Believe It or Not!
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A Curious Man

A Curious Man

The Strange and Brilliant Life of
Robert “Believe It or Not!” Ripley

A Book by Neal Thompson

Neal Thompson recounts the life of Robert 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.

* Thompson was recently featured on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Catch the video Here!

Now Available!


”Anyone who wants to understand America needs to read this book … Neal Thompson gives us a vivid portrait of this complex, restless man in all his maniacally conflicted glory.”

– Ben Fountain, Winner of the Pen/Hemingway Award and author of the National Book Award Finalist Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

The Modern Marco Polo

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A shy, insecure, bucktoothed boy, Robert Ripley willed himself to become a man of the world: a talented artist, an athlete, a rabid traveler, an unlikely ladies’ man, a heavy drinker, a playboy-millionaire, a shrewd businessman, entertainer, and media pioneer.

He was Howard Hughes crossed with PT Barnum; Peter Pan crossed with Marco Polo.

A goofy everyman, a bit of a yokel, his obsessive curiosity about the world and it’s oddities earned fame and fortune. Yet, as his housekeeper once said, the greatest “Believe It or Not” of all was Ripley himself.


“Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that the history of a time can be resolved in the biography of a few stout and earnest people.  Robert Ripley was certainly one of those and, in this fascinating account, Neal Thompson rescues for us a colorful slice of history.”

– Colum McCann, bestselling author of Let the Great World Spin

Curious Man + oddScan

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