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Foundation and Earth Mass Market Paperback – August 31, 2004

206 customer reviews

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Foundation and Earth + Foundation's Edge (Foundation Novels) + Forward the Foundation
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The fifth novel in Asimov's popular Foundation series opens with second thoughts. Councilman Golan Trevize is wondering if he was right to choose a collective mind as the best possible future for humanity over the anarchy of contentious individuals, nations and planets. To test his conclusion, he decides he must know the past and goes in search of legendary Earth, all references to which have been erased from galactic libraries. The societies encountered along the way become arguing points in a book-long colloquy about man's fate, conducted by Trevize and traveling companion Bliss, who is part of the first world/mind, Gaia. Springing from the same impulse that has fed his myriad nonfiction work, the novel's debate is enlivened by Asimov's fervid curiosity and his restless urge to explain everything, right down to the human passions that have largely vanished from his fiction. In fact, the characters, the tie-ins to Asimov's Robot series and the search's revelations suffer from the impersonal neatness that has handicapped Asimov's other fiction. He has, however, found an ingenious way around his clumsiness with novelistic narrative by employing a formal fairy tale structure in which the different worlds represent tasks or gifts or wishes, their fair aspect hiding a deadly surprise. As a result, this rather lightweight addendum to the series breathes in a way his heavier, more substantial books seldom do. Paperback rights to Ballantine/Del Rey; BOMC alternate.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The fifth novel in Asimov's popular Foundation series opens with second thoughts. Councilman Golan Trevize is wondering if he was right to choose a collective mind as the best possible future for humanity over the anarchy of contentious individuals, nations and planets. To test his conclusion, he decides he must know the past and goes in search of legendary Earth, all references to which have been erased from galactic libraries. The societies encountered along the way become arguing points in a book-long colloquy about man's fate, conducted by Trevize and traveling companion Bliss, who is part of the first world/mind, Gaia.
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Product Details

  • Series: Foundation (Book 5)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (August 31, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553587579
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553587579
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 52 people found the following review helpful By hk on January 14, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Without second thought I would say Asimov is my favourite SF author and the Foundation series is one my SF favourites. Precisely because I am so fond of both, I was very disappointed with Foundation and Earth.
The storyline does have its interesting moments and on the whole I found the quest for Earth ironically amusing from the reader's point of view. The fluency of the plot however, is continually hampered by long and unnecessary lectures. I have always respected and admired Asimov's scientific philosophy but in this occasion his reflections on individuality as opposed to collectivism are embedded in an endless and tiring debate between the Gaian Bliss and Trevize. The debate of this single topic is repeated so many times with such great length that after some time you become annoyed every time they start lecturing, wishing that they would arrange a scientific forum somewhere else, resolve the issue for once and all, then shut up for the rest of the plot.
The plot aside, the problem with this Foundation novel is that it is without the Foundation! Having been taken care of in the previous novel, the First and Second Foundations are only vague and trivial references within the novel. While two of the main characters (Trevize and Pelorat) are Foundationers, it wouldn't have altered the plot much if they weren't.
The real disappointment for me however was how the novel was concluded. The motivation of Asimov for this and the previous Foundation novel, I believe, was the fusion of the Foundation series with his excellent Robot literature. While he does so, in a reasonabl elegant fashion, the result and the ending, I am afraid, ridicules the Foundation saga in favour of the robots. It is almost as if one might not have read the Foundation trilogy at all.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Paul E. Harrison on January 13, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the last book (chronologically) in the Foundation Series, and with Prelude to Foundation, the earliest, the Foundation Series has two excellent bookends, or, perhaps, "foundations", to keep it in place.
F&E is a continuation of Foundation's Edge, and is the story of Trevize, Pelorat and Bliss/Gaia's quest to find Earth, in an attempt to determine why Trevize's choice for the future of mankind is the right one.
The book deviates substantially from the rest of the series, but generally in a positive way. Whereas Asimov has a habit of making his primary characters out of cardboard, presumably to avoid the people getting in the way of the ideas he wants to express, F&E fleshes out the characters with a certain amount of personality. Whereas the rest of the Foundation Series tends to concentrate on worlds which, after a while, all appear similar, the worlds of F&E are different, frightening, and yet serve Asimov's agendas well. F&E also ties together the Robot series universe with that of the Foundation series far more substantially than the other books in the Foundation Series attempted to, portraying the futures of the Spacer worlds that Robot fans will be familiar with.
I'm guessing that the differences are ultimately why this has gotten a lower average review than the others in the series - it's not classic Foundation Series material, and any one expecting a collecton of stories involving a renegade Foundation leader visiting various rebelling worlds and outwitting the dimwitted monarchs that rule over them with some sort of smartarsed politics is going to be sorely disappointed. Hari Seldon makes no appearance. I don't recall even seeing the term "Seldon Crisis" in this book.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Lewis on November 8, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A forward to this book written by Asimov himself makes reference to his publisher's wish that he write additional foundation novels, and implies that their incessant demands eventually overcame his own reluctance to do so. Almost as if he's saying to the reader, "Hey, don't blame me for this steaming pile. They made me do it."

If I had Asimov's resume, I'd be reluctant to put my name on this book as well.

As the title implies, Foundation and Earth is about the protagonists' continued search for the world of origin. Unfortunately, unlike Foundation's Edge, the journey itself is not long enough to fill the requisite 500 pages, so we're subjected to endless interludes of casual conversation between protagonists which are completely irrelevant to character or story progression. A simple question will launch a character into a tedious three-page monologue that reads more like an essay than dialogue.

As other reviewers have said, the primary purpose of these later books was to tie each of Asimov's sci-fi series together into one universe. This works alright for the robots, but does more harm than good to the legacy of The Foundation.

If you've read the original Foundation novels, It's likely that no negative review will dissuade you from reading this one. Therefore, I commiserate with you in advance.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By S. Palmer on August 13, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you enjoyed the ending of Foundation's Edge then you will probably like this book. You will find more analogies comparing Gaia to things in the isolate world, and Bliss squaring off with Trevize about stuff you really don't care about. Asimov does, however, succeed in making you feel the fustration that the characters feel when they don't discover ANYTHING about Earth for the first 450 pages. The most annoying character is Fallom. I found myself wanting Trevize to kill Fallom as he suggests he will do several times in the book. The "twist" revealed in the last sentence is all but a surprise as Trevize foreshadows it several times in the book. I just read a review that this was more part of the Robot series than the Foundation series. I had only read the first four Foundation novels so perhaps that is why I didn't care for the portion of the book where they meander through space accomplishing nothing.
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