A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert

A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert "Believe It or Not!" Ripley

by Neal Thompson
4.4 15

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A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert "Believe It or Not" Ripley 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Heather_Wietz More than 1 year ago
A Curious Man is a fabulous book. It tells the story of Robert Ripley's life - from cartoonist to ambassador of oddities. His life is fascinating and the author does a fine job brining it to life. A five star book.
mcamp More than 1 year ago
The title and cover attracted my attention to this book. I learned quite a lot. I have been to the Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum in Gatlinburg on several occasions; however, I knew very little about the man himself. He was a scoundrel in some ways, but had redeeming qualities, too, as is often the case when reading in depth about a well-known person. I had few preconceived notions going into it. It is interesting to see how what was going on in the world shaped him and how he lived and also how the way he lived shaped what was going on during this time in history. I definitely recommend this book. It is both enjoyable and educational. There are elements that I dislike, things that make me sad, as well as aspects that I find inspiring. - I rented the digital book for free from my local library; however, for those who have smartphones, there is a free app that allows you to scan a code in certain portions of the paper copy. It links to additional information, such as videos. Believe it or not, but if Ripley had not quit his job as a paperboy, we might very well not know anything of him today. Read the book to find out the specifics. I do not wish to damage the journey of discovery, so I shall leave it at that. Interesting and enjoyable, educational and inspiring...read it and decide for yourself.
David_Bremmerton More than 1 year ago
I like oddball stories and this book is full of them. A first rate biography.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fascinating biography of an intriguing character. Anyone who has enjoyed the books or visited one of the many amazing museums should check this out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author did a good writing this book. I doubt he left any stone unturned. From a historical point, Ripley was an entertainer and businessman who provided affordable entertainment during a time of financial devastation for most families. He was a self-made man and a hard worker, who had opportunities to see the world that many only dream of. Ripley's morals were low. His wealth provided a group of women he called his "harem." Needless to say, his relationships with women were not long lived. My disappointment with this book is not with the author, but with Mr. Ripley's personal life. I had hoped that his life provided a sense of decency. I do not recommend this book because of some of the subject matter.
PJtheEMT4 More than 1 year ago
A Curious Man is a biographical novelization of Robert “Believe It or Not” Ripley, an eccentric cartoonist- journalist behind the television show that was known for celebrating the world's strangest oddities and circus like attractions. He was known for offering generations of Americans an affordable means of entertainment through his travels and exhibitions, beginning with the era of the Great Depression. He "celebrated weirdness, he made it mainstream". (page 5) History enthusiasts, and Ripley fans as well as tourists will enjoy this book with the behind the scenes life of Mr. Ripley. The author personifies the complex character of Ripley who was ahead of his time. While everyone has at least heard of Ripley, few have ever had the opportunity to read extensively about his life. The author writes in chronological fashion, starting with Ripley's birth, career and his abrupt death at the age of 59. The writing is very detailed and the newspaperesque description is straightforward, ironically in contrast with the original and unusual circumstances. Expository writing mixed with lively dramatization will keep the reader engaged. The old fashioned, textured tabloid styled cover looks authentic and is certain to draw in the reader. This eye catching book also contained assorted interesting facts mixed in with the text. There is a glossy black and photo insert chronicling Ripley's travels. This unique book would stand out in any bookstore or gift shop. As a blogger I Received this book published by Three Rivers Press, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, for the purpose of writing this review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I probably would not have read this book had it not been a choice of my book club. i found it a little tiresome. Ripley's life story was interesting, and I learned things about the 1920's and 1930's, but the author could have done it with fewer words.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good biography, in the order that things happen. Descriptions of current living and working conditions are clear. Some events could fill a book by themselves but the author stays the course of telling the whole tale without digression.
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I've read Neal Thompson's other 3 books and they're all excellent. From the preview I've read of this book in Vanity Fair, it's going to be Neal's best
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An interesting work about a very interesting man.