Get a free audiobook

Foundation

Written by: Isaac Asimov
Narrated by: Scott Brick
Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (88 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 42.92
CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

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.

©1982 Isaac Asimov (P)2010 Random House

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    62
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    58
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    53
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great story, can’t wait for the next

A friend recommended and it didn’t disappoint. And knowing that there are 2 more to read makes the cliff hangers easier to handle. #audible1

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

True SF classic

Isaac Asimov is typically a hard science fiction writer. The ‘hard’ is focusing on science. This is the first book of his that I read where the science is in the background and the brilliant characters are up front. Scott Brick is very good too. #Audible1

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

Boring

Hard to follow because the characters keep changing. It's hard to tell what's significant. There are better modern sci-fi stories.

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

I’m hooked

What can I even say. This is some of the best science fiction I’ve ever read/listened to. And it’s so expertly narrated by Scott Brick!

I am tempted to buy the next book in the series now instead of waiting for my next credit!

#Audible1

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

One of Asimov's best

Great narration. Scott Brick always really brings the book to life.

As far as the book itself goes, well, there's a reason it's one of the most beloved sci-fi books ever.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sandy McMahon
  • 2010-08-17

The Foundation Trilogy is a True Classic

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.

83 of 89 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Roger Lee
  • 2013-04-07

An unabridged classic but "Psychologist?!!"

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I enjoyed listening to this. It was one of the first major works of SciFi that I ever read.

Any additional comments?

Why on earth did the word "psychohistory" (and all derivatives thereof) become "psychology?" Where in the book they talk about psychohistorians, they talk about psychologists in the audiobook. What happened? Did the word get globally replaced by a spellchecker in the final copy of the script?

148 of 161 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah
  • 2011-07-11

In spite of its flaws, I couldn't put it down.

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.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. Scotty Parker
  • 2011-11-29

An old friend revisited

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.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jerry D. Miller
  • 2013-03-17

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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rob Hahn
  • 2012-01-29

Great story - terrible and distracting narration

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

Fast plotting, lots of twists, and cool use of

How could the performance have been better?

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!

58 of 70 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James C
  • 2010-07-04

Great book and narration

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.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shukhrat
  • 2010-11-11

Marvelous

Foundation series was my favorite reading of childhood, I have read it many time. Just wanted to check if I would enjoy listening. Yes, it was fun to listen. But I feel that I would not understand some sophisticated details if I would not knew almost by heart what would be next, I believe that for the best result, this book should be read and listened to.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Zuniga
  • 2011-08-25

Wanted to like it more

The Book

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

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.

The Verdict

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.

51 of 66 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • D&G
  • 2013-09-11

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.

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.

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.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Antonio Esteve
  • 2019-01-02

Very good performance and excellent book

The book is a very good one, the only thing that could improve the performance is to find a way to make more obvious the character that is currently speaking in a conversation, I would sometimes(1-2 times during the entire book) get confused and misunderstand the plot. Thanks Scott Brick.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Client d'Amazon
  • 2018-04-27

Very simple unimpressive story

Maybe I'm too picky but this was a rather dull book. I still finished it easily because it kept me interested but I was disappointed at the end because I did not really felt like getting somewhere.

I was expecting to be amazed by this classic. I think the hype is due to the popularity at the time it was published but not for it's value today.

Not bad but not good either.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful