• Until the End of Time

  • Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe
  • By: Brian Greene
  • Narrated by: Brian Greene
  • Length: 14 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Science & Engineering, Science
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,154 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller

A captivating exploration of deep time and humanity's search for purpose from the world-renowned physicist and best-selling author of The Elegant Universe 

"Few humans share Greene’s mastery of both the latest cosmological science and English prose." (The New York Times)

Until the End of Time is Brian Greene's breathtaking new exploration of the cosmos and our quest to find meaning in the face of this vast expanse. Greene takes us on a journey from the big bang to the end of time, exploring how lasting structures formed, how life and mind emerged, and how we grapple with our existence through narrative, myth, religion, creative expression, science, the quest for truth, and a deep longing for the eternal. From particles to planets, consciousness to creativity, matter to meaning - Brian Greene allows us all to grasp and appreciate our fleeting but utterly exquisite moment in the cosmos.

©2020 Brian Greene (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Until the End of Time is encyclopedic in its ambition and its erudition, often heartbreaking.... A love letter to the ephemeral cosmic moment when everything is possible." (Dennis Overbye, The New York Times Book Review)

"Ambitious and utterly readable...[Greene] weaves personal stories, scientific ideas, concepts and facts into a delightful tapestry.... What is remarkable about Mr. Greene’s book is how he has delved into deep questions that not only have no simple answers but may never be settled at all." (Priyamvada Natarajan, The Wall Street Journal)

"There’s tremendous joy in witnessing a brilliant and curious mind wrestle with such profound issues. [Greene] takes readers on a remarkable journey." (John Keogh, Booklist)

What listeners say about Until the End of Time

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  • 03-03-20

Uneven

Until the End of Time is a brilliantly written book with huge ambitions and vast scope. The author loses his way often within the broad canvass he provided for himself and with the large palettes of scientific and philosophical theories.

On the positive side, the author is a gifted writer, apart from being a renowned scientist. He has a knack of making the most complicated things understandable. The book has useful sections on varied topics like entropy, big bang/inflation, string theory, and biological evolution that do not cover any new grounds compared to other popular books of the times. Still, they should enhance the knowledge of even the most well-read simply because of the innovative presentations of many complex theories.

The book shows that Mr. Greene is equally adept at explaining philosophical quandaries. The author is unrestrained in providing his take on many of the field's most complicated issues, including the free will, the existence of soul/mind/God/consciousness, or the purpose of life.

The author is at his inconsistent worst when his logical, scientific lines of thoughts lead to nihilistic and fatalistic ends that he would firmly embrace almost to refute, or at least diffuse, immediately for humanistic reasons. The fact of the matter is that rational, material sciences are never going to provide the answers we want in existential fields. For anyone with the tiniest faith in the purpose behind existence, or the difference we make with our will and efforts, or the validity of emotions should keep the inevitable meaninglessness of material science fields separate. It is far easier to recognize the limits of rationality and allow our spiritual/emotional or other non-logical selves to allow to co-exist with the scientific ones, rather than brutally alter them to provide conclusions that satisfy all.

The section on the end of the world is needlessly long and turns painful beyond a point, given the triviality of its conclusions.

53 people found this helpful

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Worth the Wait!

Like having a terrific converstation with Brian Greene, (except he does all the talking:). Great topic, well laid-out and easy to reference (I greatly appreciate the detailed chapter headings). Brian Greene's most accessable and enjoyable book, and my favorite of the new decade. Thank you!

27 people found this helpful

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Mixed Emotions From a Fan if Greene

I usually enjoy Brian Greene’s books, but I have mixed feelings about ‘Until the End of Time.’ I loved Greene’s wonderfully descriptive chapters on cosmology, entropic evolution, and future speculation. However, I was disappointed by the shallow and seemingly off-topic middle chapters on the humanities and Greene’s philosophy.

The book would discuss concepts such as free will, the meaning of life, and other philosophical questions with a quasi-scientific approach. Chapters would end with a conclusion and not discuss any of the tremendous implications of that conclusion. For example, Greene does not believe that humans have free will. In his eyes we are a combination of particles with complex responses to stimuli. He does not mention that this view entails that any occurrence in the universe is practically set in stone from the beginning (a sort of extreme belief in fate). The evolution of the universe would depend solely on its initial state, leaving us as impartial observers of our own actions and environment. These would be interesting additions to the discussions on the meaning of life (which I found to be shallow and lacking as well).

Another issue I had with this book (and many other popular science literature) is the discussion of quasi-scientific speculation as more relevant than faith driven speculation. How can the belief in multiverse theory, a theory for which no evidence can ever be obtained (based on what we know right now), be any more substantial than a theory of a creator? Sounding scientific does not make something scientific.

Maybe as a fellow scientist I am too picky, I very much enjoyed Greene’s other books such as ‘The Elegant Universe.’ I guess I prefer information dense books to books that attempt to cover everything in under 10 hours.

24 people found this helpful

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If You Have Trouble Downloading This Book

Those who download books as a whole may encounter a bug trying to download this book. The workaround is to download in multi-part. Once you get the book on the app, you can change the setting back to single-part download.

10 people found this helpful

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This book should be core curriculum.

"We live on a minor planet orbiting an average star formed in the aftermath of a stupendous swelling of primordial space"

Absolutely get this book. Let's talk after you finish!!

8 people found this helpful

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Corrupted file

Guess it could be good , by getting errors when downloading, hope they fix it soon

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Scared me in a good way

This listen opened my mind to thoughts I never knew were part of human culture an helped me realize I'm a very deep thinker. I'm happy the gentleman that wrote the book also did the audio as I enjoyed his voice an not sounding robotic like a lot of other audiobooks. All the way through I would replay chapters cause of mini freak outs I would have due to never thinking of how a lot of the world works on a mathematical an scientific level. Such a heavy book to listen to.

4 people found this helpful

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Absolutely beautiful and humbling.

What an epic and mind blowing mixture of cosmology and philosophy. Mr Greene has produced a masterpiece that I'll return to again and again.

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Interesting

I learned some new things about physical universe and how our mind works from listening to Brian. Some of this was way over my head, but Brian does go out of his way to help us understand. Brian speaks very clearly. This had the ring of truth.

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LIVING LIFE

There is a great deal to unpack in Brian Greene’s “Until the End of Time”.  As is true of many of Greene’s scientific observations, much of his self-effacing intelligence and science-based opinion is lost in the ignorance of his listeners (more specifically, this listener).  However, where Greene’s beliefs intersect with one’s limited knowledge, his theory of the ending of time and life is immensely rewarding and enlightening.

Greene notes that all forms of life are subject to entropy, a gradual decline from order to disorder.  Greene argues that entropy acts at an atomistic level to determine the fate of all living things. Greene suggest laws of quantum mechanics determine the course of life for all “living” things.

The big picture in “Until the End of Time” is that the world and life is heading for an end.   Based on the science of physics, there is an “…End of Time” for humankind, based on the immutable and experimentally proven laws of thermodynamics.  Entropy is evident in the science of quantum mechanics (the physical properties of nature at the scale of atoms and subatomic particles), and the science of a continually expanding universe.

What does this mean to us?  Humans still make their own choices on how to live, love, and hate in their lifetimes.  The singer, Bobby McFerrin, suggests “Don’t Worry Be Happy”.  Others suggest the meaning of life is to live in the moment.  Brian Greene suggests it is up to you.  Our lives and death may be pre-determined, but we have freedom to choose how we live, love, and work.

2 people found this helpful