must read book for Sci Fi fans. I can't say anything else except this really sets the bar high for world building.
I am at a loss as how to rate and comment on this book. I believe it is because, unlike many of the other books I have read as of late, Mr. Asimov makes the reader think. This is not to insinuate that his writing it too complex, the subject matter is to difficult. To the contrary, it is none of those issues. This story is quite thought provoking. It is told in an understandable manner, but it also takes you into an inner retrospective world. You read the simple, but that simple makes you think. You read about human nature, but you dwell upon why man does what he does at certain levels. What does he really believe in? Is it mostly about himself? Why does man believe he has all the answers, but fails miserably at achieving the lofty aspirations of world peace and harmony with his neighbor.
Mr. Asimov lays out a simple story, but draws you into a world of deep introspection. You find yourself contemplating the greatness as well as the dismal failures of the human race.
Do not let me portray this book as dreary or of doom. Quite the opposite. There is conflict, in turmoil, but also achievement and success. Asimov leads his readers, thoughtful, to look deeper into his own nature.
I will continue to follow the rest of the series, now that the premise and foundation of the story has been laid, and for the simple reason, I've been sucked in.
Asimov's "Foundation" series is one the major cornerstones of science fiction. Big Ideas that continue to define the genre today. Being early SF, the writing isn't as stylistically accomplished as more modern works but that doesn't diminish the importance of Asimov's legacy.
A little difficult to get started with this one. I had to get used to the style of writing. After a few chapters in, I was hooked! Very interesting and thought provoking concepts and characters. You can draw a lot of parallels with our own history of human nature and macro forces.
Usually, I prefer books that are character-driven rather than plot-driven. This book was quite a change of pace for me therefore since it has almost no character development at all.
The novel reads more like a series of short stories, each about 6-8 chapters long. In each "short story", a brief tale is told of how a "Seldon crisis" is handled. Then you jump forward several decades never to hear from those characters again. The only constant character is Hari Seldon who shows up postmortem as a series of holographic messages left to the people of the Foundation.
In many ways, the characters are irrelevant; the Foundation novels are about the "big picture" - a sweeping narrative that covers generations. I suspect this is intentional since the fictional science of psychohistory ignores individual actions and deals in prediction behaviours of large populations of humans.
To give credit where it is due, the book is a relatively easy read and the saga that Asimov is telling is interesting (as are the political themes he incorporates).
A classic. Asimov's language is somewhat dated in a few spots, as are the female characters (what few there are, that is). Still, the genius underlying work remains and it's a breeze to read through. Also, it's fun.
Great book in a great series.
I can't say this book is particularly well-written; Asimov's prose is rather simplistic, and his characters lack any sort of depth. Virtually all of the stories end in a similar fashion, with the all-knowing protagonist smugly revealing some intricately conceived and executed plan.
Having said all that, I wound up reading this book in a little less than a day, so I can't deny that it's compulsively readable. Asimov's writing is easy to digest, and, as other comments have mentioned, he does have a knack for communicating some very interesting, thought-provoking ideas and concepts in his work.
I have every intention of reading the rest of the series.
"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent"
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