Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: REAL Ultimate Power: The Official Ninja Book
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on July 14, 2004
Ever have an obsession when you were a kid? Something you loved so much that you couldn't stop talking about it to anyone and everyone? Multiply that by 100 and you get Robert Hamburger, the fictional author/protagonist of the book. While the book is primarily made up of the same material that is posted on the website, the true point of the book is hidden in it's footnotes. Through conversations with his babysitter/co-writer, dog, parents and psychologist, we follow Robert's story and delve into the psyche of a pretty messed up little kid. What a lot of people dont seem to get is that the book, like the site, isn't actually about Ninjas. It's not REALLY a ninja hand guide, or a history lesson. The point isnt to educate, the point is to tell the story of a troubled kid who buries himself in a ninja fantasy in order to escape his negligant parents, over-critical teachers and to compensate for his lack of friends. As a kid we all had times when we wished we could run away to the circus, or could go live in outer space, or whatever, because we felt like we couldn't indentify with anyone.. this book is simply the story of a kid going through that kind of period in his life. And for everyone that claims that the website and the book may cause kids to "flip out and kill each other," I believe that the book actually encourages the exact opposite. Robert is facsinated with killing and violence because it's what he wants to do to the people that have hurt him in his life, or he wants to find a ninja friend to do it... hell, we've seen children and young adults in this situation before a few years back, and we've seen the consequences of such pent up anger. This book is not an advocate of violence, but a warning as to what can happen when we try to force kids to abandon childish things, pump them full of medicine and "discipline" in order to make them grow up fast, rather than encourage them to be silly, dream and savor every momment of their childhood. I for one did not expect this level of complexity in this book, but I was totally floored after finishing it. Comedy, especially parody, has always been the best forum for social commentary, and this book masters it. If you hate the site, or if you don't get it, spend the $10 and read the book and I'm pretty sure you'll change your opinion. This book is genius: and by genius, I mean totally sweet.
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on October 25, 2005
I bought this book after reading the hilarious "Real Ultimate Power" website, and I expected to find an extension of the humourous made-up encyclopedia of ninja knowledge.

Indeed, the book does contain most of the website's content, and a wealth of new ninja-based content. However, there is a far deeper and darker story going on between the lines that gives the reader much more than they bargained for.

This is the story of an unhappy child. Nobody understands him, and he understands nobody. Feeling neglected by his disfunctional parents and shunned by his peers, Robert both hides and expresses himself within his own fantasy world. Ninjas are like his imaginary friends, his heroes, and his outlet for revenge fantasies.

As Robert descends further into his world, real life events are distorted and exaggerated, and eventually Robert comes to the conclusion that there is only one way out.

It is a surprisingly dark and serious book, but definitely with some hilarious moments, usually coming from Robert's unique way of describing and relating to characters and events. If you buy it looking for more of the insane ninja-related ramblings of the website, you won't be disappointed - but this book doesn't let you get away with just laughing at Robert's craziness.

Prepare to be taken down the slippery slope as Robert's grip on his life is eroded. There are moments where your laughter is stopped short when you realise what Robert is getting at, and the realisation that this isn't going to end well is a powerful one.

All in all, this is destined to be a cult classic. It might not get through to everyone, and it is doomed to be misunderstood by people who take it at face value, much the same as the website. This author has a lot of tricks up his sleeve, and not all of them will leave you feeling comfortable.

