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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

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. Box Brown brings his great talents as a cartoonist and biographer to this phenomenal new graphic novel. Drawing from historical records about Andre's life as well as a wealth of anecdotes from his colleagues in the wrestling world, including Hulk Hogan, and his film co-stars (Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, etc), Brown has created in Andre the Giant, the first substantive biography of one of the twentieth century's most recognizable figures.…

Overall Book Review:

I’ve had a soft spot for Andre the Giant ever since I saw “The Princess Bride,” and it was very interesting to learn more about his life and career. This visual biography was raw and tragic, despite the fact that Andre apparently lived “the high life” as a professional wrestler. The man was a dedicated, hard worker in spite of pain and illness, and he fought and partied just as hard. 

With minimalistic artwork Box Brown gives us a sense of how complicated and bleak the life of this great man was. Brown also characterizes the excessive lifestyle of a performer on the road with skill and tragedy. The abuse Andre suffered at the hands of almost everyone he came in contact with and the physical pain he was constantly in are made graphically clear. Andre’s life was sad in the extreme. I can’t call his story inspirational in many ways, but it certainly is worth knowing.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by First Second Books

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  4 religious exclamations; 5 mild obscenities; 5 derogatory names; 13 scatological words; 8 anatomical terms; 2 offensive hand gestures; 18 f-word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  A parent hits a child (not in anger); a character flips over a car with passengers inside (no injuries); several fistfights and barroom brawls take place with no serious injuries or gore; property is destroyed; professional wrestling is depicted in detail throughout the book.

Sex/Nudity:  Prostitution is referred to; a character is known to have extramarital sex multiple times with no details; a character takes a woman to his room and the bed is heard squeaking; oral sex is referred to twice.

Mature Subject Matter:

Alcoholism, bigotry, abandonment of a child.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Minors and adults smoke and drink; several characters get drunk repeatedly.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. My mother would often find me curled up in a corner, avoiding chores with a book–or two. When I was growing up, there wasn’t a large selection of YA books. I had children’s books and adult literature to choose from. I’ve come to love YA fiction as an adult and read almost nothing else when I read for pleasure–any genre will do.