New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1989. First Editions. Hardcover. A Fine copy of the first edition, first printing in a Fine dust jacket, SIGNED BY TOM CLANCY on the half-title, TOGETHER WITH AN ORIGINAL SIGNED LETTER FROM TOM CLANCY TO THE WIDOW OF JOHN BALL TO WHOM THIS BOOK WAS DEDICATED. The letter is in excellent condition and shows two horizontal folds for mailing and some slight bending to its upper left corner. The book itself is sharp, unfaded, with bright gilt lettering and is without the concavity to the spine that plagues most copies and the dust jacket has only modest bits of loss to the laminate (another matter that we frequently have seen on this dust jacket) and some wear to the extremities at the spine ends and to the edges where the spine turns to each flap. [In spite of such small flaws, this is otherwise easily the nicest example of the dust jacket that we ever have seen. The book's first edition was published both in a silver jacket and in a bronze jacket, and, to us, the bronze jacket is measurably the more attractive of the two.] The book comes with a SIGNED personal letter from Tom Clancy to his widow [Patricia Hamilton Ball]. Dated February 11, 1989, Clancy addressed it to "Mrs. John Ball" and used as his salutation "Dear Mrs. Ball". He tells her that "News of John's death caught me very short indeed...", mentions that his days have been frantic since John Ball's death (on October 15, 1988 at age 77) and tells her that "...I've had little chance to reflect on the gravity of your loss. I can only address my own." He mentions that he met John Ball only once although he had read many of Ball's books had felt that he had known him for many years. He then stated: "The original was far more impressive than his reflection, and I deem myself fortunately to have shared even a few hours with him." [We presume that Clancy meant to write "fortunate" rather than "fortunately". He then asks Mrs. Ball if he could dedicate his next book to Ball and provides her with the text of his proposed Dedication. The Dedication in the book is exactly what Clancy proposed to her. Thus, we have here a remarkably nice copy of this noted Clancy work in an attractive example of the dust jacket, with the book SIGNED BY CLANCY TOGETHER WITH AN ORIGINAL TYPED LETTER SIGNED BY CLANCY ON HIS PERSONAL STATIONARY FROM WHICH HE MUST HAVE RECEIVED PERMISSION TO USE THE DEDICATION THAT HE PROPOSED TO HIS FRIEND'S WIDOW TO BE USED. THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE BOOK AND THE ACCOMPANYING LETTER (both of which are signed by Tom Clancy) IS DEEP AND INTIMATE. [The book's Dedication to Ball is , in part, a clear reference John Ball's earlier novel "Last Plane Out". A REMARKABLE PAIRING RELATING TO TWO PROMINENT NOVELISTS. RARE INDEED.
John Dudley Ball (July 8, 1911 — October 15, 1988), writing as John Ball, was an American writer best known for mystery novels involving the African-American police detective Virgil Tibbs. He was introduced in the 1965 In the Heat of the Night where he solves a murder in a racist Southern small town. It won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America and was made into an Oscar-winning film of the same name starring Sidney Poitier; the film had two sequels, and spawned a television series several decades later, none of which were based on Ball's later Tibbs stories.
Ball was born in Schenectady, New York, grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and attended Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He wrote for a number of magazines and newspapers, including the Brooklyn Eagle. For a time he worked part-time as a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy, was trained in martial arts, and was a nudist. In the mid 1980s, he was the book review columnist for Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine. Ball lived in Encino, California, and died there in 1988.
Ball's "Last Plane Out" consists of two stories which share characters and then meld together. The first involves a group of travelers in a troubled Third World country, waiting for the last plane out, which they hope will carry them to safety. The second story is shared by an aviation buff who is given his chance to increase his flying skills by the airline that has been built by the pilot Captain of the first story. They meet when an important character in the first story by chance recognizes the quality of our buff during a plane crash and introduces him to the original pilot Captain.
MOVIES: Per Wikipedia: "Clear and Present Danger" provided the basis for a 1994 American action thriller film of the same name directed by Phillip Noyce and based on Tom Clancy's 1989 novel of the same name. It is a sequel to The Hunt for Red October (1990) and Patriot Games (1992). All three movies featured Clancy's character Jack Ryan, though Ford only played the role in the last two. It is the last film version of Clancy's novels to feature Harrison Ford as Ryan and James Earl Jones as Vice Admiral James Greer, as well as the final installment directed by Noyce.
Also Per Wikipedia: "Last Plane Out" provided the basis for a 1983 film, directed by David Nelson, son of Ozzie and Harriet. It was based on journalist Jack Cox's (who co-produced the film) experience in Nicaragua when it was ruled by Anastasio Somoza Debayle and his battle against insurgents during the 1979 Nicaraguan Revolution. Fine / very good +. Item #3702