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Foundation (Foundation, #1)
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Foundation > About to Lem the hell out of this book, help

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message 1: by Anaclara (last edited Sep 14, 2012 09:21PM) (new)

Anaclara (queenofs2s) | 19 comments ok so like a depressed that cries for help so I am here, telling you guys I'm in the exact middle of this book and except for the Gaal/Hari part I have started to get so bored it might become to hate quite soon. The lack of female characters as mentioned and also the fact it's completely and entirely focused on political dialogues is really getting under my skin....
But, this is my first book here and loving our hosts as I do I'm doing my best to keep on and try my best not to lem the first book, with a supersticious fear that that might set the tone for me being here, which I absolutely do not want :p
So I ask of you who finished the book: could you tell me in a non spoilery way if there's anything I should look forward for the rest of the 150 pages of this book? Is there a big ending, a plot twist? Do they get out of the political dialogues? Anything?!

Further more, am I the only one? Is there anyone else who Lemmed this book?
If there isn't could some kind soul post that they did just so I don't feel as bad? XD hahaha
ok anyway, wainting for your reply and trying to continue a little bit more :)


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I've tried reading this a few times recently. It just does absolutely nothing for me either.


Jonathon Dez-la-lour (jd2607) | 173 comments You're not the only person who's feeling like this about the book. I've come so close to lemming it, it's unreal. The only reason I haven't is because I refuse to be beaten by an eBook and i don't wanna ruin my kindle by throwing it against the wall - if it was the dead tree edition, I'd have lemmed it and thrown it long since.

I'm enjoying this last part more than I enjoyed parts 2 and 3, I don't know if that's psychological because I'm reaching the end and I'll soon be free, or if it's just that It's actually an improvement but yeah, I'm finding myself wanting to read it a bit more than some of the earlier parts.

I can't speak to the actual end of the book because I'm not quite there yet (about 93% done at the time of writing) but from the sounds of it this book simply isn't for you, it's definitely not the book for me. I'll be able to say I've read it but I haven't enjoyed it.

Don't worry about lemming the book, you've actually given it a proper try and it's just doesn't seem to be the one for you. You're not being one of those page 1 lemmers who read like the first line and just like raise their arms and shout "lemmed".


message 4: by Gord (new) - added it

Gord McLeod (mcleodg) | 347 comments I wouldn't worry too much about stopping now, as Jonathan said. I really enjoyed Foundation and am looking forward to the rest of the series, but not all books work for all people.


Laura (conundrum44) | 82 comments I greatly enjoyed this book, but I can see how it would not be for everyone. The tone stays political, with economics thrown in toward the end. The truth is you're only going to read a finite number of books in your lifetime and there's nothing wrong with dropping this one and moving on to something else.


Stan Slaughter | 359 comments This book is less about characters and more about a sinlge concept. Kind of a standard approach taken with old-school science fiction. It's a bit of a change from today's popular style of focusing on characters and/or action based plots.

So, if your expectations are geared wrong, this book will seem to drag for you. The concept comes first, the characters and plot second and third.


terpkristin | 3290 comments Jonathon wrote: "I'm enjoying this last part more than I enjoyed parts 2 and 3..."

Interesting. I actually found the beginning part (parts 1-4 or so) much easier to read than the last 2. The last two just really dragged for me...I think I got tired of the poorly-written "intrigue."


message 8: by David Sven (new)

David Sven (Gorro) | 1582 comments Anaclara wrote: "Further more, am I the only one? Is there anyone else who Lemmed this book?
If there isn't could some kind soul post that they did just so I don't feel as bad? XD hahaha
ok anyway, wainting for your reply and trying to continue a little bit more :) "


If it makes you feel any better you can read my review here http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/.... I wish I had lemmed it when I started falling asleep


message 9: by Rick (new)

Rick | 1389 comments It's not for everyone. It's a very particular style of fiction (lots of conversation and it's dated. If you've gotten 1/2 way in and aren't enjoying it, bail. The entire story takes place over a trilogy and like a lot of first volumes much of this is stage setting too. One risk of doing the first volume in a series as a selection.


message 10: by Mark (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mark Kaye | 119 comments Gord wrote: "I wouldn't worry too much about stopping now, as Jonathan said. I really enjoyed Foundation and am looking forward to the rest of the series, but not all books work for all people."

