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Foundation and Earth (Foundation) by Isaac…

Foundation and Earth (Foundation) (original 1986; edition 1986)

by Isaac Asimov

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5,65851754 (3.78)1 / 38
Title:Foundation and Earth (Foundation)
Authors:Isaac Asimov
Info:Doubleday (1986), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 356 pages
Collections:Your library

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Foundation and Earth by Isaac Asimov (1986)



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English (41)  French (5)  Italian (3)  Hungarian (1)  All (50)
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
Possibly the most imaginative and best sci-fi book I've ever read. My friends know how much I've liked it because I've been talking their ears off about the book since I've been reading it. If I could rate it 6 out of 5 stars, I would. The story continues from where Foundation's Edge left off and ultimately ends in a fun maybe-twist. Maybe it was a twist, maybe it wasn't. If it was a movie, as it faded to black the sound would be "DUN DUN DUUUUUUUNNNN". I love this series. ( )
  thanbini | Jun 19, 2016 |
  MisaBookworm | Feb 2, 2016 |
The Foundation series (there are seven books in all though the three originals - _Foundation_, _Foundation and Empire_, and _Second Foundation_ - are the best of the series) is classic sci-fi and some of Asimov’s best. His characters are rather flat, his plots bog down in ideas and are rather short on action. That being said, these books can still thrill you if you’ve never read them and if you’re a sci-fi fan, you will probably love them. Asimov reminds us that history repeats itself and this a _Decline and Fall_ set in the future. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
At the beginning of this year part of my vague reading plan was to reread the original Foundation Trilogy then move on to the subsequent unread Foundation books that Asimov wrote during the 80s, 30 years after the last book of the trilogy, [b:Second Foundation|29580|Second Foundation (Foundation, #3)|Isaac Asimov|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1417900922s/29580.jpg|64823]. I never got around to reading these later volumes for reasons that I already explained in my review of [b:Foundation's Edge|76683|Foundation's Edge (Foundation, #4)|Isaac Asimov|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1389759320s/76683.jpg|1725527]. Any way, to cut a dull anecdote short, 80s Foundation books are just as entertaining as the original trilogy from the 50s.

Foundation and Earth follows directly from [b:Foundation's Edge|76683|Foundation's Edge (Foundation, #4)|Isaac Asimov|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1389759320s/76683.jpg|1725527], the previous volume. The central character is once again Golan Trevize, his elderly sidekick Janov Pelorat, and Bliss, the posthuman woman who is part of the planet Gaia’s hive mind. The basic story arc is very simple, Trevize made a decision at the end of [b:Foundation's Edge|76683|Foundation's Edge (Foundation, #4)|Isaac Asimov|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1389759320s/76683.jpg|1725527] that will affect all of humanity. According to Gaia he has a unique innate ability to make the correct decision based on incomplete data; an ability he neither understands or trust. He is therefore not happy to be responsible for making the most important decision in history without knowing why he made that decision. The only way he can think of to clarify or validate this decision for himself is to find Earth where he expects that he can find the explanation for his own monumental but mysterious decision.

The straightforward storyline tells of the three central characters’ adventures in their search for Earth on board the super advance “gravitic” (FTL speed capable) spaceship called the “Far Star”. However, why Trevize thinks he will find his answer on Earth is not clearly explained until the end of the book.

If you are familiar with the Foundation series the lack of aliens in this space opera should come as no surprise to you. However, Trevize and co. do encounter some very strange people on the human colony planets that they visit during their search mission. The difficult search for and eventual discovery of Earth’s location is quite well built up from the beginning of the book. Asimov has always loved the mystery genre and he revels in creating the mystique and mysteries of Earth which he has already hinted at in [b:Foundation's Edge|76683|Foundation's Edge (Foundation, #4)|Isaac Asimov|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1389759320s/76683.jpg|1725527].

Foundation and Earth is not an action packed narrative however, apart from barely escaping from some fierce dogs there is no scene of battle or carnage to speak of. This book is packed to the gills with dialogues from which all the expositions are communicated. It is to Asimov’s credit that in spite of having far more dialogue than action the book is never boring. While not a great prose stylist there is an affable tone to his narrative that is quite charming and engaging; though the dialogues tend to be slightly stilted, quaint, polite and often rather formal. However, they are often amusing and charming. There is not a lot of depth to the characters who tend to be defined by their personal quirks but they are likable enough. However, Trevize tend to be a little anal retentive about certain things and the conversations the three main characters have together can be a little repetitious at times. Unlike his 50s books there are some (very mild) sex scenes that seem a little awkward. There is no vulgarity in the writing but the word penis does make a surprise appearance which caused me to spill my coffee. Also notable is an unexpected cameo appearance of one of Asimov’s very best characters from his 50s books.

