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Real Ultimate Power: The Official Ninja Book

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Dear Stupid Idiots,

A lot of you have been saying that I don't know anything about REAL ninjas. But that's a bunch of bull crap! You dummies don't know anything. And maybe YOU should get a life. I bet a lot of you have never even seen a girl naked! You idiots believe that ninjas had some "code of honor." Yeah right! If by "code of honor," you mean "code to flip out and go nuts for absolutely no reason at all even if it means that people might think you are totally insane or sweet," then you are right. But if you mean a "code to be nice and speak nicely while sharing and not cutting off heads," then you're the biggest idiot ever!!!!!! So if you have any brains, you will shut up and get a life. So go shut up, you stupid idiot.

No thank you,

Robert Hamburger

193 pages, Paperback

First published July 1, 2004

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About the author

Robert Hamburger

4 books3 followers
Robert Hamburger aka Trey Hamburger is an art dealer. Along with his wife, Barbara, they spend vacations in France.

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5 stars
434 (40%)
4 stars
307 (28%)
3 stars
225 (21%)
2 stars
76 (7%)
1 star
21 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 129 reviews
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 48 books374 followers
January 21, 2009
It took me a few pages to start thinking this book would get "old" really soon. I kept thinking this, but then the book ended. This book never gets old. It should have gotten old. It defies logic that it never gets old. This book is awesome.
Profile Image for Annette.
204 reviews16 followers
August 19, 2007
Dude, if you want to get super pumped up and read a totally awesome book (as in totally sweet) this is the book for you! Ninjas are totally sweet. They kill people because someone dropped a spork and they won't even care. They have magical powers over brown dogs.

Ninjas ROCK.
Profile Image for Zach.
489 reviews1 follower
August 20, 2022
I expected this to be silly and funny.

It was actually dumb and depressing.

It was a chore to finish.

I was hoping it would wrap from being “bad” to “so bad it is good,” but it failed to accomplish this classification.

Reading Scavenger Hunt: book involving sports
(I figured a funny book about martial arts would be great. It was not.)
Profile Image for John.
20 reviews7 followers
December 29, 2008
Awesome. Pure awesomeness. Awesomeisity squared. Had to give it 4 stars, if I didn't I'd have to be looking behind my back all the time, in fear of a ninja popping out and slicing my head off.

In truth - a witty and funny read. If you don't take off your adult cloak of seriousness while reading you won't get it and will most likely be offended or some crap.
Profile Image for Steven Mix.
Author 2 books28 followers
May 26, 2014
Look, this isn't the book you read if you're looking for a deep, thought provoking, well researched book. The only real fact in this book is that Trey Hamburger possesses a serious knack for comedy writing. The book is hysterical.

I laughed pretty hard most of the way through it. The appendix where he starts writing history papers... well I don't want to spoil anything but I laughed well past the point of tears and hyperventilated.

Again: if you're looking for serious ninja facts, look elsewhere. But if you're looking to laugh, buy this book.
Profile Image for Andrew.
Author 6 books19 followers
July 14, 2008
Funny if you're into the very puerile humor that Hamburger purveys. Lots of it is recycled from the old Real Ultimate Power website, but the footnotes are great and tell their own deeply demented sub-story.
Profile Image for James Piss.
161 reviews1 follower
June 22, 2022
i gained no power from this. the second i opened the book, it gave me a herneated disc and added 20 pounds to my jowls. I trip over them when i walk. do not read
Profile Image for Swankivy.
1,178 reviews133 followers
August 2, 2014
On its surface, this book is really dumb. If you look under the surface . . . this book is also really dumb. Thankfully, that's on purpose, and it's pretty hilarious.

