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Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific by Raft Paperback – Mar 1 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (March 1 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602397953
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602397958
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,067,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Thor Heyerdahl was a Norwegian explorer, adventurer, and writer. Born in 1914, he became famous for the 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition. His life of exploration, which took him all over the world, continues to capture the public’s imagination and inspire people to do incredible things.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
With each passing year, less and less of the world remains to be discovered. With GPS and satellite imagery, our oceans have been charted and the jungles surveyed. Our world is no longer a mystery. No longer do we have maps fringed by threatening pictures of dragons and sea monsters warning sailors and explorers of the unknown that lies out there. But when I picked up this book I was taken back fifty years in time. Back to a time when men ate meat raw and walked around with clubs hunting big game. OK, perhaps I am getting carried away.
Thor Heyerdahl believed the Polynesian islands were inhabited by sea faring travellers from Peru. But his thesis on this topic was ridiculed because no one would believe that the pacific ocean could be crossed by a flimsy raft made of balsa wood and bamboo. So Heyerdahl decides to prove IT IS possible by building a raft using exactly the same materials the ancient Peruvians used and sailing off the coast of Peru hoping to eventually reach Polynesia.
Nearly every step off his journey was filled with nay sayers who said he was crazy and "experts" who variably told him he was going to die, the raft was going to break apart, or the balsa wood would absorb the sea water and sink. He ignored them all. When they told him balsa trees of the size he needed no longer existed along the coast, he took a jeep deep into the jungles through flooded roads and GOT his trees. Which then they floated down to the ocean in a river.
Heyerdahl is keenly aware of his surroundings and describes his voyage vividly and in simple prose. I could smell the sea breeze and feel the spray of the ocean. It was like taking a mini vacation every time I sat down with this book. You'll swim with whale sharks and get caught in ferocious storms.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have just finished reading this book straight through. In and of itself this statement alone is high praise for any book since I have only done that a few times prior. The story grabbed me hopelessly, only to release me upon it's unwelcome finale. Even then my psyche was thoroghly unwilling to release the warm embrace of Kon Tiki's quest into the primitive and yet tranquil oneness with our world's awesome power and beauty. "Whether it was 1947 B.C. or A.D. suddenly became of no significance. We lived, and that we felt with alert intensity. We realized that life had been full for men before the technical age also--in fact, fuller and richer in many ways than the life of modern man. Time and evolution somehow ceased to exist; all that was real and that mattered were the same today as they had always been and would always be. We were swallowed up in the absolute common measure of history--endless unbroken darkness under a swarm of stars." This page was earmarked by the book's previous reader, and I immediately shared his or her affection for the page; specifically, this quote. It, more than any other, summed up the emotions stirred in me by the author's gracious sharing over the years and miles of an adventure that I at once became a part of in my heart and soul. I am a brutish, biker-type dude. Generally speaking, tears are unacceptable in my "Big Twin" thundering realm of machismo. However, upon reaching the stories conclusion I was hard pressed to hold back...STRIKE THAT...I was unable to fight back (hard as I tried) salty tears unexplainable. Feeling an uncontrollable urge to let my girlfriend in on the moment, I struggled desperately to choke out for her the final few paragraphs. I now sense an overpowering need to alter my lifestyle; and will at the very least be haunted by this desire for a very long time! Thank you so much Mr. Heyerdahl, et.al.
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Format: School & Library Binding
Early in "Kon-Tiki," as Thor Heyerdahl and his compatriots are a assembling make-shift raft to float across the Pacific, a government official calls Heyerdahl to his office.
"Are your parents living?" the official asks.
Yes, says Heyerdahl.
"Your mother and father will be very grieved when they hear of your death," says the official.
It was a reasonable assumption. What Heyerdahl and his five Norwegian friends were proposing was beyond audacious -- it was foolhardy, by any standard. Here were six young men, none with sailing experience, who were building their own Inca-style raft out of balsa logs and hemp ropes and planning to sail it across thousands of miles of ocean from Peru to the South Seas.
Surely, they would die.
Of course, they didn't. For over 100 days, the Kon-Tiki bobbed along like a cork in high and low seas making slow but steady progress before eventually landing the men on an island in French Polynesia. In doing so, Heyerdahl, an anthropologist, had made his case that it was possible that the South Sea islands had been populated by immigrants floating on rafts from South America.
It was a remarkable accomplishment, and while it is a tale imperfectly told, "Kon-Tiki" is quite worth reading.
This is a book where the events carry the writing. For the most part, Heyerdahl does an able job of presenting the story, but he curiously skips over some parts. For instance, he doesn't explain clearly why he allowed the voyage to begin by having the Kon-Tiki towed out of port and many miles out to sea. After all, wasn't the point of the expedition to show that the raft could make it all the way on its own? (There may have been a good reason -- perhaps to avoid shipping traffic -- but he doesn't say what it is.
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