The popularity of Kon Tiki with young readers leaves little doubt of the natural appeal of a Heyerdahl voyage, and as...

READ REVIEW

THOR HEYERDAHL AND THE REED BOAT RA

The popularity of Kon Tiki with young readers leaves little doubt of the natural appeal of a Heyerdahl voyage, and as Heyerdahl's own account of the Ra Expeditions was, for a number of reasons, somewhat less accessible than his previous book, there's a large potential audience for this highly condensed log of the two Ra ventures. Norman Baker, who sailed as navigator on both voyages, contributes an insider's view of the tensions and camaraderie among the international crews, recalls heroic efforts to keep the reed boats afloat and repair them with makeshift materials, and elevates the Ra mascots, a duck named Sinbad and a monkey called Safi, to the status of major characters. Both Heyerdahl's theories of cultural dissemination and the adventures that occurred during the boats' construction are kept to a bare minimum, but these are less to be missed than the occasional failure of the informal anecdotal text to evoke a palpable sense of danger. The many photographs go a long way to compensate for the text's thin spots, and by anyone's standard the Ra expeditions have to rate high on the scale of dream adventures.

Pub Date: May 13, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1974