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Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft (1950)

by Thor Heyerdahl

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,719512,943 (4.06)129
On April 28, 1947, an expedition was led by Norwegian biologist Thor Heyerdahl. The journey by raft spanned 4,300 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean and was hailed as one of the most fantastic feats of daring and courage of its time. Heyerdahl and his crew duplicated the legendary voyage of Kon-Tiki, the mythical hero who led the settlement of the South Sea Islands by sailing on a balsawood raft from Peru to the Polynesian islands.… (more)
  1. 21
    Fatu-Hiva: Back to Nature by Thor Heyerdahl (VivienneR)
  2. 00
    American Indians in the Pacific by Thor Heyerdahl (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: This massive volume is the closest to scientific study Heyerdahl ever came to. The theory behind the Kont-Tiki expedition is more substantial and better argued than many people give him credit for. It may have been wrong, but it was no crackpot fantasy.
  3. 01
    The Black Penguin by Andrew Evans (bjappleg8)
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» See also 129 mentions

English (43)  Hebrew (1)  Spanish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Norwegian (1)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Czech (1)  All languages (51)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Great book about raft adventure voyage from Peru to pacific islands proving it could be done. Very enjoyable story. Hard to believe I had never read it before ...but I may have read an abridged version years ago. ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
This has not aged well. An amazing feat of humanity, but racist as hell. ( )
1 vote MaryJeanPhillips | Jun 22, 2022 |
Some people imagine very little, some imagine doing things & do very little, other people imagine doing things & plunge right in. Heyerdahl is certainly in the latter category. This bk enjoyed decades of popularity & a zillion printings & I'm glad it did. Anyone who has the chutzpah to put forth a theory about ancient transoceanic travel & who then goes about attempting to prove its feasability by actually building a giant raft from scratch & sailing it across the Pacific is somebody that I admire to no end! Besides, I learned from this bk that "Mai-Tai", one of my favorite cocktails, is Polynesian for "I like it". ( )
  tENTATIVELY | Apr 3, 2022 |
A real-life scientific-historical adventure story: fodder for a young person's aspirations. ( )
  sfj2 | Mar 11, 2022 |
Only the elements mattered. And the elements seemed to ignore the little raft. Or perhaps they accepted it as a natural object, which did not break the harmony of the sea but adapted itself to current and sea like bird and fish. Instead of being a fearsome enemy, flinging itself at us, the elements had become a reliable friend which steadily and surely helped us onward.

I don't think i've ever had much respect for explorer/adventurer types. I’m not saying thats a good thing it just is. There always seems like it took a lot of people to get the one or two you’ve heard of where they wanted to go. Plus the use of natives for african/mountain expeditions is practically cheating ;) . Even with the arctic expeditions lets face it the huskies were doing most of the heavy lifting :P .

Anyway... these guys i can respect... because they’re idiots! I mean, not only no natives who might know what they’re doing but they don’t even have any sailors at all on they’re experimental sea voyage. Just 6 crazy scandanavians on a type of raft that hasn’t been used for hundreds of years.

I love that this is experimental archeaology, and as always with that, they learn a lot of interesting stuff no one knew before.

The writing is far better than i expected too. For non-fiction it has aquite a flourish to it at times. Some of the incidents might be a little truncated compared to what you might get in a hollywoodized version but its still very compelling.

In fact i havn’t read anything which made the oceans sound this interesting since Verne and 20,000 Leagues... except this is real!

For long stretches it seems like this was far easier a voyage than you might expect but then here and there you realise just how close it all came to disaster. I also reallu like how much science stuff was being done onboard, testing different things, sending data to various institutes etc.
Its like a space mission at times, in more ways than one, as it soon becomes apparent that the raft can’t be turned araound or even slowed, so anything thing (or anyone) that goes overboard is just going to drift away with no chance of rescue, very space like.

Due to how well its written i was already on 4 stars, then raised it to 5 due to all the info i was getting i hadn’t heard before. And that was even before many of the really compelling incidents occurred so absolutely 5 stars.

PS. They don't eat any Dolphins. They keep referring to the Doradoe, aka Mahi Mahi, aka the dolphinfish as a Dolpin, that was annoying, its just a fish :lol . Although they are pretty beligerant to some of the other aquatic life, but not Dolphins!

Edit: New research might support Thor's theory https://sciencenorway.no/archaeology-history-society-and-culture/new-research-su... . ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (30 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Heyerdahl, Thorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lyon, Francis HamiltonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my father
Meinem Vater
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Just occasionally you find yourself in an odd situation.
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No storm-clouds with low pressure and dirty weather held greater menace for us then the danger of psychological cloudburst among six men shut up together for months on a drifting raft. In such circumstances a good joke was often as valuable as a life-belt.
There were swarms of journalists and a clicking of cinema cameras; indeed, the only things that were lacking were a brass band and a big drum. One thing was quite clear to us all - that if the raft went to pieces outside the bay we would paddle to Polynesia, each of us on a log, rather than dare come back there again.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

On April 28, 1947, an expedition was led by Norwegian biologist Thor Heyerdahl. The journey by raft spanned 4,300 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean and was hailed as one of the most fantastic feats of daring and courage of its time. Heyerdahl and his crew duplicated the legendary voyage of Kon-Tiki, the mythical hero who led the settlement of the South Sea Islands by sailing on a balsawood raft from Peru to the Polynesian islands.

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Skyhorse Publishing

2 editions of this book were published by Skyhorse Publishing.

Editions: 1602397953, 1629146749

 

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