“The giant Shoe” by Pat Laprade and Bertrand Hébert: the life of a wrestler outside the norm

«Le géant Ferré» de Pat Laprade et Bertrand Hébert: la vie d’un lutteur hors normes

The most important Figures in the world of professional wrestling, Pat Laprade and Bertrand Hébert offer an impressive book on the history of a wrestler legendary that has marked the imagination of thousands of fans over the years : The giant Rail. Telling anecdotes about his childhood, his career and his life, the authors show the man behind the legend.

Many of the anecdotes and crazy stories were posted on Andre Roussimoff, known as the géant Ferré. This French imposing, measuring 7 feet 4 inches and weighing over 400 pounds, triumphed in the WWF and marked the world of wrestling.

Pat Laprade and Bertrand Hébert focused on his life, from his birth in 1946 to his untimely death in 1993. They are the difference between the myths and the reality, the subject of this man to the fate outside the norm, who was in love with Quebec city and had several friends.

Pat Laprade and Bertrand Hébert

Rare disease

André Roussimoff was suffering from a rare disease, acromegaly, which distorted his body and seriously compromised his health. He died at the age of 46 years, but has known the glory of his living.

A few years ago, Pat Laprade has contributed to a documentary on the giant Railway, filmed for HBO, and then translated and broadcast on Channel D. He was able to go to France to meet members of the family of the giant. The idea of continuing to research and write a book with Bertrand Hébert has made its way… and now it’s done, in English version and in French version.

“It has been two years of work,” says Pat Laprade in an interview. I went back in France to meet the family again. I had had other contacts because of the documentary, so we recalled these people. Of course, of former wrestlers who had known the giant in Quebec, we put to contribution.

“Everyone was happy to talk to us about the giant because he has been scoring. If you were a wrestler and that you were in quebec, you became a friend instantly with the giant. These are friendships that have lasted and these people wanted to pay tribute to him. They had good things to say.”

The authors wanted to provide even more information than what was in the documentary aired on tv. “We can talk about different topics, in much more detail. There has never been a book on the giant, even in English, with as much detail on the different facets, both of the wrestler than of the man.”

His humanity

Pat Laprade explains that they tried to make her story more human and the stories about him are many. “People have known the version of the giant Andre… but the man was much more reserved. We talked about it less. His brother told me that he had been involved in an accident, in France, when he started his career as a fight. He hit a motorcyclist who died on the spot. The giant was in a state of shock.”

The giant has also enjoyed a career out of the ring. “In the 1970s, there wasn’t a wrestler, more commonly known as the giant Rail. It was the only one in the United States who came to do talk shows like Johnny Carson. He has had a film career : he played Bigfoot in The Man of six million and he has played The Princess buttercup in the 1980s. He has had a career that has transcended the world of wrestling.”

  • Pat Laprade is a well-known figure of professional wrestling, both as an author and as a commentator for the WWE to TVA Sports, and the associate producer of the documentary Andre the Giant on HBO.
  • It is regarded as THE benchmark history of the struggle in Quebec.
  • Bertrand Hébert has been involved in professional wrestling for the past 25 years.
  • He co-authored with Pat Laprade several books on this universe.


The giant Rail
Pat Laprade and Bertrand Hébert
Editions Hurtubise, 600 pages
More than 130 photos and documents”>

The giant Rail
Pat Laprade and Bertrand Hébert
Editions Hurtubise, 600 pages
More than 130 photos and documents

In the newspapers, we insisted on the statistics between the two opponents : size, weight, age, and much more. The Giant was announced to his classic 7 feet 4 inches and 402 pounds, while the “Giant mormon” was 6 feet 7 inches and 305 pounds. It was more than enough to give the desire to people to go and see this match. With all the scope given in the evening, the ticket price has been increased. At the last show at the Forum in April, the general admission tickets cost two dollars, and reserved seats ranged from three to five dollars. For the Fight of the Century, the cost of general admission increased to three dollars, and the reserved seats were increased to five, eight and ten dollars, which is nearly double the current price a few weeks ago!”

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