Cover Image: End Times

End Times

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I received this book in exchange for a honest review from NetGalley.

I really liked this book but, I started it before the quarantine which made it very difficult to finish due to the present circumstances. Overall great book very informative and has a good message about truly preparing for these eventualities. Which we clearly did not do... Man it was insightful but kind of painful to read. I really liked it despite the circumstance in which I read it.
Was this review helpful?
oddly less compelling than what I had hoped. Walsh seems blind to the massive philosophical literature on endings and existential threats in favor of some kind of populist grasp on impending disaster. that said, End Times is a good read and one that raises important questions for right now
Was this review helpful?
You'd think a book about the many ways the world could end would be depressing, but this isn't. It's highly readable and informative and there's even well-placed humour! From an alien invasion to asteroids to a climate catastrophe, this book covers a breadth of potential disasters. I found it oddly comforting because it isn't just all doom and gloom but is also about how we as humans can mitigate these potential disasters. Well done!
Was this review helpful?
END TIMES

Books about the end of the world are usually either works of philosophy, theology, or fiction. 

But science? Well that’s precisely what Bryan Walsh has to offer in his book, End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World. 

It is, quite obviously, a book about existential risks on a planetary scale; that is, those catastrophic events that “are highly improbable but carry the threat of extreme and even infinite consequences” for our species. Ever the veteran science journalist, Walsh walks readers through the science behind the different ways all life on Earth could come to an end. Whether from causes that are natural (asteroids, supervolcanic eruptions) or man-made (nuclear holocaust, climate change, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence) or even extraterrestrial (aliens, of course!), End Times explains in vivid detail how such end-of-the-world scenarios might come about. 

Walsh has prepared an engaging and reasonably thorough discussion on the current state of knowledge with respect to each existential risk scenario. This is not without a purpose: while the science involved is inherently fascinating, the whole point of the discussion is to impart a renewed appreciation for our fragile place in the universe, not to mention what we can do to ensure the survival of our species.

As Walsh explains,

“If I had one objective in writing this book it’s that: wake people up. Wake them up to the reality of existential threats, whether from nature or the hand of man, and wake them up to the fact that we’re not helpless in the face of those threats.”

That’s as good a reason to read End Times as any.
Was this review helpful?
This book was a deep and entertaining dive into the posible ways humanity could meet its end. The common theme is that we are very unprepared but by focusing on the hard working people trying to fight these problems we can see that there is hope.
Was this review helpful?
End Times is a whirlwind tour of existential risk: all of the major threats that could wipe out humanity, from asteroid impacts to AI to infectious disease. It's exhaustively researched, and author Bryan Walsh brings a balanced mixture of clear-eyed concern and cautious optimism.

The book occasionally stretches too far into speculation, and it's fairly light on suggestions for what the average reader can do with the knowledge Walsh provides. However, the material Walsh covers is fascinating, and I appreciated that he didn't stray too far into doom-and-gloom...which would have been understandable for such an apocalyptic subject. It's a good survey, and his extensive bibliography provides a starting point for readers who want to learn a bit more.
Was this review helpful?
A non-religious and well-researched look at what is most likely to kill all of mankind is in the End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World.

There are eight threats to mankind’s continued existence described within this book:
•	Asteroid
•	Volcano
•	Nuclear Bombs
•	Climate Change
•	Disease
•	Biotechnology
•	Artificial Intelligence
•	Aliens (from another planet, sorry Mr. President )
Which of the above is more likely and which should be left to fiction? This book will attempt to answer that question.

End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World would be a good reference for thriller writers (I’m looking at you Clive Cussler) or screenwriters of disaster movies (RIP Irwin Allen). It is also an interesting read for open-minded readers. Even though the topic is inherently grim, the author manages to infuse some hopeful notes. 4 stars! More if you are a writer looking for ideas.

Thanks to Hachette Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
While informative, the content of the book couldn’t save it from the dull and dry writing.there may be information I can adapt for my lessons once I look mote into the sources used for this book but I don’t think I’ll be using it as an actual text for my class.
Was this review helpful?
Interesting look at possible apocalypses 

I enjoyed this book. Despite the subject matter, Bryan Walsh manages to incorporate appropriate humor.  Walsh also puts himself into the story, which I generally like. It creates a closer relationship between me and the author. When I started the book, I found the preface was grim and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to read the book but the tone of the book was actually lighter than the preface, considering the subject. It wasn’t all doom and gloom as Walsh discusses what we as a society can do to try to mitigate the end times. I also found no obvious biases in the book. I am happy that I didn’t let the preface discourage me and that I read the book.
Was this review helpful?
WOW. If I wasn't worried BEFORE...  

