Edited by: Geoff Tibballs
Publisher: Ripley Publishing
Publication Date: September 2011
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: August 25, 2011
The books of the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Series have been popular for quite some time – and there’s a reason for that. These books are a heck of a lot of fun to read, you learn about some odd and unusual “things,” and they are perfect for reluctant teen readers who don't want to read but will love spending time with this book.
The newest offering in this unique series is Strikingly True. Filled with bizarre, and absolutely cool facts, adults and kids alike will be mesmerized by so many of the tidbits of information, great pictures, and just plain weird stories, that it’s hard to put this book down.
Strikingly True is broken down into 13 chapters (hmmm….any significance to that number?): Ripley’s World, Believe It!, World, Animals, Sports, Body, Transport, Feats, Mysteries, Food, Arts, Science, and Beyond Belief. Right from the beginning, there are pictures and information to make the reader say, “wow, that’s so neat.” Photos of the “Lizardman” with his forked tongue, scale tattoos, and implants having his body cast for a life-size model to be displayed in Ripley’s museums, amazing body tattoos of a panther on a woman’s back, and a man with almost 100 percent of his body covered with tattoos adorn the first few pages of this book. It took me a good 10 minutes to get through these pages as I kept stopping to read little known facts that are spread throughout so many of the pages.
No doubt some of the pictures will make readers cringe (the full page photo of Etienne Dumont, a man with significant body “modifications,” including a hole in his chin with a clear disk inserted so you can see his teeth/gums comes to mind). But there are so many photos jam-packed into this 250 page book that you'll likely experience all sorts of reactions. There’s a nice section of cars and means of transportation that should entertain plenty of young men and an interesting chapter on animals for those who like the warm and fuzzy and yes, the creepy and crawly. Included in this book is a fold-out, four page spread on “Ripley’s Odditorium” with pictures of people who appeared in the Ripley’s display at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933-34. Reviewing these pictures, it’s no wonder Ripley’s Odditorium proved a favorite with fair attendees.
Quill says: Another winner from the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Series to entertain, educate, and simply make you wonder at the curious things life has to offer.