Good novel with a great story idea. Every human being (and one alien) that ever lived on Earth is resurrected on an alien world beside a river millions of miles long. Everyone is naked and hairless. They have a canister strapped to their arm that, when placed in "grails" spaced along the river, is filled with food, tobacco, toiletries and a narcotic gum.
So what does humanity do with this second chance? Unfortunately, most revert to form. War, rape, murder, but is it really murder if your are resurrected again?
This is book 1 of the Riverworld series. It follows the exploits of historical figures Sir Richard Francis Burton and Hermann Göring. Burton is trying to find the "why" of this alien world and after his 777 deaths gets close to the answer while Göring is haunted by his personal demons but eventually seems to come to terms with them and make peace.
This book will leave you with a lot of questions and few answers although there are hints such as when introduced to the "Ethicals".
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. I hope the others in the series are as good.
Oh, and one last thing. For those that saw the made for cable "Riverworld" movie, the book is much better!