A Brief Eternity
By Paul Beaumont
The Rapture begins on Jerry’s normal, everyday route to work. Jesus swiftly returns to earth to take all the believers with him back to paradise. Jerry soon finds himself transported up in the clouds to live a new life in heaven; however the last thing he witnesses on earth is a heavily pregnant woman holding her hands to her ears waiting for the trumpet to stop, unaware this would haunt and question why she was abandoned by God. After several weeks Jerry discovers that not everything’s perfect in paradise as the timing of the rapture was a mistake, due to error in software testing that had forced God’s hand with the Second Coming and that no one was really ready for it. In order for Jerry to save his girlfriend, Rachael and his family and friends from their eternity in Hell and the threat of oncoming Tribulation he must put them through the re-trial process, but first he must get Jesus’ permission. Jerry seeks the help of his mentor, Bob and his friends who are familiar with the passages in the Bible that will provide Jerry with a good argument in court, unaware his arch enemy, Nathaniel is out to destroy any evidence that may help his case in the high court.
Will Jerry succeed in his mission to rescue Rachael from an eternity in hell? If so, at what cost? Or could it be the main protagonists are left with a number of different choices?
There are over a dozen distinctive voices that help to differentiate the characters; one example of this is Bob, Jerry’s mentor, who has a distinctive east end southern twang. The general dialogue is easy to follow and understand and the conversations all stay on track. No detection of unnecessary or forced or unnatural speech patterns.
A Brief Eternity examines a number of predicaments and paradoxes that are commonly believed concepts by Christians with regards to the afterlife.
P. Beaumont writes beautifully, with rich descriptive scenes of heaven and hell, described in such detail, you can almost imagine you are there the whole time. His ability to inject humour, comedy, satire and parody to engage, entertain, provoke and question the readers own religious’ ideology is pure genius and flawless. I felt a strong connection to the main protagonist, Jerry who is initially naive, yet as the story unfolds he is forced to challenge the true nature and hypocrisy of early biblical scripture into his favour in an attempt to save Rachael.
A Brief Eternity has all the merits of a standalone post-apocalypse first novel however, with its unpredictable and highly memorable ending; I daresay it’s also set up for a follow on (fingers crossed) as I would love another instalment.