The Last Ship by William Brinkley, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Last Ship

The Last Ship

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by William Brinkley
     
 

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“An extraordinary novel of men at war” (The Washington Post) and the book that inspired the TNT TV mini-series, starring Eric Dane, Rhona Mitra, Adam Baldwin and Michael Bay as Executive Producer

The unimaginable has happened. The world has been plunged into all-out nuclear war. Sailing near the Arctic Circle, the U.S.S. Nathan James is

Overview

“An extraordinary novel of men at war” (The Washington Post) and the book that inspired the TNT TV mini-series, starring Eric Dane, Rhona Mitra, Adam Baldwin and Michael Bay as Executive Producer

The unimaginable has happened. The world has been plunged into all-out nuclear war. Sailing near the Arctic Circle, the U.S.S. Nathan James is relatively unscathed, but the future is grim and Captain Thomas is facing mutiny from the tattered remnants of his crew. With civilization in ruins, he urges those that remain—one-hundred-and-fifty-two men and twenty-six women—to pull together in search of land. Once they reach safety, however, the men and women on board realize that they are earth’s last remaining survivors—and they’ve all been exposed to radiation. When none of the women seems able to conceive, fear sets in. Will this be the end of humankind?  

For readers of Going Home by A. American, Lights Out by David Crawford, The End and The Long Road by G. Michael Hopf, and One Second After by William Forstchen.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for The Last Ship:

"Nevil Shute wrote a moving book, On the Beach, about the aftermath of a nuclear war... Now William Brinkley has used the same premise to tell and even more fascinating tale."
–Vermont Royster, The Wall Street Journal “An extraoridincary novel of men at war, a superb portrtait of naval command, The Last Ship is a powerful and exciting novel you will not want to miss.”–Anthony Hyde, author of The Red FoxThe Washington Post"Beautifully written...as if the narrator has set himself the task of preserving the language,of writing it down lest it be lost forever... Brinkley's plot contains a series of unexpected reversals and the tale's conclusion is unforgettably intense… The Last Ship is a magnificent book.”–John R. Alden, Cleveland Plain Dealer “William Brinkley writes in expert detail about life on the sea… Readers will be engaged by this ambitious tale, which draws on the legacies of Melville and Conrad but is full of its own nuclear-age quandaries and horrors.”–Andrew Postman, The New York Times Book Review  “Brinkley’s tale has humanity, thoughtfulness and one inspired complication: women.” –Donald Morrison, Time

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Perhaps the most surprising thing about this apocalyptic novel of the sea is that Brinkley has been able to spin so slender a plot to so great lengthmore than 500 pages. Global nuclear disaster has struck, and the guided-missile destroyer Nathan James, short on food and fuel, its crew of men and women seriously depleted by desertions, sails the seas in search of an uncontaminated landfall. The Nathan James is apparently the only ship afloatuntil it meets a Russian sub and a little belated glasnost is arranged. The destroyer's captain, a man given to Conradesque reflections more often ponderous than illuminating, describes how he struggles to assert his authority and maintain crew morale, how he establishes a settlement on an unpolluted Pacific island, assigning to his female crew the task of ensuring the continuation of the human race (he has a steamy affair with one of them himself) and how he handles, among other problems, a case of multiple murder. Brinkley (Don't Go Near the Water, Quicksand) clearly knows the U.S. Navy, and his narrative has its moments. However, his style here is turgid and the story as a whole, unlike the sleek and deadly Nathan James, sits pretty heavily in the water. (March)
Library Journal
The author of Don't Go Near the Water superbly depicts life on a U.S. Navy destroyer after a heavy nuclear exchange. That women are now integrated into the navy adds to the interest. The survivors hunt a safe haven where life and perhaps the human race can continue, away from radiation. A Russian submarine, apparently friendly, appears and then is gone, while a group of mutineers irrationally try to return ``home.'' The captain's narration is thoughtful and sensitive. Inexperienced with women, he must oversee the desperate assembly-line attempts to conceive children that he himself does not join. More than a military adventure, this is a first-rate study of beauty amid ghastliness, engrossing to the end.William A. Donovan, Chicago P.L.
Vermont Royster
Nevil Shute wrote a moving book, On the Beach, about the aftermath of a nuclear war….Now William Brinkley has used the same premise to tell an even more fascinating tale.
The Wall Street Journal
Anthony Hyde
An extraordinary novel of men at war, a superb portrait of navel command, The Last Ship is a powerful and exciting novel you will not want to miss.
The Washington Post
John R. Alden
Beautifully written…as if the narrator has set himself the task of preserving the language, of writing it down lest it be lost forever…Brinkley's plot contains a series of unexpected reversals and the tale's conclusion is unforgettably intense…The Last Ship is a magnificent book.
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142181836
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/28/2014
Pages:
624
Sales rank:
162,413
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Kim Stafford
How does a soul preserve the treasures of childhood in a nation of terror? How does a woman choose her path in a revolution, yet never forget her primal friendship with herself? Tessa Bridal's The Tree of Red Stars begins with autobiographical landscape and reaches into fiction and history to answer these questions. Reading her remembered Uruguay, I rediscover my own childhood journey, and adult imperatives. The modern world needs this kind of remembering, with its claws and its ribbons.
—(Kim Stafford, author of Having Everything Right)
Sandra Benitez
This is a story that must be told, and Tessa Bridal recounts it with clarity, compassion and courage. Deposited in our hearts, the story makes us witnesses, holds us all accountable, in the way that knowing does.
—(Sandra Benítez, author of A Place Where the Sea Remembers)
From the Publisher
Praise for The Last Ship:

