Darryl Ponicsan's debut novel The Last Detail was named one of the best of the year and widely acclaimed, catapulting him to fame when it was first published. The story of two career sailors assigned to escort a young seaman from Norfolk to the naval prison in Portsmouth, New Hampshire—and of the mayhem that ensues—was made into an award-winning movie starring Jack Nicholson. Last Flag Flying, set thirty-four years after the events of The Last Detail, brings together the same beloved characters—Billy Bad-Ass Buddusky, Mule Mulhall, and Meadows—to reprise the same journey but under very different circumstances.
Now middle-aged, Meadows seeks out his former captors in their civilian lives to help him bury his son, a Marine killed in Iraq, in Arlington National Cemetery. When he learns that the authorities have told him a lie about the circumstances of his son's death, he decides, with the help of the two others, to transport him home to Portsmouth. And so begins the journey, centered around a solemn mission but, as in the first book, a protest against injustice and celebration of life too, at once irreverent, funny, profane, and deeply moving.
Last Flag Flying is now a major movie from Amazon Studios, directed by Richard Linklater and starring Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, and Laurence Fishburne.
AuthorBy Darryl Ponicsán
Published5 September 2017
Dimensions5.50 x 8.25in.
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.
"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