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Half-Safe

3.22 of 5 stars 3.22  ·  rating details  ·  139 ratings  ·  20 reviews
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 an ...more
ebook, 37 pages
Published December 21st 2012 by The Atavist (first published March 1991)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 221)
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Eric_W
A short, bizarre little book, about a very bizarre adventure by a bizarre man obsessed with an idea to the exclusion of virtually everything else. Ironically, he succeeded in becoming the first and only person to ever circumnavigate the globe on land and sea in the same vehicle. This vehicle he was so enamored of was a discard of the army, an amphibious jeep that proved so useless it was abandoned and production canceled.

Ben Carlin and his girl-friend, Elinore, were sure that a voyage around t
...more
Wil Wheaton
I was hoping for something like A Voyage for Madmen, and that just isn't what I got. There's an interesting story here, but this particular telling of it comes across as an extended summary, rather than a real meaningful examination of this remarkable journey and the people who made it.
Dan
I'm a sucker for sea stories, and this is perhaps the strangest one I've ever come across. Ben Carlin somehow managed to circumnavigate the globe by land and sea in a jeep and boat hybrid. And nobody remembers that he did it.

That's probably the most interesting part of this whole story--the nobody remembering part. In many ways Carlin's journey is textbook adventuring, the kind we often associate with the late Victorian era, shades of Shackleton and his ilk, but Carlin's feat took place in the 1
...more
Shelly
Jan 24, 2013 Shelly rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Vicky
Shelves: kindle-single
Interesting. Not well written. What it made me think about though is why some stories and people are so compelling and interesting to read about and others, like the Carlins and Half-Safe, are just tedious. I realized it has to do with character and personalities more than the amazing feats or tragedies they accomplish or endure. Ben Carlin comes off as a a big-ego, greedy, blow-hard and that is never interesting. I enjoyed the author's, James Nestor, few insights into his compunction to researc ...more
Sean
I bizarre idea, the kind of idea I have always dreamt of trying. But very interesting to see that this idea is what slowly took over his life and what should be an inspirational story became anything but that.

A great hour long read or so, perfect before a flight or train when adventure is on the mind.
Richard
Ben and his wife cross the Atlantic Ocean in an amphibious Jeep, then drive into Europe. Yes, a Jeep. This is better magic than Harry Potter! Some people hope to sail the Atlantic; others, to cross it by powerboat (a big steel hulled trawler fitted out as a live-aboard seems about right to me). But you can do it in a Jeep. Hard book to find; worth locating, for the drama, as well as the boating.
Brett Anderson
Can you imagine being in Ben Carlin's shoes and setting off on an attempt to circumnavigate the globe using a single vehicle for both land AND sea crossings?

If that question interests you, then read this book. Truly a remarkable, bizarre, and forgotten tale. This is definitely not the typical adventure story swelling with machismo.
Gurvan
Très sympa, mais beaucoup, beaucoup trop court!
Cette nouvelle ou cet article de journal relate le tour du monde d'une jeep amphibie de type Ford GPA dans l'immédiat après-guerre...
Cela mériterait un livre bien plus détaillé !
Dommage, mais une superbe histoire quand même !
Brandon Gryder
I can't fathom why anyone would attempt to circumnavigate the earth in a Jeep/boat (beside the fact this guy was certifiably bonkers). I guess that was the point though. I think everyone should tilt at windmills sometime in their life...just maybe not like this.
Brooke
The fact that this story summarizes five months of an arduous journey in one sentence is testament to how little information the adventurer left behind. This short tale of Ben Carlin and his circumnavigation is a quick interesting read.
Ryan Gibson
This is a great story - totally bonkers - but not a great book. You get the feeling that the story could be a great book, but this isn't it. Really interesting, but more like a long-form, extended magazine article.
Angela Gill
Short and sweet! An interesting story; don't know why we never heard of this saga! I still cannot visualize it--need to see some good photos of Half Safe. I read this story on my Kindle. It's worth a read.
Dan
This was a good Kindle Single on the obscure, obsessive journey a man and his wife made around the world in a (marginally) seaworthy Jeep.
Mel
A bizarre story that you couldn't make up. Truly stranger than fiction. A quick read. Got it as an Amazon Kindle Single.
Judy
I didn't think this was a well written book. It did not hold my attention and I found myself forcing myself to finish the book.
Ari
As a novella, not bad. As a story, insane. Couldn't find it in print - had to get it online.
julie
Quick read. I am grateful for the oddballs who follow their dreams, but there are limits!
Smith Nickerson
Half finished. Really interesting story that is badly written.
Jill Topliff
Super short but an interesting little bit of history
Katy
LOved this exciting easy read!
Moises
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