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

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

Neal Thompson

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

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
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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

Language:

English

Narrators:

Marc Cashman

Length:

11h 58m


Chapters

Chapter 1
Chapter 1

00:16


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

02:32


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

03:27


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

02:58


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

02:23


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

02:26


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

03:24


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

04:01


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

02:33


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

03:38


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

03:05


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

04:26


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

02:19


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

02:28


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

03:17


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

02:43


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

02:26


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

03:24


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

03:45


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

04:53


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

02:44


Chapter 22
Chapter 22

02:34


Chapter 23
Chapter 23

03:42


Chapter 24
Chapter 24

02:28


Chapter 25
Chapter 25

02:15


Chapter 26
Chapter 26

01:48


Chapter 27
Chapter 27

01:45


Chapter 28
Chapter 28

02:19


Chapter 29
Chapter 29

02:10


Chapter 30
Chapter 30

02:07


Chapter 31
Chapter 31

03:37


Chapter 32
Chapter 32

02:09


Chapter 33
Chapter 33

02:54


Chapter 34
Chapter 34

02:22


Chapter 35
Chapter 35

04:53


Chapter 36
Chapter 36

03:00


Chapter 37
Chapter 37

03:21


Chapter 38
Chapter 38

02:37


Chapter 39
Chapter 39

02:20


Chapter 40
Chapter 40

03:56


Chapter 41
Chapter 41

05:29


Chapter 42
Chapter 42

05:03


Chapter 43
Chapter 43

03:26


Chapter 44
Chapter 44

04:42


Chapter 45
Chapter 45

04:33


Chapter 46
Chapter 46

02:15


Chapter 47
Chapter 47

04:13


Chapter 48
Chapter 48

01:29


Chapter 49
Chapter 49

04:10


Chapter 50
Chapter 50

02:42


Chapter 51
Chapter 51

03:01


Chapter 52
Chapter 52

05:31


Chapter 53
Chapter 53

01:27


Chapter 54
Chapter 54

02:46


Chapter 55
Chapter 55

02:53


Chapter 56
Chapter 56

03:36


Chapter 57
Chapter 57

04:21


Chapter 58
Chapter 58

05:28


Chapter 59
Chapter 59

03:30


Chapter 60
Chapter 60

06:51


Chapter 61
Chapter 61

03:55


Chapter 62
Chapter 62

03:49


Chapter 63
Chapter 63

02:40


Chapter 64
Chapter 64

02:42


Chapter 65
Chapter 65

03:02


Chapter 66
Chapter 66

01:39


Chapter 67
Chapter 67

01:52


Chapter 68
Chapter 68

04:56


Chapter 69
Chapter 69

02:32


Chapter 70
Chapter 70

02:40


Chapter 71
Chapter 71

01:59


Chapter 72
Chapter 72

02:48


Chapter 73
Chapter 73

03:10


Chapter 74
Chapter 74

03:18


Chapter 75
Chapter 75

04:48


Chapter 76
Chapter 76

01:18


Chapter 77
Chapter 77

04:20


Chapter 78
Chapter 78

02:09


Chapter 79
Chapter 79

05:48


Chapter 80
Chapter 80

03:21


Chapter 81
Chapter 81

05:06


Chapter 82
Chapter 82

03:10


Chapter 83
Chapter 83

04:23


Chapter 84
Chapter 84

03:30


Chapter 85
Chapter 85

02:20


Chapter 86
Chapter 86

04:11


Chapter 87
