A Curious Man: the strange and brilliant life of Robert "Believe it or not" Ripley

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
Varies, see individual formats and editions
Pub. Date:
2013.
Language:
English
Description

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” wasnot 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.

Also in This Series
More Like This
More Details
ISBN:
9780770436216
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Tagging
Tags:

No Tags, Be the first to tag this record!


Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID76fa9ced-5791-e16f-f9de-3c0e34bf898b
Grouping Titlecurious man the strange and brilliant life of robert believe it or not ripley
Grouping Authorneal thompson
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2021-07-24 04:51:47AM
Last Indexed2021-07-24 05:12:38AM
Novelist Primary ISBN9780770436209

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value0
accelerated_reader_reading_level0
authorNeal Thompson
author2-roleBaker & Taylor Axis 360.
author_displayThompson, Neal
available_at_addisonOnline OverDrive Collection
detailed_location_addisonAxis 360
Online OverDrive Collection
display_description

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.

format_addisoneBook
format_category_addisoneBook
id76fa9ced-5791-e16f-f9de-3c0e34bf898b
isbn9780770436216
item_details
Bib IdItem IdShelf LocCall NumFormatFormat CategoryNum CopiesIs Order ItemIs eContenteContent SourceeContent FileeContent URLsubformatDetailed StatusLast CheckinLocationSub-location
overdrive:637f2ed3-765c-40af-848e-108fea992100-1Online OverDrive CollectionOnline OverDriveeBookeBook4falsetrueOverDriveAdobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive ReadAvailable Online
overdrive:637f2ed3-765c-40af-848e-108fea9921001Online OverDrive CollectionOnline OverDriveeBookeBook0falsetrueOverDriveAdobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive ReadAvailable Online
axis360:bk0012447315bk0012447315Axis 360Online Axis 360eBookeBook1falsetrueAxis 360http://ereadil.axis360.baker-taylor.com/Title?itemid=0012447315Available OnlineAxis 360
last_indexed2021-07-24T10:12:38.212Z
lexile_score-1
literary_formNon Fiction
literary_form_fullNon Fiction
local_callnumber_addisonOnline OverDrive
owning_library_addisonAddison Public Library Online
owning_location_addisonOnline OverDrive Collection
primary_isbn9780770436216
publishDate2013
record_details
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical DescriptionAbridged
overdrive:637f2ed3-765c-40af-848e-108fea992100eBookeBookEnglishCrown2013
axis360:bk0012447315eBookeBookEnglishCrown Pub., 2013.1 online resource
recordtypegrouped_work
scoping_details_addison
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
overdrive:637f2ed3-765c-40af-848e-108fea992100-1Available OnlineAvailable Onlinefalsetruetruefalsefalsefalse
overdrive:637f2ed3-765c-40af-848e-108fea9921001Available OnlineAvailable Onlinefalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue
axis360:bk0012447315bk0012447315Available OnlineAvailable Onlinefalsetruefalsefalsefalsefalse
subject_facetBIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Entertainment & Performing Arts
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Historical
Biography
Electronic books
Entertainment & Performing Arts
Historical
Journalists
Journalists -- United States -- Biography
Publishers and publishing
Publishers and publishing -- United States -- Biography
REFERENCE / Trivia
Ripley, Robert L. -- (Robert LeRoy), -- 1890-1949
Trivia
United States
title_displayA Curious Man The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert "Believe It or Not!" Ripley
title_fullA Curious Man The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert "Believe It or Not!" Ripley
A curious man : the strange and brilliant life of Robert "Believe it or not" Ripley / by Neal Thompson
title_shortA Curious Man
title_subthe strange and brilliant life of Robert "Believe it or not" Ripley
topic_facetBIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Entertainment & Performing Arts
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Historical
Biography & Autobiography
Entertainment & Performing Arts
Historical
History
Journalists
Nonfiction
Performing Arts
Publishers and publishing
REFERENCE / Trivia
Ripley, Robert L
Trivia