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on 23 June 2015
I’ve been to Polynesia, and stood out on a deserted beach, staring out at the vastness of the Pacific, it is only natural to imagine how these people first arrived in such a remote location. Thor Heyerdahl, in living memory, in one of the greatest sea voyages of all time, also wondered this, and set in motion a fabulous journey to emulate the ancestors of the modern day Polynesians, by sailing on a traditional pae-pae or raft from his theorized seeding point of the race in Peru. Kon-Tiki was a pre-Incan King who escaping from battle defeat on mainland South America, headed off into the Pacific Ocean sunset, seeking new lands. Thor and his five Scandic compadres repeated this adventure, having thoroughly researched every detail of it. Their voyage was viewed by most experts as a complete suicide mission. This book narrates wonderfully the ship’s log, as they trundled along the empty oceans on a unique epic of discovery. From the sea creatures they encountered en route, to the sparseness of their abode, Heyerdahl records in graphic detail every aspect of their plight. It is a truly enlightening tale, which reads exceptionally well. It is a real page-turner, which grips you as the journey progresses and you genuinely can empathise with the men’s elation when they finally strike land and spend a few weeks partying with the natives, Polynesian style. It’s a happy tale and an amazing true story. A great read! Highly recommended. https://wezgbooks.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/review-kon-tiki/
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on 22 July 1998
Heyerdahl epitomises the human search for knowledge and man's driving curiosity to seek out the truth. His voyaga is inspiring. This book is great.. I read it as a child and I'm getting this book for my son..
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on 4 November 2015
Anybody who walked into an office in the 1940s and asked for funding to build and sail a raft across the Pacific should have not been surprised if jaws hit floors and the silence was soon replaced by guffaws of laughter. And yet that’s exactly what Thor Heyerdahl did in 1947.

Charting the expedition Heyderdahl undertook to cross the Pacific in a raft in order to prove his theory that Polynesia had been settled by migrants from as far as South America, Kon-Tiki is a boys’ own story that makes the Everest expedition look like a walk up Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.

Under Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg’s assured direction, we embrace the joyful euphoria of the eve before a great adventure, as Heyerdahl (Pål Sverre Hagen) assembles his crew for a make or break trip using only materials available to the original migrants.

The jubilation is short-lived, however, as domestic pressures, the ever-present menace of nature’s wrath, and the soul crushing monotony of being stuck on a raft for days on end begin to push human endurance to breaking point.

Yet despite some great acting, wonderful visuals and a tremendous sense of isolation that only bobbing around on the world’s largest ocean can bring, there is never any impression that the expedition is doomed to fail. Tension flags in places and the inevitability of a near fatal shark attack is clearly signposted for the viewer.

Despite these minor bugbears, Kon-Tiki is another welcome addition to the canon of great foreign language films that have graced our screens over the years, and a worthy beneficiary of an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
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VINE VOICEon 4 February 2004
This is an account of the real life adventure of a young Norweigen and his crew as they sail across the pacific ocean in a homemade balsa raft over 50 years ago, just to prove a theory.
It is written in simple, no nonsense practical terms, describing the adventure in detail, and the day to day life on a raft no bigger that a living room.
A fantastic read, amusing, down to earth and inspiring. Gives a taste of real adventrue and a lust for living. I Loved it.
Highly Recomended.
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on 24 April 2004
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.
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on 31 January 2009
A must-have book, and the best adventure/expedition book I've ever read. What makes it so wonderful is not the incredible bravery and pluck of Heyerdahl and his crew on this epic trip, but the fact that Heyerdahl underplays the danger to focus on the sheer wonder of being out at sea with a group of friends and his amazing raft. Too often adventurers are 'battling' the elements or 'fighting' against nature when the sea and mountains just 'are'. Heyerdahl, despite almost no experience of the sea when setting out on this trip, seems to understand this relationship with nature implicitly and he'd rather write about the spectacle of a storm at sea than his own bravery in facing it. The many sections covering the marine life encountered on the trip are inspiringly written. This is the other reason for its brilliance - unlike many adventurers Heyerdahl is a writer of some skill and has been well translated in this edition. I guess the stems from his academic background - after all, the voyage was only undertaken when his academic peers refused to believe his theory that Polynesia was populated originally by South American Inca sailors rather than from Asia.

A magical book I would recommend to anyone, and absolutely compulsory for anyone with a love of the sea.
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on 12 November 1998
Few, if any, authors can claim the same realism and drive that Heyerdahl accomplishes in Kon-Tiki. It is a story of a journey of unparalleled magnitude and importance. Eight men in a balsa log raft against 4,000 miles of the blue unknown. Simply put, a spellbinding chronicle of amazing human acheivement, the like of which will not soon be equaled.
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on 6 March 2002
This is one of my favourite books of all time and I can't believe it has never been made into a film.
The scene in the book when they are being waved off in Peru and everyone thinks they are doomed is fantastic.
One of the most audacious and life affirming stories you'll ever read.
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on 31 December 2003
This is a great book that which will appeal to anyone with an adventurous spirit! Thor Heyerdahl conceives the possibility that the Pacific Islands were originally populated by migrants from the Southern Americas. To prove the validity of this theory he and his companions build a raft and float across the pacific from Peru themselves. A great story, well told! Well worth reading - I've read it 5 times!
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on 12 November 1998
Few, if any, authors can claim the same realism and drive that Heyerdahl accomplishes in Kon-Tiki. It is a story of a journey of unparalleled magnitude and importance. Six men in a balsa log raft against 4,000 miles of the blue unknown. Simply put, a spellbinding chronicle of amazing human acheivement, the like of which will not soon be equaled.
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