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Andre The Giant – A Legendary Life – Book Review

March 23, 2009   ·   0 Comments

Andre The Giant – A Legendary Life

WWE Books


Described as the largest athlete the world has ever seen, Andre The Giant is known to millions beyond the boundries of the wrestling ring. From his sheer size of 7ft four inches and weighing in at 500 pounds to his acting role in the Princess Bride, the circumstances of his life and career ensured recognition wherever he went.

Born Andre Rousinnof in a small village in France in 1946, to parents and siblings of average size, Andre suffered from acromegaly (giantism) resulting in overabundance of growth hormones. By the age of 17 Andre was 6ft 7 inches and continued to grow throughout his life. With no treatment available at the time and with a life expectancy of fourty-five Andre turned to wrestling as a profession where he could make the most of both his life and his formidable size.

Under the aegis of Vince McMahon Sr, he quickly became a Superstar, frequantly performing to crowds of 90.000 fans. Andre was one of wrestlings most popular ‘babyfaces’ throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, unfortunatly outside of the ring he fought almost constant pain. Widely loved, Andre’s friends included Billy Crystal and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Andre’s memory is held in great affection, he was the first ever inductee into the WWE Hall Of Fame, which was largely set up in his honor.

Fifteen years after his death we are finally able to celebrate his extraordinary life with the first ever print biography of Andre The Giant. Chronicling his life and phenomomenal rise to stardom, it features contributions from those who knew and worked with him and offers and unique insight into the man known as the Gentle Giant.

Andre The Giant by Michael Krugman is published by WWE Books on 30th March 2009 priced 12.99.


Considdering my knowledge of Andre is very limited I was expecting to know a lot more about the man when I’d finished reading this book, I was slightly disapointed. I was looking forward to reading more about his life, what I got was more about his in-ring career and feuds, interviews and stories about his work. Looking into this a little online I’ve since discovered more about him, for example he had a daughter born in 1979. I, infact, found out more about his personal life on Wikipedia than in this book! In the forward to the book, however it does mention that ‘..what follows is a life history of his World Wrestling Federation career, collecting landmark matches and unforgettable bouts, a series of snapshots from a life over flowling with memorable moments’; I guess then, that this is more a biography of his career rather than his life, which probably would have been a lot more interesting!

The opening chapter is a brief history of how he got to the then, World Wrestling Federation, and it does mention his mother and father’s origins and siblings, noting that he was referred to as Dede because of his younger sister, Mauricette’s mispronunciation of his name, and telling us how he left school at age 11 to work on the farm that his father and brother worked on. It goes on to tell us how he was discovered largely by British wrestler Lord Alfred Hayes who has a touching tribute to Andre in the book that he penned for a company publication a long time ago.

Aside from that, what we get is feuds and matches with the occasional annecdote from fellow Superstars and people that knew Andre. I don’t think this was meant to be a book I think it was meant to be a DVD (And it would have been a good DVD!) There are of course a lot of good classic photographs scattered throughout the book and, as I said, after reading the foreward, this book is exactly what it is claming to be.

Id give it a 5/10 for the photos and the opening chapter, the rest, for me personally, didn’t enlighten me as to the “Legendary Life” of this legendary giant & much loved Superstar of the wrestling world.


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