As mentioned before, I'm re-listening to the whole Foundation series because my only previous experience is with a horribly distorted radio drama. Sort of like when I listened to the Time Traveler's Wife abridged and then unabridged (which, tangent time, why is it called unabridged when you didn't actually take the abridgement and undo it, but rather presented the version that was never abridged in the first place? Shouldn't it be non-abridged?), I vaguely recall some of the storylines, but hearing them again in full detail (and with better knowledge of the whole idea of psychohistory and the two Foundations, as well as the secret "chuckle" about where the 2nd Foundation really is) is quite refreshing and not repetitive at all.
I was actually surprised at how quickly I finished this one. Maybe it's because Scott Brick (yay!) reads more quickly than the other guy, or maybe I just read it over a holiday weekend.
Anyway, short, DigiMuzik plot summary:
The book starts up slightly before the end of Forward the Foundation. We experience the imperial trial of Hari Seldon that sends his project off to Terminus, though of course it was all in accordance with his own plans. 50 years down the road, the struggling Foundation uses religion to win control over the recently seceded Anachrionian planets and sets "science" up as a holy organization. Later on, Traders take Foundation-created atomic technology and expand the control beyond religion and into more basic economic powers, as the galactic periphery no longer knows how to maintain their failing power systems and no one in the empire can help them re-supply either.