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Summary

Hailed "an extraordinary novel of men at war" (Washington Post), The Last Ship is the book that inspired the TNT mini series starring Eric Dane, Rhona Mitra, and Adam Baldwin, with 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 USS 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 - 152 men and 26 women - to pull together in search of land. Once they reach safety, however, the men and women on board realize that they are the 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?

This thrilling tale of post apocalyptic suspense is perfect for readers of Going Home by A. American, Lights Out by DavidCrawford, The End and The Long Road by G. Michael Hopf, and One Second After by William Forstchen.

©1988 William Brinkley (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Tragic. Beautifully written

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

One of the best books I have listened to. Beautifully written with unbelievable use of language. Comparable to Moby Dick or some other classic.
Tragic, frightening, but very relevant story

What other book might you compare The Last Ship to, and why?

The Road. This is much longer but worth every minute. Not for those who are impatient for action.

What about Christopher Lane’s performance did you like?

Voices really suited the characters. The measured manner of speech of the Captain was beautiful to listen to - it really expressed his character

Any additional comments?

A classic dystopian novel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Dreary

What would have made The Last Ship better?

Er, a complete rewrite with modern attitudes to the sexes, morality, etc and a big, big prune. The tone of the author as 'God' and his use of this medium to extol his own thoughts, rather than explore different viewpoints (that's what I believe this is more about) wore me down very quickly. Really didn't like this at all

What will your next listen be?

Something less condescending

Would you be willing to try another one of Christopher Lane’s performances?

Maybe, the material was dreary and he lived down to it's dreariness - a different book may raise him but the downbeat time to this and the overly judgemental and moralistic viewpoint had me tearing what little of my hair is left out!

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not really, even as a background noise while driving this drove me mad and I couldn't listen beyond the first 2 hours - I gave it a go!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thoughtful deep contemplation on a possible apocal

Where does The Last Ship rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's definitely in the top audiobooks I've read.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Last Ship?

The wistful reminiscences of the captain juxtaposing the current scenario and world with that of his memories brings into focus what has been lost.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The island

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It would be if not for the fact it's ~30 hours long!

Any additional comments?

It's not a super fast based book but it is so well worth the listen, part of the charm is the seeming peace that punctuates the moments of fear and disaster. The narration is fantastic and Christopher Lane's voice is rich and deep but also versatile enough to cover all required situations. Although the book did reach a satisfying conclusion I could have definitely listened to another 30 hours!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Waffling

5% story 95% waffling. The author frustratingly waffles on about the thought process of the captain and seems to forget that they are telling a story. After 6 hours of frustration I've taken the decision not to waste any more time and get another book. THE ONLY BOOK I'VE EVER ABANDONED AFTER 140 AUDIBLE TITLES.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Worth bearing with it

I will admit the first section was a struggle, I have no idea why the author felt the urge to use every word in the language at least once.

But both the languege and voice artists delivery worked well in the rest of the book detailing the ships journey and the crews reaction.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Slow

Disappointed slow ,could not get into it at all main character just goes on and on

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Long

The story was good but I felt had a lot of repetition, needlessly long and struggled to finish it. It was a slog! Well written, and a good story but could have been more exciting a real "page" turner but took me over a month to finish. The narration was excellent

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good book

Starts off a bit slow but becomes a really good story to listen to wold definitely recommend listening to it

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating

It's long...but afterwards you will wish it was longer. There are times when the descriptive passages become close to painful and you just want to shout "just tell me what happens". But you need to persevere! There are still questions left unresolved throughout but...in reality of course those involved would also be in a position of not knowing. Highly recommended especially if you've ever served at sea.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Mr
  • 04-03-16

Really struggled

I usually give books the time to settle but have a feeling I will not return to this book.

I expected more but really disappointed. The first book I will not be finishing in a long time

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ryan
  • 30-04-15

Very punctilios word choices

First of all, the TV series if VERY loosely based on this book. About the only thing in common is the ship and a few of the sailors names. That's fine with me because the idea behind the book is very good. Yes, some of the information is a bit dated, but I was glad to hear the ship had a good supply of VHS and cassette tapes.

The word choice in this book was very punctilios (you can look it up too). Halfway through the book I was convinced the author was just starting to make words up. I even did a web search for a dictionary just so I could start looking words up to catch him. Perhaps due to the generational gap, but the authors literary style would have fit in better had the book taken place in the 1700's.
example:
"... the waters offering us a spondaic series of soft swells which gave a gentle roll and pitch so synchronized as to make the ship seem for once in fraternal rapport with the sea and to move through it with a serine swish. The sea all about lying in a melancholy splendor, luminous stillness the universe seemingly held in hands of tranquility ..."

