Customer Reviews: Andre the Giant: Life and Legend
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VINE VOICEon 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. Whether it be his kindness to a stranger or his time on the set of The Princess Bride, this really covers a lot of ground in a fun and amusing way.

This is a must for any wrestling fan. I am happy to have it in my collection and look forward to grabbing more copies to add to my fellow fans' collections as well. It's a big story worth being shared with the world.
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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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on June 19, 2014
Are you a fan of professional wrestling? Do you like Indie comics? If you answered yes to both questions then you're in for a treat! Turns out indie comics artists and writer Box Brown is a fan of professional wrestling and he's recently turned his talents to telling the story of one of wrestling's all-time greats, Andre the Giant! I'll start off by admitting I'm a wrestling fan, have been since I was a kid. My childhood is filled with many fond memories of watching Andre the Giant's hulking presence in the squared circle on a Saturday morning as he made easy work of all that dared to face off against him in the ring. And, although I consider myself a fan of the Giant, I really didn't know much about him. That is until now. Box Brown brings us Andre's story, starting with his uncomfortable childhood, then carrying us along as Andre grows into manhood and encounters the numerous challenges his massive size invites.

The art in this comic is simple and bold, much like the persona of Andre the Giant. Andre's size is at times overly exaggerated, dwarfing other objects and figures in the panel to visually impart just how big he really was, both physically and figuratively. The uncomplicated artwork flows with the story, exposing Andre's gentle nature while at the same time communicating his uneasiness with society.

Throughout the comic Box Brown is quick to point out that distinguishing between the Life and Legend of Andre is at times a difficult thing to do, as he re-tells some of the many stories that have grown just as large as Andre himself over the years. But Brown conveys each alongside a personal anecdote that balances the myth with the man and reveals Andre to be more than the massive brawler Saturday morning wrestling portrayed him to be. Through the pages of Andre the Giant: Life and Legend we learn that Andre was just a normal guy that wanted what most of us want: to live in peace.
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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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on May 29, 2014
I love this Graphic Novel about Andre the Giant. Not really because I was looking for new information but because the context and the flow of the presentation really ties all the stories we know about him together. Andre was an amazing attraction and he is legendary and somehow being able to even read the same stories we already know with the illustrations just humanizes Andre and puts his life in context which is often something you don't get with simple print books, electronic or paper. If you're a wrestling fan and you already know EVERYTHING about Andre you should still get this book for the art inside and because it's a really cool collectable with it's material presented in a manner that makes it easy to flip to a page and get the information you want for either an article or blog post or even a forum post. Just a really cool presentation of the legendary Andre The Giant.
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on May 17, 2014
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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on May 28, 2014
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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I grew up right in the age of Andre, and was a huge fan during his rise and heyday. He was truly a larger than life character who possessed superhuman powers in my young mind.

This graphic novel does justice to his story, with insight, sensitivity, and artistry. A somewhat tragic tale, beautifully rendered, with annotations at the end if you wish to research it all further.

Highly recommended.
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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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VINE VOICEon March 25, 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have to confess that I was never a huge fan of Andre the Giant as a wrester. He was big, fairly immovable but slow and tended to do a lot of rest moves. Even his bear hugs were often done on his knees to allow him additional rest. Even as a kid I realized that Andre’s massive bulk limited his movement considerably and he was more of a side show attraction. I had no idea what I was getting when I ordered this book but I can say that it was about as enjoyable a read as I could have expected from a biography of Andre the Giant. It takes the famous wrestler from when he was 12 years old in France and already too large to fit on the school bus up to the last years of his life. Mick Foley writes, “This book will thrill longtime fans of the man known as the eighth wonder of the world” but in my opinion that undersells this book. This is an intriguing story regardless of whether you’re a wrestling fan or not but if you’re a fan you probably will get more out of it and if you were a fan of wrestling when of Andre was active you’ll get even more because the book includes tons of other wrestlers and wrestling related figures.

This book is probably not going to turn anyone it to a raving Andre fan who wasn’t already one. The story is intended to be an unvarnished look that includes a scene where he lets loose a giant fart in an elevator occupied by a pair of fellow wrestlers. You can’t get much less glamorous than that. In many ways Andre comes off as a giant uncaring ass and a drunken bully but the book isn’t about putting Andre on a pedestal. Nor is it about tearing him down. Everywhere Andre went he was the focus of attention, often negative, and as anyone might do he developed a thick skin to protect himself from unfortunate comments. He was also given a lifespan of about 40 years due to his acromegaly which could likely explain his fatalistic drinking habits. Add to that his prodigious ability to consume and you’ve got the makings of some incredible stories.

If I had any issue with the book it would be that author Box Brown only seems to get his material from books and magazine articles. I’m not sure if this is standard for this kind of biography but most of the people featured in the book are still alive and probably not a huge challenge to get an interview from. The art is a nice minimalistic black and white and most of the characters are at least somewhat recognizable. Bad News Brown looks believable as Bad News Brown, Pat Patterson looks like Pat Patterson and so on. I do think Box Brown could have done a better job of drawing Andre. For some strange reason he draws his nose as if it were a prosthetic.

This is a book for fans of good stories about fascinating characters. Andre was one of a kind and although there have been other giant wrestlers, a few even taller than Andre, there probably hasn’t been a bigger personality. His is definitely a life worth remembering and I would say this book is a good way to remember it.
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