Philip Snow

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 218

Two unique voyages, three ponderous books of scientific probings: what more can Heyerdahl do? He can continue to produce entertaining books.

Illustration of PDF document

Download Thor Heyerdahl Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Fatu-Hiva is of the same quality as his three popular classics, The Kon-Tiki Expedition, The Ra Expeditions and Aku-Aku. But it appears to be a reissue (for the first time in English) of a 1938 Oslo publication, and retains some inevitable naivety….

It was on Fatu-Hiva, the first Polynesian island seen by Europeans nearly 400 years ago, that Heyerdahl came to believe in the likelihood of Polynesia being inhabited from the direction of America. His search for links with ancient South America is indefatigable, but may still leave gaps (fairly, he has always acknowledged a shortage of linguistic affinities).

In Fatu-Hiva he is graphic and forceful throughout. It is not surprising to anyone having experiences of life close to nature, even as it is in the South Seas, that his wife and he would not elect to live there for ever. Disease, deprivation, discomfort overwhelmed them. Very soon he was to give further proof of his intrepidity in the Norwegian Resistance movement. But he had previously recorded this fine account of the realities of escapism….

Philip Snow, "Polynesian Bliss," in The Times Literary Supplement (© Times Newspapers Ltd. (London) 1975; reproduced from The Times Literary Supplement by permission), No. 3822, June 6, 1975, p. 632.

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-hour free trial

Timothy Severin


Frederick H. Guidry