Seriously - if you are a worrier, this may not be the book for you. I tend to not be one - and even I'm freaking out a bit right now...  Walsh has done a marvelous job encapsulating the top existential threats facing humanity - many of which are of our own making - and providing background, thoughtful commentary, and suggestions for mitigating the potential for worldwide disaster. 

Walsh has an engaging writing style that pulls you into the drama of the horrors he describes. He pairs facts with anecdotes and personal stories about the men and women involved in the crises at hand. It makes for a very compelling read. The book is very well written, thoroughly engaging (and horrifying), and entirely timely.
Was this review helpful?
End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World by Bryan Walsh (a former Time magazine editor and foreign correspondent) is nothing short of brilliant!

In this thoroughly engrossing and compelling read, Walsh explores the various existential scenarios that might cause the end of humankind. He shares his detailed research into each of the possibilities, gives us important background and probability information along with what has/is being/could be done to mitigate the risk. Though this is complex information, Walsh does an excellent job in presenting it in a very understandable way.

He repeatedly warns, as do many of the scientists that he references, that the biggest obstacle to preparing for these dangers is that people tend to bury their heads in the sand. Research shows that if people feel that the apocalypse will not occur within their lifetime, or the lifetimes of their children/grandchildren, they are content not to give priority to or taking preventative measures that should be already underway. We must take a longer-range view if we are to save ourselves and our planet.

This is a very eye-opening book, and a real page-turner. I highly recommend to every person on the planet who can read! 

Many thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Books who let me read an ARC of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
Whether you are looking forward to the End of the World or not, this volume in which the ways it could happen (a super-virus or asteroid)  and what people are doing to prevent it (studying viruses & their mutations; NASA monitoring) will be an interesting read.. You'll either enjoy the scenarios of it happening, or the efforts that could keep humankind existing. Either way, this is a thought-provoking book.
Was this review helpful?
A review of Bryan Walsh's "End Times" is really an evaluation of two separate books. The first half of "End Times" which deals with past and present existential issues earns four stars while the later half of this book only gets two stars because it tries and fails to deal with future risks of human extinction. Read the first 50% of "End Times" and exchange the second half for a Uwegi Board.

Two quibbles about the good portion of Mr. Walsh's book. Perhaps because he spent his career as a journalist with Time Magazine he mixed up Little Red Riding Hood with Goldie Locks. More importantly, even though he was Time's environmental reporter he somehow never learned that the warming effects of CO2 are logarithmic and not arithmetic.
Was this review helpful?
End Times is a well-researched account of the many threats facing the planet. We’ve all heard of some, others are less familiar, and a couple seem pulled from the pages of science fiction. It’s terrifying at times, hopeful at others, and, above all, enthralling to read.

Each section goes in-depth into its designated disaster, providing fascinating insights into mankind’s interactions with these given events or objects. In the asteroids section, we get a background on the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs in addition to the discovery of various objects on a collision course throughout our solar system. It’s mindblowing to understand the sheer force of an object like that and what it can do to a planet. The conversation is at times terrifying, but it’s reassuring to get the facts on these scenarios in place of quick shock pieces on every news station looking to fill a few minutes with terror. I appreciated the deep analysis and digging the author did to present such a coherent, well-formed guide.

As a science fiction reviewer, it was most interesting to read through the artificial intelligence and alien sections of the book. Admittedly, the likelihood of these extinction events occurring is slim to none, but the facts are presented thoroughly nonetheless. We get a history of our AI discoveries and the advances in robotics. We get a background on mankind’s monitoring of the universe for extraterrestrial life. There was a lot I didn’t know and I appreciated the learning opportunity.

As I’ve said, there’s a definite terror element throughout the sections, but it’s necessary to understanding just how important these various issues are. It’s important to remember how devastating nuclear war can be and what it would do to the world if it was unleashed on a global scale. It’s important to understand the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs and most of life on Earth, if only to peruse the countless articles and studies with a better sense of understanding. Above all, it’s important to understand that many of these are preventable if mankind could step up and create meaningful change on a global scale. Climate change, nuclear war, the global spread of disease or virus – all of these are real threats that could be eliminated if we could get out of our own way. 

Overall, End Times gives you a lot to think about. It’s a smart look at the things we fear as a species and the facts surrounding their probability. You’ll leave the book better informed about our history with catastrophe and what it would take to get us to a tipping point. 

Review to be published on 8/28: http://reviewsandrobots.com/2019/08/28/end-times-book-review
Was this review helpful?
A very interesting read which introduced me to existential risks which could lead to humanity's end. The author's detailed explanations allowed me to better under the existential risks he was presenting as well as what can be done in order to try to mitigate those risks. I like the author am hopeful that humanity's growth will also ensure our survival in the face of adversity.
Was this review helpful?
I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  			
			
From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.			

What is going to cause our extinction?
How can we save ourselves and our future?

End Times answers the most important questions facing humankind
End Times is a compelling work of skilled reportage that peels back the layers of complexity around the unthinkable--and inevitable--end of humankind. From asteroids and artificial intelligence to volcanic supereruption to nuclear war, 15-year veteran science reporter and TIME editor Bryan Walsh provides a stunning panoramic view of the most catastrophic threats to the human race.

In End Times, Walsh examines threats that emerge from nature and those of our own making: asteroids, supervolcanoes, nuclear war, climate change, disease pandemics, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and extraterrestrial intelligence. Walsh details the true probability of these world-ending catastrophes, the impact on our lives were they to happen, and the best strategies for saving ourselves, all pulled from his rigorous and deeply thoughtful reporting and research.

Walsh goes into the room with the men and women whose job it is to imagine the unimaginable. He includes interviews with those on the front lines of prevention, actively working to head off existential threats in biotechnology labs and government hubs. Guided by Walsh's evocative, page-turning prose, we follow scientific stars like the asteroid hunters at NASA and the disease detectives on the trail of the next killer virus.
Walsh explores the danger of apocalypse in all forms. In the end, it will be the depth of our knowledge, the height of our imagination, and our sheer will to survive that will decide the future.

This is a very informative and scary as all heck book to read - truth be told, we have to accept that the end of the world is inevitable. Maybe not in our lifetime but it will end. We cannot explain the universe ... how does something expand every year into space that does not exist? How can we be billions and billions of light-years away from other stars and planets? How can we find other life out there when we don't have the technology to get even a few light-years aways in less than, say, more generations than we can account on a ship that we cannot build? 

This book prepares us for life as we can understand it in clear and concise yet still entertaining terms It makes sense but it is not dry or dusty--- it is a well-written and thought out treatise on what is coming even if we don't want to think it will happen to us or our descendants.  Read this book --- it is amazing, in my opinion, and if you are the curious type, you will find it fascinating. 
			
As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "Social Influencer Millennials" on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it 🚀🌌🛸🛰🌠
Was this review helpful?
End Times is an entertaining (albeit terrifying) collection of existential threats to the human race from Bryan Walsh, a long time editor and reporter for TIME. All of the heavy hitters are here that you're most likely familiar with, from celestial impact to supervolcano eruptions, super-intelligent AI to hostile alien races. What sets this book apart from the myriad other end-of-the-world books is Walsh's easy to follow prose, superb reporting, and the willingness to dig deeper into each issue. Instead of merely describing the threat to humanity and moving on, Walsh reports on what is being done to prevent it, what can and should be done in the future, and gives examples of the worse case scenario (these are often graphic but page turning).

This is a timely read that people should pay attention to. While the chances of an alien attack soon are very remote, the parts on climate change, pandemic, and AI are relevant to our current political climate and Walsh's research tends to show how unprepared we potentially are for them. Highly recommended. 

**I was given a copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Hachette Books.*
Was this review helpful?
End Times was my first glimpse into a book outside of my comfort zone. I've never read beyond fiction, but this was just so interesting. It's no unknown fact that the world is bound to come to an end soon with the way humanity is continuing to live, but the book gives a glimpse of the way it could end, and the way we could probably try to save it too.The author does a stellar job of merging research and "what-ifs" together. Each chapter leads into the next, and it gets more and more interesting further into the book. Highly recommend!
Was this review helpful?
End Times is a informative and interesting book. People should read this and realize the clock is ticking and the scientific evidence proves it.
Was this review helpful?
Much Of This Book Should Terrify You. Walsh does an excellent job of sharing the current state of research into the various existential crises humanity faces - crises that would make the human species extinct if they fully come to fruition. He lays out the narrative in such a way that after beginning with asteroids, each crisis leads into a discussion of the next. Some of his own commentary is hit or miss and different readers will appreciate more or less, but overall the work is solid in its journalism standards. Very much recommended.
Was this review helpful?