The narrator didn't skip a beat in his reading of this book. There were no edits or stutters as he muddled through these words and his voices varied and were appropriate. Maybe the narrator read the same "word of the day" books the author did.

I liked this book but now feel like I have neglected my study of the English language and will endeavor to broaden my vocabulary so I can talk good too. 😀

38 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • The Zombie Specialist
  • 08-03-15

Sailor Beware

This is one of the books in which I both loved and hated. The loved the premise of the book. However, at times the style of writing drove me to the point of going postal! Strangely, at other times I found it like a drug which left me wanting more. At times it felt like the author was using words for the sake of using words! At other times the descriptive nature of the language was like sweet music to my ears.

I couldn't help but think about the author. What sort of person was/is he? Did he really speak and think like this in real life? I bet he would be the life of a party. I imagine he could insult me in 15 different languages.

I would like you to imagine me saying this in the voice of Forrest Gump; “I’m not a smart man, but I know what…” it takes to finish this book. It takes commitment. It takes a certain type of mood. Perhaps a certain type of insanity because unless you like to examine every last thing in detail. If you are the type of person who goes out into the rain to try and count the rain drops then you will love this one!

My advice is simple, listen to the sample not once, not twice, but over and over again for at least an hour. If you can still stomach the style of writing then go for it! You will have what it takes! This is the title for you. It will certainly give you a good credit per hour ratio, which is very important if you have to watch your cash flow like me (cheap skate actually for me).

If you have any doubts about the style, then do yourself a favour and let this one pass. You will go mad in an attempt to make it to the end. Because, frankly the story is good enough for you to attempt it. If you buy it and don't make it through to the end you will hate yourself. If you do make it through to the end you will still probably ending up hating yourself. It will only be worse for you if you work in a industry in which you have to deal with people. I know my tolerance dropped sharply while listening to this one... If I have to tell one more person "have you tried turning it off and on again' I will hit them over the head with my keyboard while asking myself the question why did I spend 29 hours of my jam packed week listening to "The Last Ship"?

So you have been warned sailor!

43 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • carl
  • 27-02-15

Not what I expected

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The Last Ship was totally unexpected. When I finally got through all 29 hours I felt it was time well spent, although again, it left me with mixed feelings.

What did you like best about this story?

Books like this are simply not written any more. It had the feel of post-apocalyptic novels like On the Beach or Earth Abides. However it was written in an almost 19th century style. Think Melville or even Poe. Very formal and philosophical.

Did The Last Ship inspire you to do anything?

Pick up Moby Dick again.

Any additional comments?

As I said before, the author was extremely erudite. In other words he would not use a fifty-cent word if a two dollar word was available. This book would be a treasure-trove for scrabble fans. Because it was written in the late 80's it is a bit anachronistic technology-wise. The author also allowed some glaring errors in order to heighten the plot.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • David smith
  • 06-01-17

most long winded repetitive book I've ever listene

the best cure for insomnia
is the nicest thing i can say its the most repetitive long
winded slow est moving repetitive writer I've ever had the miss fortune to download

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Joseph Green
  • 09-08-16

Pretty Boring

You never learn what happened. Person reading it is to monotone. Very boring to listen to.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Lemar
  • 10-11-16

Redundant and R-rated

The descriptions were grand at first but soon became verbose and repetitive.
The sex scenes were needlessly detailed and vulgar and were out of character with the rest of the book.
The TV show that is very loosely based on this book is much better.
Is was not worth the read.
However, the reader did a fantastic job with the voices and accents.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 27-03-17

This is a tough listen, for more than one reason.

The subject is tough because though it is science-fiction, it is very plausible. There are a few things which don't make sense (Why they weren't concerned about contamination at the Suez canal for one?), but otherwise most of it is entirely plausible and that hits close to home. This is written from the point of view of the captain, who in my opinion is unnecessarily wordy which makes you yell at the narrator to get to the point and move on. At times this made me just want to say enough and stop listening, but I made it to the end. It gets interesting when it takes a sudden twist into an X rated sex book which was unexpected, but it is from the point of view of the Captain who is only human. Read this at you own risk and hopefully you are doing something else while listening as it is 30 hours of your life you'll never get back.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • jpen
  • 28-01-17

BORING

What a boring book. made it through 4 hours of this POS and nothing is happening. just rambles on

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 19-04-16

First 4 hours was painful

William Brinkley makes what could be a great book into a painfully to long book filled with to much detail.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Pauline
  • 24-07-15

Just mostly sh-t

Sh-t and sh-t and sh-t. That's what you'll think after listening to this book.

I think the author was trying to write in a older literary style. Not successfully; it was just frustrating.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful