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The End Is Always Near

Apocalyptic Moments from the Bronze Age Collapse to Nuclear Near Misses
Narrated by: Dan Carlin
Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
Categories: History, Military
5 out of 5 stars (316 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In his first book, the creator of the award-winning podcast Hardcore History looks to some of humanity’s most apocalyptic moments to understand the challenges of our future.

Do tough times create tougher people? Can humanity handle the power of its weapons without destroying itself? Will human technology or capabilities ever peak or regress? Why, since the dawn of time, has it always seemed as though death and destruction are waiting just around the corner? 

In The End Is Always Near, Dan Carlin connects the past and future in fascinating and colourful ways, exploring a question that has hung over humanity like the sword of Damocles from the collapse of the Bronze Age to the nuclear era - that of human survival. 

Combining his trademark mix of storytelling, history and thought experiments, Carlin forces us to consider what sounds like fantasy: that we might suffer the same fate as all previous civilisations. Will our world ever become a ruin for future archaeologists to dig up and explore? 

This thrillingly expansive and entertaining book will make you look at the past - and future - in a completely different way. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our Desktop Site.

©2019 Dan Carlin (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

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Dan Carlin Conquers the audio book

Just as he (Dan Carlin) has conquered the podcast format, the same can be said true of the audio book.

For listeners of his podcast series there may not be a whole lot new here (if you have heard every single one as I have). This however is not a criticism. To hear the material again but with refinements and maybe a more concise approach was throughly enjoyable (although I do enjoy his tangents on the podcasts), the gravity and context of the wide breadth of events was not lost even for I feel new listeners not familiar with history.

Dan does a very good job of emersing the listener in real life events that people had to endure while also providing the wider facts of the event with the Dan Carlin voice. If only our classics or history teachers would wrap high school lessons up in the drama of the extreme human experience, maybe more young minds would be intrigued to learn more of our past.

This is the first review I have ever written in my life, for anything of that matter but I feel compelled to do so as I must tip my proverbial cap to Dan carlin 5/5. To the godfather of the history podcast and now as he stakes his claim in the audio book

8 people found this helpful

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Hardcore history fan.

Dan Carlin lays awake at night unable to sleep and you are invited to listen to his thoughts on world destruction :D.

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Dan Carlin is a fantastic History teacher

Enjoyed listening to what feels almost like another Hardcore History deep dive except on a theme as opposed to a civilization or event. personally I prefer the event/civilization style to the theme but it was well worth the listen regardless. I look forward to more from Dan Carlin.

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Great book for hardcore history fans

Compilation of hardcore history podcasts in one great read. Must have for hardcore history fans.

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Good but a bit light on

Not as hardcore as Hardcore history podcast. I prefer Dan impromptu delivery than this boo which seems a bit rehearsed. This book jumped pretty quick from Bronza age to time to WW2 and only really offered a quick look at each era.

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If you like hardcore history this is for you

Great performance. The narrative structure is not what I expected. I think this is because the author is focused on encouraging the reader to draw their own conclusions rather than writing an opinion piece focused on pushing a particular agenda. Which is not what I expected in this socio-political climate of doom preaching and anonymous tell-alls. If you're not sure what to expect, check out Dan's podcast. If you like his delivery, which I do, you'll agree that he could narrate anything and make it compelling. Don't expect to walk away from this experience with all of your questions answered though, it is a thought provoking work designed to leave you thinking about our preconceived notions of human behaviour.

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Worth listening to

This book had me confused at the beginning but became clearer to me as we moved on from discussions of toughness and got to the meat of how close we come every day to killing ourselves off. Worth every penny for the thoughts it provokes

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Dan Carlin at his best!

Thought provoking, fascinating and absolutely wonderful!!! This book is a sort of summary of some of Carlin’s podcasts but offers a unique train of thought as he goes through history offering a grim yet important insight into the human psyche. I enjoyed every bit of it!!

