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Publisher's Summary

The second novel in Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction masterpiece, the Foundation series.

Led by its founding father, the psychohistorian Hari Seldon, and utilizing science and technology, the Foundation survived the greed and barbarism of its neighboring warrior-planets. Now cleverness and courage may not be enough. For the Empire - the mightiest force in the Galaxy - is even more dangerous in its death throes. Even worse, a mysterious entity called the Mule has appeared with powers beyond anything humanly conceivable. Who - or what - is the Mule? And how is humanity to defend itself against this invulnerable avatar of annihilation?

Filled with nail-biting suspense, nonstop action, and cutting-edge speculation, Foundation and Empire is the story of humanity’s perpetual struggle against the darkness that forever threatens to overwhelm the light - and of how the courage of even a determined few can make all the difference in the universe.

©1991 Isaac Asimov (P)2010 Random House

What listeners say about Foundation and Empire

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  • AC
  • 2021-07-30

Another Great Listen

This was part 2 of 3. Part 2 continues the excellent writing of Asimov in the foundation trilogy. This was a good listen. I enjoyed the length, characters, and plot. Asimov, throws good twists and turns in the story and gives the reader another sweeping epic of story and world building. I encourage a reading or listening of this book if you enjoy science fiction.

1 person found this helpful

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Dated but fun

Enjoy the grand sweep of the conception. It’s about telling a future history not about believable characters. Try and ignore the social mores and flubs on character that comes with any literature of a period.

Great job by the narrator

1 person found this helpful

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Scott Brick

I hope that some day Scot Brick would narrate Foundation and Empire as well. He makes the books more interesting and very fun to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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great performance and story.

I wished I read / listened to the series earlier, as the now considered retrofuturism would not be as distracting, and plot twist other sci fi novels undoubtedly borrowed from less apparent. Still a terrific read leaving me wanting to finish the series. If book one is an interesting take on writing history from the perspective of an historian, this book two read much more like an action packed movie script. Only if the narrator would be slightly more varied in his interpretation of character's accents and voices.

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Thoroughly enjoyable

Truly Inspiring, would recommend 10/10.

This brought back my love for reading science fiction. Looking forward to reading the next of his books!

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Scott Brick and Isaac Asimov are a match made in heaven

Scott Brick is my favourite narrator. Expressive and emotional, while remaining tasteful and understated, with tonal variations for conversing characters without overstepping into over acting.

Oh, and the book is brilliant. Can’t wait to read Book 3!

#Audible1

1 person found this helpful

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Timeless

One of my most favorite Arthur's is the godfather of science fiction Isaac Asimov. I have read these books before and I keep going back to them. there is a certain timelessness about his writing. if you never heard of him and you a fan of science fiction then there is a very good chance that you have felt his influence. From the rules of robotics to mathematical predictions and world in-between.

A truly wonderful experience

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A Perfect Sequel

I loved the original Foundation book. It was inspired and original. This book is even better. It builds on that premise and offers up a book that delivers more of a character story. With only two Sheldan crisis this book has alot more time to expand and build the world and the characters making them feel more life like and interesting.

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weak beginning/middle

really struggled to finish this. The beginning and middle were very drawn out and not that impact full.

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A definite classic

A definite classic of science fiction. Even though it shows its age in some of its themes and the "advanced" technology it mentions, it is a worthy listen. I loved it in my childhood, and re-loved it today.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2015-01-23

...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.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Lynwood E. Hines
  • 2012-06-17

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!

44 people found this helpful

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  • Greg & Brandi
  • 2020-02-09

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kane
  • 2017-03-30

did not have the excitement of the first.

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

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  • Brutis
  • 2020-10-06

Waste Of A Great Narrator

Using the writers own words the important parts could be put in one to two pages. Let me summaries those 2 pages and you can skip this book an lose nothing.

There is a mutant human name Mule. The writer has indicated that magnifico a midget jester is actually the Mule. He has what appears to be magical powers. He takes over the empire including the Foundation. The founder of the foundation seems to have failed in his prophecy this time.

Everything else is useless rambling.

If you think you are going to get some science fiction with action like space battles and war, forget it, that was about four sentences with no battle details.

Why is it said this is one of the greatest science fiction books I have no idea.

2 people found this helpful

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  • thomas
  • 2014-08-14

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Shukhrat
  • 2011-01-24

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

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  • Joseph Preston
  • 2021-10-09

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

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  • Walter
  • 2017-06-30

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

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  • Cal Kinchen
  • 2016-07-27

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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  • indigotyger
  • 2020-02-07

A scifi thriller

A story which engages as much as any genre of mystery.
Now back to mundane life!