This is one of those books I'd always wanted to read, but could not getfrom the book shop or the library.
My excuse to read it finally came inthe final year of my degree, when I decided to write my thesis on the linkbetween technology and exploration. This book was one I thought might helpme.
I finally found a copy on Amazon, and what I got didn't dissapoint me.
It starts off, with Heyerdahl in Polynesia before the war, on a beachwhere an old man tells him of the Legend of who the Pacific Islanders camefrom the East.
Heyerdahl abandons his study of Naturalism and leads himto pursue anthropology. He then forms a hypothesis that the PacificIslanders are descended from the peoples of South America, and migrated toPolynesia on Balsa Rafts.
After the War, Heyerdahl though a respected Anthropologist, sees histheory rejected as absurd and impossible.
Despite this, he sets out to conclusively prove his theory to be right,using the best method possible. By actually undertaking the voyage.
Hetakes you through the voyage, from the background to it, to the prep work,to the actual high seas.
The text rich and descriptive. It is one of those books that once youstart reading it, you are hooked. Its so well written, you almost feel asthough as you are on the expedition.
You see how what starts off a seemingly obscure hypthesis, is proved to bea perfectly valid, and that the opinion of so called the "experts" is notalways to be taken as the final word.
If you only ever read a handfulbooks in your life. make sure this is one of them.
It has the all the ingredients of great story -drama, action, emotion,science, hardship, triumph. Though, there is no fiction here. Every eventreally happened.
Since buying this book, (about 20 months ago) I have read it at least fivetimes so far, and each time has been as great and facinating as the firsttime. I expect my copy has as many years of reading left in it as I have.