Agreed. I am enjoying this book, but I have read better. I feel good about reading this because it is a classic. And I think everyone should read at least one classic. Keep going though, you are nearly there.


Ruth (tilltab) (till-tab) | 1335 comments I was really looking forward to reading this book, and now I'm terribly disappointed to be hating it. Just now I'm taking a break after meeting the character with the irritating accent, and I'm struggling to find any enthusiasm to return to it. I'd just been gaining a mild interest, but then along came accent guy, and the way he is written outweighs that for me. However, I paid for the book, and intend to complete it...I think.


message 12: by Anaclara (new)

Anaclara (queenofs2s) | 19 comments David Sven wrote: "I wish I had lemmed it when I started falling asleep "

hahaha omg I TOO fell asleep around part 3, maybe you're right, but I'm just so stubborn! I keep thinking: am I being good stubborn or am I loosing time to start on the other books I want to read? :(
p.s: atarting part 4 soon... Or am I?


Kolybry | 3 comments i breezed through it today and loved it. you will have to endure the political dialogue till the end and there is no plot twist or big climax to end the book. it just does. i, certainly cant wait to dive deeper into the foundation, but i can understand if people dont like it. the lack of women did not occur to until now, but the characters felt fairly genderless to me. the ideas are more important than the characters itself.


message 14: by Ryn (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ryn Nicol | 12 comments As someone who loves this series I say, lem it. If a book doesn't speak to you, don't waste your time. I don't waste my time listening to that Cyrus girl just 'cause she's popular; I don't read books just 'cause they're classic or popular, and I pass on a lot of movies. I listen to and read that which tingles my brain cells and tickles my heart but also allow for the idea that maybe a book or album or movie I previously disregarded might one day comeback at just the right moment. In short, this ain't your moment, move on.


J. Alberto (Dhiok) | 71 comments For me the most fun chapter (book) was the middle one. The one where Hardin travels to Anacreon to the Bar Mitzvah-ish ceremony of King Leopold.


message 16: by JR (new) - rated it 4 stars

JR (jerslan) | 18 comments This is one of those books where you really do have to like the socio-political commentary side of Science Fiction. It's almost purely that. There's very little real action/adventure (which is the more commonplace format these days). The book itself is really more of a compilation of Short Stories that were originally run in a serialized format in the SciFi magazines of the day.

This was first published in 1942... The attitudes at the time towards women were just starting to evolve into what they are today. This book deals largely with Science and Politics, back then these were fields that were almost entirely Male Dominated.

If you dislike this, I'd recommend checking out Prelude and then coming back to it. You may like it more. There's not much of a "right" order to these books. I read Prelude first and enjoyed Foundation, but then again, I'm the guy who likes Deep Space Nine over the other Trek's because of it's deeper layers of Socio-Political commentary.


message 17: by Ryn (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ryn Nicol | 12 comments ^oh I like you sir! That's exactly why I adore DS9!


message 18: by JR (new) - rated it 4 stars

JR (jerslan) | 18 comments Kathryn wrote: "^oh I like you sir! That's exactly why I adore DS9!"

So then you understand what I mean when I say that the episode "Far Beyond the Stars" was set a few years after Asimov initially wrote Foundation, in a mildly more progressive time. The idea that a main character was anything other than a white male was almost unheard of in the publishing world of the time. Women in supporting roles? Sure, usually as a damsel in distress for the protagonist to heroically rescue.

I saw someone else mention that Asimov was really young when he wrote this and shy around women... I seem to remember reading the same thing. Maybe in Gold? His collection of Short Stories and essays on Science Fiction and Writing Science Fiction? I read that 9-10 years ago and it was pretty enlightening. Looking it up on Wikipedia it looks like one of the essays on Science Fiction was "Women and Science Fiction"... That might help clarify things.


message 19: by Anne (new)

Anne | 336 comments I first read the book in fourth grade. I get more out of it now but it isn't my favorite SF - maybe because even then I had a feel for history as the life cycle of a society so it didn't seem all that radical to me. I liked AE van Vogt and L Sprague de Camp better of the older authors. They are both collector's items now. LSDC wrote great non-fiction too. These 2 authors often had strong female characters... LSDC had a whole novel with a female lead.

