Author: Box Brown
Publisher: First Second
Check on the book on Goodreads.
Andre Roussimoff is known as both the lovable giant in The Princess Bride and a heroic pro-wrestling figure. He was a normal guy who’d been dealt an extraordinary hand in life. At his peak, he weighed 500 pounds and stood nearly seven and a half feet tall. But the huge stature that made his fame also signed his death warrant. (Source: Goodreads)
I have waited and waited to read this graphic novel for months ever since I first heard about it. I was very excited for this and I am so glad I read it. Everything that First Second Books publishes is amazing! Andre the Giant passed away only a few months after I was born so my only real deep knowledge of him was as Fezzik in The Princess Bride, which I was a huge fan of. My mom went to see Andre wrestling in the 70s though, which I think is really cool.
This graphic novel talks about a lot of the really interesting parts of Andre’s life including his wrestling career, his drinking habits, and his illness. All of which was really fascinating to learn about. Brown tried, and succeeded, to show the complexities of Andre as a person and as a character within his wrestling career. I was impressed with the research that Brown did for this book. There are source notes, bibliography, and index of terms at the end of the book. The preface of the book is about how difficult it is to do accurate research on a wrestler because of the nature of the wrestling world, which was really interesting and great of Brown to point out because I think a lot of people would have just overlooked this important point. Here is one of my favourites quotes from this preface:
He was a human with human complexities and desires. He was Andre Roussimoff .
He was Andre the Giant. (p. 7)
This is what leads into the art itself and the story and really adds a little drama to the introduction while making an important point about the fact that Andre, beyond his stage persona, was a just a person.
I really liked the art in this book as well. I thought Brown’s style really matched well with the content and was really great to look at. I was impressed how well Brown depicted even the subtle changes in Andre’s appearance as he grew older and sicker and how he captured Andre’s character and spirit in his drawings.
I found this really enjoyable, and sometimes touching, graphic novel to read. If you’re a fan of this style of graphic novel, wrestling, Andre the Giant, or biographies this is a must read.
Have you read Andre the Giant: Life and Legend? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
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