As a young kid i always looked forward to coming home from school and watching Ripleys believe it or not. There was just something about seeing weird people all around the world that made me feel a little more normal around other people. As much as it helped me feel average compared to all the other little booger pickers, I never put any thought to who Robert Ripley was… Honestly I thought his name was Ripley… odd name for an odd guy… it fit right?
I explained last post about Blogging for Books and i honest to Pete love this site… and its only my second book!lol But its a start to making my “Beauty and the Beast” library. Anyway, this week i ordered A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert “Believe It or Not!” Ripley. I had my heart set on one book but saw this and clicked faster than my brain could say stop… But compared to my last book i loved it!!!!
I think what did it for me was the fact that the author didn’t seem to keep details out of the picture… You get what could possibly be the entire story of Mr. Robert Ripley. Neal Thompson covered everything from his complicated childhood, to his heyday as a one-man multi-media powerhouse to the unfortunate personal decline and demise, and finally, through his still-vibrant legacy. To any fans, or people like me ( a 90’s kid) this is a definite read…. well of course unless you have never heard of him… in which case… good him, read about him and then one click this baby and read more about him!!! Thanks for spending some time with me and he if you wanna know more about Blogging for Books or just wanna say whats going on… HIT ME UP!!!! I love getting to know people and who follows me! Below is the book synopsis and the amazon page in which you can buy it or sample it!
**A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert “Believe It or Not!” Ripley Synopsis**
A Curious Man is the marvelously compelling biography of Robert “Believe It or Not” Ripley, the enigmatic cartoonist turned globetrotting millionaire who won international fame by celebrating the world’s strangest oddities, and whose outrageous showmanship taught us to believe in the unbelievable.
As portrayed by acclaimed biographer Neal Thompson, Ripley’s life is the stuff of a classic American fairy tale. Buck-toothed and cursed by shyness, Ripley turned his sense of being an outsider into an appreciation for the strangeness of the world. After selling his first cartoon to Time magazine at age eighteen, more cartooning triumphs followed, but it was his “Believe It or Not” conceit and the wildly popular radio shows it birthed that would make him one of the most successful entertainment figures of his time and spur him to search the globe’s farthest corners for bizarre facts, exotic human curiosities, and shocking phenomena.
Ripley delighted in making outrageous declarations that somehow always turned out to be true—such as that Charles Lindbergh was only the sixty-seventh man to fly across the Atlantic or that “The Star Spangled Banner” was not the national anthem. Assisted by an exotic harem of female admirers and by ex-banker Norbert Pearlroth, a devoted researcher who spoke eleven languages, Ripley simultaneously embodied the spirit of Peter Pan, the fearlessness of Marco Polo and the marketing savvy of P. T. Barnum.
In a very real sense, Ripley sought to remake the world’s aesthetic. He demanded respect for those who were labeled “eccentrics” or “freaks”—whether it be E. L. Blystone, who wrote 1,615 alphabet letters on a grain of rice, or the man who could swallow his own nose.
By the 1930s Ripley possessed a vast fortune, a private yacht, and a twenty-eight room mansion stocked with such “oddities” as shrunken heads and medieval torture devices, and his pioneering firsts in print, radio, and television were tapping into something deep in the American consciousness—a taste for the titillating and exotic, and a fascination with the fastest, biggest, dumbest and most weird. Today, that legacy continues and can be seen in reality TV, YouTube, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Jackass, MythBusters and a host of other pop-culture phenomena.
In the end Robert L. Ripley changed everything. The supreme irony of his life, which was dedicated to exalting the strange and unusual, is that he may have been the most amazing oddity of all.