Regular price: $31.93

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

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.

Please note: The text of this book includes some passages that begin or end in mid-sentence. This is intentional by the author.

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

©1982 Isaac Asimov (P)2010 Random House

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    3,561
  • 4 Stars
    1,987
  • 3 Stars
    836
  • 2 Stars
    219
  • 1 Stars
    85

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    3,071
  • 4 Stars
    1,723
  • 3 Stars
    655
  • 2 Stars
    138
  • 1 Stars
    52

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    3,239
  • 4 Stars
    1,483
  • 3 Stars
    658
  • 2 Stars
    202
  • 1 Stars
    89
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Middle of the Road

This book is in the middle of the road for me.

On the one hand I am intrigued by the premises of the book to map out the course of history over 1,000 years to try to shorten the suffering of mankind after the collapse of the Empire.

The other side of it, that it has to describe 1,000 years of history in 7 books and around 150 years in this first volume. Because of that, the book feels like you are constantly pressing the fast forward button only seeing bits and pieces of the story, just focusing on 3 people for very brief moments of their lives.

Also, the book shows it's age and feels just plain outdated at times.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

can't stand the sing-song sighing narrator

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

i regret having purchased this audiobook...i listened to the preview and though i didn't like the narration i was so interested in this classic work that i thought i could overlook it. i was wrong. Brick is one of those narrators constantly inserting himself and his style into the reading so obtrusively that it is distracting. he has a sing-song cadence, and a kind of vague sighing style that is hugely irritating, and gets more so with time. almost like he is relating something with an ongoing sense of vague regret and superciliousness. <br/><br/>i finally got to the point, after only a short while, that i just couldn't stand it any more and decided to read the book instead. i with there were other readings of this series as i would very much enjoy listening to it, but not with this narrator. <br/><br/>obviously, this is a highly subjective judgment and others may enjoy the reading. but listen closely to the sample and if you find yourself finding the reading a bit intrusive, just know that that sense is likely to grow, not diminsh, as you listen to the book.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Scott Brick?

simon vance would have been good.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not unabridged

What did you love best about Foundation?

It is a story that has many elements we could learn from today.

What did you like best about this story?

The Characters

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Scott Brick?

no comment

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no

Any additional comments?

the background music was distracting, the narrative was ABRIDGED as I have read the book itself many times and a lot was left out of the narrative.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The book that got me hooked on Sci-Fi

Great! Scott does a fantastic job reading a Sci-Fi classic. I read this book in my early teens and have loved it ever since. Just listened for the first time and it is a very good rendition.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

OK.This is a classic.

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great book, poor production

Great book, Scott Brick is excellent, Production or editing was poor. Drop outs and repeated sentences almost ruined it for me

25 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Poor copy

Any additional comments?

The story is great, but the quality of the audio is poor, skipping large chunks.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Classic but flawed

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.

This is the story of the formation and first few centuries of Hari Selden's plan, showing the transition of the Foundation from an academic encyclopedia foundation to (cynical) religious leadership to commercial empire. All is well with Selden's plan.

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.

11 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Katherine
  • St. Johns, FL, United States
  • 02-27-14

Hard to suspend belief

I love Isaac Asimov’s ideas, but I just couldn’t suspend disbelief for the plot of this famous novel. The premise is that Hari Seldon, a psychohistorian, has calculated the course of history and made preparations for preserving humanity on a distant planet. I think it’s the psychologist in me that just can’t get past this premise. There’s no way that history can be predicted — there are just too many factors. Another issue I have with Asimov, and it’s so blatantly displayed here, is that though he could imagine all sorts of futuristic technology and possible histories, he didn’t seem to be able to imagine that someday women might find their way out of their kitchens and bedrooms.

As always, Scott Brick gives a nice performance.