Darker than either "The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 1/4" or "The Catcher In The Rye", this book is a unique and deeply affecting insight into a disturbed young mind.
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on July 8, 2004
I don't typically bother with writing reviews, but there are so many utterly moronic people out there I can't believe it. To anybody out there who thought we should "do research on the author of this book" and "remember 9/11", please get a life. I remember 9/11 just fine, and that day really hurt and still does, but IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS BOOK, idiot. First of all, the articles on Robert's site ARE NOT REAL. I REPEAT: THEY ARE NOT REAL! Nice job on your research, dumba$$, you look like a complete fool. A simple giveaway would be clicking any of the links on the side of the "MSN" article. All the links are DEAD and wouldn't go ANYWHERE related to Microsoft even if they weren't. Try looking at the links, moron.
If there are actually kids out there hurting themselves and/or other people because of this, then HEY PARENTS, I have an IDEA: DISCIPLINE YOUR CHILDREN! I'm the father of a very active 5 year old boy. He's a pretty hyped up little soldier, but I'll be damned if he ever hurts someone. He'd be punished and that would be the end of that - and he KNOWS that so he keeps his cool most of the time. Kids are not in control, parents are. Somewhere along the way in this screwed up world parents lost sight of that. If your kids are out of control, it's your own damned fault, not Robert Hamburger's. Nice try using whoever you can as a scapegoat, though. Who said his site or book were for kids anyway?
Anyway, I digress. The website rules, the book is HILARIOUS. If you have ANY sense of humour at ALL, pick it up! All you people claiming this is a disgrace to Ninjitsu or whatever, just loosen up, for crying out loud. I respect your love of the arts, but this is just a funny little website/book that brings humour into our lives. Relax, have some fun. If you go to the website and find it's not your type of humour, then that's cool, but don't go around b**ching about it to everyone else. Just go on your way and find something else that makes you laugh, ok? Heaven forbid the rest of us should find some humour in a stupid little book about ninjas that flip out all the time.
Alright everyone, sorry for going on so long, but I had to show my support! Get the book! Have FUN!!! =)
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on July 12, 2004
I can't describe how amazingly funny this book is! It's been a long time since I actually laughed out loud from reading a book. Several times while reading I had to put the book down because I got so pumped that I thought I was going to uppercut myself in the nuts!
I loved the website and this book follows in the same tradition with its insane, sick humor. I can't believe the people who bash this book for not teaching real ninjitsu! How stupid can you be?! While reading those bad reviews all I could hear in my head were guitars wailing and I got so pumped that I almost threw myself down the stairs!! You guys need to get a life right now or else; just picture yourself covered with ninja stars!
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on July 18, 2005
I bought this book after reading the hilarious "Real Ultimate Power" website, and I expected to find an extension of the humourous made-up encyclopedia of ninja knowledge.

Indeed, the book does contain most of the website's content, and a wealth of new ninja-based content. However, there is a far deeper and darker story going on between the lines that gives the reader much more than they bargained for.

This is the story of an unhappy child. Nobody understands him, and he understands nobody. Feeling neglected by his disfunctional parents and shunned by his peers, Robert both hides and expresses himself within his own fantasy world. Ninjas are like his imaginary friends, his heroes, and his outlet for revenge fantasies.

As Robert descends further into his world, real life events are distorted and exaggerated, and eventually Robert comes to the conclusion that there is only one way out.

It is a surprisingly dark and serious book, but definitely with some hilarious moments, usually coming from Robert's unique way of describing and relating to characters and events. If you buy it looking for more of the insane ninja-related ramblings of the website, you won't be disappointed - but this book doesn't let you get away with just laughing at Robert's craziness.

Prepare to be taken down the slippery slope as Robert's grip on his life is eroded. There are moments where your laughter is stopped short when you realise what Robert is getting at, and the realisation that this isn't going to end well is a powerful one.

All in all, this is destined to be a cult classic. It might not get through to everyone, and it is doomed to be misunderstood by people who take it at face value, much the same as the website. This author has a lot of tricks up his sleeve, and not all of them will leave you feeling comfortable.

Darker than either "The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 1/4" or "The Catcher In The Rye", this book is a unique and deeply affecting insight into a disturbed young mind.
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on August 7, 2004
First of all, the realultimatepower website is hilarious. I was expecting the book to be similar to the site. At first glance it is.

Then you start reading the footnotes.

This isn't a book about ninjas at all. This is the story of an outsider kid no one likes. A kid whose parents see him as an accident that got in the way of their lives. A kid who wants to just connect with someone so badly that he sees his dog as "what a mom should be, but furrier." A kid who fantasizes about being kidnapped by a stranger and taken away from everything that hurts him.

