I never read the book, but I'm sure it was lying around the house when I was a child, so I at least knew about it; but it does seem that the 20th century fame of the Kon-Tiki expedition has faded a lot from popular memory. (I'm extrapolating from the fact that my teenage son didn't know about it - but I think I'm right.)
However, one serendipitous off shoot of reading reviews of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie was that I learned that the same Norwegian directors had made a pretty well regarded movie of the expedition, simply called Kon-Tiki. And, as luck would have it, it is available on SBS on Demand, and has been for some time.
We watched it last night, and it is a genuinely well made and engaging movie. I was not expecting it to be in English, and I was particularly impressed with the visual realism of nearly all of it - particularly with the sharks and other sea creatures lurking around much of the time.
I see from reading the Wikipedia entry that the movie does take considerable liberties with the true, on water, events - I guess that was probably inevitable, and I would recommend not reading Wiki until after viewing the movie, so as to not spoil a key scene.
In a way, this doesn't really worry me, as the real voyage and the theory behind it (that Polynesians had come from Peru) was never thought to be probable in the first place, and that still pretty much stands to this day despite the raft's journey. (Although it looks like look there was a genetic mixing of South Americans with Polynesians at least in Easter Island, but when and how that happened is still unclear.) On my "should I be annoyed with the historical inaccuracies or not" scale, I'm happy to put this one into the "no, as it encouraged me to double check on the real facts" category.
Anyway, well worth watching.