Top positive review
Reviewed in the United States on June 12, 2019
I originally bought a $4 omnibus edition of the original Foundation trilogy but was sorely disappointed. It was riddled with typos and layout mistakes. I assumed the books weren't written that way, so I ordered this set.
I only received these this morning so I can't speak to how well the binding will hold up, but they feel pretty standard so I'm not worried.
They were securely packaged in thick well-sealed plastic. A lot of my boxes arrive damaged and, rarely, damp, but the plastic would've stood up to water and it prevented the books from shifting around and sustaining damage.
I won't reveal any plot points but the narrative structure definitely bears some remarks.
The short version is I was absolutely floored by the first book. There are a million excellent reasons Foundation is given so many accolades.
I've only read the first book in its entirety so far. It's a series of interconnected short stories though it has an axis the whole thing revolves around. There isn't a contiguous narrative per se. I'm a big fan of Brandon Sanderson and his body of work has some interesting parallels in this regard. His series tend to follow more chronologically contiguous arcs but are often interspersed with the sort of one-off character vignettes not unlike Asimov's original short stories. It was disconcerting at first to move through the timeline like that, but his style very clearly draws threads from the very beginning of the book to the end.
I devoured the first book in under ten hours, which were some of the most captivating I've had recently. The world Asimov has built is reminiscent of Dune but is much harder science fiction. Not to mention, it's easier and quicker to consume.
I'm going backwards to read Prelude to Foundation before I move on to Foundation and Empire. If you, like me, started with Foundation, you won't have any trouble understanding what's going on. After all, Foundation was published first. So far, reading them out of chronological order isn't a problem.