Review: Foundation or the best chess game ever!

Hello people! I hope you all are well! Today I am really excited because I am here with the first review for Sci-Fi Month, and I am reviewing a book that took me completely by surprise, so… let’s start!

Title: Foundation
Series: Foundation #1
Author: Isaac Asimov
Page Count: 244

For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future — to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire — both scientists and scholars — and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.
But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. Mankind’s last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and be overrun — or fight them and be destroyed

This was my first Asimov’s book, I know… Shame on me and on my cow!, and… Wow! I loved it. And I can say for sure that this won’t be the last one. I am happy, because my Italian edition is of the entire Trilogy in a single volume, so I know I have some great reading there, just waiting for me.
It is true that I left that book waiting on my shelves for a year or two but now that I have started it I am confident to say that the waiting for the next books in this series would not be so long!!

Reading this book was a constant wonder. It was like being on a trip in which you don’t know the destination. You are there for the ride and it was quite a wild ride in which you see civilizations rise and fall, machiavellian plots going around, and you don’t know what would happen next, or what is happening now, for the matter. You are left there, without a clue but eager to understand and to know more. You need to know what would happen, how they would come out of the crisis of the moment, and you are constantly kept on the edge of your seat, guessing and wondering.

And the humor. Oh my! It was Supreme. It is not heavy, but it is always there. And this whole book is diabolical. And yes, I guess that a really appropriate and descriptive word for this story is “machiavellian” because that it is. If I should use just one word to describe this complex and surprising and convoluted and wholesome (and funny, too) ensemble of words and worlds and people and theories and societies, well, “machiavellian” would be the word. But it is diabolical too. It really is. I am not saying that the author or the characters are villains, or are cruel or mean or evil, but the way in which they all (author and characters alike) carry on their master plan (that has a goal that could be labeled as “good”) it is nonetheless diabolical. And it was epic

Another thing that made me so amazed by this book is the fact that we are deep inside the space. We are out there, between planets and systems and spaceships and complex technology. And yet the most sci-fi things off all, for me, was Asimov’s take on psychology. It is a paradox, in some ways, and it is astounding. And the pure irony of it all made me want to giggle, and laugh and party! It is pure genius! To be honest, I don’t know if the irony of it all was wanted (a bit, sure, but since this book is, literally, from another Era I don’t know how much is satire and irony, and how much, if any, is from an optimistic take on the future of human science, and humans in general). I am quite ignorant, because I don’t know a lot about Asimov, so maybe this is more on me than him, but I appreciated it so much! I think it was my favorite thing of the entire book. And trust me, there were so many amazing things to choose from!

I loved this book. It was amazing! And now I know for sure that, not only I would read more of his books, but I would read also something about him, because I need to know more!

and half!

And what about you? Do you have some books about Asimov to recommend? And have you read this book or others by him? Let me know!!!

Happy reading!

19 thoughts on “Review: Foundation or the best chess game ever!

  1. maddalena@spaceandsorcery says:

    It’s delightful to see such enthusiasm for one of the old “classics”! 🙂
    I remember greatly enjoying the Foundation trilogy back when I read it a few decades ago, but when I tried a re-read a few years back I found the writing heavy and ponderous, so now that I’ve seen your review I’m wondering if it was more a matter of mood rather than changed tastes…
    Still, keep enjoying your journey and keep us apprised of how it goes on! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susy's Cozy World says:

      I think it may also a case of expectations, I was ready to try my hand at something quite boring and with a heavy writing and I was surprised in a good way, when maybe you were expecting something more akin to your tastes now (plus the fact that you enjoyed it gave you some expectations too) and you were surprised in a bad way… Sometimes this is the case when I re-read something (also, seeing my tastes change makes me feel “old”, but this is a whole other story!! 😉)
      Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael says:

    The original Foundation trilogy is great reading and I highly recommend it to you. I’m glad you enjoyed this one and hope the other two are as much fun to read.

    I also recommend Asmiov’s two novels Caves of Steel and the Naked Sun. They’re sci-fi mysteries and are generally what I point people toward if they want to dip their toes into the waters of Asimov.

    I will warn you that later books by Asimov aren’t quite as great. In the 80’s, Asimov comes back and starts publishing books that begin to tie together his various series and universes. Some of them are interesting, some will leave you (or maybe it’s just me) scratching your head.

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. ShiraDest says:

    Hi, Susy:
    Yes! 🙂
    I’ve read the Foundation series, Empire, Robots, and many of his short stories (I particularly recommend “The Last Question” as one of his best short stories, at least, for me). I was on the Asimov-L usenet group when he died, and I still recall the sadness of an icon, even a rather arrogant icon, passing. I loved his introduction to the book he wrote with his wife Janet (or rather, the book she wrote?) in which he actually made fun of his own condescending attitude, comparing her to Mary Shelley as the only one at the party that night (apparently there were 4 or more, Percy, Mary, and some of the Shelleys’ friends?) who resolved to each write a novel, and in the end, only Mary wrote one, which turned out to delight the horror world to this day (though apparently no one believed that a woman could have written it, at first?).
    Sorry for waxing too enthusiastic,
    Best regards,

    Liked by 1 person

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