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 per..Show More »iod. 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.
Books in the original Foundation trilogy need no introduction; they have stood the test of time and are broadly accepted as some of the greatest maste..Show More »rpieces in the science fiction genre. You can find millions of words written about these books all over the Internet.
I have some comments that relate to frustrations I encountered while reading reviews for this book. First, I wish that I could comment on reviews that others have written like I can on Amazon. What follows would more appropriately be entered as such a comment, but it's here because there is no other way to respond to existing reviews.
To Joseph: First of all, it is misleading and unhelpful to give a book a poor rating because you didn't realize it was part of a trilogy. You are supposed to review the quality of the work, not vent your frustration at being unaware that the book is part of a series. That's your problem, not the book's.
Secondly, it would have taken you all of 5 minutes to discover not only the series to which this book belongs, but also the published order of all the books in the series, with a simple Google or Wikipedia search. This is made even easier by the fact that this is one of the most famous serials written during the entire 20th century in any genre, and at least in the top 5 of most famous science fiction serials of all time.
That said... it would not hurt my feelings if Audible would include both the chronological order and published order of books that belong to a series. It would really be nice to be able to add all books in a series to my wish list with a single click, and for those books to remain grouped together in the wish list so it is clear that they are all members of the same series. That would make it easy to buy them all at once too. Keeping them ordered by original book publication date within the grouping would also be VERY helpful. NOT the date the audio version was published -- the date the ORIGINAL BOOK was FIRST published.
Chronological order is interesting but not terribly useful, because you do not want to read them that way. The author expects you to read them in PUBLISHED order, so that is what you should do for maximum effect. For example, there are essentially "spoilers" in prequels that will ruin mystery and suspense created in the books published earlier in the series.
For anyone not willing to type the words "foundation series published order" into Google, below is the published order of the series. This is the proper and expected order in which to read them.
Foundation Foundation and Empire Second Foundation Foundation's Edge Foundation and Earth Prelude to Foundation Forward the Foundation
This is third book of trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation). Of course, it is culmination point and Issaac Asimov is a master..Show More » of suspense and unbelievable twists. I loved this book in childhood and I still love it.
I was worried to listen to this book, realizing it was written like 30 years after the first 3. But if I had not known that fact before hand, I would..Show More » have never guessed it. The book doesn't miss a beat and feels consistent with the previous 3. I really enjoyed it. It was as good as the originals and in some ways better. The narrgator is top notch. It's a good mystery and kept me totally engaged. I was a little disappointed how it ended. Not that it was poorly done. It just sort of waterdowns the importance of the 2 foundations. But it was still interesting and well done. Looking forward to the next book. Sadly, it has a different narrator.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s the “big three” of Science Fiction were Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke and Robert Heinlein, all three are required reading for..Show More » any real fan of the genre.
There are two schools of thought on how to approach Asimov’s epic “Foundation” series. The original trilogy consisting of “Foundation”, “Foundation and Empire” and “Second Foundation” were written in the 1950’s. Later in the 1980’s and 1990’s Asimov wrote two prequels, “Prelude to Foundation” and “Forward the Foundation” and two sequels to the original trilogy, “Foundations Edge” and “Foundation and Earth.” Some urge newcomers to read them in published order but I much prefer to approach the series in historical order, the order in which the events occur.
As with almost all writing from these periods, some of the technologies presented are to a certain point outdated. It is easy for us now to consider the lack of smart phones and the internet bit of an oversight but it does not affect overall enjoyment of the story and the remainder of the technology is advanced enough to be well beyond us today.
While "Prelude to Foundation" discusses events on a huge galactic scale it really focuses on the life of one man, Hari Seldon and his quest to develop the science of “Psychohistory” which will, when perfected, predict the future of large scale events surrounding societies and their governmental structures, such as a collapse of a galactic empire. It takes place on the crowded forty billion inhabitant, capital planet of a galaxy wide empire called “Trantor” which is divided into zones that blanket the entire planet.
The novel starts out with Hari arriving on Trantor for the first time to present a paper on his yet undeveloped "Psychohistory" to a mathematics symposium. As the book proceeds it leads you through an exploration of the technology, government and various social structures of Trantor, all of which serve to provide the foundation (sorry) for Hari’s later development of Psychohistory.
Do not expect a space opera with new excitement and thrills at every turn; this is not that type story. On the other hand, do not think I am saying "Prelude to Foundation" is in any way boring, the novel is a delight to listen to. Throughout the adventure it keeps you thinking about Trantor, the societies involved and the interesting storyline. The book is direct, to the point without a lot of useless meandering and moves not at a rapid but rather a nice comfortable pace.
When finished, you will be eager to continue the journey to see if Hari can complete his Psychohistory project, which is so important for the future of humanity.
How was the narration? Well, it is narrated by Scott Brick, need I say more!