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The Last Detail Hardcover – January 1, 1969 by Darryl Ponicsan 


Unlike the other branches of the armed services, the navy draws its police force from the ranks, as temporary duty. The risk is that men on Shore Patrol might bring their humanity to the task. This accounts for the underlying tension in "The Last Detail", which takes place during the height of the Vietnam War. Billy Bad-Ass and Mule Mulhall, two career sailors in transit in Norfolk, awaiting permanent orders, are given a "chaser" duty. Their assignment is to escort and deliver Larry Meadows, an 18-year-old sailor, from Norfolk to Portsmouth, N.H., where he is to serve an eight year sentence in the brig. It's good duty, on the face of it, until the two old salts realize the injustice of the sentence and are oddly affected by the true innocence of their prisoner, even though he is guilty as charged. Failure, or refusal, to carry out their duty is never a question, no matter how much they hate the detail or how wrong it seems, and yet something must be done, some gesture made in order to help their hapless prisoner survive the long ordeal he faces, and to purge their own sense of shame. "The Last Detail" was Darryl Ponicsan's first book and it catapulted him into the front rank of American novelists. It was made into the 1973 film starring Jack Nicholson, and has become a classic of the Golden Age of American cinema. This new edition of "The Last Detail" coincides with the publication of its long-awaited sequel, "Last Flag Flying", also available from The Wright Press.



The Last Detail by Darryl Ponicsan

SKU: 9780451061270
  • Format: 182 pages, Hardcover

    Published: July 1, 1971 by The Dial Press/James Wade

    ISBN: 9780451061270 (ISBN10: 0451061276)

    Language: English

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