I thoroughly enjoyed this short yet powerful book. I wholeheartedly agree with the author that life is what it is and nothing more. Although these arguments have been addressed by apologists many many times over it is my opinion that their solutions are neither reasonable nor satisfactory.
The book basically discusses the problem of evil, which even today is a problem that is still being argued over. One of the latest discussions regarding evil is the book 'God's Problem' by Bart Erhman.
In my view trying to reconcile an all good, all loving, and all knowing God with the problem of evil in the world is in and of itself an exercise in futility.
I was very impressed with this book and completely agree with the author regarding the problem that evil in the world presents to the existence of a God who is all powerful, all knowing, and all good.
Although this argument has been refuted numerous time by Christian apologists I find that their answers are illogical and entirely unrealistic.
I admire the authors boldness to present such a work in the time that he did. It was still a crime in some states to be an unbeliever.
In modern terminology Bean would be considered an "embedded journalist" and as the official war historian he was in the middle of the action during the involvement of Australian troops in the battles in the Somme in WW1.
He has a poetic writing style that paints a clear picture and he does not sugar coat anything.
Having recently returned from a tour of the Somme gave this book an emotional connection for me and I still find it hard to equate the green fields I saw with the mud and destruction described by Bean.
Read this and then hunt down Bean's other books, especially his writings about Gallipoli.
Do you remember Elite, the computer game from the 80s'?
This short is based in that world. It is well written, has the necessary twists in the well constructed plot.
It is an interesting and very readable book. I eagerly look forward to more from this author.
If you like sci-fi, elite, reading, or even if you don't, I would recommend you read this.
For a short story i cant think of one that i have read that is better.