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Andre the Giant: Life and Legend Paperback – May 6, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: First Second (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596438517
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596438514
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Students may never have heard of Andre Roussimoff, a man born in France in the late 1950s, who would go on to become one of the first stars in the early modern era of professional wrestling. Born with a rare syndrome known as acromegaly, he produced too much growth hormone in his body. This rendered him so gigantic that as a child, he was unable to fit on the bus to go to school. Eventually finding his calling on the stage, Roussimoff eventually became a chronic drinker and smoker as he became more and more successful. He took frequent trips to Japan where he was regarded as an international celebrity. But his life was not devoid of conflict and strife. He was in constant pain as a result of his condition. He also had a daughter he barely ever saw. This in-depth and well-researched look into the life of the memorable actor from The Princess Bride is interesting and complex. Drawing from number of different sources, Brown has constructed as complete a portrait of Andre the Giant as he possibly could. While some of the language and situations in this graphic novel biography are definitely for older audiences, high school wrestling fans can nonetheless enjoy this intimate look into the life of an industry legend.—Ryan P. Donovan, New York Public Library

From Booklist

Larger-than-average André the Giant had a larger-than-life personality to match, and award-winning cartoonist Brown manages to capture the legendary wrestler’s career in charming, heartfelt black-and-white panels. After a few snippets of an interview with André’s fellow wrestler Hulk Hogan, Brown starts off with a doozy of an anecdote: 12-year-old André, too big to fit in the school bus, gets a ride to school in the back of Samuel Beckett’s pickup truck in exchange for a bottle of Beaujolais. From there, Brown covers André’s storied career in wrestling, his movie roles, his insatiable drinking (reportedly once running up a $40,000 bar tab), and the many health problems he faced owing to his acromegaly. Throughout, André comes across as a good-natured, gentle giant with a playful sense of humor and love for showmanship. He was, of course, no stranger to controversy, but Brown only lightly touches on those moments, choosing instead to keep the tone laudatory. Given André the Giant’s long-standing popularity among a wide audience, fans of professional wrestling aren’t the only ones who will line up to read this one. --Sarah Hunter

More About the Author

Box Brown is a comic artist, illustrator and comic publisher from Philadelphia. His comics have been featured in Mad Magazine and his illustrations have been on Wired.com. His web and print comic Everything Dies was named a notable comic of 2011 in the Best American Comics Anthology and was honored with two Ignatz Awards. His comics publishing outfit, Retrofit launched in 2011.

Customer Reviews

I recommend it to anyone and everyone, wrestling fan or not.
Gilbert Rodriguez
Box Brown has created a wonderful book about the life of one of wrestling’s greatest, Andre the Giant, as well as a great book on wrestling itself.
Sam Quixote
The story and especially the illustrations in this graphic novel are excellent.
jill oulman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Garvinstomp VINE VOICE on March 22, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a lifelong pro wrestling fan I was intrigued when I opened my Vine newsletter and saw a book featuring a comic Andre the Giant on the cover. I had no idea what it was but clicked anyways. And I'm glad I did.

The book is professional wrestler and actor Andre the Giant's biography, only told in graphic novel form. At first I thought it would be a bit strange, but it's actually the best way to tell the story. So much of Andre's time with us had to do with his struggle with (and against) his size. Being able to see a constant visual representation of how he fit in different circumstances made the story that much more personal and profound. While he was a legend in the industry and fondly remembered, the story of the man whose body worked overtime to end his life is both tragic and triumphant.

But this is not a children's version of Andre's life. Don't be fooled by Brown's friendly comic art style. The story is a warts-and-all look, involving stories that will be new to many fans and familiar to the die hards (Bad News on the bus or Dick Murdock's bday party come to mind). There is swearing, innuendo and off-camera sex (though nothing explicit), LOTS of alcohol, and boys just being boys.