Don't get me wrong. The whole "ninjas are badasses, they flip out all the time and kill people, they are sweet, they pop boners and pork women, they are always screaming and they live in dojos" thing would normally only be funny for like five pages. But this is written as though from a ten-year-old boy's perspective--a boy named Robert who has a host of problems in his life. He's obsessed with ninjas and people find it alienating, so he's decided to pour his passion for the subject into writing a book about them (based on his own warped fantasies--not on any actual researched information on ninjas). He writes about what ninjas do, how ninjas learn to be ninjas, how people react to ninjas, what weapons they use and clothes they wear, and what they might sound like if they made a phone call. But odd little nods to the author's home life are embedded in the text, and the footnotes involve bizarre conversations between Robert and various other folks. Most of the time it's his editor--well, his babysitter, John--who seems somewhat intelligent and inexplicably keeps validating him while offering thoughts about the ontological proof of ninjas' existence and whether their sweetness is an inherent property. Also proving, with logic, that moms cannot be ninjas.

John wears a diaper. He tells you about his personal choices regarding wearing a diaper if you read the footnotes. Robert Hamburger does not judge him.

Sometimes the footnote conversations are horrible exchanges between Robert and his mom, in which she'll scream at him to go to bed, call him terrible names and tell him she wishes she had not had him, or comment that she plans to embarrass him by showing up topless on his playground, making out with his classmates, and ovulating in his lunch bag.

I do not know. You have to read it.

The out-and-out nonsense was also kind of fun, above and beyond the dark little conversations that kept happening in the footnotes. Robert sometimes wonders whether his mother loves him (and a couple times she says she does, while admitting that she wouldn't if he wasn't her son), and in another section, he has ninja diary excerpts wherein these ninjas wonder if they are loved. One ninja diary has a ninja claiming that he feels so much love, but the only way he can express it is by cutting off heads. Robert opines that this makes them sweet. Ninjas also would never feel obligated to purchase shoes from a salesman just because the poor fellow had assisted him for 30 minutes.

The illustrations are funny too. I did occasionally find it repetitive in a way that WAS a little too much, but overall it was, again, way more enjoyable than something based on this concept should have been.
Profile Image for Matt Zimmerman.
1 review1 follower
July 28, 2019
Robert Hamburger is a silly writer with no long term gift for writing anything other than the nonsense he believes about ninjas and his neighbors that obviously have no clue what a real ninja is. If he really knew about ninjas he’d stop and already know that some ninjas are still virgins and that’s because they choose to be because sometimes they have a crush on Lisa and they want to save themselves.
Profile Image for Ronnie.
14 reviews3 followers
December 9, 2011
My youngest brother bought this book for me because I enjoyed The Zombie Survival Guide. I was blown away by the comical description about ninjas. There were moments when I was reading this book that I had to take a break due to sudden outburst of laughter. If I was to write a ninja survival guide, I'd just have 365 pages that had one word: pray.
Profile Image for Beau Johnston.
Author 3 books38 followers
March 1, 2014
If you're looking for a book filled with childish, immature drivel, then search no further.

I laughed so hard I nearly vomited. The first time I read this book I had to keep closing the cover, just so I could stop laughing long enough to catch my breath.

Be warned, this book isn't for everyone.
Profile Image for Gabe.
32 reviews3 followers
April 26, 2007
A literary tour-de-force, REAL Ultimate Power tells the heartwarming and at times heartwrenching story of a boy, his dog Francine and his obsession with ninjas.

This book is awesome. And by awesome, I mean totally sweet.
Profile Image for Jason.
221 reviews5 followers
January 15, 2008
If anyone gives this book anything less than 5 stars, a ninja is going to pop out of your computer, totally freak out, wail on his guitar, and cut your freakin' head off while popping a huge boner! It's going to be awesome!
Profile Image for Rob Liebscher.
30 reviews
August 6, 2015
If you have not given this book the appropriate five star rating, then I have nothing more to say to you, and we cannot be friends or even acquaintances. If your parents ask me how you're doing, I will deny knowing you, even though you are my sister.
Profile Image for Lindsey.
3 reviews2 followers
December 30, 2008
Caveat: not for REAL reading, but for flipping open to some random page and giggling...
January 4, 2014
I have read this book a billion-million times and every time it makes me squirt urine and get poop sprinkles in my pantaloons! Hilarious! Love, A REAL Ninja (for 1 month)...
Profile Image for Kendall Moore.
37 reviews
May 23, 2022
One of the funnier books to come from the Internet; a tale of idiotic childhood nostalgia and depressing reality.
Profile Image for Matt.
42 reviews
December 9, 2022
Note: Written after originally reading book approx Jan 2012. In the ensuing decade the brand of Internet humor that this book represented - already a little hackneyed by then - has been retirely every bit as thoroughly as All Your Base. It's now a book to be read as an artifact of curiousity rather than as something timely. And that's probably for the best... I had fun reading it, though, and will stick to those guns.

