I read too many books to be able to review them all, and wasn't going to review this book until I read some of the other comments! I now feel compelled to defend Ben Elton as an author - I have read and enjoyed all his books and find him an intelligent, witty writer. Of course people are entitled to their opinions, but some are downright rude! The First Casualty is a departure indeed for Mr Elton and I think it worked pretty well. Yes, there are shades of Blackadder, but so what? My only criticism is that some of the dialogue seemed a little stilted, particularly when the soldiers were discussing the war, but other than that it was a good entertaining read. I have read Birdsong and can safely say that I much preferred The First Casualty.