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Pat Laprade is well known within the Montreal wrestling community as the creator of the first Quebec wrestling HOF and the year-end awards. He has been involved in pro wrestling for more than ten years and contributes to the RDS, SLAM! Wrestling and the Wrestling Observer websites. Bertrand Hbert näytä lisää has been involved in the Montreal wrestling scene for close to twenty years. For a decade he was the Pro Wrestling Illustrated correspondent for the territory. In the 1990s, he was the mind behind Northern Championship Wrestling and helped usher the Montreal territory into the independent era. näytä vähemmän

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THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD, by Bertrand Hébert and Pat Laprade, is a detailed biography of the man known as André the Giant. His real name was André Roussimoff and Hébert and Laprade use this well researched study to discover the differences between the persona of the performer and what André really was like. That challenge to define those blurred lines, which could be said about so many entertainers, is what makes this book a pleasure to read. If nothing else, the reader comes away knowing that André was a one-of-a-kind; not just because of his size, but because he was a true performer at heart and relished in entertaining people.
The book starts in France, where André is born and learns the early lessons of wrestling. He soon moves to Canada to begin the career we all know and it takes him all over the world, where he is adored by the public and respected by everyone in the business. Hébert and Laprade spend a lot of the book covering two things that are often glossed over when talked about André. One is his constant struggle with acromegaly and how it became clear over time that while André appreciated what acromegaly did for his wrestling career, he seemed to know that his demise was inevitable. The pride he carried while wrestling, knowing that his body would eventually stop him, is a quality that Hébert, Laprade and the reader can clearly admire. The other thing that Hébert and Laprade very meticulously study throughout the book is perception vs reality when comes to André and really all of wrestling. The exaggerated height and weight figures, the never pinned or body slammed storyline, and the number of beers André supposedly drank in on sitting are among the many legends told about the Giant, Hébert and Laprade make the case that often stuff of legend is borne out of perception, not truth. It can also be said that all of these legendary things about André are the collective epitome of what wrestling is and why it is so exciting to get swept up into them.
Such an entertaining book, THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD is a definite for wrestling fans but really anyone because André the Giant was such a part of our pop culture in the 1970s and 1980s. A wrestler, an entertainer, and good-hearted soul, he left this world too soon, but his legend, as Hébert and Laprade capture so well, will live on forever.
Thank you to ECW Press, Bertrand Hébert, and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
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EHoward29 | Mar 25, 2020 |


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