After reading the first four books, I had to find and read this one. I just like Asimov's style, and the Foundation setting. This one was a bit of a let down, but IMO, was well worth it. Now I'll go back and read the previews.
I had read some of the Foundation and Robot books in high school when I first discovered Asimov, and I started re-reading them last year when I found some of the first few Foundation books on the $0.50 shelf at a charity shop. I don't think I read this one in high school, and I'm pretty sure I would have given up on it fairly early.
It's a hefty tome compared to my usual selections these days. I started it the other evening thinking that I could read a little bit of it at a time. Tonight I began about five hours ago, and I couldn't put it down. I wanted to know the outcome, so I kept reading even until this wee hour when I should be in bed but have resigned myself to four hours of sleep and arriving late to work in the morning. I wish it had been worth it.
Asimov has one great "Why?" hanging throughout the story, and when it comes time for the answer, it's very sparse and hedged. Maybe by that time my eyes and brain were tired, but if that's the case then his editor should have not spared the red ink. Don't get me wrong, it's a classic Asimov novel, but it's by no means the best of either the Foundation or Robot series as far as rewarding the reader for the excessive detail and exhaustive dialog throughout the book.
Hugh B. reviewed Foundation and Earth (Foundation, Bk 5) on
I do not want to reveal too much information in case I ruin the story for someone who has not read the book, but this is one of Asimov's best works. I enjoyed his writing as a youngster, and would highly recommend any of his science fiction (or any other genre he wrote in). Asimov was a prolific writer, and he was one of the earliest to get into science fiction. One of the great things about Asimov is that he wrote without the use of gratuitous violence or sexual encounters. Those things are present when needed, but understated. Asimov wrote for both the adolescent and the adult.
The basic thrust of this book is the protagonist's search for the legendary lost first planet. What he finds at the end of his search will surprise you, and ties this series in nicely with many of Asimov's earlier works.