Continuing the global quest for what is always strange, often unsavoury and sometimes sordid, ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not! 2007’ is the third annual compendium that draws upon the wide history and geography of oddities, following the tradition established by sports columnist for the New York Globe, Robert Ripley. Much like Ripley’s own work, the success of this book is achieved through its documentation of the unusual and extraordinary and its ability to avoid reproach or reprove.
Thematically arranged under eight headings, ‘Strange World’, ‘Weird and Wonderful’, ‘Breaking Boundaries’, Amazing Animals’, ‘Larger than Life’, Impossible Feats’, ‘Simply Unbelievable’ and ‘The Final Reckoning’, the book provides a perfect antidote for times when life feels humdrum.
Archive features tap into the rich historical vein of Ripley’s meticulous research, in depth features provide interviews and background to a number of participants and interludes showcasing features from amongst Ripley’s 29 museums in 10 different countries relay the type of geographical spread of the phenomenon that ‘Believe it or Not’ has become.
‘Believe It or Not! 2007’ is one of those rare books that is genuinely so engaging that it can be opened at any page and guaranteed to entertain, to educate and to enrich. There is Jim Mouth, the man with the outrageously outsized mouth ‘ able to fit 157 straws in it at once ‘ Wang Yide, the lick artist from China, Bruce the goldfish who meausres in at an enormous 17.129 inches, Cathie Jung aged 68 who has worn a corset for over 20 years and now sports an incredible 15 inch waist and much, much more’
Our world is often a peculiar one dominated as much by the exceptional as by precedent. There can be few better ways to celebrate this uniqueness and colour than through perusing this astonishing volume.