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Publisher's Summary

The Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov are one of the great masterworks of science fiction. Unsurpassed for their unique blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building, they chronicle the struggle of a courageous group of men and women to preserve humanity's light against an inexorable tide of darkness and violence.

Led by its founding father, the great psychohistorian Hari Seldon, and taking advantage of its superior science and technology, the Foundation has survived the greed and barbarism of its neighboring warrior-planets. Yet now it must face the Empire - still the mightiest force in the Galaxy even in its death throes. When an ambitious general determined to restore the Empire's glory turns the vast Imperial fleet toward the Foundation, the only hope for the small planet of scholars and scientists lies in the prophecies of Hari Seldon.

But not even Hari Seldon could have predicted the birth of the extraordinary creature called The Mule - a mutant intelligence with a power greater than a dozen battle fleets...a power that can turn the strongest-willed human into an obedient slave.

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

Prelude to FoundationForward the FoundationFoundationFoundation and Empire Second FoundationFoundation's EdgeFoundation and Earth

©1991 Isaac Asimov (P)2010 Random House

What listeners say about Foundation and Empire

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5,625
  • 4 Stars
    1,807
  • 3 Stars
    479
  • 2 Stars
    62
  • 1 Stars
    20
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5,082
  • 4 Stars
    1,387
  • 3 Stars
    351
  • 2 Stars
    56
  • 1 Stars
    22
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,899
  • 4 Stars
    1,447
  • 3 Stars
    466
  • 2 Stars
    60
  • 1 Stars
    20

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Masterpiece

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 masterpieces 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

Enjoy!

172 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

...Bricked

This series is enjoyable to read, and I thought I would enjoy them on the freeway.

I learned I am not a fan of Scott Brick.
Brick warbles at least a few vowels each sentence. Each sentence is drawn out slowly. Its like Brick is singing a horrible song.
I used the 1.5 speed attempting to alleviate the annoying Brick narration.

I will not purchase another narration by Brick. I will not listen to his narration, even if the audio book is free.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Masterpiece

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 masterpieces 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

Enjoy!

39 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Not interesting in the least

Poorly developed characters. An uninteresting plot. Conflict and reactions that feel forced. Nothing that anyone says feels natural. Nothing is believable. Perhaps this is the way people spoke to each other when this book was written. It primarily makes me think that Asimov never saw two people speaking to each other. This book certainly displays no knowledge of human nature. It feels like it was written by a technician who thinks he is a philosopher.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

did not have the excitement of the first.

it felt like nothing really happened. a slow book. here's hoping the third picks up

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book

It is second book from the trilogy. Not as thrilling as the third one (Second foundation), it is still very interesting and entertaining. Scott Brick is an excellent narrator and his narration is flawless. I am glad that I bought this book, it was true fun to listen.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sci Fi Classic(s)

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I would. The audible version is stellar and these books (Foundation Series) are a must read for any fan of Sci Fi or speculative ficiton.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Everyone of them. Superbly done.

Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have read some negative reviews of Scott Brick and I don't get it. I think he is terrific, he lends the right tone of drama to material that lends itself to that type of delivery. He was great in the Dune Series and his work here is equally well done.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not really. These books are logical puzzles, with lots of characters and sub-plots. The fun is in keeping track of it all, in a world that Asimov has built just for you.

Any additional comments?

This is a must read. Audible has done a great job with the Asimov books. I suggest reading reading the Robot Series and the Galactic Series first, then delving into the Foundation Series. However read Prelude to Foundation last, which is largely background information.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not the first book

I thought this was the first book in the series. Audible doesn’t say which is which, but this is book two of a set narrated and produced by the same team for the entire series. However, they changed the cover art of book 1 to promote the Apple series. I didn’t want a promoted version, and I thought I was buying book one of a different edition. Anyway, maybe it’s because I started with book one and the Audible/Apple promotional mishap left a bad taste in my mouth, but this doesn’t live up to the hype. Doubtless that Asimov was a creative genius in terms of world building, but the stories themselves are boring. Imagining a galactic struggle may have laid the foundation (ha) for the next generation of sci-fi writers, but there are more problems than prototypes to be found in this book. If you’re expecting the origins of science fiction, look elsewhere. The influences on Star Wars are clear, but make no mistake that the genre fiction Asimov influenced is far superior to the fiction he left behind.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Classic!

