I was born in 1947 and first read this book when I was in junior high school. I also saw the movie around the same time (say, age 10-13), but it was not as good as the book. Leonard Maltin said of the movie something like "lacks the existential ending of the book." This *really* made me want to reread the book. About 10 years ago, I found a used copy, read it and loved it, then gave it to a friend. So I was thrilled to find this re-issue, produced by Forrest Ackerman, who was the literary agent of Jones and several other science-fiction writers of that era. Jones has a dark view of humanity. As someone who came of age in the '60s, I'm surprised to hear characters in the book (written 1952) express some of the thoughts my friends and I thought were so new during the anti-war movement. Jones is also intrigued by randomness and statistics. This fascination figures in the ending of this book as well as in the theme of his "Non-statistical Man" (also quite worthwhile). As for the existential ending, well, I agree, until we get to the last sentence, which Sartre never could have written. But read it and decide for yourself. Once you do, hook up your interociter and we can trade thoughts.