While this novel is fictional as are most of its main characters, it is probably one of the best historical views of the 20th Century. At the same time it is extremely funny. The story is applicable to the present day and the foreseeable future in that it politically targets the desire of the West to control oil flow (which the Iraq War was about) . Yes, the plot starts out during the years of pre-WW I and continues thru to WW II. It will give the reader a greater understanding of the world events during that period of time. As said in a review, the character of "Larry Budd is extraordinary and realistically portrayed with true emotion and depth". Upton Sincalir left us a truly vivid perspective of the world at this point in history. It is one of the best Sinalair novels he ever written and perhaps one of the greatest novels produced in the 20th Century. It is a 5 STAR novel. World End II is a continuation of the Larry Budd look at the world. A Collector's Edition.