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Eight Men and a Duck: An Improbable Voyage by Reed Boat to Easter Island

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3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  85 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Nick Thorpe was innocently travelling around South America with his girlfriend, Ali, when he came across an American adventurer planning to sail from Chile to Easter Island on a Bolivian boat made of reeds. Inspired by the great Thor Heyerdahl, Buck had recruited seven men to join him on this experiment to discover whether it might have been possible that Polynesia was fir ...more
Unknown Binding, 308 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by Not Avail (first published May 2nd 2002)
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Marcie
I wish that I liked this one as much as some of the best of the sailing genre. Thorpe is a journalist and kept the story moving along. He just doesn't have much sailing background and it was a pretty uneventful trip, so he focused most of his story on the inexperienced crew. Unfortunitely, his constant pettiness, fear and cluelessness and the ineptness of the crew just wore me out by the end.

This was the story of "captain" Phil Buck's plan to move a commissioned reed boat from Lake Titicaca, fi
...more
Sadowski
Mar 01, 2014 Sadowski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book assuming that it would be some a bland read yet from almost the first chapter I was sucked into the book. The book follows the author across the South Pacific where he and the rest of the crew encounters sharks, loneliness and a variation of cabin fever which is unnerving on a normal boat yet these men dealt with it while on a large raft made of reeds. Nick Thorpe, the narrator, gives perspective on the necessities that make up an odd voyage such as that with humor and fact that ...more
Robert
Jun 27, 2014 Robert rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, travel
You can also find my review of Eight Men and a Duck on my book blog

A journalist has a chance encounter with a confident, gung-ho adventurous American, and decides to join the American's quest to cross from Chile to Easter Island in a reed boat, inspired by Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki adventure (which never actually landed on Easter Island).

The book reads like someone telling a yarn to his mates. It's chummy, everyone's improvising, a bit inept, and hugely reliant on luck. The quest is about as wi
...more
Peggy
Oct 05, 2007 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author (a veteran traveller) kind of happens upon a group of men who are building a reed boat with the intention of sailing it from South America to Easter Island, to show that it could be done. He somehow ends up on the boat as part of an extremely lackadaisical crew, who do not seem to share his sense of panic over things like no radio. It was a very quick and enjoyable read.
Daren
Easy reading book, amusing and interesting voyage. An amazingly disorganised and seemingly poorly planned adventure, making it all the more surprising that they succeeded with relative ease!
Less serious, but in the same vein as Tim Severin's adventures.
Katherine
Nov 17, 2010 Katherine rated it liked it
I liked the honesty in their approach.
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Nick Thorpe is an award-winning writer and journalist. A contributor to the Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, Scotsman and BBC Radio 4 among others, he has covered stories ranging from Russian presidential elections to the coca wars of Bolivia, for which he was shortlisted for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.

His latest book, Urban Worrier: Adventures in the Lost Art of
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