Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ripley's Believe It or Not: Seeing is Believing - Book Review

A blinking eye on the front cover? I wouldn't expect less from a Ripley's Believe or Not Book, especially one titled Seeing Is Believing. If you dare to open the massive book, you find all sorts of weird and crazy and sometimes just downright disgusting curiosities inside. Ripley's oddities have fascinated people ever since 1918 when Robert Ripley began his search for the unusual and featured them in his cartoon columns.

Seeing Is Believing, the sixth book in Ripley's annual series, showcases the world's weirdest with all-new strange facts from the past to the present. Released earlier this month, it's a pretty cool compilation of facts, stories, and pictures--something for everyone. (Though, due to the graphic content of some of the photos, the book is probably best read by adults and older children.) There's lots to be found in this large volume including a kitten with two faces, a sweater wearing tree, strange balloon creatures and a fold out middle section featuring historic circus side show performers. Sometimes the science behind the strange is explained in detailed "Ripley's research" entries.

Readers can visit for book extras including videos and pics, like this video of dolphins making bubble rings.

For book lover's there's even a few unbelievable entries about books. Did you know...
- "Library Book 288 Years Overdue: A book about the Archbishop of Bremen that was borrowed from a university library in Cambridge, England, in 1667, was finally returned in 1955." - Pg. 8 (Hey, I don't feel as bad now about not taking back my books on time. I've never been that late!)
- "The book Greatest of All Time, a tribute to boxer Muhammad Ali...weighs 75 lb." - Pg. 201 (Hate to lug that one in my backpack!)

The page showing Brian Dettmer's amazing book carvings is my absolute favorite part of the book. He performs "autopsies" on books, using a knife and other tools to remove sections of a book to create his sculptures. I also loved Wisconsin artist Troy Landwehr's impressive cheddar cheese carving of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Yes, Ripley's Believe It or Not! Seeing Is Believing is truly "eye-catching" and hard to put down once you pick it up!

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Seeing Is Believing; Ripley Publishing (August 2009); 256 pages; ISBN 9781893951457; $28.95
Book Source: Review copy provided by for free by publisher. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)

Related Links:
Official Ripley Blog
Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Website


Unknown said...

My son would love this! He went crazy looking at all of the Ripley's places in Gatlinburg, TN.