This has always been one of my favorite books. I picked up a copy in a used book store in the mid-80's, and I was hooked. I describe it as a sci-fi-adventure-tragedy of sorts, set several generations in the future after a nuclear armageddon. There is an ongoing war between evolved mutants and normal humans. Redbeard is Red Will Donahoe, a mutant offspring, who seems quite normal, if very strong, callous and barbaric. He hates the seemingly omnipotent mutant leader, and once captured by the "normals", decides to help them defeat him. His mission in life seems straighforward enough, but behind the scenes, the mutant leader, Gareth Cole, who can read minds, see the future and conjure monsters from his imagination, is manipulating events to shape the ultimate destiny of the Redbeard. Borders on being a tragedy. This story would make an incredible movie if modern effects were properly implemented, but likely the ending would be altered somewhat, in the sense that the ending of Jaws was changed slightly for the movie to not be a downer. However, in my opinion, I would use the whole book for the script, including the ending as is. That makes it what it is...awesome.