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Any feeling of security is an illusion

This book revealed the catastrophic impact of nature on past and recent civilisations. the chronicle of brutality inflicted by “rational leaders” was an eye opener. The history and development and use of the atomic bomb reveals the competing political and military forces at play. This book is well narrated and I found it engrossing. My family survived the Nazi regime and the allied bombing of German cities where we were prisoners.

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Not the content I expected

Mostly the history of wars and epidemics. Not bad but not what I was expecting.

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  • Martin T.
  • 18-12-2019

missing some new material

Dan Carlin is the master of story telling. But if you are a regular listener of Hardcore History this book is kinda just a resume.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-11-2019

brilliant!

dan is my man when it comes to history! do not hesitate to get your copy today!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-11-2019

Just another hard core history podcast chapter...

Which is actually a good thing! The transitions between various topics aren't always smooth. And yet, as always, you just can't stop listening to it

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-11-2019

summary of podcast material

some of the podcast series are better. I didn't like the lack of cohesion and would like for Dan to focus on one period or story rather than history of humanity and beyond.. nevertheless happy to contribute and back Dan and thanks for all the free podcast material!

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  • N
  • 05-11-2019

If you're a fan of the podcasts you've heard this.

Great content - don't get me wrong. However, most of this sounded familiar very quickly. Dan Carlin is good narrator of his material and this particular reading style, rather than more conversational or rambling people so enjoy, was also enjoyable.

3 people found this helpful

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  • D. MccOll
  • 09-12-2019

Recommended...

if you like Dan Carlin's Hardcore History you'll like this. Same author, same narrator, broader timeline.

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  • Eduard Ras
  • 04-12-2019

Good book (prefer podcast)

Dan's personality shines through in this reading. I don't think the audio book would be the same if read by someone else. Overall the book is good. There's enough there to support his storyline and thoughts. As someone who has listened to the podcast though I have to admit that I prefer the podcast over the book.

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  • Stephen
  • 03-12-2019

The perfect history book!

I have been a fan of Mr Carlin for years and was ecstatic to hear he was releasing a book and reading it himself for this audiobook. It didn’t disappoint. Dan has a way of pulling the listener in to the narrative, and giving a fresh perspective that grips in a way that is quite rare in historical writing. I highly recommend this book to all!

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  • Daniel Davey
  • 13-11-2019

Excellent first foray into the “written word”

I have been following Dan Carlin for many years and have veraciously consumed most of his podcast/audio material.

Whilst this book actually condenses many of the themes explored in some of his long series it is non the less a very succinct, thought provoking listen.

Thankfully narrated by the author as I don’t think I could comprehend anyone else delivering Dan’s thought.

Thanks Dan.

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  • Dzmitry Shatsila
  • 11-11-2019

Dan Carlin at his absolute best

Dan Carlin at his best. Absolutely phenomenal book and his read is just outstanding. How he managed to tight all the stories together and yet make one whole just phenomenal.
Made me think about things you usually do not even consider.
True master at his best.
Thank you Dan

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  • James W.
  • 30-10-2019

Greatest Hits

Feels like a Greatest hits album for the HH podcast. Not a whole lot of new ground covered but still a deeply enjoyable listen.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 20-11-2019

Ties his podcasts together nicely

My initial concern was that this book would be a "greatest hits" recycling material from his "hardcore history" podcast and while a lot of familiar topics are covered this is genuinely new material and thematically ties a lot of his series together with a common theme of societal collapses and near misses throughout history. The highlight is the chapter on the bronze age collapse which is one of histories great mysteries and something Dan has teased about covering in depth for years.
The narration is unsurprisingly excellent and Dan's enthusiasm and style still shines even when scripted. I was going to buy the book whatever as a way of thanking him for the podcast so it was a pleasant surprise to find the book thoroughly enjoyable. An obvious purchase for fans of his podcast but also a complimentary piece for fans of Jared Diamond's "collapse" which focuses on environmental disasters - something which isn't covered as in depth here.

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  • Scott
  • 12-11-2019

Hardcore History in Book Form

If you love the podcast, you know what to expect.
If you haven’t heard of the podcast, then you should go and download it now.

