David spends his days as an underworked copy writer for an ad agency and his nights lost in old war movies, fantasizing about his strange teenage cousin and revisiting his father's suicide.
His dreary life is upended when he finds himself at the mysterious Chaos Farm, a lavish wilderness retreat populated by those seeking to right their lives' imbalances through New Age games and rites of necromancy. In a paranormal experiment gone awry, they inadvertently raise a mysterious bloodthirsty creature that may be a) the Devil, b) David's deceased father, c) George C. Scott as General George S. Patton in the movie Patton, or d) all, or any, of the aforementioned. Carnage ensues, leading David through a woozy landscape of churning highways, deserted shopping malls and small towns, lured backward through the chasms of memory and nostalgia by the monster's coaxing squeals and forward toward an uncertain, hallucinatory future.
Here, Lolita meets Maldoror meets 50s pulp horror comics. Safety of War is a hellride of exploded symbolism and beery misadventures, murders and tragedies, laughs, puzzles and meditations on valour and sacrifice in a world short on true heroes.
About the author
Rob Benvie is the author of Maintenance and Safety of War. His work has appeared with McSweeney’s, Dazed, Vice, Joyland, The Puritan, CNQ, The Best Canadian Essays anthology series, and been produced widely for film, music, and television. Born and raised in Nova Scotia, he now lives in Toronto.