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"How Many Of You Have Read ..." Topic

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Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Aug 2021 2:42 a.m. PST

Kon Tiki and/or The Ra Expeditions?

Answering this question, of course, requires all the validation of people on the Internet – or life in general – when they say they have read something they think they should have. :) Feel free to rehash all the arguments for and against what Heryhdral did.

As a young kid (too young to read them when they came out, but not so young that dad didn't have them when), I "fake read" them (scanned, didn't pay attention, etc.), but did dig into them seriously in high school. Thor Heyerdahl* is just a badass name. A decade and change later I married a half-Danish, half-Swedish warrior princess.

* LATE EDIT – Fixed due to JimDuncanUK's eagle eye. Thanks!

In my defense, most Scandinavians I know admit that no one can spell Scandinavian names … or pronounce them. When I met a certain warrior princess for the first time (in college), she came up to me, told me her first name and asked if I could spell it. I couldn't. It has one of those slashly o things in it, but I still wasn't close.

Also, the books are on the shelf all the way in the next room …

JimDuncanUK02 Aug 2021 2:49 a.m. PST

Yes, I remember reading the book when it first came out.

I also remember visiting the Kon Tiki museum in Oslo as a teenager. (It was a replica of course as the real one was a bit weatherbeaten.

I've also seen clips on YouTube.

Do I win a prize?


Last name is Heyerdahl.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2021 3:02 a.m. PST

Read Kon-tiki. Looked over the Ra Expeditions and opted out. Not on the shelves, though. I fun story, but a "read once."

Stryderg02 Aug 2021 3:12 a.m. PST

Had to google Kon Tiki because I only vaguely remembered the name. Watched a documentary on youtube about it a few years ago, never read it.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2021 3:26 a.m. PST

Read them both & enjoyed them.

noggin2nog02 Aug 2021 3:58 a.m. PST

Yep, read them both.

panzerCDR02 Aug 2021 5:06 a.m. PST

Both. A LONG time ago (Kon Tiki in ~ 7th grade, Ra Expeditions a few years later). Both very interesting and captured the attention of a youngster. Thor H. (I won't even try to spell his last name!) was pretty bad ass attempting to cross oceans in marginally buoyant vessels long before GPS had been invented. My rule of thumb is not to go out to sea in anything less than 1000 tons displacement and 1000 shaft horsepower, so Thor and his crews very courageous.

As to the validity of his theories, I imagine all of the recent DNA sequencing of various genomes may have some confirmation or denial of his proposals. Neither are on my shelves though perhaps should be.

Thanks for the memories.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Aug 2021 5:13 a.m. PST

Never got around to reading them. Tried one of them back in high school, when I briefly flirted with the idea of oceanography as a career, and just could not get interested in it.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Aug 2021 6:28 a.m. PST

No but I saw a TV show about it. Was it "In Search Of?" narrated by Leonard Nimoy?

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2021 6:30 a.m. PST

I tried Kon Tiki when I was in HS. Not sure if I finished it or not. I think I watched the same show as Extra Crispy.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Aug 2021 6:31 a.m. PST

There are actually lots of books I "should" have read that I never did, including:

The Red Badge of Courage
The Catcher In the Rye
Runaway Ralph
The Scarlet Letter

John the OFM02 Aug 2021 7:16 a.m. PST

I read both a long time ago.
I don't remember much about them.
They were kind of a "You really should read them!" thing.

Martin Rapier02 Aug 2021 8:04 a.m. PST

I read the Kon Tiki one when I was a teenager, I even had a balsa model of the raft which was an utter pig to build (just try pushing a needle and thread through thick balsa).

I wasn't aware it was on any 'must read' lists though.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2021 8:11 a.m. PST

I knew all about Thor H and the Kon Tiki, but I honestly don't recall if I read the book or just about them in magazines like National Geographic/World. I know I didn't read the Ra Expedition.

Personal logo chicklewis Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2021 8:22 a.m. PST

Read Kon Tiki when it was first released, and was fascinated by it, expecially the secret underground chambers. Then in 2016 after spending a week on Easter Island, I read it again. Surprised to find that the underground secrets were actually in the Marquesas. We had also spent a week on Nuku Hiva, but almost no local information about the ancient religions.

Thresher0102 Aug 2021 8:31 a.m. PST

I believe I read both eons ago.

I also saw the movie in the theater.

dragon6 Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2021 8:53 a.m. PST

I read them both but Ra wasn't as interesting

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian02 Aug 2021 9:37 a.m. PST

Yes, fascinated by them as a kid.

Grelber02 Aug 2021 9:38 a.m. PST

I read Kon Tiki long ago. I read a magazine article--probably National Geographic--about Ra.

Maybe I should look up the Ra article to see how to build an Egyptian boat, now that I have some Egyptians.


HansPeterB02 Aug 2021 9:57 a.m. PST

Read both ages ago as a young person. Loved that sort of adventure/speculative history thing.

Personal logo Jeff Ewing Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2021 10:31 a.m. PST

I did -- my dad was really interested in it. We even had a balsa model of the Kon-Tiki.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2021 10:44 a.m. PST

Read about it, not the actual book

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2021 11:38 a.m. PST

Both,back in the 60;s and 80;s.

14Bore02 Aug 2021 11:52 a.m. PST

Wow, probably when I was 13 or 14 years old, so early 70s

jwebster Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2021 1:01 p.m. PST

I remember seeing TV shows when I was young. There is a fine line between badass and insanity – personally I wouldn't want to go to sea on a boat that I built, with or without superglue

@Extra super Crispy
As for books that we should read but haven't, I believe that most of those books should stay firmly on the haven't read list


Zephyr102 Aug 2021 2:28 p.m. PST

I read them , but only remember the part about the monkey peeing in the guy's bed…

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2021 5:25 p.m. PST

He had me with the first words of his book Aku-Aku, about Easter Island: "I had no aku-aku." That was when I was about 12, I think.

Aku-Aku led to Kon Tiki, and I saw the movie about the 1970 Ra Expedition. I never read The Ra Expeditions.

von Schwartz ver 202 Aug 2021 5:56 p.m. PST

No to both, but to carry on with eto's Scandinavian saga, I did marry a Norwegian, which ain't bad considering that I'm a Swede. What kept us together was the other 1/2 which in both cases is German, hence, "von" Schwartz.
I did, however read a book detailing Captain Cook's exploration of Tierra del Fuego, the title is dry as dust but once I got into it quite facinating.

oldjarhead02 Aug 2021 7:49 p.m. PST

Read both, don't remember much about them.

Old Wolfman07 Aug 2021 10:08 a.m. PST

I also saw Monty Python's parody of it involving a Ford Popular.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2021 10:28 a.m. PST

I read Kon-Tiki in grade school, was fascinated with that sort of thing. I remember a little about it, then saw a few shows on TV about it too … old fart

John the Greater09 Aug 2021 7:54 a.m. PST

I have read both Kon Tiki and the Ra Expeditions.

I agree with Oberlindas, Aku Aku is well worth the read.

The Last Conformist10 Sep 2021 1:46 a.m. PST

I read both (plus another or two of his books) back in the '90s, in my early teens or so. Found them interesting but unconvincing.

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