12 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Emanuel
  • Zion, IL, United States
  • 04-18-12

ok

A good, time passer. Not a bad listen, but nothing to holler and scream about either.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Alexander
  • 11-16-16

Superb

great book and story. ends a bit abruptly. but I think that is a result of being half of a collection of existing storys. great narration. big fan of Scott Brick.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Tombo
  • 08-28-16

Good story spoiled by outdated predictions of the future

Asimov knew nothing of the Internet and the pervasiveness of computers in society now and it's likely impact in the future
Technology in the story is seen through the lens of the 50s nuclear age where people smoke and expect women to be tied to the kitchen.
Hard to ignore these aspects of the storyline but the political intrigue kept me going to the end

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Rik Muschamp
  • 07-12-16

Classic Sci-fi but the short story format can be hard to follow

Truly a classic of the genre. A story that manages to be both grandiose and intricate.

The audio format doesn't lend itself too well however. The change of sections can be jarring and the book does not ease the reader into newly introduced characters. Once it gets going I found it gripping though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-14-16

Enjoyed it but hard to follow the characters

OK stories but sometimes it was difficult to tell which character was speaking. Chapters would skip entire periods of time with new characters being introduced. You had to hope that you generally picked up on who these new ones were, or keep open a wiki page that explains it instead. I enjoyed the book overall but I don't know if I'd rush to recommend it to others.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Donald
  • 08-06-13

A Classic Written By A Genius

What made the experience of listening to Foundation the most enjoyable?

I've read and re-read the Fountain books 'til the spines broke. As an introduction to Sci-Fi it still stands as a great epic. I love the thought processes of the characters, the ideas and plot twists.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Foundation?

When the true purpose of the Foundation is revealed and the extent Harry Seldon has planned becomes apparent.

What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

I thought Scott Brick did very well in coping with a multitude of characters and did not let it become 'pantomime' in any way.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Every time there is a triumph of reason and thought over aggression and bullying - a point that is laboured throughout the Foundation Saga but still gets me every time.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mr SA Lambe
  • 07-05-13

A strange experience

Is there anything you would change about this book?

It is what it is!

Would you ever listen to anything by Isaac Asimov again?

Yes, of course

Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favourite?

There aren't any characters - that's one of the problems with the book. But probably Hardin.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Yes

Any additional comments?

This was a strange experience. I remember loving this as a teenager, but this comes across rather poorly now. It's not the outmoded attitude towards technology - Asimov can't be blamed for that. It's just the stories. They are pretty dry - it's all very talk driven. Most of the characters are interchangeable, and there's barely a woman in the entire book.<br/><br/>It's funny how attitudes change. That said, I'll still probably listen to the next one at some point. But not now - I need something with more dynamics!<br/><br/>Oh, Scott Brick does a very decent job - particularly as the text is 80% dialogue!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Nickolai_V
  • 02-15-15

Very good! Few comments below.

The narrator tries to vary the voice between characters, but sometimes it's hard to tell who is who. And sometimes it feels like the speech has been cut off and you're not sure whether intentionally or glitch.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jon
  • 11-27-17

fantasric book. cannot stand the audio reading

Scott Brick is unlistenable, he is constantly over dramatic, it really feels like :

a. He didnt read through the book slowly before performing and plan it out.

b. He simply doesn't enjoy the book.

My favourite book ever written is ruined by scott brick . Get a real FAN to read it. Isaac asmiov would despise this reading!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • broganshaped
  • 11-20-17

Interesting Concepts, Bit Repetitive

There are some really interesting concepts which I haven't come across before and so I would say this book is worth a read.

At first I couldn't believe it was written in the 1940s but then I realised there aren't any female characters (or even really any mention of an individual female) until after mid-way through the book. One is nameless and doesn't speak and the other is a wife and daughter only referred to by her title. That kind of gave away that it wasn't written in the modern day!

The other thing is that all of the main (male, obviously) characters seem to have a similar personality, albeit with slightly different approaches depending on their circumstances. This, along with the fact that the narrator uses the same voice for every one of those characters, can make the book seem quite repetitive. The book focuses HEAVILY around theories and politics - there are very few personal relationships in this book. You would almost think everyone were a completely independent robot with one goal in life - perhaps they are - but it isn't really explored.

The narrator is pleasant and clear, though.

I will be listening to the next book in the series, as I am interested in the world this book introduced me to, although I hope next time something (or someone) a little different is introduced.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-17-17

Classic science fiction, extremely well read.

A classic of the genre; Mr Brick's narration breathes life into a work notorious for its long conversations, dozens of characters and political intrigue.