There are also great moments of poignancy and reflection. The images help bring to life the devastating nature of Andre's medical condition and the ways in which it debilitated him over time, and also how he faced them down and chose to move ahead. The entire thing retains a charm and sweetness that overcome any of the harder moments. Andre could be tender and hilarious and the book does a wonderful job in capturing his softer side, often away from the wrestling ring.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By amazonbuyer on March 27, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The artwork and story telling in this story is incredible. It is clear that the author researched thoroughly before writing this story. There is a lot of drinking and some cursing in the context of this man's real life. So, depending on the age of your children, you may want to wait before letting them read it. As one of our readers said, "Don't look to this book to find a role model."

If your child wants to know more about the world of wrestling and the condition that Andre dealt with, this will be a perfect fit. With that said, it is a very sad story. Definitely prepare you child for this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Brown on May 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As an english professor, sometimes when I read comics I can be off put by the lack of attention to the writing (for writing's sake). Similarly, the opposite can occur, when a brilliantly written piece can fall short in illustration. The marriage of the two forms is truly what makes the illustrated or graphic "novel" (what I really like to call "comics") an admirable achievement.

With that in mind, I read Brown's 'Andre the Giant: Life and Legend' and am impressed at the unity of both the graphics and the writing. Andre himself comes off as truly what he seemed like--a giant with a heart of gold--but he clearly had a tough life. I think we all tend to assume that about him without getting to know him (as we do of all celebrities), but Brown manages to bring the man to life. Between the matches and celebrity sightings, we see a person! And really, isn't that what everyone wants out of a biography?

The graphics themselves unfold seamlessly, with careful attention paid to the transitions in Andre's life. This is a beautiful book by an incredibly talented writer and illustrator. Read it, view it, and be astonished.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dia on May 19, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This looks great from what I have read so far. We had no idea it was Andre's birthday when she ordered.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gilbert Rodriguez on May 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't tell you enough how much I love this book. I already told Box on twitter and facebook. It's just wonderful. I recommend it to anyone and everyone, wrestling fan or not. It's too good not to read. You can feel the amount of heart Box put into this project and it was all told sincerely. I hope Box does more books like this one, it truly is magical.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen V. Kempton on May 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been a life long comic fan. I also spent about a decade interested in Wrestling. Actually I found the behind the scenes information a lot more fascinating then the actual wrestling matches.

I pre-ordered this book from Amazon. They had the cheapest pre-order price I could find. It arrived a couple days ago. I took it out of the box to read today with My Dinner.

It was fascinating. I could not stop reading it. An hour and 45 minutes later I had read it cover to cover. At times funny, at times sad. It is a thoroughly engaging Graphic Novel about a tragic life of a man. The art by Box Brown captures all the emotions.

Highly Recommended
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By tvtv3 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I haven't watched professional wrestling for years. However, as a young boy I did and I remember watching when Andre the Giant became a bad guy and ended up fighting Hulk Hogan for the championship in Wrestlemania III. Besides, Hogan, Andre had always been a favorite and I couldn't believe he "flipped" over. Later, he came back around and ended his career as one of the good guys. Although there are a few kids book and WWE sponsored books about Andre the Giant, there really has never been a decent biography about Andre's life (Andre the Giant: A Legendary Life (WWE) was published several years ago, but is a terrible biography). Box Brown has attempted to fill that deficit with ANDRE THE GIANT: LIFE AND LEGEND.

ANDRE THE GIANT: LIFE AND LEGEND is a biography of Andre the Giant told in graphic novel format. Although graphic novels are still viewed as being "kid's books", ANDRE THE GIANT: LIFE AND LEGEND is not a children's book. It respects the man, but doesn't shy away from some of the less savory aspects of his life: drinking, swearing, sexual exploits, etc.

The book does an excellent job at illustrating Andre's life-long struggle with acromegaly. In a regular novel form, this struggle would be difficult to convey. However, a graphic novelization is a great format to convey and illustrate this struggle.

Some of the events the book touches upon will be familiar with diehard wrestling fans (e.g. Dick Murdock's birthday party). However, there are other events that aren't as well known. There's also the occasional interesting tidbit, for instance, the time Andre got a ride to school from Samuel Beckett.

It's difficult to compact the life of a man as big as Andre into a book, but ANDRE THE GIANT: LIFE AND LEGEND does a great job. It's an interesting graphical biography that both fans and non-fans of wrestling will enjoy.
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