• Pen Center USA Literary Award finalist
  • Amazon Best Book of the Month & Year
  • Vanity Fair Hot Type pick
  • Barnes & Noble Booksellers' Pick
  • iTunes Best Book of the Month
  • NPR pick for 2013
  • Parade 2013 Summer Read

A Curious Man is the first-ever biography of Robert “Believe It or Not” Ripley, the enigmatic cartoonist turned globetrotting millionaire who won international fame by celebrating the world's strangest oddities, and whose outrageous showmanship taught us to believe in the unbelievable. Ripley's pioneering firsts in print, radio, and television tapped into something deep in the American consciousness—a taste for the titillating and exotic, and a fascination with the fastest, biggest, dumbest and most weird. As David Shields put it, "Neal Thompson constructs an elegant argument: the world Ripley created is the world in which we now live.” 

“Brilliant…What’s truly unbelievable is that it’s taken us so long to get a full-fledged biography of this great American character…It was worth the wait.” -A.J. Jacobs

"Deliriously entertaining" -Megan Abbott (full review here)

"A Curious Man is a work of real beauty and fun and emotion -- and intense readability. Thompson is the genuine article: smart and witty, empathetic and a pleasure to read." -Darin Strauss, bestselling author of Half a Life and Chang and Eng

“Like Robert Ripley, Neal Thompson has a nose for the strange and wonderful.  A Curious Man is a rich, compelling read for fans of the exotic and uncanny.” -Stewart O'Nan, bestselling author of The Odds

"Anyone who wants to understand America needs to read this book … Neal Thompson gives us a vivid portrait of this complex, restless man in all his maniacally conflicted glory." -Ben Fountain, Winner of the Pen/Hemingway Award and author of the National Book Award Finalist Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

 "Intelligent and gripping … Neal Thompson expertly captures the surprisingly complex character of Robert Ripley, and a life nearly too fantastic to be believed." -Karen Abbott, bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and American Rose