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SENIOR SCHOOL What I appreciate in particular is how Gordon included so many little details of Ben Carlin’s story. It is clearly telling the truth, all while providing a very enjoyable story. story behind the yellow car, The Last Great Australian Adventurer by Gordon Bass is a good place to start. Isaac French (Year 10) * * * * * The Last Great Australian Adventurer by Gordon Bass tells the captivating story of Ben and Elinore Carlin’s trip across the world in a WWII Ford GPA amphibious jeep. Bass keeps the story of the Half-Safe’s journey infinitely engaging in the way he breaks up the story, whether it’s through technical breakdowns of the journey, flash backs and flash forwards, or Ben’s lesser known but equally fascinating exploits. Possibly the best part of Bass’ book is his ability to show more than just the well- known side of Ben. As a student of Guildford Grammar School, I have heard many times of the exploits of Ben Carlin and his Half-Safe, but this is the first time that I have seen the other faces of Ben Carlin. While Bass doesn’t bag Ben as a bad person, he shows the side that he hid from the public, or that the public refused to see. accomplices and friends who helped him on his journey is done with great historical accuracy, which is what makes this so worthwhile to read. What I appreciate in particular is how Gordon included so many little details of Ben Carlin’s story. It is clearly telling the truth, all the while providing a very enjoyable story. Elinore Arone, Ben Carlin’s first wife and companion on the Half-Safe vessel appeared to me to be a woman with a great sense of initiative. Ben Carlin’s character developed greatly over the period covered by the book. As the book progressed it was clear that Ben was growing more and more tired of the trip. However, even with everything going on in Ben’s head, we could still feel his passion and his commitment to the difficult global trip. Overall, I liked how real The Last Great Australian Adventurer feels. It truly gave me an insight into Ben Carlin’s life that was both enjoyable and illuminating. This book is a great read for anyone who enjoys Australian history, or wants to learn more about the man behind the adventure. After all, the story of Ben Carlin is one of the truly remarkable parts of Western Australian history. Kale Kendall (Year 10) * * * * * Can you imagine travelling 80,467 km around the world in a second hand, faulty, amphibious jeep? Neither can I. Yet in 1948, Ben Carlin set off from New York City with his wife Elinore, beginning a 10-year trip of stormy seas, searing hot deserts, and bustling cities. The Last Great Australian Adventurer by Gordon Bass covers every single day of Carlin’s adventure. At first, I was a bit apprehensive to pick up my copy of the book. The Last Great Australian Adventurer didn’t exactly appeal to my personal interests. However, battling a bout of the ‘flu, I decided to give the book a crack, and I was pleasantly surprised. Rather than providing a dry, day-by-day analysis of Carlin’s travels, my senses were intoxicated by vivid descriptions of exotic destinations travelled to, whether it be the silky sands of Casablanca or the delightful spices of Calcutta. The book covers all aspects of the adventure, including the less recognised aspects. The Half-Safe really was only half safe – from the numerous failed attempts (2 years’ worth to be precise) to Carlin’s erratic, and at times, death-defying behaviour. Bass expertly intertwined the raw facts of the trip with Carlin’s constantly changing moods, not an easy feat considering the wide-ranging spectrum of whims. If there’s one lesson Carlin taught me, it’s that even some of the greatest achievers aren’t perfect. I would recommend the book to anyone who wants something different, something that you wouldn’t normally read. Read The Last Great Australian Adventurer if you want to enrich yourself with a great and unique part of Guildford Grammar School’s history. Zachary Matthews (Year 10) The Last Great Australian Adventurer is not just biographical but will appeal to anyone who enjoys adventure stories and also to anyone interested in the private life of Carlin and his fellow adventurers. Ashton Reid (Year 10) * * * * * The Last Great Australian Adventurer by Gordon Bass is an amazing representation of Australian historical figure, Ben Carlin. Gordon Bass has not only summed up Ben Carlin’s hardships, but his amazing representation of Carlin and all his Deirdre Carlin, author Gordon Bass and Guildford Grammar School Archivist Rosemary Waller with Half-Safe. 15