If I can glean one theme from this book it is that left to our own devices humanity will eventually come a cropper due to our natural disunity and selfishness. That said, in the Foundation universe humanity work well enough together to colonize the entire galaxy, but there are some obvious signs of decay.

Foundation and Earth is very readable and entertaining, it is not as tight or fast moving as the original Foundation books but it is also quite epic in scope in spite of focusing on just three main characters in a single linear plot line. This is the last sequel to the original trilogy that he wrote, but it is followed by two prequels, [b:Prelude to Foundation|30013|Prelude to Foundation (Foundation Prequel, #1)|Isaac Asimov|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1335782474s/30013.jpg|1128436] and [b:Forward the Foundation|76679|Forward the Foundation (Foundation Prequel, #2)|Isaac Asimov|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388261841s/76679.jpg|3046979] which I intend to read next year. After these two, there are some Foundation books written by David Brin, Greg Bear etc. which I probably will not bother with. ( )
  apatt | Dec 26, 2015 |
If you’ve been reading my reviews over the past few months, you’ve seen my reviews of Asimov’s Foundation books. I finally read the hugely known and loved Foundation trilogy and was not impressed. I thought the first book was poorly written, I thought the second book was so horribly written and the characters so one dimensional and the plot lines so inane, I didn’t even finish it and gave it one star. The third book of the trilogy satisfied me and salvaged Asimov’s reputation for me. Still, I was unimpressed. Then, last month I read the fourth Foundation book written some 30 years later, Foundation’s Edge. I thought it was excellent! A definite five star book. The writing was fluid and mature. It seemed that over the previous 30 years, Asimov must have taken several graduate level creative writing classes and learned a few things, thank God. I mean, he actually used transitions! I enjoyed that fourth book so much, I sought this fifth and final Foundation book out to eagerly finish the series. Unfortunately, Foundation and Earth is again an Asimov disappointment and is so annoying, I’m not even bothering to finish it, again, after reading over 200 pages. What a waste.

In the previous book, the council member of the First Foundation, Golan Trevize, accompanied by historian and companion, Janov Pelorat, go out in a world class Foundation starship in search of both the Second Foundation and Earth. Meanwhile, a Second Foundationer is traveling to intercept them, intent upon modifying Trevize’s mind to follow the Seldon Plan to its finish while the Foundation Mayor is bringing warships with her to find Trevize to attack and destroy the Second Foundationer, and if Trevize is collateral damage, oh well. They converge at a hidden planet called Gaia, which the two space explorers find and discover is inhabited and alive with a hive mind. Everyone and everything, including the animals, plants, and even the rocks, are alive and joined together in memory and feeling, capable of great power, desirous of having Trevize make a decision between the two Foundations and them, their desire to turn the universe and everything in it into Galaxia, so that ultimately all planets and everyone and everything on them all join together for the greater good, greater peace, greater happiness. Trevize chooses Gaia and that’s how the fourth book ends.

In this book, we’re back on Gaia, but Trevize is grumpy as hell. He’s not sure he made the right decision and since it’s the biggest decision in the history of the universe, he has to know. And, for some unknown reason, the only possible way he can know is to find and go to the mythical first world of Earth, wherever that is, if indeed it exists at all. There he will find his answer. Why? We’re never told.

Naturally, Pelorat, who wanted to find Earth in the first place, decides to accompany him and Pelorat’s new Gaian girlfriend, Bliss, who is Gaia – literally – goes too, to help “protect” them. Which creates all sorts of problems for she and Trevize. See, Trevize is seriously pissed about the hive mind and the fact that Bliss speaks for and indeed is all of Gaia. He feels that can’t be as good as having one’s individuality. Etc. Bliss feels otherwise, and attempts to explain the benefits of being connected to all beings and things on the planet to him, which he just shrugs off. And as they start traveling to planets, they start bickering. And arguing. And fighting. And it.doesn’t.ever.stop. Oh my God, all they fucking DO is fight and bicker, page after page. It’s fucking relentless and they beat a dead horse over and over, repeating the same tired crap, such as "Bliss did you control my/his mind?" and "I am Bliss but I am also I/we/Gaia.” There’s only so much of that you can see repeated on virtually every other page if not more often before you want to hurl the book at the wall and stomp all over on it. It’s damned infuriating. Why Asimov feels he has to shove this crappy dialogue down the readers’ throats relentlessly and repeatedly is beyond me, but it’s stupid. Really stupid. And, I think, the sign of a poor writer, trying to extend word count so as to make some more money by making his word count quota. I would think he would be better than that.

