Former Olympic figure skater Rippon showcases his personality in this sports-framed memoir. From traveling to practices on the Greyhound bus next to ex-convicts to being so poor he could only afford to eat the free apples at his gym, Rippon got through the toughest times with a smile on his face, a glint in his eye, and quip ready for anyone listening.
Brimming with Rippon’s signature sass, Beautiful is an entertaining, unfiltered look at the path to becoming an elite athlete — and it’s not all fun and (Olympic) games ... he shines brightest as he theatrically recounts the times his life was like 'a raging dumpster fire.' To be clear: Rippon is funny. He lands a joke like it’s a triple axel, with eyebrow-raising, hilarious passages that demand to be read out loud to whomever is nearby ... breezy and chatty, as though Rippon is massaging the script for one of his Instagram stories. He’s a pro at well-placed pop culture references and, where some elite athletes seem otherworldly — made from different stuff — he comes across as the relatable Olympian next door ... Rippon might have gone home from the athletic world’s largest stage with a bronze medal in tow. But this memoir? It’s pure comedic gold.
Even though this book is entertaining, Rippon addresses many difficult life experiences ... His stories will interest anyone looking to learn more about the sport, including the amount of training that takes place, especially at an early age. Rippon’s strength is apparent, and it’s easy to see why he is an inspiration to many. From the first line, the writing is conversational and relatable and will engage readers throughout ... Recommended for all readers, especially those familiar with Rippon and who would like to learn more about his life and career. Highly recommended.
Rippon reminds us that gay doesn’t just mean homosexual, but it can also mean cheerful, light-hearted, playful, and exuberant ... Rippon is such a gifted and vibrant raconteur that he’s continually cracking jokes ... Of course, being a good storyteller is not quite the same thing as being a good writer, and one wishes that Rippon’s editor had paid more attention to grammar. In particular, verbs tend to float between tenses for no discernible reason. Still, Rippon’s style is so vibrant and conversational that few people other than English teachers are going to notice, let alone be distracted ... The real value in Rippon’s book lies in his descriptions of how he trained and how he crafted his career. Beautiful on the Outside is a fascinating study in motivation, concentration, and discipline, and one that has lessons for anyone in pursuit of excellence. The fact that it is so full of laughs only makes it that much better.