The Last Ship: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$3.99
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. It may be marked, have identifying markings on it, or show other signs of previous use.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Last Ship Paperback – February 13, 1989


See all 15 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, February 13, 1989
$3.52 $0.01

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Check out The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Buy Used and Save: Buy a Used "The Last Ship” from Amazon Warehouse Deals and save 78% off the $29.00 list price. Product is eligible for Amazon's 30-day returns policy and Prime or FREE Shipping. See all Used offers from Amazon Warehouse Deals.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From 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.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 616 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (February 13, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345359828
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345359827
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (326 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,229,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

I have read one quarter of this book and do not expect to finish it.
David M. Opas
He uses way too many SAT words, and his descriptions use so many adjectives that they reminded me of compositions created with a magnetic poetry kit.
Kim Boykin
Too many times I found myself turning the page just to get on with the story!
Love T. Read

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

193 of 206 people found the following review helpful By Russ on July 20, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great premise and much thoughful work, but Brinkley goes on and on and on and on and on and on and what was the editor thinking when he proofed this book when he looked at it and read it and then considered what type of modifications should be made and then he didn't notice that most every sentence is hundreds of words long and that they tend to comprise lenghty paragraphs and drove me up the wall trying to struggle past these elephants in the room to attempt to distill any type of story or pacing or plot or mood because the sentences that Brinkley constructs are limitless and if you move your lips while you read you better take a huge breath or you will suffocate before you finally, eventually, make it to that rare and glorious period that Brinkley may or may not decide to put at the end of a rambling thought that somehow, by the laws of literature, finally come to an end and possibly it is some type type of radioactive mutation that has caused all of the periods to wither and die, maybe.(period)
8 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
87 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Jarrick A on February 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Last Ship by William Brinkley had such potential. It could have been a great story along the lines of Alas Babylon or On The Beach. Notice I use the worlds "could have been". This ship should have sunk before leaving port. It had an excellent premise: I.E. the idea of having the only ship to survive a nuclear war. But the poor execution of the premise, just makes The Last Ship a 600-page disappointment. The story is told from a first person perspective (our Captain Tom). As far as I can tell, he spends about 250 pages of this 600 or so page book staring into the sea extolling the virtues of being in the Navy. Every two pages he is looking into the ocean, lamenting about life in the U.S. Navy, or working on his weird inferiority complex about women. After about page 300, you basically want to scream, "BRINKLEY! WE KNOW THE OCEAN IS WET, THAT IT TAKES A SPECIAL KIND OF PERSON TO BE IN THE NAVY, AND WOMEN ARE MYSTERIOUS IN THEIR GODDESS-LIKE WAYS. GET OVER IT!"

This book is a lot like that big present you open on Christmas only to find out its 20 pairs of underwear! A lot of build up and major let down! Basically, the first 120 pages are kind of worthless (it starts in the middle of the story), which would be clever if this was a great story with strong characters. If you want to risk reading this, I'd start on Page 124, when the war breaks out. From here you get some elements of a good post-apocalyptic story. The problem is Brinkley never really develops the characters or takes the ideas anyplace. You have a Russian Sub, a mystery message from the U.S. command after the war, a mutiny, and the promise of a new beginning for mankind. What happens to these characters and ideas you ask?
Read more ›
5 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
76 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Kim Boykin on November 6, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brinkley writes in long, convoluted sentences that I often found hard to follow, with incomplete sentences mixed in to confuse things even more. He uses way too many SAT words, and his descriptions use so many adjectives that they reminded me of compositions created with a magnetic poetry kit.

And yet, I found the book engaging. I like post-apocalyptic stories; this one is about a U.S. ship carrying perhaps the last humans alive after a nuclear war. The book gets you inside the life and mind and worldview of a sailor, which I found fascinating. I was drawn into the quandary of how to create a stable society with such a high male/female ratio (though I didn't believe their solution would work nearly as well as it did). And I did like one of Brinkley's writing quirks, which some readers might find annoying: he can take three pages to narrate a five-second conversation because he includes so much detail about what's going on in the head of the ship's captain, who's the narrator.

For other non-sailors: The word "ways" can be a singular noun meaning "an inclined structure upon which a ship is built or supported in launching." (I couldn't make any sense of the opening sentence until I looked that up.)

Better post-apocalyptic novels: "Earth Abides," "Alas, Babylon," "The Stand," "On the Beach," and "The Road."
5 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
70 of 81 people found the following review helpful By John T. Campbell on February 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
Brinkley starts with an intriguing premise, that of a U.S. navy destroyer which survives a nuclear war and searches the world for a place to settle its crew. The situation is complicated by the presence of 26 women with 150 men as the ship's crew. However this novel is so flawed as to be a disaster. His writing style is grossly overblown. If 10 words will do, he uses 500. Lines of dialog are many times separated by two pages of mental rumblings. This 600 page book could be condensed to less than 100 pages with nothing lost. Has the author ever heard the expression "less is more?" I had to read some Dashiell Hammett as an antidote.
Word selection also is extremely pretentious. Perfervid, fructuousness, flocculent, parturient, ineluctible, noctavigations (couldn't find this one in a dictionary) fausse maigre, coruscation, plangent are all used throughout. There are some puzzling references to Vesalius, a Belgian anatomical artist who lived in the 1500s. It's enough to wear out your Funk & Wagnalls. He uses the word obloquy in a document which is read to the crew. Can you imagine all the head scratching going on?
In the middle of this high flying prose, the author has inserted sex scenes of substantial revulsion, the prose descending abruptly into the most vulgar style. Now I have whiplash along with a worn out Funk & Wagnalls.
It was hard to judge whether the author ever was in the Navy. Some details were right on, but others seem to come from WWII. Zigzagging to avoid a submarine? Not with today's modern fast attack subs with homing torpedoes. Extensive use of lookouts was mentioned and no mention made of the ship's radar. Yet the ship's active sonar was left on to track an unknown sub. BUPERS is mentioned instead of later name of NAVPERS.
Characters act out of character.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?