The book is almost a highlights reel of the podcast from the last few years, with extra material and an over-arcing structure.

The barbarian leader Clovis; Charleston Heston screaming on the beach in planet of the apes; the logical insanity of nuclear war - familiar podcast points retold. Almost like Monty Python’s ‘And Now for Something Completely Different’, where they reshot their best sketches from two seasons into a single movie.

Highly recommended for existing fans and those who haven’t heard the podcast before. Always interesting, always engaging, Dan is excellent at putting history in context and injecting life into stories.

2 people found this helpful

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  • pierre
  • 20-11-2019

nice book!

Dan is delivering a great book in the vein of what we have grown used to with the podcasts but he reads his book in the same tone he reads quotes in his podcasts, which is nice for quotes but get tiring for the full book. this is only minor I really liked the book that dove deeper into previous podcasts subject matters. Well done!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lee Burgess
  • 20-11-2019

Classic Dan Carlin

If you are a fan of Dan's then this audio book is for you. It traverses across centuries of history and distills the human story.

If you're not familiar with Dan's work then I highly recommend you start with his Podcast - Hardcore History

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-11-2019

Amazing, scary and though provoking

As someone who has listened to all of Dan’s Hardcore History podcasts, I had very high expectations. This book did not let me down. It nicely ties together the specific themes of many of his popular podcast episodes into a chronological description of the human experience of our great wars and conflicts. I am thankful that the book is narrated by Dan himself. His voice is perfect for this kind of content. The detailed descriptions of the horrors people did to each other, combined with historical context and overviews of the geopolitical landscape makes much of the insanity, in a scary way, seem logical. Makes you wonder what kind of horrors we are in for in the future..

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  • fndktr
  • 04-11-2019

An entertaining synthesis of the podcast

I enjoyed this audiobook, but I think it's important to those who are thinking about buying it to be aware that it's essentially a condensed 'best of' of the podcast shows. For long term listeners of the show, there is little new here apart from occasional information (mostly concerning the Bronze Age) that has been updated since the show that originally dealt with it aired. However, if you're like me, and frequently revisit the podcasts anyway then this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Dan's narration took a little bit of getting used to, not because it's bad or anything, but because it is a little odd to hear him talking from a script rather than the much more casual style of the podcast.

Overall I liked the audiobook a lot and it was nice to hear many of the subjects he has spoken about in the past being brought together. The issues I have mentioned above aren't enough to keep it from being worth your time. I would especially recommend it to those new to the podcast.

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  • S. Smith
  • 31-10-2019

A "best of" collection

As a long time fan of Dan Carlin's podcast (Hardcore History), I was looking forward to this book. The book re-uses a lot of the research and covers much of the same ground as the podcasts, but arranges the content into a rough timeline and provided a set of examples of how the world may end, or may have ended for civilisations in the past.

Dan tries to pre-empt this criticism in his foreword, but this book doesn't really have an argument, or a point. So it meanders. It never really says anything, it just explores and describes. I'm sorry Dan, but pre-empting this criticism doesn't negate it. The book is enjoyable in the moment, but it hasn't stuck with me, meaning that it is ultimately unsatisfying as a complete book.

Also, unfortunately, the narration, which is normally such a high point on the Hardcore History podcasts, is at time a bit grating. It's very one note, without the asides and calm moments of the podcasts. Instead it feels like Dan is trying to push every word into your ears with the full force of his growl, for more than 8 hours non-stop.

If you haven't listened to the Hardcore History podcast, this is an OK starting point for Dan Carlin's work. But considering that you could try the podcast for free, perhaps you should start there. Of course, if you like them, do then chuck him a few bucks.

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  • Dave
  • 20-01-2020

Brilliant and engaging

Dan Carlin delivers again, anyone with an interest in history should listen to this.

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  • david kavanagh
  • 18-01-2020

Dan Carlin is the best Historic Story teller going

Great book. Just like a long podcast of hardcore history touching multiple topics. If you're a fan of Hardcore History you'll love it. If your a fan of history you'll love it. Dan Carlin is the best out there at bringing history to life in an audio format