Chapter 87

03:24


Chapter 88
Chapter 88

05:32


Chapter 89
Chapter 89

02:01


Chapter 90
Chapter 90

03:25


Chapter 91
Chapter 91

04:16


Chapter 92
Chapter 92

02:17


Chapter 93
Chapter 93

04:04


Chapter 94
Chapter 94

02:34


Chapter 95
Chapter 95

01:37


Chapter 96
Chapter 96

03:12


Chapter 97
Chapter 97

03:55


Chapter 98
Chapter 98

03:16


Chapter 99
Chapter 99

03:27


Chapter 100
Chapter 100

02:33


Chapter 101
Chapter 101

02:04


Chapter 102
Chapter 102

02:11


Chapter 103
Chapter 103

04:23


Chapter 104
Chapter 104

03:32


Chapter 105
Chapter 105

06:22


Chapter 106
Chapter 106

01:50


Chapter 107
Chapter 107

04:21


Chapter 108
Chapter 108

03:02


Chapter 109
Chapter 109

04:43


Chapter 110
Chapter 110

04:39


Chapter 111
Chapter 111

03:45


Chapter 112
Chapter 112

05:00


Chapter 113
Chapter 113

02:59


Chapter 114
Chapter 114

05:57


Chapter 115
Chapter 115

02:18


Chapter 116
Chapter 116

01:49


Chapter 117
Chapter 117

05:04


Chapter 118
Chapter 118

02:45


Chapter 119
Chapter 119

01:59


Chapter 120
Chapter 120

02:29


Chapter 121
Chapter 121

06:07


Chapter 122
Chapter 122

02:42


Chapter 123
Chapter 123

02:50


Chapter 124
Chapter 124

03:01


Chapter 125
Chapter 125

03:52


Chapter 126
Chapter 126

02:58


Chapter 127
Chapter 127

03:20


Chapter 128
Chapter 128

01:32


Chapter 129
Chapter 129

05:28


Chapter 130
Chapter 130

01:50


Chapter 131
Chapter 131

02:17


Chapter 132
Chapter 132

05:11


Chapter 133
Chapter 133

05:35


Chapter 134
Chapter 134

07:01


Chapter 135
Chapter 135

04:37


Chapter 136
Chapter 136

04:20


Chapter 137
Chapter 137

05:42


Chapter 138
Chapter 138

03:02


Chapter 139
Chapter 139

06:25


Chapter 140
Chapter 140

01:35


Chapter 141
Chapter 141

04:22


Chapter 142
Chapter 142

03:42


Chapter 143
Chapter 143

02:06


Chapter 144
Chapter 144

03:21


Chapter 145
Chapter 145

04:48


Chapter 146
Chapter 146

01:44


Chapter 147
Chapter 147

03:32


Chapter 148
Chapter 148

03:51


Chapter 149
Chapter 149

04:02


Chapter 150
Chapter 150

02:52


Chapter 151
Chapter 151

05:00


Chapter 152
Chapter 152

05:55


Chapter 153
Chapter 153

03:56


Chapter 154
Chapter 154

02:14


Chapter 155
Chapter 155

01:37


Chapter 156
Chapter 156

05:06


Chapter 157
Chapter 157

01:28


Chapter 158
Chapter 158

06:26


Chapter 159
Chapter 159

02:18


Chapter 160
Chapter 160

03:39


Chapter 161
Chapter 161

04:51


Chapter 162
Chapter 162

03:10


Chapter 163
Chapter 163

03:05


Chapter 164
Chapter 164

04:52


Chapter 165
Chapter 165

04:51


Chapter 166
Chapter 166

03:19


Chapter 167
Chapter 167

04:13


Chapter 168
Chapter 168

03:41


Chapter 169
Chapter 169

05:03


Chapter 170
Chapter 170

05:31


Chapter 171
Chapter 171

03:17


Chapter 172
Chapter 172

04:01


Chapter 173
Chapter 173

06:32


Chapter 174
Chapter 174

02:38


Chapter 175
Chapter 175

06:57


Chapter 176
Chapter 176

03:26


Chapter 177
Chapter 177

02:34


Chapter 178
Chapter 178

03:14


Chapter 179
Chapter 179

01:32


Chapter 180
Chapter 180

04:05


Chapter 181
Chapter 181

07:51


Chapter 182
Chapter 182

05:10


Chapter 183
Chapter 183

02:15


Chapter 184
Chapter 184

02:14


Chapter 185
Chapter 185

02:11


Chapter 186
Chapter 186

06:19


Chapter 187
Chapter 187

01:32


Chapter 188
Chapter 188

04:36


Chapter 189
Chapter 189

07:16


Chapter 190
Chapter 190

03:53


Chapter 191
Chapter 191

02:59


Chapter 192
Chapter 192

05:42


Chapter 193
Chapter 193

02:53


Chapter 194
Chapter 194

04:17


Chapter 195
Chapter 195

05:43


Chapter 196
Chapter 196

02:22


Chapter 197
Chapter 197

01:47


Chapter 198
Chapter 198

02:33


Chapter 199
Chapter 199

03:12

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