When I read the original three foundation tales, quite frankly, I was not overwhelmed with the quality of the stories. However, there was one point of the tales that had me fascinated. That was of course the psychohistory of Hari Seldon. This book is a prequel to the first of the three originals, although there is some overlap. It is a description of the life of Hari as he begins the detailed development of psychohistory. As he had promised years before, Asimov uses this book to tie together his robot books starring R. Daneel Olivaw with the foundation series. Daneel appears in the book as a major political figure, but it is Hari who is the dominant character. The story is set on the imperial capital of Trantor, and Seldon is both a mathematics professor and the first minister to Emperor Cleon. Other major characters are Hari's devoted wife Dors, his adopted son Rache and his mentally gifted granddaughter Wanda. The story is captivating, but like all audio books, the enjoyment is largely dependent on the quality of the reading. David Dukes is excellent in reading the text, his inflection and changes of tone make it easy to follow the dialog. He is very consistent in using the same tones for each of the characters throughout the reading. I listened to most of the book while driving, and there was no time when I was confused as to which character was speaking. This is one of the best books on tape that I have listened too. The book is one of Asimov's best novels and the reading is outstanding.
Last-written in the Foundation series, this book slots in chronologically close to the beginning, explaining some lose ends and providing more detail about Hari Seldon. Still not that good, but at least well-enough written to be readable without cringing.
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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The late Grand Master of science fiction brings his most famous work, the epic Foundation series, to a posthumous close in this volume. Returning to the format of earlier books in the saga, he presents the story in discrete, novella-length segments, finally grappling with the figure at the center of the entire series: the adult Hari Seldon, creator of psychohistory and father of the Foundation itself (the young Seldon was featured in the previous series novel, Prelude to Foundation ). Here, Seldon confronts various threats to the Empire or to the psychohistory project, thwarting them for the most part by his characteristic brand of informed intuition. In part I, Seldon recognizes the rise of a dangerous anti-Imperial movement led by the charismatic Jo-Jo Joranum, and defuses it while simultaneously backing into the post of First Minister. In the second segment (of five), Seldon narrowly avoids an attempt on his life but cannot prevent the assassination of the Emperor Cleon I. Seldon faces personal as well as political setbacks while civilization crumbles. This volume neatly sews up the series, though it offers few real surprises. Most interesting is the glimpse it affords of Asimov himself, obviously personified in Seldon. The psychohistorian's vast intellectual interest, his concern for the future of learning in a time of decline, and his frustration in the face of mortality, ring true with special poignance. Asimov's fans should savor this final taste of his unique ...