"Nevil Shute wrote a moving book, On the Beach, about the aftermath of a nuclear war... Now William Brinkley has used the same premise to tell and even more fascinating tale."
–Vermont Royster, The Wall Street Journal   “An extraoridincary novel of men at war, a superb portrtait of naval command, The Last Ship is a powerful and exciting novel you will not want to miss.” –Anthony Hyde, author of The Red FoxThe Washington Post "Beautifully written...as if the narrator has set himself the task of preserving the language,of writing it down lest it be lost forever... Brinkley's plot contains a series of unexpected reversals and the tale's conclusion is unforgettably intense… The Last Ship is a magnificent book.” –John R. Alden, Cleveland Plain Dealer   “William Brinkley writes in expert detail about life on the sea… Readers will be engaged by this ambitious tale, which draws on the legacies of Melville and Conrad but is full of its own nuclear-age quandaries and horrors.” –Andrew Postman, The New York Times Book Review    “Brinkley’s tale has humanity, thoughtfulness and one inspired complication: women.”  –Donald Morrison, Time
 

Meet the Author

William Brinkley graduated from the University of Oklahoma and went on to become a commissioned officer in the US Navy during WWII. He was a reporter for The Washington Post and wrote for Life magazine. He is the author of the best-selling novel Don’t Go Near the Water, which was adapted to film. Brinkley died in 1993.

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Last Ship 2.9 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 30 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I only have a few books that I return to again and again...To Kill a Mockingbird, Watership Down, Dune....and this, The Last Ship. Detractors will call it too 'wordy' or verbose, will cite what they view as technical improbabilities/inaccuracies, and some may dislike the representation of male/female relationships within the story. I found this to be an admittedly challenging but ultimately rewarding book. Very thoughfully written, suspenseful, shocking and heartbreaking. Every time I reread it, I find something new. I have heard that Steven Soderburgh wishes to make a movie of this....and am hoping against hope for a sequel. The ending is a shocker. If you are looking for a jingoistic, blood-and-guts story, this is not for you. But if you want an engrossing, alternately heartbreaking-and-hopeful book...and are prepared to give it the time and attention it both requires and deserves...I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DO NOT judge this novel by the new TNT TV series coming in 2014, the only thing they have in common is their name and a destroyer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book many years ago. I have been an avid reader all of my life. No book has ever touched me in such a way that I still remember it so vividly years later. This book will make you really think about what we are doing to the earth and what mankind is capable of. Whenever I am asked about the best book I have ever read, I immediately reply 'The Last Ship'. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book when it was first published, and found it once again recently. This is one of those books that will haunt you and fill your mind with images that will linger with you long after you have finished reading it. The story reminds us that life can change in a heartbeat, and take us down roads to face obstacles we may never have before imagined. I think that this book should be a required read for college students, as it really makes you think.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has one of the best plots,I have ever read.The details the author includes in the book are great.Everyone should read this just to give an idea of how 'survivable' a nuclear war is.Unfortunately the author loves to babble on and on about how wonderful sailors are.I found myself skipping many pages full of uninteresting rambling.Its a slow read but if you can manage it one still worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you read this, be prepared with a thesaurus at hand. This book is readable...kind of. The plot is good but you wish the author would cut the verbose crap and tell the darn story. If you like your action with 400 metric tons of drivel, this is your novel. This beats ambien for a sleep aid as I found out several times. MAY CAUSE DROWSINESS: DO NOT READ BEFORE DRIVING OR OPERATING HEAVY MACHINERY.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found myself knowing the characters. The human side was terrific. It has some weakness with the technical aspect. Too many times an interesting and exciting twist ending abruptly. Some narration too lengthy and overdrawn. A little bit of a balance problem. The ending was too rushed as if about 400 pages had to be cut out. A shame. I would have eagerly kept up with the journey. A hint as to a follow on book but I dont think it ever came to be. All in all a very good story.
orion60 More than 1 year ago
Most excellent. Enjoyed it immensely, although it was brutal reading until I stopped looking up meanings of descriptive adjectives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An engrossing 350 page book told in 704 pages. Please burn this man's thesaurus. It is NOT the same story as the TV show.
dcross1665 More than 1 year ago
Overall, a very good read. Starts off very slowly, but begins to hit it's stride about halfway through. I hope the TNT Mini-series is as good, but I doubt it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous 10 months ago
I read Alas Babylon before reading this book. I cannot decide which I liked better, however, I could not put this one down. Very scary to know that we are in an age where we have the will and the means in which to destroy ourselves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The tv show is actually better. They are not alike at ALL. Its a good plot but the author just drones on and on. He could have done this better. And just when the book gets good it ends. About 300 of the pages is just his boring narrative. I really expected better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One case where the show is better than the book The author could have made the reading easier by reducing the numbef of ten dollar SAT words he used Loved the concept behind the story though and would love to know what they find and how the babies turn out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not read it all
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story is a good idea, but the narrative is tough to read. I am a voracious reader and consider myself fairly literate. That said I found myself having to read passages over again to comprehend what the author was saying. Mr Brinkley added about 200 more pages than was needed due to his rambling narrative. It was a good story, but a tough read. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont read the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really regret purchasing this book. There is no discernible plot and the narrator (the ship's captain) is so loquacious that I can understand why his crew mutinied. The author does not tell his story (what there is of it) in any clear fashion but rather, for the first 1/4 of the book, you have to guess what happened -- if you can stay awake long enough to read that far. I normally do not write reviews but if this review can save one person from wasting his/her money on The Last Ship: A Novel, I will have done some good for the world.
Caskote More than 1 year ago
I thought "The Last Ship" would be something along the lines of "On the beach" - a book that under even the best of lights can't be called fast-paced. It's worst. No, actually, like 20x worse. Some other reviewers had said that already - I (foolishly!) ignored those reviews, thinking "everyone's a backseat driver!". They were right. Avoid. Avoid. AVOID AVOID AVOID.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago