Bernal Journalist Publishes New Story About Madman Who (Literally) Drove Around the World



Here’s a locavore longread to carry you through the weekend.

Bernal Heights writer and anticool motorist James Nestor has just published a terrific new story over at the Atavist. It’s a true tale of adventure and obsession (though not necessarily in that order), and it’s called Half-Safe:

In 1948, a young Australian mining engineer named Ben Carlin set out to do the impossible: circumnavigate the globe, by land and sea, in a single vehicle. The vehicle in question was an amphibious jeep developed by the U.S. Army, which Carlin christened Half-Safe, after a deodorant slogan. It was a mechanical mongrel that was supposed to move with equal ease across land and water but in practice wasn’t much good for either one. Undaunted, Carlin and his wife Elinore set off across the Atlantic Ocean with dreams of fame and fortune, and of carving a small notch in history. What happened next is one of the most bizarre, remarkable, and forgotten adventure stories of the 20th century. In Half-Safe, author James Nestor endeavors to uncover Ben Carlin’s fate and finds a gripping story of love, danger, and extraordinary perseverance that spans three oceans and five continents. Half-Safe takes us from the eye of an Atlantic Ocean hurricane to the sweltering Sahara to the impenetrable jungles of Southeast Asia—and into the mind of a man who could overcome everything but his own demons.

Half-Safe costs as much as a cup of coffee, and you can download it for iPhone, iPad, Google Play, Nook, Kindle and probably any other e-readermadoodle you might favor — although be advised that it looks most sexy via the Atavist apps for iOS or Android.

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