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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.

©1991 Isaac Asimov (P)2010 Random House

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What listeners say about Foundation and Empire

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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

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

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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.

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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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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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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

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lynwood
  • 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!

133 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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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.

13 people 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
  • 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!

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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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  • 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.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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

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

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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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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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • S. H. C.
  • 2015-11-07

Great sequel to a hard Sci-Fi classic.

Would you consider the audio edition of Foundation and Empire to be better than the print version?

I would consider them to be the same; it depends entirely upon the tastes of the reader/listener. In many ways it was nice to have the difficult names and words pronounced out loud in the audible version, however, it is equally satisfying to turn a physical page in your hands to see what's next in a story.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked that it was more human. Let me explain; stories that have an immense scope of time and space (Foundation series is a good example of this) tend to assign divine characteristics to some overarching characters or sub-plots. In many ways they have to; that's the only way to provide cohesiveness for the reader. (Minor spoiler ahead) However, I like this book because it casts a bit of doubt on the most over-arching of all plots in the Foundation storyline. To me, that symbolizes that nothing is safe, everything has the potential to fall, and it allows for an immense suspension in disbelief.

What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His narration is exceptional and really adds the right tinge of atmosphere to the storyline without overpowering it. His pronunciation of the very difficult names and terms of the book is also extremely good.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.

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!