Trevize, who was a pretty decent and shrewd explorer in Edge is simply really unappealing in this book. Indeed, he’s downright unlikable. Okay, he’s a major dick. He is rude to Pelorat, brutish and mean to Bliss, and apparently cruel to a child called Follum later in the novel. Pelorat is insipid and boring. Bliss says the same things over and over. I guess she’s limited verbally by being a damn planet. The characters, like many of Asimov’s, have no depth and simply argue with each other throughout this overly long book. There’s virtually no action and little of interest. Just bickering and fighting. Oh joy. Oh creativity. Oh brilliance. Oh yeah, for some strange reason, unlike the previous Foundation books, there’s a lot of sex in this book. A lot. I generally don’t mind that sort of stuff, but it makes it stand out from the rest and not necessarily in a good way.

One thing I hadn’t stopped to realize with the fourth book that I liked so much is that the book deviated from the much celebrated Seldon Plan, although it plays a key role in the book. In this book, it’s hardly mentioned. It’s almost as though the Foundation never existed. Is this even a Foundation novel?

This book, like its predecessor, is better written than the original trilogy, in terms of writing style and writing devices and grammar. But the story and characters suck. I really found myself hating each of them and dreading turning the next page as I read through it. Thus, as I said, after about 200 pages, I had had enough. I can only take so much fictional fighting. There’s too much fighting in the world going on in real life. Why use your down time to read it? I was going to give this book two stars because it’s both an Asimov and Foundation book, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I really don’t think it deserves two stars. I given better books two stars. This is a one star book. If you’re reading the Foundation series, avoid this one. You don’t need to read it and it doesn’t really add anything to the story. Definitely not recommended. ( )
  scottcholstad | Dec 10, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
Mr. Asimov has failed to integrate the necessary background into the current action in a way that can make sense to a new reader (as he did so deftly in ''Foundation's Edge'' and ''Robots and Empire''). Worse, he is too busy referring the reader to positions staked out in the earlier books to create fresh sources of dramatic tension. In his younger days, when he chronicled the decline and fall of the Galactic Empire through plots borrowed from Roman history, he tagged his narratives with playful quotations from the ''Encyclopedia Galactica.'' Now he seems to be treating his own corpus of work as the stuff of history. His characters are so conscious of their awesome responsibilities that they lack spontaneity. As eager as I am to know what Mr. Asimov has in store for the galaxy, I hope that he continues this project out of real conviction and not merely from habit or a sense of obligation. I would prefer a few loose ends to a series of backward-looking sequels.
Does the Foundation series really end here? Near the end of the novel, we are given a clue to what may be yet to come. An idiosyncrasy of Asimov's Foundation/Robot universe has always been that mankind has expanded into an empty and almost lifeless galaxy with no intelligent aliens, a galaxy where men and the robots are the only intelligent life forms. Now we receive a hint that there may be intelligent alien life in other galaxies and that mankind and these aliens may be destined to meet. Isaac Asimov is an amazingly prolific writer, and he has been well rewarded for his recent efforts. I would not want to bet that "Foundation and Earth" is really the conclusion of the Foundation series.

» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isaac Asimovprimary authorall editionscalculated
Anselmi, PieroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chiconi, OscarCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dumont, StéphaneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Markkula, PekkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wallerstein, AlanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
White, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'Why did I do it?' asked Golan Trevize.
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Book description

Centuries after the fall of the First Galactic Empire, Mankind's destiny lay in the hands of Golan Trevize, former councilman of the First Foundation. Reluctantly he chose the mental unity of Galaxia as the only alternative to a future of unending chaos.

But Mankind as massmind was not an idea Trevize was comfortable with. So he journeyed in search of humanity's legendary home, fabled Earth, hoping there to find a solution to his dilemma.

Yet Earth  had been lost for thousands of years, and no one could say exactly where it was or if, indeed, it existed at all. More important, Treviz suspected he might not like the answers he found there.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553587579, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:00 -0400)

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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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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