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A curious man: the strange and brilliant life of Robert "Believe It or Not!" Ripley

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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.

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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 Update2020-09-29 04:16:58AM
Last Indexed2020-09-29 04:44:25AM
Novelist Primary ISBNnone

Solr Details

authorThompson, Neal
author_displayThompson, Neal
available_at_aacplMaryland City at Russett Library
Online OverDrive Collection
detailed_location_aacplMaryland City at Russett Library - Nonfiction
Online OverDrive Collection
display_descriptionThe marvelously compelling biography of Robert Ripley, the enigmatic cartoonist turned globetrotting millionaire who won international fame by celebrating the world's strangest oddities.
Bib IdItem IdShelf LocCall NumFormatFormat CategoryNum CopiesIs Order ItemIs eContenteContent SourceeContent FileeContent URLsubformatDetailed StatusLast CheckinLocationSub-location
overdrive:637f2ed3-765c-40af-848e-108fea9921001Online OverDrive CollectionOnline OverDriveeBookeBook1falsetrueOverDriveAdobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive ReadAvailable Online
ils:a99584431997087369849Maryland City at Russett Library - Nonfiction921 RIPLEY1falsefalseOn ShelfDec 25, 2019MDC
itype_aacplAdult Nonfiction
literary_formNon Fiction
literary_form_fullNon Fiction
local_callnumber_aacpl921 RIPLEY
Online OverDrive
owning_library_aacplAnne Arundel County Public Library
Anne Arundel County Public Library Online
owning_location_aacplMaryland City at Russett Library
Online OverDrive Collection
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:a995844BookBooksEnglishCrown Publishers , 2013.421 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
overdrive:637f2ed3-765c-40af-848e-108fea9921001Available OnlineAvailable Onlinefalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue
ils:a99584431997087369849On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue
Cartoonists -- Biography
Collectors and collecting -- Biography
Curiosities and wonders
Journalists -- United States -- Biography
Popular culture
Ripley, Robert L. -- Robert LeRoy), -- 1890-1949
Voyages and travels
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 Thompson, Neal
title_shortA curious man
title_subthe strange and brilliant life of Robert "Believe It or Not!" Ripley
topic_facetBiography & Autobiography
Collectors and collecting
Curiosities and wonders
Performing Arts
Popular culture
Ripley, Robert L
Voyages and travels