Rating: Significant Shortcomings
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Box Brown
Publisher: First Second
Standing tall at seven foot four, Andre "The Giant" Rousimoff was a Frenchman known for his WWE wrestling career, but more recently identified by his role as Fezzik the giant in Rob Reiner's film The Princess Bride. Those who knew him personally often referred to to him as the "gentle giant." While Andre did have considerable success in the limelight, his feats also caused him great physical pain and cruel remarks; he was considered a modern freak show in 1980s sports. This is the first and only graphic novel adaptation of Andre Rousimoff's life.
Brown's graphic novel starts with a secret of pre-internet wrestling: Before the days of MMA, fights were staged. A melancholy "put-on-a-mask" theme is present throughout the book and Brown dug deep into his research to imply that Andre often yearned for the simple French farming lifestyle of his childhood, a probable cause for his alcoholism. The book is a powerful tribute to this giant among men. However, parents and educators should take caution; this book is not appropriate for young audiences as it contains R-rated language, explicit sexual content, and plenty of drinking. To make this great story appropriate for younger readers who love The Princess Bride or graphic novel biographies, parents may need to remove several pages and black out many words in their own copies.
*Contains severe sexual content, severe language, and frequent references to alcohol and gambling.