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.
Listen to all of Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, including (in chronological order):
©1982 Isaac Asimov (P)2010 Random House
Asimov is superb, particularly when one considers that he started writing this series in the early 1950s. As a result it reads and sounds like the period. For all that, this is a great classic and Scott Brick is an excellent reader. The story and cast of characters is much more complex than the average novel. I found that a 2nd listen not only made everything clearer, but was even more enjoyable than the first.
A few reviewers comment on dropped sentences. It helps to have access to the printed version. Chapters are frequently introduced with excerpts of the fictitious Encyclopedia Galactica, and these excerpts are - in both the print and Audible version - often dropped mid-sentence. This is Asimov.
Highly recommended for any SciFi fan.
I first read Asimov's original Foundation Triology Back in the early 60's. Later, as he added volumes to the Foundation series, I would grab up every Foundation book as they came out, ending with Foundation and Earth in 1986. I have always recommended Asimov to friends and acquaintances as a "classic" to be be read by all Sci-Fi fans.
A few months ago, I noticed "Prelude to Foundation" when browsing through Audible to find my next "listen." I also decided to download the rest of the series so I could go through it all again in sequential order.
Quite obviously, I had no doubt about Asimov as I've have been a reader of his for over 50 years now. I was quite impressed with the reader and also very impressed that he seems to be the reader for all books in the series so we gain the continuity of the presentation.
I just cannot recommend the Foundation stories highly enough. Again, a classic and so very well performed by Scott Brick.
One word of caution to readers/listeners to Asimove's style. There are times it seems, in all his writing that he begins to edge into a tangent of over description whether it be a personality, an event, or just a segment of the story. DO NOT let this cause dismay and do not allow yourself to drift, waiting for the dialog to pick up. It is all so important to end up with a genuine undersstanding of the story. All will come true to your expectations.
I know this review is on the first book written (Foundation) but I cannot help but speak of the entire works. Asimov is timeless. The reader, superb. Do yourself a favor and commit to the entire works of Foundation. When you're done, you'll want to pursue the Robot books as well as the Empire books. Asimove wrote much and in the end you'll wish he wrote more.
This is a work of creative genius. The plot is intricate and compelling, breath-taking in its scope, and wildy imaginative. The characters aren't terribly well-developed, and the dialogue is sometimes cheesy, but that almost doesn't matter because my focus was drawn, again and again, to the "big picture". As soon as I think I've lost interest, Asimov drops a bombshell plot twist, and I'm back. Fantastic.
Having heard so much about Asimov, I was expecting to thoroughly enjoy Foundation. Having finished the book, I wouldn’t say that I hated the book or even really disliked it so much as I simply wasn’t impressed. I don’t plan to listen to the rest of the series. Over and over again as I was listening, I thought that the book simply has not stood up to the test of time. It just felt dated and old, like watching a classic movie comedy that never makes you smile, even though you know that it was really funny back when it first came out.
The writing style was not very engaging to the modern reader. Two quick examples:
1) Almost zero character development. Foundation actually functions like 4 mini-books within the larger book and I never found myself caring for any of the characters. You are with each for a short amount of time and then you can forget about them entirely. The plot is the only thing that matters.
2) Very little action. I realize I’m from the Nintendo generation and that might mean my attention span is lacking. But seriously, can’t we get a chase scene or a fight or something? There was a military coup that we actually didn’t get to see and even a hostage situation on a hostile planet never got my blood racing.
The narration was adequate but nothing about it made Scott Brick seem particularly noteworthy. Perhaps this is not the best book on which to to judge Brick since Foundation is such a marathon dialogue session. You won’t like the book any less because of Brick’s narration, but I suppose you won’t like it any more either.
If you enjoy science fiction and are interested in reading a classic work, by all means, dive right in. Also, if you are the kind of person that enjoys old things and are able to appreciate them for what they are without being distracted by the additional flaws that come with age, you might also enjoy Foundation. Otherwise, you are likely to be disappointed with this read.
Fast plotting, lots of twists, and cool use of
For the first time in years I had to turn off the ipod and buy a hard copy of the book so I could finish this great story. The narrator, Scott Brick, voiced all the characters with such a snarky, arrogant persona that it highly distracted from the plot. Sometimes I couldn't even follow the dialog because I was wondering why two characters would be talking to each other in such condescending tones.
I can't understand why this guy is such a popular narrator. I won't buy another audible title if he's doing the reading!
I'm almost finished with the book and I have found no problems with the narration or editing. I can see what other people mean about it being a bit difficult to keep track of all the characters and figure out who is talking, but keep in mind (for those like myself who are new to the Foundation series) that the book moves from epoch to epoch, with each story having a manageable number of characters. I also agree that the narrator (Scott Brick) doesn't do the best job I've heard him do of distinguishing between characters, but it's really not bad.
On the content side, I'm a fan of many Star Wars books and a few others by authors like Kevin J Anderson and Timothy Zahn but had never read much of Asimov. I'm already hooked and looking forward to the rest of the books in this immense series.
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.
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.
1*=I didn't like it..... 2*=It was OK...... 3*=It was good but I will never read it again.......... 4*=Maybe I will read it again in the future.............. 5*=I will definitely read it again(maybe more than once)
I was Six when I read it, the next day I committed to my first trip to local library.
Try to guess which book I was looking for?
I was looking for "Encyclopedia Galactica"
Years have passed and I still have memories of Hari Seldon and Galactic Empire, the story of rise and fall of great civilization evolution and changes in human mind.
The story of Foundation is a science fiction epic which deserves to be read or listened with new voice of Scott Brick
Great book, Scott Brick is excellent, Production or editing was poor. Drop outs and repeated sentences almost ruined it for me
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