Our knowledge of our impermanence, Mr. Greene stresses, might just be what lures us to search for the eternal ... Mr. Greene explores this claim beautifully in the book by placing our 'pervasive need for coherence and value and meaning' into the broadest possible cosmic context ... Mr. Greene tackles these profound questions with great skill. He weaves personal stories, scientific ideas, concepts and facts into a delightful tapestry that showcases the multiple points of view on these questions. Until the End of Time is organized into 11 thematic chapters that build up the argument deftly and deliberately ... 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 ... The crux of the issue lies in whether science as we know it can integrate subjective experience into its framework of objective reality. It is this grand unification that Mr. Greene has attempted in this ambitious and utterly readable book.
... encyclopedic in its ambition and its erudition, often heartbreaking, stuffed with too many profundities that I wanted to quote, as well as potted descriptions of the theories of a galaxy of contemporary thinkers, from Chomsky to Hawking, and anecdotes from Greene’s own life — of which we should wish for more — that had me laughing ... is also occasionally afflicted with stretches of prose that seem as if eternity will come before you ever get through them, especially when Greene is discussing challenging topics like entropy ... a love letter to the ephemeral cosmic moment when everything is possible. Reading it is like riding an escalator up through a giant department store. On the lower floors you find things like time, energy, gravity and the Big Bang, and biology.
With its scepticism of religion but openness to humanistic wonder, awe of nature, celebration of the individual and recognition of the power of physical law, the narrative has a strong whiff of transcendentalism ... Such qualities lift this work above many accounts of the cosmic story spanning from the Big Bang to the end of time—whether that’s a big rip, heat death or cosmic bounce ... Until the End of Time is packed with ideas; whether they come together as a convincing story is another matter ... His grand tour is sometimes breathtaking, necessarily selective and occasionally superficial. It often lacks the space or rigour to do its vast range of subjects justice. Beyond fundamental physics, Greene is a lucid summarizer of other popular accounts, but little more. That can leave his story patchy, and even misleading at times ... what’s missing—foreshadowing a wider lacuna in the book—is any sense that intermediate levels of that organization, particularly the cell, are equally fundamental ... When it comes to human behaviour—creativity, art, story, religion—Greene places a reductive faith in evolutionary psychology ... It is an eloquent invitation to debate.
He serves broad, high level summaries of ideas from physics, biology, neuroscience, philosophy, the arts, storytelling, and anthropology. He provides enough background to follow the meat of the discussion but he doesn’t water it down for nonspecialists. There’s tremendous joy in witnessing a brilliant and curious mind wrestle with such profound issues. He takes readers on a remarkable journey.
Greene’s background as a physicist and mathematician shows through in the way the disciplines permeate his book ... Greene’s commitment to delivering those answers is one of the book’s strengths. He weaves a rich tapestry of theories and perspectives as he navigates space and time. Many of these ideas are speculative, but at least one may resonate with you ... you would be hard-pressed to find another book that seeks to do so with the same clarity and meaning.
Greene...translates sophisticated science topics into an accessible and illuminating survey. His achievement is particularly remarkable given the cerebral subject ... Greene effectively illustrates his points with understandable examples ... Curious readers interested in some of the most fundamental questions of existence, and willing to invest some time and thought, will be richly rewarded by his fascinating exploration.
... deeply learned, sharp, never dumbed-down accounts of what scientists know about star formation, planet formation, life’s origins, evolution, consciousness, language, culture, and religion. The author concludes his engaging survey with what the future might hold for humans (very long life) and the universe (even longer); beyond a certain entropy, however, there will be no room for us. An insightful history of everything that simplifies its complex subject as much as possible but no further.