Quite simply, this book is the masterpiece that it's held to be. While I've always liked Asimov, I don't think I've truly appreciated him until now.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Just as great as the first reading!

I have read all of Asimov's three series'. The Robot Series, Foundation Series, and Empire. True Visionary and, such magnificent prose. Truly worthy of revisiting!

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 03-01-11

Better than the first book

A magnificent book that surpasses the first in the series, although both books are superb. The Foundation is in trouble and Hari Seldon's prophecies are at risk from a mutant intelligence he could not have predicted. Hope is turned towards the revelation of a second foundation but discovering its location could prove its downfall as dark forces are also interested in it.

This book is different from the first in that it is not so split up into shorter stories (five in the first book) that cover hundreds of years of history. This book consists of two stories ('The General' and 'The Mule') and as such I enjoyed it more since I could get better involved in the characters and longer plot than the fragmented structure of the first book. Both of these books are sci-fi at its best, though.

This book was a real pleasure to listen to, all the more enjoyable for the great narration by Scott Brick.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • SCH
  • 01-23-12

Asimov Foundation and Empire

Simply put I really enjoyed this, I have been a fan of Asimov for years and have read this book conventionally more than once. The narration is clear and fits the classic sci fi feel.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. M. Stephenson
  • 11-29-15

Continuation of the Legendary Sci-fi series

One of the first books I read and it still fills me with awe.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ioannis
  • 07-20-15

Excellent

Asimov in his finest. The story was compelling, the voice actor phenomenal, and the overall experience wonderful. Would undoubtedly recommend!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Datoria
  • 05-28-15

classic

I already lived this book, but the reader is so good too. It's required reading for Sci Fi fans!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Andreas
  • 05-19-15

Great story..

Great concept and well narrated.. If you like classic science fiction this is the book for you. I would strongly recommend

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ricci M.
  • 01-28-18

Great story, passable narrator

Asimov's Foundation saga is rightly considered one of the cornerstones of science fiction. The story itself is greatly captivating. The narrator, however, is nothing special. All the characters in the book have almost the exact tone of voice, making it difficult to discriminate one from the other. Furthermore, sometimes the narrator fails to apply even these subtle differences in a dialogue or mixes them up , which means that the same character ends up having more than one voice. In the end, however, this does not take away too much from the enjoyment of the story, so I still recommend this audio book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Neil Stoker
  • 11-17-17

Classic Asimov

Follows the usual style: very ponderous tedious style, starts slow but builds excitement over time.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Reginald pelle
  • 11-15-17

Outstanding

The joy of Asimov's work is both compelling, amazing and outstanding. Worth listening to, over and over again!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 09-07-16

Not as good as the 1st book.

Feels dated in a lot of ways, and I guessed the ending, so was hard going. Probably won't get the next book in the series.

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  • Peter
  • 01-16-17

A Reading Must...

An Azimov Classic... It would be as impossible for me to add anything to the plaudits already bestowed for the Author and the Trilogy as it would be for me to write a story even nearing the mind opening brilliance of Issac Asimov...

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dick
  • 10-24-21

The most wonderful sci fi series ever

The new Apple series deviates pretty completely from the original Asimov stories, sometimes necessarily but mostly I feel because they just wanted to create a new story. But there are elements in the original Asimov stories which would be almost impossible to film as is spans such a period, but it shouldn’t diminish the awe one should feel from hearing or reading these stories for the first or 5th time.

Extremely well read and dramatised a must for all fans and a great introduction to Science Fiction.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Adm TeKnoMan
  • 05-18-15

This is what happens when an unstoppable force ...

This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object, depicted in amazing detail. When the David & Goliath of ideals meet and the difference that can be made by one person, how one single person can change the course of a predictable future. The question is, will the change be for good or ill?