Jane Smiley and Ohio like Ripley

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Writing | No Comments

CuriousMan-jacketcoverJust a week until publication day, and already A CURIOUS MAN is getting some early buzz. It was the lead book review in Harpers, taking up nearly a page and a half and reviewed by Jane Smiley – Jane Smiley! Here’s a snippet (warts and all): “Thompson’s spirited but uneven biography charts Ripley’s rise as a popular phenomenon, a deeply idiosyncratic personality who — through newspapers, radio, film, and, at the very end, television — wedded his restless obsessions to the rise of mass culture … Ripley was a popular game changer.”

On Sunday, the Columbus Dispatch devoted nearly a full page, calling A CURIOUS MAN “an engaging, fast-moving biography…makes the case that Ripley was among the first media celebrities, and that his affection for the grotesque and the extreme shaped American pop culture.”

Other early reviews:

  • “Robert Ripley was as unique and fascinating as the ‘Believe It or Not’ newspaper feature that made him one of the most popular and widely read syndicated cartoonists in the country during the 1930s, and Thompson delivers an equally fascinating biography that captures the influence of Ripley’s work life then and now, well into the age of television and the Internet ….Thompson superbly shows how Ripley’s work is the basis for today’s more extreme reality shows by teaching readers ‘to gape with respect at the weirdness of man and nature.’” —Publishers Weekly
  •  “Thompson paints a picture of Ripley as a brilliant but aggressively eccentric man, a globe-trotting curiosity seeker who always believed there was something even more unusual just around the corner. A Curious Man is a fine introduction to a man who, for most of us, has been merely the name above a famous title.” —Booklist
  •  ”Ripley’s amazing American life itself plays out like an impossible fairy tale.” —Kirkus

Stay tuned for more…

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