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The World of Ripley's Believe it or Not! Hardcover – October, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

I make a living out of the fact that truth is stranger than fiction.--Robert L. Ripley For more than 80 years, Ripley's Believe It or Not! has been the world's foremost source of the extraordinary and the bizarre--"curioddities" so amazing they defy belief. The World of Ripley's Believe It or Not! features Ripley's world famous cartoon strips as well as dramatic photographs from the Ripley's archives that document his spine-tingling findings. They depict real events that stretch the limits of the imagination--so incredibly eccentric that they possess an irresistible charm. It's a fantastic trip through the fanciful, marvelous and macabre world that has dazzled Ripley's fans for decades. Yet every fact and every feat in this unique book is true. Traveling to over 200 countries in his relentless pursuit of the truly unbelievable, Robert Ripley established a tradition of discovery that the editors of Ripley Entertainment continue today. His insatiable curiosity led him to the lifesaving bullet Police Officer Tapscott caught in the chamber of his own gun during a shootout in 1935, and to meet the man who repaired his own broken rib with an icepick, screwdriver and two one-inch screws. The incredible feats Ripley sought out, often a thrilling combination of daring and imagination, will beguile and delight as they test the limits of the human body: "Three Ball Charlie" of Humbolt, Nebraska who could put a tennis ball, billiards ball and golf ball in his mouth and still whistle; Angelo Corsaro of Catania, Italy who walked a total of 558 miles to the Vatican on ten-foot stilts and mighty-jawed Jackie Del Rio of Chicago who could lift two tables and six chairs using only his teeth. Ripley also discovered hundreds of animals that defy Mother Nature: a benchpressing frog, a living headless hen, a fish that can climb trees, a rollerskating penguin and a two-headed calf. We meet individuals from all walks of life--"normal" people upon whom fate has bestowed some truly abnormal traits, like the Colombiere family in France whose male heirs are all born with two left hands, or Iccolo Miccolo, piccolo player for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Tracing Ripley's incredible legacy from the first cartoon he cobbled together in 1918 to the Golden Age radio show, the much-loved television program and the museums around the globe still visited by millions yearly, The World of Ripley's Believe it or Not! is a chronicle of the shocking, intriguing and unique. You will find that while the world is full of strange things, human beings are the strangest of all. Believe it or not! --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

VISIT MINDBOGGLING PLACES, WITNESS DEATH DEFYING STUNTS, DISCOVER OUTLANDISH INVENTIONS AND SEE FANTASTIC HUMAN ACHIEVEMENTS THAT ROBERT RIPLEY UNEARTHED ON HIS LIFE-LONG QUEST FOR THE INCREDIBLE AND BIZARRE

When Captain J.H. Hedley of Chicago, Illinios fell out of a plane nearly three miles up in the air on January 6, 1918, he was probably sure he'd had his last plane ride. But no--the plane was making a steep vertical dive in line with his own fall, and Hedley alighted on the tail. He was brought back down to earth shaken, but none the worse for wear...

And for Those with Hearty Appetites...

A huge omelette composed of 7,200 eggs was fried in a pan 8 feet across. It weighed half a ton! The pan was greased by attaching slabs of bacon to the feet of girls who turned it into a skating rink.

Alfred Langevin of Detroit, Michigan could blow up balloons, smoke a cigarette, and play a recorder--through his eye! He was featured in a 1930 Believe It or Not! cartoon, appeared at Ripley's Odditoriums from 1933 to 1940, in a 1931 compendium and on a postcard.

Charles C. Russell, inspired by a Believe It or Not! cartoon, hoisted 12 cups of coffee with one hand and his sister with the other hand--while on ice skates! Russell, an ice skating and barbell instructor at the South Chicago "Y," could also hoist a bar over his head with a woman seated at either end--a total of 265 pounds. Again, he did all this on ice skates--but this time, the two women he hoisted were playing ukuleles!

She found "God" in her eggplant! On Sunday, August 15, 1948, Mrs. Henry G. Hesslink of Amsterdam, New York was preparing dinner for her family when she discovered that the eggplant she was slicing had been "signed" by its creator! (September 25, 1948.)

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Bookwise International (October 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579122728
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579122720
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 10.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #473,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the first Ripley's book I've ever purchased, and I love it! It makes a wonderful coffee table / conversation piece. Great for readers (or readers-to-be) of all ages! Even young children will enjoy looking at some of the bizarre pictures and having an adult read the captions/short blurbs to them.
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Format: Hardcover
All real. Yep.
All believable? Hell no.
That's the point! Gotta love it!
This has so many cartoons and pics and stories, it's really well stocked with fun info. I've had it for years and keep stumbling across new fun stuff!
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Format: Hardcover
This book really brought me back to my childhood. Back to the days that my brother and I used to fight over a Ripley's book that we had when we were young. But then again, my brother and I fought over a lot of stuff when we were kids. I enjoy the book much more than any of the T.V. shows they've aired.
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