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Summary

A definitive and exhaustive biography

Is there a way to find truth in the stuff of legend? You may think you know Andre the Giant - but who was Andre Roussimoff? This comprehensive biography addresses the burning questions, outrageous stories, and common misconceptions about his height, his weight, his drawing power as a superstar, and his seemingly unparalleled capacity for food and alcohol. But more importantly, The Eighth Wonder of the World transports listeners beyond the smoke and mirrors of professional wrestling into the life of a real man.

Born in France, Andre worked on his family's farm until he was 18, when he moved to Paris to pursue professional wrestling. A truly extraordinary figure, Andre went on to become an international icon and world traveler, all while battling acromegaly. While his disorder is what made him a giant and a household name, it's also what caused his untimely death at 46.

With exhaustive research, exclusive interviews with family and friends, and an exploration of Andre's amazing in-ring career and the indelible mark he left on pop culture, Laprade and Hebert have crafted the most complete portrait of a modern-day mythical being.

©2020 Bertrand Hébert and Pat Laprade (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about The Eighth Wonder of the World

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best wrestling book in years.

It is about time Andre got a biography that focused on who he really was and tries it's best to highlight the legends and myths about him, but also to point out which ones are accurate and which ones are not. Towards the end it gets very emotional. Beautiful book.

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Great book with great narration.

So many times I get audiobooks and it’s the narration that kills it for me.
I’m not sure why but I found this book so easy to listen to.
I had a weekend with a 1400 mile drive and I listened to the full story.
I’ve read other Andre books and watched docs but they’re all tall tales.
Great to get some factual information.
A really great wrestling book.

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Brilliant

A great insight into his great career and struggle through life. Brilliantly narrated, a very enjoyable audio book

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7* book - DUD narrator

I can understand why this book got so much critical acclaim from the likes of Jim Cornette. It really is the definitive story of André the Giant and should be the standard by which all future wrestling biographies are judged. Easy to pick up for a non-wrestling fan due to the extremely detailed writing where everything is placed in context and enough gems that even the most hardcore fan of wrestling will learn something. The references to other biographies and other wrestling books is greatly appreciated giving the text an almost academic feel. I will be purchasing the Mad Dog Vachon book on the back of this work.

However, the narrator is awful. Everything is monotone cheeriness and there is more than one pronunciation error (Tony Skee-a-voni!). The material made the book gripping, the narrator tried his hardest to kill it. I'd really like to see somebody step up and take the mantle of designated wrestling book reader. The voices of wrestling have made a big impact through the years, having a serious name attaching themselves to this role in the future would be fantastic. I'd still highly recommend the audiobook if you're unlikely to purchase the book though.

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Too much emphasis on event statistics

I think this book could have done with several proof reads before the final edition was published.
The Authors seemed to spend far too much time listing attendances and appearances which I feel would have been better as an appendix at the end. If they had cut this out I think they could have cut several hours and made for a better book.

In terms of narratorion the pronounciation of certain names and places started to get irritating after a while.

I feel I've learned more about Andre from interviews/ podcasts from the wrestlers who knew & worked with him than I did from this book.

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Amazing but . . .

. . . some unforgivable pronunciation errors and misreadings. Still an incredible story of an incredib!e man that cuts through much of the myth and BS.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-05-20

Essential writing, mediocre reading.

Hébert and Laprade have written one of the finest pro wrestling biographies to date. The capture the charm and complexity André, and clear up many mistruths ambiguities perpetuated by the world of professional wresting.

Unfortunately, the reading left some to be desired. Given the audience of this book would be primarily wrestling fans, there are mispronounced names of wrestlers and arenas scattered about. Worse still, might be the half-attempt of impersonating the voices some of the more famous figures in the book. They come across as either copy/pasted after the fact or too inconstant. The larger a fan a listener, the more this might take them out of the experience.

Still, this is absolutely an essential book for any fan of professional wrestling.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Prince Akkanatan
  • 16-07-20

The Narration Nearly Ruins A Perfectly Good Book

It's been said in the other reviews, the Narrator is atrocious! Mispronouncing names like Arm Anderson, Marty Jan-iti, and Argentina (Almond) Roca is more annoying that you might think. But what really bothered me is the frequency of him saying "Pee Pee Vee" in a delivery that tells me he has no idea what it stands for. In fact any acronym in the book is delivered that way, and few are actually explained - I know what the acronyms stand for, but it's not as pleasant to the ear. His half-hearted impressions of the voices he quotes are awful as well. *I would buy this book over if it were re-recorded.*

As for the book itself, it is the definitive tome on Andre The Giant. Nothing can take away from that. Even though they use smark sources like Meltzer's nonsense (among other, more reputable sources), that too, can have it's weight as the myths of Andre also made the legend (as the book so beautifully explains).

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • k.a. stemen
  • 19-07-20

Very distracting narrator.

The book was well researched and took an interesting look at a mythical character in Andre, but the narrator seemed very unfamiliar with terms and names from pro wrestling. His mispronunciations of names and repeated readings of acronyms as their constituent letters was distracting to me.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard
  • 26-05-20

Very Annoying Narrator

The book is great. A necessary biography of a legend. However, the narrator has a voice that left me cold. On top of that, he mispronounces words.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicholas B. Goddard
  • 26-05-20

The Best Wrestling Biography

A must read for any fan of wrestling. Quite possibly the best wrestling biography written to date.

1 person found this helpful

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  • jared Billy
  • 27-10-21

OMG Just OMG

truly fantastic if you are a fan of Andre you will become a bigger fan. If not you will become one.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rodney
  • 29-06-21

Narration ruins the story.

Narration ruins the story. Unbearable to listen to. Absolutely awful. Story is good but entirely hindered by the awful reading.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • mike dexter
  • 05-06-21

Not a bad book, but the reader stinks

As someone who has become familiar with the legend of Andre the giant, I was anxiously looking forward to enjoying this. Within the first one minute I was immediately annoyed simply by the individual who was assigned to read the book. Something about their voice just irritated me. As I went along eliciting, their mispronunciations of various names just killed off any kind of enjoyment I would have. I returned the book because I’m just gonna buy it and read it

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  • Nighteyes
  • 28-05-21

not a wrestling book

the first third of the book is pure statistics, "Andre wrestled this guy this and this place" not very interesting in the first place and certainly not in an Audiobook

then a few Andre stories start to show up, but not many and not anything not told many times before...

the latter part of the book is where the meat of the book is but even this is purely edited and worse told...

the entire book is read in a fairly monotonous voice only changing when doing bad impressions. further Graham haven't bothered to research how names are pronounced leading to some being outright butchered

I cannot recommend this to anyone in audio format and written only if you are looking for specific dates or similar

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-03-21

A wrestling literary masterpiece

This is one of the best researched wrestling biographies I’ve ever come across. A fascinating collection of match results, personal stories, and connections to others stories in the business. What Hébert and Laprade have done here is nothing short of incredible.

The one drawback to this was the narration. It really wasn’t the right fit for a book of this magnitude. The mispronunciations and general lack of knowledge about the wrestling business did stick out to a lifetime wrestling fan.