I really enjoyed Total Recall. I thought it gave a good snapshot of who Arnold was and what drove him. From what I could tell it was a honest telling from his perspective and his opinions, including his good moves and bad decisions.
For whatever reason, I will always remember how often he cited his in-laws as a source for inspiration. I think his closeness with them helped him in being more of a bi-partisan leader (the US could use more politicians like that). I had not imagine that they were really as close-knit of an extended family.
Personally I would have enjoyed Arnold narrating the entire thing rather than 2 chapters. I understand that some people would not like to listen to him and his accent for the entire reading so it makes sense that he didn't narrate it entirely. Personally the chapters he did narrate I thought were stronger because you part of Arnold is his accent and it made the stories that much more personal.
Can't decide between Arnold, the police chief's son panhandling as a small child, or Arnold making his first million in Real-Estate. Both caught me off guard and found myself sharing these facts with friends.
This book has 3 main phases as Arnold shifted careers with the book focusing equally on all 3, Weight Lifting, Acting, and being a Governor. Each segment in itself was fascinating as Arnold took you behind the scenes explaining worlds unknown to me as a good friend would, with a touch of humor.
It was a fantastic journey for the listener to get a fully perspective on the incredibly varied life lived by Schwarzenegger. From humble beginnings to being one of the most successful body builders in history, into the political fray and showing the very human side of a man that many have admired. The classic story of someone living the American dream and doing what they can not only to better their own lives but to give back to many others. It gives you glimpses of not only his incredible strength, drive and discipline but also his fragility and weaknesses.
The only character really is Arnold himself and this is a true autobiography showing the tremendous tapestry of his life from the life of a humble rural background to the Governor of the State of California. Arnold is someone who has not only thought of himself but wanted to give back to others as well.
If you have been a fan of Schwarzenegger either because of his movie career, his body building career or his political career then this is a must listen. It helps the listener to understand the complexity that is Arnold as well as the true simplicity in his outlook on life.
The first two and final chapters are narrated by Arnold which really adds a lot to the listening experience. However, it's clear that listening to his thick accent and awkward diction for hours on end would be a chore.
I found this to be a really inspirational listen and was frankly blown away by the level of detail in which he seems to recall his life, from a very young age. One thing is clear, Arnold owes his success to an intense dedication to self-improvement through training over and over.
Arnold lived the American dream. This book gives you his view of how he pulled it off. It is really amazing. He really did Think and Grow Rich. I am really pleased that he explains his business ventures with as must detail as the Hollywood stuff. His life before Hollywood is fascinating and you can see how he laid the groundwork for his success. You will not get the salacious details about the affair that ended his marriage. But, if that is what you want, just get a gossip rag. Arnold’s life was so much more than that. Be warned, he uses some course words including the F bomb a few times. But, that language was part of his life.
Yes book was good. Arnie gives his fans the story of his life. That's why I bought it.
Any other celebs autobiography.
I was a bit disappointed on the performance in this audio book. It was listed as read by the author and Stephen Lang. Which made me think that Arnold was actually going to be telling the story himself...but no Arnie only reads maybe one or two segments the rest is the other guy. I would have enjoyed it better if it had been Arnold ONLY!
Duh! Its Arnold!
You can see why Arnold did so well in life. He views everything as a tremendous opportunity and had the tireless energy to persue it. Even when he screws up he does not dwell. He keeps on moving.
OK I admit, I am squarely in the target demographic for this book: I love working out, love action movies, and don't know much about politics (I guess some people might say that describes Arnold too!). That being said, this book exceeded my expectations and I loved every minute of it.
What really struck me was the sheer amount of *stuff* Schwarzenegger has experienced in his life: the Austrian army, hardcore competitive bodybuilding, building a real-estate empire, cavorting with the Hollywood elite, and then (why not?) being Governor of California. He includes a lot of amusing anecdotes especially from his younger years when he first came to the USA. From the tone of the book it seemed like he enjoyed those years of his life much more than his time in office.
One thing did give me pause: it is pretty clear that this is not the whole story of his life. He relegates his well-known affair to a throwaway sentence, though he does discuss its impact a bit more later on. I guess we will have to wait for his biography rather than autobiography for any other details.
Stephen Lang did a good job narrating, and as an added bonus Schwarzenegger himself reads the first and last chapters. Overall, inspiring and highly recommended.