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4.4 out of 5 stars
Foundation
Format: Mass Market PaperbackChange
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on August 29, 2015
Item arrived as decribed.
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on July 20, 2015
The book is as advertised and came right on time.
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on November 27, 2014
Nothing fancy about it, good value for money.

just a good pocket edition, of a scifi classic.
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on August 11, 2014
Asimov's Foundation series was more aptly named than many suspect. Over the years it has served as an inspiration to many science fiction masterpieces, and became the benchmark by which all other epic science fiction was based. Much of today's space opera owes much to the original vast planet-spanning tale of the birth of a civilisation guided through the ages by the God-like hand of Seldon, and its testament to the enduring legacy of the work that its still as awe inspiring a tale as it was more than half a century ago. True, some of the technologies and settings are a little dated but that's not where the strength of the series lies.

If you're unfamiliar with the Foundation work, they are basically a series of short stories taking place over a number of centuries that chart the rise of an intergalactic civilisation from humble origins to a vast galactic power, and the trials and tribulations that shaped it, narrated from the perspective of its major historical figures, such as prominent civic leaders, military heroes, merchant traders, brilliant scientists etc. Underpinning all this is the strange figure of genius Hari Seldon, who predicted the whole course of future events through his discipline of psychohistory, a science that predicts the actions of whole civilisations and societies over a grand time-scale.

Each chapter starts with an excerpt from the fictional Encyclopedia Galactica on the events portrayed in the following scene as if the whole series is a look back at history from some undisclosed future. It lends a wonderful sense of grandness to the stories as well as being an original and novel way of introducing the new setting. As I mentioned earlier, each chapter takes place several decades after the previous one so characters who were 'upstart young rebels' in one story become 'noble visionaries' in the next scene, and 'legendary heroes' in the one after that. The chapters all focus on a Seldon Crisis, which are a series of predicted crises that would mark a new stepping stone to greatness, and are accompanied at the conclusion of the section by the appearance of the long dead hologram of Hari Seldon popping up every few centuries describing the events that have just occurred.

The character of Seldon and the way he evolves from crackpot theorist, to brilliant but misunderstood genius, to an almost prophetic role is wonderfully moving, as are the other important characters throughout the novel, and the development of the Foundation and its gradual dominance through various means (including religion, trade and war) is spell binding. Asimov touches on many themes here: the role of religion as a tool of conquest, the magicianry associated with any highly advanced technological society, the inevitable bureaucracy that any establishment eventually succumbs to, the predictability of mob-mentality. Unfortunately, many of these wonderful themes are only lightly touched upon, which is a shame although Asimov's clear simple writing style and light humour make his work accessible to anyone.

If you can ignore the surface details and the slightly comic-bookish settings then you will enjoy one of the most pivotal and ambitious science fiction series written.
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on July 29, 2014
Isaac Asimov is a genius.
I was not sure at the beginning since it is an book of sci-fi written in the 50's.
But you know what, that just can't be an argument anymore.
One of the best books (sequel) I have read.
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on July 26, 2014
Brand new, as advertised, great read!!
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on July 21, 2014
SON IN LAW LOVED IT
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I know this is a scifi classic but there is a fundamental problem at the core of Foundation that made it impossible for me to finish reading it.

There are no women. None. Not a single named character is female. There is no mention of even a wife, girlfriend, or child. I understand it was written in a different era but once I clued in to this, it became so blatant it became impossible for me to suspend my disbelief. I gave up after the first 200 pages.

Foundation is well-crafted. Obviously Asimov is a master at worldbuilding and character creation. Each segment is interesting but, like I said, there is a major flaw in the story telling. If the entire book took place in a very limited environment (e.g. a monastery or a men's prison) I could get past this. But the novel spans hundreds of years, handfuls of planets...and there's not a single female worth speaking to? Mid-way through the book it becomes repetitive. One clever man talking to a less clever man. This was my first taste of reading Asimov. I hope this is not indicative of his writing.
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on June 23, 2014
Book was as described
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2014
Completely disjointed narrative with a cast of thousands, no character development and a plot line that seems more at home in a novel about ancient history rather than a provocative science fiction series. I find very few books unreadable but decided that if after 150 pages I could barely stay focused to pay attention, as it was so poorly written, it was time to give up, despite the accolades.
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