD, United States 07-17-10
    Joel Columbia, MD, United States 07-17-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Classic, but flawed...part 3"

    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.

    In Second Foundation, the Mule has conquered the original Foundation and much of the galaxy, but the secretive Second Foundation---oriented to mental science where the first Foundation is oriented to physical sciences---lurks out there and is interfering with the Mule's plans for a new empire. The Mule attempts to track down the Second Foundation. After the Mule's death, the original Foundation needs the Second Foundation's help in getting the Selden plan back on track.

    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.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Jonte 05-30-14
    Peter Jonte 05-30-14 Member Since 2011
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    "It gets old..."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone who has a lot of patience for foreseeable plot twists and pretty flat characters, as well as Asimov's tendency to repeat himself. All in all its a perfectly fine book for putting on casually as background.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Isaac Asimov again?

    Absolutely.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Scott Brick’s performances?

    I'm less enthusiastic about other work by Scott Brick just for how flat some of the characters come off throughout the story and series. True that the Foundation Saga has an exceptionally large character count, but often I found myself mistaking some characters for others, as Brisk's range (here at least) seemed quite limited.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was mainly disappointed for an ending to a series which gradually dulled rather than climax. In the end it felt like the final plot was pretty much the same as all the other sub plots and set ups. Predictable and numb, much like the actuality of Hari Seldon's prophecy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rudy yakima, washington, United States 02-19-13
    rudy yakima, washington, United States 02-19-13 Member Since 2012

    for the love of 'purpose and reason'!

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    "epic classic sci fi wonderment"
    Where does Second Foundation rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Isaac Asimov's "Second Foundation", for the sci fi fan i am, floats near the top of my list for all audiobooks thus far, it is intriguing, intelligent, believable, spoke with excellence by Scott Brick and exceeded expectations.


    What other book might you compare Second Foundation to and why?

    Second Foundation, as all of Asimov's, in this collection, almost stands alone in this genre; but, if had to compare a book of such vast fictional intelligence i could easily put this in the same shelf as "star wars" and "star trek"...i only wish they would do a current day mini-series to show off the brilliance of the author.


    What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Although lacking an enormous pool to choose from, Scott Brick, at this point, is....by far...my favorite! He is astronomically brilliant in his disposition of ALL characters, he is grammatically perfect in all facets of speech, punctuations, poetic pauses and character purpose and appeal. It is difficult to imagine any other doing a novel as well. I often filter for Scott Brick read books to find new! He is excellent!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    No idea what a "tag line" is!? :)


    Any additional comments?

    Sci fi fans are doing a disservice to themselves if they have not read this epic classic....I highly recommend the series!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Hobart, IN, United States 01-14-13
    Amazon Customer Hobart, IN, United States 01-14-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The story continues even more"

    I've read the other books in the 'Foundation' series and have enjoyed them thoroughly. I'm not surprised that I enjoyed this one. The whole series flows as if they were one book that had been cut up into three parts. Here we see more of the 'Second Foundation' and how their still working at fixing the 'Seldon' plan that was damaged in 'Foundation and Empire'. We see how one person in the right moment of time can impact everyone's life in the Galaxy. We also see where people think they're in control, they're really not. We also learn that the 'Second Foundation' is WAY smarter than the 'First Foundation'. Again however this story doesn't end with the recreation of the 'Empire'. This book also ends the 'Foundation Series'. I will not go on at this time to read the extended series because I don't want it to turn out like the 'Dune Series' which just goes on and on and on. This is a great read and once again proves what Isaac Asimov has made clear throughout all his books is those that try to control everything will fail along with those that will do the same with time. People have to be given freedom to choose their own paths in life. The unexpected can throw off all plans and controls. It can also move everything in a new direction that is better than the control. I recommend this book to anyone of says otherwise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RBM Valencia, CA USA 11-22-12
    RBM Valencia, CA USA 11-22-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Dated, but very imaginative"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The culmination of the original Foundation series was imaginative and had an ending that was interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    It was never clear to me why the first foundation found the second foundation to be a threat. Didn't both of them believe in Harry Seldon's plan?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chris Eden Prairie, MN, United States 06-25-12
    chris Eden Prairie, MN, United States 06-25-12 Member Since 2010

    I read perhaps 1 or 2 books a year before Audible. Now I listen to 1 or 2 books a month. I'm mostly listen to sci-fi, fantasy, and classics. I'm a software developer and tabletop game designer.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Didn't Disappoint"

    I really enjoyed the first two parts and the third installment didn't disappoint. I love how they defeated the mule and how the book ended. I wish I had read this ages ago. Sure the science is outdated, but it doesn't distract from the overall story. Also, I can see the influences this series has had on so many other novels I have listend too. It really is the grand daddy morden science fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Northlake, TX, United States 03-27-12
    Stephen Northlake, TX, United States 03-27-12 Member Since 2008

    I read mostly science fiction. My guilty pleasure is Star Trek although I do not listen to much since it is abridged.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You either like the Foundation Trilogy or you dont"

    I for one have always like the Foundation Trilogy. I consider it simple and easy reading that does not require you to get a score card or journal in order to follow everything. For its' day it was a very cool idea.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cletus van Damme Edmond, OK, United States 04-16-11
    Cletus van Damme Edmond, OK, United States 04-16-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    107
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    5
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    "Very disappointed"

    After completing the so-called "Foundation Trilogy," I felt compelled to write this review because I was so disappointed. My comments apply to all three books in the trilogy. I have read excellent reviews of these books from sources I considered credible. I am not an avid sci-fi reader but believed (erroneously, it turns out) that some familiarity with Foundation was necessary for the well-rounded reader. I have no complaint with Scott Brick. He did the best job possible with the material and remains one of my favorite narrators. This review is based entirely on Asimov's writing. The story line is interesting and could have been compelling. The story telling is just awful, based entirely on cliche-laden dialogs between one-dimensional characters and equally cliche-laden soliloquies. All three books in the trilogy consist entirely of characters talking to one another, thereby explaining to the reader events that took place prior to the conversations. There is no action here, no sweep of galactic events, just endless, boring dialog. I have now suffered through nine of the 15 books in Asimov's suggested reading order for his "Galactic Empire" novels (taken from the author's note in "Prelude to Foundation"). I kept hoping for something to hold my interest, but as I progressed, the stories became more boring and the author introduced nothing to hold my attention. Concerning "Second Foundation" specifically, Asimov never explains (or I was never able to grasp from the ceaseless dialog) why the First Foundation felt animosity towards the Second Foundation. The conflict seemed baseless to me. Two thumbs down for Asimov and two thumbs down for the Foundation Trilogy.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 11 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Peter
    Beulah, United Kingdom
    4/5/11
    Overall
    "Superb conclusion to trilogy"

    For me this trilogy peaked in the middle with 'Foundation and Empire', but this book is still great and well worth listening to if you have listened/read the others. The conclusion of this original Foundation trilogy is satisfactory, although it is clear that the story can continue and does in the form of the Extended Foundation series which are unfortunately not available on Audible and which do not seem to have been produced by Random House.

    Excellently narrated by Scott Brick.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
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