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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
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    3,564
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    837
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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intelligent, expansive, but taxing

the scope and idea are exceptional; the story and the narrator are compelling sometimes, and other times require patience.

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Not a great narrator. Great story though.

It feels like Jerry from Rick and Morty is reading to you. really weird and hard to enjoy sometimes.

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Dull.

Interesting premise, but a dull story. The narrator, unfortunately, added little excitement or interest, and his one-note ‘performance’ made the book a chore to get through.

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Foundation is a must read classic for Sci-Fi fans!

Great classic sci-fi book. Got this to listen to on a cross-country road trip with my 16 yr old son. He just loved it. And although dated in its descriptions of technology - it still manages to be a timeless sci-fi work. He could not wait to hear the second book, which we bought and listened to on the same trip. Yes, he was that into it! So yes this is a good book and worth your time. And heck, then you will have read a sci-fi classic to boot! Worth the credit for sure!

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  • Wonito
  • Tucson, AZ United States
  • 09-22-17

Not a bad listen but the ending was underwhelming

The book held my attention for sure but the ending was very anticlimactic and abrupt. almost as if the author was tired of writing the book so decided to just end it.

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it gets better

It was quite boring until the true main plot began about after 1h or so. then story turn truly intresting.

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Good book, interesting style

Very clever and interesting premis. The pace of the book is very interesting, the main character is the foundation itself, which is a little weird to get used to. It's not about a single character, but multiple characters who interact with the city state. I'm not sure how I entirely feel about this, and I don't think I can actually judge it based on the just the first book, going to have to finish the series.

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Great listen, the tone comes off as npr

Read the book in youth. Story is still poignant yet dated. The presentation is calm and steady

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There's a reason this is a classic.

I grew up reading science fiction. Recently, I've started rereading some of my old favorites. This one has aged very well. I'm a little annoyed that there are no important female characters, but I can deal with that. When I recently reread Stranger in a Strange Land, I was appalled at how sexist and racist it was. Once a favorite, I couldn't even get through the entire thing. Foundation, however, is still a good read. I bought it as a daily special, and now find I'll have to buy the entire series to read again. Smart move Audible. Smart move.

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Good story, passable audio

Love the story, but audio clips occasionally, and lack of dialogue attribution can cause confusion.

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  • Roo Waters
  • 07-01-16

Sadly Dated

I loved this as a boy and still enjoy the central idea but the storytelling lacks the vitality of modern SiFi such as Banks or Hamilton.
I shall still probably buy Foundation & Empire, and Second Foundation, to hear the story once more, but it won't be as enjoyable as I had hoped.

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  • Richard
  • 05-24-16

classic scifi

We get a glimpse at the seeds of epic sci fi in its infancy here - many things we now recognize as clichés started in such literary epics. for this reason, I'd recommend foundation as a must read for sci-fi fans...

however, leave all need for a solid through line, character development or in-depth lore behind you - like Harry Seldon, they all perform functions in the greater story for Asimov.

I found the reading sometimes hard to follow the character but it was clear and expressive.

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  • peterbbb
  • 04-23-16

as good as the book

easy listening and a great book and series. loved it a great deal listen and enjoy it

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  • Ioannis
  • 04-05-16

Fantastic!

The first great book of maybe the best Science Fiction trilogy of all time. It reads as well today as it would have 70 years ago, when it was written. Highly recommended!

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  • decco999
  • 02-21-16

Book One of a Seminal Series

I first read this book, along with all the sequels, in the 1970s and ‘80s. Back then, of course, aged in my teens and twenties, I wouldn’t have appreciated that these were such pivotal science fiction novels. So now, decades later, I felt it was time to revisit what I remembered as a real mind expanding, page-turner of a book. And, yes, the magic is still there. A must-read for everyone, I think.

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  • D
  • 01-13-11

Fantastic future history on a galaxy-wide scale

The definitive sci-fi, a history of the far future, with a scope across the whole galaxy, but almost contemporary in the politics and dreams of the frontier. This and the two sequels must be read - by sci-fi, but also by politics and philosophy students alike.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr C D Ashley
  • 12-12-15

Asimov sounds disappointingly dated.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

It's a book that is very much of it's time. There were no characters that I felt any sympathy with... it lacks the humanity found in Iain M Banks "Culture" books, or William Gibsons work. I didn't really care for anyone.

If you’ve listened to books by Isaac Asimov before, how does this one compare?

I haven't.

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

None - but Brick did his best with what he had to work with. The conversations and dominance of the Foundation were well played out and compelling.

Could you see Foundation being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

Unless huge liberties were taken with the source material, I can't imagine this being made into a series.<br/><br/>I suppose you could cast the thin geeky guy from The Big Bang theory as many of the Foundation characters.

Any additional comments?

Just above "Meh" for me I'm afraid. Brick was good, but I wasn't enamoured with Asimov.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • craig
  • 02-25-15

forced to comment because of annoying app

I liked it it was good. now stop with the pop ups please every time I launch the android app

0 of 2 people found this review helpful