Dan Barker, author of Godless
A Brief Eternity is how religio-philosophical fiction should be written, not with the simplistic predictable purposes and banal outcomes of so many devoted authors who try to disguise their preaching as entertainment, but impelling the reader with plot and thought. This book faces the life-and-death issues honestly, not fleeing from uncomfortable questions or papering them over as so many less talented authors do. Paul Beaumont’s lucid writing – often hilarious and sometimes heart-stabbing – makes C. S. Lewis seem sophomoric by comparison, even (dare I say) sacrilegious in the true believer’s denial of true human value.
I started the book and read it straight through, cover-to-cover in one day. The scene in heaven’s Crown Pub is to die for! Literally. And I have never read such a strange and riveting courtroom scene. On the last page of the book, I cried and yelled “Yes!” at such a candid, vulnerable, creative, surprising, courageous and satisfying ending.
To worship or not to worship. That is the question. Whatever the answer, A Brief Eternity deserves rapturous praise.
Elizabeth Kay, best-selling author of The Divide
Set in an afterlife which seems appropriate for the deity we have created for ourselves, A Brief Eternity takes a few well-aimed swipes at misplaced beliefs. It’s a highly original premise, backed up with plenty of insider knowledge of the more unpleasant aspects of the Good Book. Heaven is not what it seems, and neither is Hell, and there are surprises in store as we explore this undiscovered country with Jerry, our bemused and ultimately indignant hero. It seems impossible to have a satisfactory conclusion to a novel set in eternity, but Paul Beaumont brings off an unexpected and convincing ending. Do we really want to live forever, when we look at it objectively?
Tim Hawken, author of the Hellbound Trilogy
I have never seen anyone bring Heaven down to earth quite like Paul Beaumont. His writing is like Douglas Adams meets Julian Barnes, with all of the intelligent wit that entails. Beaumont makes the obvious seem like a revelation, bringing his reader from the sublime to the ridiculous and back. Put reading A Brief Eternity on your bucket list, before it’s too late.
Lucy McCarraher, novelist and author of How To Write Fiction Without The Fuss
A Brief Eternity is an impressively deft debut novel by Paul Beaumont. Couching the big “What if…” premise within a light touch writing style and comedic narrative allows him to pose the anomalies of Christianity through a range of likeable and eccentric characters. The author’s biblical knowledge and analysis is spun like candyfloss through an engaging, funny and disturbing quest, which raises as many laughs as serious questions. Above all, a great read.
David G. McAfee, author of Mom, Dad, I’m an Atheist: The Guide to Coming Out as a Non-believer
Paul Beaumont’s A Brief Eternity provides an incredibly unique and interesting view into one of the most debated topics of all time: the afterlife. The story explores various dilemmas and paradoxes associated with the commonly understood concepts of Heaven and Hell, but with a humorous and entertaining slant. A Brief Eternity will make readers think, laugh, and then think some more.
James Ferron Anderson, author of The River and The Sea
The Rapture has arrived at last, to Londoner Jerry’s astonishment, and he is in Heaven, to his even greater astonishment. He’s looking forward to meeting ‘the famous Jesus’, but at the same time has to come to terms with no sex ever again, and John the Baptist as a pub quiz master with an ‘expression somewhere between suicidal depression and pathological hatred’. And can it be Heaven without his girlfriend Rachel? Is she in a different place?
As an atheist I didn’t think I would find such interest in a novel set in a post-Rapture afterlife. A Brief Eternity is written from a deep knowledge of the Biblical view of Heaven and Hell and so is always intriguingly detailed. It is also funny and always surprising, a knowing take on the after-effects of the Apocalypse in a way that I for one have never considered, and I bet you haven’t either.
CJ Werleman, author of God Hates You, Hate Him Back, Jesus Lied, and Crucifying America
Beaumont’s novel is an entertaining and insightful parody of religious delusion. Drawing on experiences and teachings he acquired during his twenty-five year experiment with Christian fundamentalism, Beaumont beautifully depicts the absurdity of the religious inspired after-life.
Keri Beevis, author of Dead Letter Day
A brilliantly funny tale of one man’s journey into Heaven following the Second Coming and what he finds there. A Brief Eternity had me crying with laughter. Paul Beaumont is definitely an author to watch.