David's Reviews > Prelude to Foundation

Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov
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's review
Dec 30, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: science-fiction, speculative
Recommended for: No One
Read from December 26 to 31, 2010

This is my first experience with Asimov and I don't really see what all the fuss is about. Firstly, most science fiction writers simply cannot write. What I mean by this is that character, plot, style, incident and crisis are all subservient to science and ideology. This makes for an incredibly tedious read...and a predictable one. Secondly, I knew, suspected strongly, from the beginning who Demerzel/Hummin/Daneel were(I shan't say here) and this shattered most of the dramatic tension in the novel. On top of this there was the facile tripping across Trantor and the equally infantile characters they stumbled across and bested (with some very convenient and timely help). Perhaps other books in the series are better...I hope so because I want to read the Robot, Empire, and Foundations series because so much hay has been made of Asimov. Still, I cannot recommend this book to readers...not even the emotionally arrested sci-fi fans.
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Micah Kitzler This is definitely not one of Asimov's best works. I'm not sure if he did this because he wanted to or because his fans wanted him to.
I have to say that I couldn't tell who any one of those three (Demerzel/Hummin/Daneel) were (trying my best to leave out spoilers) till very close to the end, but I did find the adventures of Hari Seldon on Trantor very repetitive. He would get moved to one location talk to one too many of the surrounding inhabitants, get himself in trouble, just barely survive and then get moved to a different location.
I'm not sure if Asimov did this on purpose, but I found it very ironic that throughout this book Hari seemed very naïve and seemed to not be able to picture the outcome of his own actions, and in the rest of the Foundation series he is referred to as a god that has foreseen the future of the whole galaxy until the end of time.
I enjoyed this book, but I think that is mostly because I read the rest of the series first and this was just another adventure in the same universe.

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