Contemporary authors seem to have little interest in ideas and action/adventure stuff gets stale. Ted Chiang is a glimmer of hope.


message 20: by Ryn (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ryn Nicol | 12 comments I like that DS9 got back to how original Trek made social commentary which, to me, is exactly what sci-fi is really effective at. And I love that although so much of what DS9 was commented on was WWII and the plight of Jews thereafter, in many ways it is much more relevant on what has been happening in the world today. When a story can be written about past events yet stay relevant that makes it timeless.

Sadly, I look at uber popular books today with female protagonists, and I don't see much change. We're still the damsel in distress despite also being the heroine. We commit the sin of objectifying ourselves. *cough-Twilight-cough-50 Shades of Lame-cough-I could go on*


Syacelion | 10 comments It took me a little to get into it at all, despite having been reading a couple of SF classics lately. But then I found it progressively more enjoyable.
I'm not saying you should ignore its absence of women throughout most of it, and their reduction to vain shallow creatures for the nobility and 50s style housewives for lesser mortals; but if we're going into those criticisms, we should rather aim them at the respective contexts of time, place, and maybe genre of that epoch.
Personally, I hated how everyone is smoking all the time, especially aboard space ships! :-)
Then of course there's the technology that's dated.
But keeping in mind all of that in a more nuanced approach, I really enjoyed the overall experience once I started reading this as a series of connected short stories that give you glimpses out of which a greater whole gets constructed.

Having said that, I'd back a kickstarter that gets some of the versatile modern genre authors like Michael Stackpole to rewrite and expand this and fill in the gaps (where Asimov hasn't done so in sequels and prequels(?) ) .

All in all: Get your "classic"-coloured reading spectacles on! :)
If you get to part IV, and you still don't see yourself starting to enjoy it, lem it! But with a bit of context and consequential tolerance, and in the proper mood, this one may well reward you for persistence.


message 22: by JR (new) - rated it 4 stars

JR (jerslan) | 18 comments Having said that, I'd back a kickstarter that gets some of the versatile modern genre authors like Michael Stackpole to rewrite and expand this and fill in the gaps (where Asimov hasn't done so in sequels and prequels(?) ) .

ACK! No! This should never ever happen. Would you completely rewrite Shakespeare? No, you wouldn't. You might adapt one of his plays to a more modern setting, or base your story (however loosely) on one of his (Forbidden Planet was loosely based on The Tempest).. But you would never want to go and completely re-write it.


message 23: by Anne (new)

Anne | 336 comments LOL. There have been so many "enhanced" variants of the Foundation series written by various authors...


message 24: by Syacelion (last edited Sep 17, 2012 03:06PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Syacelion | 10 comments @JR: I have read a lot of Shakespeare, at uni and for myself, and seen a lot of it on stage, some great classical style adaptations, and modern adaptations or portations, and generally enjoyed them in equal measure proportional to their relative merits without bias. One of my all time favourite plays, however, both as a text, a play and a film, is Tom Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead", which is in many ways a rewriting of Hamlet, taking these underused minor characters and giving them a backstory, following them between scenes, in the wings and behind the scenes of the events of Hamlet.
Similarly, I have both studied and partially translated Virgil's "Aeneid" at school, and later read a good literary translation of it, and appreciated both parts. And then I went and absolutely loved the underworld out of Ursula K. LeGuin's 'Lavinia'.
Don't be so puritanical, or you'll be missing out on the good stuff! :)

I'm only at book 2 now, with some more sequels and prequels on my to-read shelf. I'll happily admit to not having done the research before posting, but if I may quote myself:
" fill in the gaps (where Asimov hasn't done so in sequels and prequels(?) ) "

[EDIT] Hope that *further clarifies my intentions.
Respectful rewrites and sequels/prequels/** that fill in gaps can be awesome if well done!

