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Random House LLC
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Foundation Kindle Edition
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|Length: 255 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The Foundation Trilogy is a wonderful piece of work, but the Kindle edition butchers it! Someone has decided to water down Asimov's prose, eliminating some of the more enjoyable passages of the book. Here are some examples, found by comparison with an old Bantam Doubleday hardcover edition.
Several pages into chapter 3, Salvor Hardin is arguing with the Encyclopedists about the decline of the Empire.
Original: "If you ask me,", he cried, "THE GALAXY IS GOING TO POT!"
Kindle: "If you ask me,", he cried, "THE GALACTIC EMPIRE IS DYING!"
In chapter 5, Hardin is again meeting with the Encyclopedists and discussing the threat received from Anacreon.
Original: The message from Anacreon ... boils down easily and straightforwardly to the unqualified statement ... "You give us what we want in a week, or we beat the hell out of you and take it anyway."
Kindle: The message from Anacreon ... boils down easily and straightforwardly to the unqualified statement ... "You give us what we want in a week, or we take it by force."
I'm going to be asking for a refund.
The book jacket summarizes this 66-year-old book well. It stands up well to the passage of time. The twists and surprises take the story in unexpected and interesting directions. Asimov does not waste much space developing characters. In fact, it seems to me the characters in 'Foundation' take a distinct back seat to the story direction and underlying themes. If you like action-packed Sci-Fi, this book may not be your cup of tea. But if you like big human ideas,themes, or morals; you might want to read this one.
"Foundation" is from the 1940's, when some of the ubiquitous ideas of modern science fiction were born. In the 1940's, it was already clear that the universe was a very large and complex place (though it is even larger and more complex now than was known then!). So, writers, including Asimov, invented the devices of transport and communication faster than the speed of light. This brought the stars within "reach" and opened wide horizons for imagining how the future might develop if such technologies existed. "Foundation" and its original trilogy brought forth one of Asimov's unique contributions to the imagined future of science: "psychohistory." The concept of psychohistory is that large-scale social and political events can be mathematically forecast in the form of event probabilities. Asimov's various writings use these assumptions to write stories dealing with social, political, and individual challenges of an imagined future. Asimov adroitly mixes the large- and small-scale human events into richly entertaining stories. "Foundation" and other novels of the trilogy are composed of related vignettes, reflecting their original publication in serialized form. I find this style works well for these and other Asimov books, with small-scale stories adding together to convey a sweep of events. The whole adds up to more than the sum of the parts.
For readers who have little experience with SciFi novels, I think "Foundation" would be an excellent place to start. The writing is direct, crisp, and clear, and is fine for YA or adult readers. The original Foundation trilogy is almost completely free of profanity and sexual themes. Violence is limited to the occasional murder and wars at a distance.
If you are already a SciFi fan, and have not read some of Isaac Asimov's work, this is an excellent place to start, although it is not the "beginning". A semi-rational path for readers new to Asimov would be "Foundation", followed, if you like it by the two other members of the original trilogy, "Foundation and Empire," and "Second Foundation". From here, if you want a little more, try either the Robot series or the expanded 7-book Foundation series. If you are game for a lot more, and want to see Asimov's "future history" in a roughly (future) chronological order, I'd suggest looking at Asimov's main set of future history works that comprise the Empire series, the Robot series, and the expanded Foundation series.
I'd rate "Foundation" as Must Read for all except those who are severely SciFi-phobic!!
Let the buyer and listener beware! If you buy this CD thinking that it is an MP3 CD that contains all the episodes of Isaac Asimov's classic science fiction series, do not open it and return it immediately for a full refund. This CD only contains episode eight of the BBC audio adaptation which centers around the primary event of "Second Foundation."
It is a faithful adaptation of the hunt for the Second Foundation, yet I wanted the complete series, not one episode, so I do feel a bit cheated.
Highly Recommended for the episode! FIVE STARS
Not Recommended for the false advertising! - ZERO STARS
Average Recommendation - 2.5 Stars