I first heard of Brian Greene when I watched his ‘The Elegant Universe’ program through the PBS series ‘NOVA’ back in high school. ‘The Elegant Universe’ was my introduction into relativity, quantum mechanics, and string theory, and it made me realize that I had a deep love for theoretical physics. A lot of this was due to the fact that Brian Greene has the ability to talk about complex problems in simple but entertaining and understandable ways. In made the universe of theoretical physics easy to understand and extremely engaging. I proceeded to read his book ‘The Elegant Universe’ which lead me into various other theoretical physics books. Years later, theoretical physics and string theory in particular are amazing ideas that are stunning and beautiful in their logic and complexities.
It is not surprising that Greene’s commanding personality transfers as well to audio-books as it does for television. Greene reads his latest work in an almost child-like excitement as he makes intelligent and reflective observations about life, mind, matter, meaning, and the universe. While I didn’t find the content itself as fascinating as ‘The Elegant Universe’ (seriously though, how many things in the world are as interesting as string theory?), this is no fault of Greene himself and it is hardly a criticism of the book’s content itself. Greene takes the subjects at hand and analyzes them with great philosophical and scientific depth. He does justice to these topics and brought new ideas to my mind about how we should understand the universe.
This audio-book is a nearly 15-hour listen but for those willing to invest their time, there is a great deal of rich content to be found here. Even for those not yet scientifically literate (I suppose I am still not, certainly when it comes to the mathematical side of things), Greene does a fantastic job of linking abstract ideas to “real world” phenomenon (for example, when talking about probabilities as they apply to quantum mechanics, Greene uses the obvious example of flipping 100 coins – something anyone can relate to).
‘Until the End of Time’ is a great audio-book by a great man that has helped to make great strides in the world of theoretical physics. Highly recommended.
8/10 – Great