"'I was thinking, Robert, doesn't being pumped all the time make you tired?'—John, ed.

'I have to sleep once in a while, but when I do, I do it hard. I
slam my head into the pillow.'"

Internet fads can be perplexing. Funny videos flow naturally from you to your friends to theirs, and suddenly the cycle of national attention that starts with iTunes singles and t-shirt production ends in perpetual annoyance, leaving you to wonder: of all the topics out there, how did this get so huge?

But if there's any subject that has endured the transient fads of Internet eons, it's the ninja. Ninjas have a funny way of capturing the imagination. The dark-shrouded detached secrecy of their popular image has undeniable timelessness. But it's their unwavering mission dedication, as devoid of law and ethics as it is unbounded by walls and ceilings, that primes ninjas for that other steadfast of Internet pop-culture, the über-masculine fantasy.

REAL Ultimate Power is a book that takes the drippings of infantile un-self-awareness behind that fantastical whimsy and carries them to such an extreme that the absurdity dissects the very nature of obsession. Its effect is subtle, in stark contrast to the text's liberal use of loud structure and diction and of off-color material.

On the surface, this is a book that exists to proclaim certain things awesome and their inverses totally lame. The faux author is a 13 year-old misfit, Robert Hamburger, who would much rather forget schoolwork and chores to daydream about hanging in a dojo, splitting pizzas with a ninja buddy. From the beginning we can quickly gleam that Robert is a little messed up; he pours so much wild adolescent energy into his image of the The Ninja because he desperately needs the escapism.

Consequently his chapters about ninja skills, ninjas and Santa, and ultimate ninja movie scripts bring traditional Western ninja enrapturement into a discordant mix with modern cultural iconography and endless scat- and sexually-based innuendo. The prolific and oftentimes unexpected abundance of the latter category makes this a book that's certainly not for everyone, but for the right audience, at face value this can be pretty funny stuff. Alone, it's a formula that would've made for an amusing website, which is exactly how the REAL Ultimate Power fad began.

Much of the humor behind the website, though, is satire of Internet self-indulgence – the bewilderment when you witness a child's frenzied ravings occupy the same digital canvas major corporations and governments strive to corner. Now I never followed this fad in its infancy, but I imagine that that irony is what popularized the web incarnation of REAL Ultimate Power. As a book, though, it actually flips the idea around to find tenderness and vulnerability in adolescent obsession.

Most of this book's chapters, as extravagantly as they treat the ninja topic, weave its conception in Robert's mind around the ongoing events in his life. Robert's life is comparable to that of Butters, the character on South Park, whose silly strict parents nonetheless symbolize the damage that can be done by, alternately, indifference to or sheer abuse of a child. We learn about the troubled status of Robert's home life partly through scattered footnotes, snippets of "real" conversations he has, which drive a meta-narrative of sorts. Picture arguing with someone as you write a fantasy journal, then having the entire argument transcribed below it, day-in day-out until it nakedly tells the story of a year of your life.

The footnote trick is enjoyable because not only does it foment character development outside Robert's rant'n'rave narrative, it offers insight into why things happened the way they did in the last chapter, or the next one. Through the footnotes we witness Robert fighting with his parents or alienating friends with his weirdness, and we understand why he later tells us that "Never tell someone you'll hang out and then ditch them" goes right next to "Kick ass" on the ninja code of conduct. We also witness Robert absorb far more sexually blunt and revelatory put-downs, courtesy of his fed-up mother, than any thirteen year-old could properly process. This actually justifies the off-color material you'd have thought was there just to shock the reader - again, pretty neat.

