In 1948, the Australian Ben Carlin set out from New York City with an audacious, lunatic plan to circumnavigate the world by amphibious jeep. Fuelled by cigarettes and adrenaline, he forged eastwards through fierce Atlantic hurricanes; across scorching, uncharted North African desert; into dense South-East Asian jungle and over the dark swells of the North Pacific. It was a 50,000-mile roll of the dice that by all rights should have killed him. Ben's journey was supposed to take a year. Instead, it took ten. As the years passed, co-pilots abandoned him, the media found other stories, the world moved on. But Ben kept going, his sanity slowly eroding in the claustrophobic confines of his battered jeep Half-Safe. When he finally pulled into Times Square in June 1958, he found himself alone and forgotten, leaving a wake of women and empty whiskey bottles behind him. But what do we make of this man so at odds with society but at one with his machine? Was it all a fool's errand? Or a pure manifestation of spirit? Where does a dream end and an obsession begin? What's an acceptable cost to pay, and what lengths will a person go not to be left with the haunting question- what if? The Last Great Australian Adventurer is the compelling account of Ben Carlin's attempt to make an enduring mark on the world, at a time when the Golden Age of Adventure was coming to an end.
- Publication Date:
- 31 / 07 / 2017