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Believe It Or Not! May 18, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Magick & Mystery.
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I grew up reading books by Ripley, filled with unbelievable oddities and amazing facts, but seldom paused to consider the man behind the cartoons.

A Curious Man: The Strange & Brilliant Life of Robert “Believe It or Not!” Ripley,  by Neal Thompson, reveals this real life Wizard of Odd.

“The life story of Robert ‘Believe It or Not!’ Ripley is as intriguing as the many oddities in which he delighted.”
~ Entertainment Weekly

“An engaging, fast-moving biography… makes the case that Ripley was among the first media celebrities, and that his affection for the grotesque and the extreme shaped American pop culture.”
~ Columbus Dispatch

“Ripley’s amazing American life itself plays out like an impossible fairy tale.”
~ Kirkus Reviews

“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.”
~ Amazon

Ripley’s efforts to counter claims that he was “stretching the truth” resulted in the fascinating and fun array of artifacts displayed in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museums around the globe.

Once could say that Ripley’s curated collections are the fantastic and amusing consequence of calling a man a liar . . .

“I venture to say that I have been called a liar more often than anybody in the world.  Ordinarily, when one is called a liar, one feels hurt.  But it is different with me.  I do not mind it a bit.  When I am called a liar by a reader of my cartoons, I feel flattered.  That short and ugly word is like music to my ears.  I am complimented because it means to me that my cartoon contained some strange fact that was unbelievable ~ and therefore most interesting, and that the reader did not know the truth when he saw it.” ~ Robert Ripley

Did you read any of Ripley’s books of wonders, miracles, freaks, monstrosities, and almost-impossibilities?

Did you Believe it or Not! ?

Aah . . . that’s better!