I could not put this book down and I literally read it cover-to-cover nonstop. The book continues to get less and less hilarious the further you get as more and more of the true story comes out.

I didn't expect it, but Real Ultimate Power is one great book.
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on July 7, 2004
This book was not at all what I had expected. Of course, I expected total sweetness. And ass-beatings. And the chopping of heads.
What I didn't expect was a heartbreaking novel about a disturbed child's fall from innocence. This book has it all - abusive parents, child sex offenders, and like a trillion billion boners. The story of the novel is told entirely through footnotes from Robert's parents, teachers, his babysitter, and his psychologist, as well as a number of other guest stars.
Be prepared for total sweetness, but be prepared for complete and utter heartbreak as well.
You might think I'm joking, but guess what - I'll bite your face off.
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on October 6, 2006
If ever there was a humorous side to hyper-active, neglected and attention-deficient children, Robert Hamburger has found it! From cover to cover, "The REAL Ultimate Power" is chock full of childish hilarity counter-pointed by a very poignant under-belly displaying a fictional child's attempt to cope with being different and neglected. Yes, it's still HILARIOUS! Hamburger writes this essentially "for Dummies" spoof from the perspective of a learned 10-year-old kid who's inability to deal with his reality (parents he perceives as neglectful, friends who aren't his friends, etc.) leads him to be overly passionate (he calls it "pumped") about ninjas. I couldn't stop laughing! Not only are 99.9% of Robert's views on ninjas completely off-base and unrealistic (ah, childhood!), most times they're crude, disgusting, absurd and hilarious. Did you know that the defining characteristic of a ninja is the ability to "flip out and kill people" without the slightest provocation? Or that a BONER is the ninja's most prized weapon? Or that ninjas can fly? I, for one, was shocked to learn that Benjamin Franklin not only killed a man, but in the same night, laid in "feigned passion" with a sea turtle! These are just a few of Robert's skewed ideas, and they only get worse (or "better" if you're one to appreciate the humor!)

As other reviewers have noted, I believe what really makes this book 'totally sweet' and makes it totally riotous is Hamburger's mastery of the childish language and psyche. He writes just as a hyper-active 10-year-old might speak: a mile a minute with no pause for breath. Hamburger puts 'ands' were you or I might put a 'period.' He occasionally reaches for the "big" words only to pull out something completely wrong! Hamburger writes as a child who has escaped reality into this ideal fantasy about ninjas wherein the real world is reflected off of his fantasy: people whom he likes and behave as he would are considered "totally sweet" with ninja potential and anything/one he doesn't like is, as he puts it several times, "BULLCRAP!"

I don't know what muse possesses someone to write a book like this, but I'm glad it did! When I picture Robert, I picture "Calvin," and ninjas are his "Hobbes." This is one of those books that if taken lightly can make you laugh HARD and you'll be recommending it to anyone with the slightest iota of a funnybone in them.
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on July 10, 2004
Real Ultimate Power is totally sweet. Not only does it inspire fools to complain, but it inspires fools to complain about complaining. Some people haven't figured that out yet. Point at them and laugh, it's part of the grand tapestry of humor that Robert Hamburger has given us. Thank you, Robert Hamburger. Thank you.
And you other morons better stop frigg'n talking crap or you know what's going to happen to you. Ninjas know yoga and they'll stretch you out crazy because karate is for little babies. You're either in on the joke or you're a frigg'n sack of crap. And you probably like pirates.
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on October 1, 2004
I bought this book to read on the crapper. Everytime I looked at it I popped 500 boners and was unable to pee efficiently. I don't always sit down to pee, but it is hard to read this book if I am standing up. You should only attempt to read this book in a boner friendly location. Places you would not want to read this book:

1) Church

2) While giving a speech or participating in a debate

3) A Daycare Center

4) Prison

I will gladly change my review to 5 stars if Mr. Hamburger places a "Boner Warning" sticker on the front cover. Otherwise, two thumbs up.
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