I first came across this book when I was sitting my English O Levels back in the mid 1980s. I hated the book and struggled to get into the book then, finally gave up and together with a friend we clubbed together and purchased the study guide! More than 25 years later I was confronted with the book again. I still dislike the book, but this time I read it.
I simply did not understand the need for the science fiction part of the story. Was this the way the author copied with his feelings of survivors guilt I wondered? For me the story had to be either about his time as a prisoner of war, which he spent in Dresden or a science fiction novel, a mix of the two did not work for me and I was relieved that I finished the book.