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Last Flag Flying: A Novel Paperback – November 14, 2017
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“Darryl has once again captured the camaraderie and complexity of male bonding, as he did so brilliantly in The Last Detail. Three familiar characters, now some thirty years later, with a dubious history and an undesirable task ahead of them are what dominate the fascinating and satisfying story in Last Flag Flying.”―Bryan Cranston
"Ponicsán delivers an irreverent, acerbic, but nonetheless poignant look at the true nature of loyalty. Recommend both novels and the movie."―Booklist
Praise for The Last Detail:
“Remarkably good… The writing is superb, the pace headlong, the irony tempered with a curious gentleness.”―Cosmopolitan
“A salty, bawdy, hilarious, and very touching story.”–Variety
“The first underground triumph of the ‘70s.”–San Francisco Sun-Reporter
“One of the ten best novels of the year.”–Philadelphia Inquirer
“Honest, heart-wrenching.”–The New York Times
“One of the really excellent novels we will draw this year, and Ponicsán… proves himself not only a master but a model of dialogue.”–San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle
“A lean, funny, bitter book.”–Boston Globe
“[A] gem of a first novel… fast-paced… [The] dialogue often is hilarious..”–Fort Worth Star
“An accomplished writer with a sure storyteller’s touch.”–St. Louis Post Dispatch
“Will make any serviceman say: ‘Sure, that’s the way it was.’”–Newsday
About the Author
Darryl Ponicsán is the author of thirteen novels and is an award-winning screenwriter for both film and television. Born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, he taught high school after attending Muhlenberg College and earning an MA at Cornell University. He served in the US Navy from 1962 to 1965, then did social work in the Watts area of Los Angeles and taught high school before the success of his debut novel, The Last Detail, allowed him to become a full-time writer. He resides in Palm Springs and Sonoma, California.
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It's a story that at times will make you mad, will make you smile, and you will hope that Meadows, Mule and Billy find a purpose.
Funny thing, The Last Detail isn't an anti Vietnam book straight-out or upfront, it's about people... Three of them... And they're part of the Navy like any Navy man is, in any war... This is politics. And when great artists age they become more political than is good for their fiction to seem real, and not contrived.
Also, anyone who loves that there's a sequel to The Last Detail, the novel, better thank Robert Towne for adapting it into a far better movie, and to Jack Nicholson for creating a much richer character than the book, and back to Towne... and perhaps director Hal Ashby... whose choice was to let Billy Bad Ass actually survive the movie, which he does not live through the book. He dies. He's dead as a broken shed. Gone. Goodbye. To revive him is too obvious a ploy to bring classic characters into an anti-war lecture. At least David Morrell, who killed John J. Rambo in his novel First Blood, was honest when he wrote the preface for the novelization of Rambo: he basically apologized for killing the man, and then continued on.
It's great in the movie The Last Detail when the hippie girl says "Oh, wow" to Bull when he says, "When the man says go, you go," or something like that. His reaction to her is a roll of the eyes. Oh God. Not another. So basically, this book's for her, and not the characters of the original book, and especially not this book or the upcoming movie.