**Is there a word for a ... simulquel? Paraquel? Interquel? :)


message 25: by JR (new) - rated it 4 stars

JR (jerslan) | 18 comments Don't be so puritanical, or you'll be missing out on the good stuff! :)

I have no problem with adaptations. I believe I explicitly said that and even used Forbidden Planet as an example (I love that movie), since it is a loose adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Taking an idea and turning it into your own is kind of a cornerstone of all literature. I think it was Shakespeare himself who said there are only a handful of basic plots...

I'm OK with a rewrite/adaptation... Just don't call it The Foundation or claim it's an extension of that canon. My issue was when you called for people to write prequels, sequels, whatever to fill in the gaps in Asimov's universe. That is an ENTIRELY different thing than LeGuin taking concepts from Aeneid and making them her own, or someone taking Hamlet and rewriting it for a different place/time/culture. Comparing that to someone writing prequels and sequels to such a huge series as Foundation (remember towards the end Asimov tied his Robots, Empire, and Foundation series together into one ginormous universe)... Completely different animal.


Casey Hampton (caseyhampton) | 652 comments Anaclara wrote: "So I ask of you who finished the book: could you tell me in a non spoilery way if there's anything I should look forward for the rest of the 150 pages of this book? Is there a big ending, a plot twist? Do they get out of the political dialogues? Anything?!"

My advice is to just set your jaw, lower a shoulder, and lean into it hard :)


message 27: by Eric (new) - rated it 2 stars

Eric | 22 comments Thank you for giving me the excuse I needed to stop reading this book. I really wanted to like it being that it is a classic, but I did not enjoy it. alA cool premise executed that did not match expectations.


message 28: by Neil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Neil | 165 comments Having just finished the book myself I can understand peoples criticisms that nothing much happens in the book. Sure there is plenty of political intrigue and the occasional almost Holmesian deduction of what course of action to take but once the decision is made we then skip forward a few decades to see the pay off. In fact each section was essentially a detective story with the characters looking for clues on how best the Foundation should progress and deal with each crisis as it came up. I went into this book not knowing anything about the plot but this wasn't what I was expecting to be honest.
I thought that it must be building to at least one gratuitous space battle but it never came. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it did keep me turning the pages until the end but overall it was not an all that thrilling ride so I am not going to be rushing out to get the rest of the series.


Kristina | 499 comments I only got through it because it was short... much longer and I would have lemmed it.


Scott | 45 comments Flew through the trilogy. Fascinated the whole time. Loved 'em all. That is all.


Brian | 2 comments I agree with Scott. I gobbled these books up, reading the trilogy in three days.

If you've gotten through the first 75 or 100 pages and still really aren't enjoying the book, I say stop reading it as it probably just isn't to your tastes. There's no point in wasting your time on something you aren't enjoying. I absolutely hated a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and stopped reading it 100 pages through despite it being held as a classic because, basically, life's too short.


message 32: by E (new) - added it

E | 15 comments I am so glad I am not the only one. I too have hit the halfway point and have been struggling to continue reading it. This is usually the kind of concept I love, so I have been trying to soldier on hoping it gets better. I just don't enjoy the writing or way it was executed. Guess it's time to throw in the towel.


message 33: by Kent (new) - added it

Kent (KentGoldings) | 8 comments I listened to " Foundation" on Audible. I don't think it was meant to be read all-at-once. I read Asimov voraciously in High School, but I haven't picked him up again until recently.


Ruth (tilltab) (till-tab) | 1335 comments Well, I finished it in spite of my lemming temptation, and though for the most part I'm glad I did, I also don't think there is much to gain from continuing to read if you don't like it to start with...although that said, I did prefer the later parts to the earlier ones - the more devolved universe was more interesting to me.


message 35: by Lucy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lucy G | 15 comments I found this a really difficult read and so very very dry. I did finish it and I found it better towards the end.
I don't think I will be re-reading this one ever and I have zero interest in reading on.
I can honestly say I almost lemmed this book about 6 times. The constant changing of time periods, characters, place and time made it harder get into a flow or stream of it.
I liked a lot of the ideas but the voice of the "super smart male" protagonist was always the same. It was too smug for my comfort.


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