'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Kon-Tiki ... and Me.

Some time ago, and long before the film came out, I posted about one of the most marvelous books I grew up with - Kon-Tiki and I, by Erik Hesselberg.
At the time I was able to provide a link to the contents of the book itself, and many of you were able to enjoy a few pages.
Unfortunately, and, naturally, this link has now been severed due to copyright.  Doubly unfortunately the re-print of this book is out of print too.  

Many have read Thor Hyerdahl's account, but Hesselberg's is mostly a single-person viewpoint, and its delightful, drawing-based narrative and its humble nature belays the controversy of the undertaking and challenges the team experienced in floating across the Pacific on a balsa raft.

On page 34, Hesselberg likens the raft to an insect:
"For a time the wind and sea pretended not to see the curious insect.  They left the impudent creature to the mercy of the current which does not care if one is a splinter or a big steamer.  But then they perceived that the insect was in earnest.  And so they set to work to shake it off."



And later:
"All things must have an end - and so the dirty weather stopped being dirty and we felt we had everything very shipshape and pleasant.  The little cabin was better than the Bolivar in Lima itself, we thought.  And here we need not put on suits and ties for meals either.  At one end lay Herman, Thor, Bengt and I.  Knut lay at our feet and at the other end lay Torstein with the wireless and Lorita*"

So I show here a few pages, just re-iterate what a delightful and unique book it was, and encourage you to buy yourself a copy if you ever see one.  There must be a few still in second-hand bookshops.


I have two copies and am looking for a third so I may bequeath a copy to each of my young people.
So if you see two copies, please send me the address of the store!


* Lorita the parrot.

13 comments:

  1. It is a great book.
    I'm surprised Amazon haven't a copy.

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    1. Yes Adrian. It's a pity its out of print.

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    2. I have just looked on Amazon and they are showing at least five copies. Used from £19.00p and mint from £300 to £500.

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  2. I read the Hyerdahl book when I was small, and loved every bit of it. The photos of flying fish, and the raft itself, really caught my imagination. It was the perfect example of 'adventure'.

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    1. Couldn't put it better myself Cro. I had already read Hyerdahl's Kon-Tiki by the time it appeared as required school reading in form 3. I read it again three times through in the term.

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  3. Congratulations Katherine ~ I have passed on the SUNSHINE AWARD to you for your creativity and positivism. I have acknowledged you on my blog.

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    1. Well, that's just lovely! Thank you Carol. I see I have some confessions to make...

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  4. I have read Thor Heyerdahl's account and I have even visited the Kon Tiki Museum in Oslo where the raft resides. It's an amazing story and I shall certainly look out for Erik Hesselberg's book.

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    1. Wow. I'd love to see the raft itself...!

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  5. I have a copy of the book too - it was my parents and I was always enthralled at the story; the use of balsa logs and how using the traditional binding methods worked, when chains would have rubbed through the logs...
    and the parrot Lorita. I was always devastated at her loss. A drawing showing her inside the tummy of a big fish is what I seem to remember!

    I cant believe the raft is in a museum - now thats fascinating!

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  6. I recall this from your last post 3 years or so ago. I've emailed you.

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  7. When I was at school we made a model of the Kon Tiki ship out of matchsticks or straws or something. To my recollection it was EXACTLY like the real one except smaller :) But it burned the idea of it into my mind. It seemed such a strange thing to do.

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    1. Jenny, thanks so much for your input. I missed seeing it. How marvellous to have made a model! I would have loved to do that. Maybe I still will... !

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