Most heartwarming is the ongoing dialogue between Robert and his babysitter John – a gentle, intelligent soul, and a fellow antisocial misfit, in keeping with the Catcher in the Rye tradition that a grown-up who "gets" the weird kid has to be a little strange himself. John, sympathetic to Robert's passion for ninjas, serves as role model, trying to prep him for a world of adult expectations while staying true to himself. A dose of narrative ambiguity leaves it up for grabs how this relationship ends – bittersweet, outright tragic, or hopeful?

REAL Ultimate Power is both a reminder of how cruel emerging adolescence can be, and a primer on how wild imagination can be as much a necessity as it as an embarassing retrospective on the age. Not everyone gets published or makes music, but creating fiction is a nearly universal human experience. In childhood it's innocent, but as childhood gives way to relationships and the first hints of how the adult world works, it can get awkward. REAL Ultimate Power rolls all those punches, making us laugh and cringe as a half-formed adult worldview mixes with a childhood hero dissertation – at the same time revealing the strength and security these unapologetic passions offer a detached, damaged boy.

If you're up for such a weird dual sentiment and the weirder structure that explores it, REAL Ultimate Power is a good read – so long as you're also ready for pictures of hippos sporting huge genitalia and stories of Benjamin Franklin doing horrible things to turtles.
Profile Image for Ryan Perkins.
45 reviews1 follower
February 19, 2020
I was gifted this book as it is far outside of what I normally read. I appreciated the though and understand why so many people rate this book so highly. That being said I rated it as a 2/5 for a few reasons. Firstly, I had a difficult time enjoying the humor. I do not find child abuse or anger fantasy funny, even though I get that the book was written from a child's perspective I just don't care for the humor. The second issue I have with the book is the phrase choice, again book from child's perspective. That being said I just cringe as I read or hear words like faggot or retard, personal taste I guess.

This all being said I could not give this a 1/5. The book is obviously written by someone who is clever enough to create a fictional word and put, real or fake, tough experiences into a humor fill book.

Final note, I do not recommend the book but I would not try to talk someone out of reading it. Your taste will have to be the judge, maybe find an excerpt or two before diving it.
Profile Image for Calum Inglis.
23 reviews2 followers
October 6, 2019
The reason the author used Hamburger as his last name is that he wants the reader to know that he added a lot of cheese to this Ninja book in the perspective of a 13 year old boy.
Most of the B grade Ninja movies of the 70s and 80s borrowed their plot to the perspective of the 13 year olds. That is the reason why the fantasy martial arts of the ninjas in the movies doesn't make sense. And add the bad acting of the Ninjas.

Read it if you want to have a Laugh out loud moments . Warning : you will not learn any killer Ninja techniques in this book.

Additional Fact : Chuck Norris can beat a hundred ninjas with no sweat .

Ninja films are cheap to make. since you can recycle your extras all over again.
20 reviews
June 13, 2019
Very twisted humor

This wasn't really what I was expecting. From the description on the cover I assumed this would be light hearted and goofy, much like Chuck Norris "facts." Turns out it was really dark when you consider the narrator is a mentally unstable child with deep psychological issues. As humorous as it was, it was impossible to ignore the uncomfortable subtext of a very depraved child deeply struggling for acceptance and friendship.
Profile Image for Guillermo Galvan.
Author 15 books89 followers
March 31, 2021
I got so pumped that I took a long, skinny dump on the internet. Now that's REAL ULTIMATE POWER.
7 reviews
June 19, 2021
You will not like this book. I love it, but I was once a North American boy obsessed with ninjas (I am now slightly less obsessed with ninjas, no longer a boy, but very much North American).
3 reviews
October 6, 2021
I can’t believe I loved this book so much when I was a teen. I decided to read it again and I’m giving it five stars purely for nostalgia. So many good memories surround that time in my life.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 129 reviews

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