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Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story | [Arnold Schwarzenegger]

Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story

Chronicling his embodiment of the American Dream, Total Recall covers Schwarzenegger's high-stakes journey to the United States, from creating the international bodybuilding industry out of the sands of Venice Beach, to breathing life into cinema's most iconic characters, and becoming one of the leading political figures of our time. Proud of his accomplishments and honest about his regrets, Schwarzenegger spares nothing in sharing his amazing story.
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Publisher's Summary

One of the most anticipated autobiographies of this generation, Arnold Schwarzenegger's Total Recall is the candid story of one of the world's most remarkable actors, businessmen, and world leaders.

Born in the small city of Thal, Austria, in 1947, Arnold Schwarzenegger moved to Los Angeles at the age of 21. Within 10 years, he was a millionaire businessman. After 20 years, he was the world's biggest movie star. In 2003, he was elected governor of California and became a household name around the world.

Chronicling his embodiment of the American Dream, Total Recall covers Schwarzenegger's high-stakes journey to the United States, from creating the international bodybuilding industry out of the sands of Venice Beach, to breathing life into cinema's most iconic characters, and becoming one of the leading political figures of our time. Proud of his accomplishments and honest about his regrets, Schwarzenegger spares nothing in sharing his amazing story.

©2012 Fitness Publications, Inc (P)2012 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (724 )
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  •  
    smartchickdina 12-30-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Read by the author, my eye!"
    What made the experience of listening to Total Recall the most enjoyable?

    This is a wonderful telling of Arnold Schwarzenegger's life. I say telling because while the audio book is advertised as 'read by the author', in fact, Stephen Lang reads all but two chapters. I would have preferred to hear the story in the author's words. The details are very well presented and the listener gets a real insight into the life of Mr Schwarzenegger.


    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell Keswick, ON, Canada 01-23-13
    Russell Keswick, ON, Canada 01-23-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Totally Worth It"

    I must have picked this audible book up on sale. The life of Arnold never was an inspiration to me. When I started listening my plan was to skip over the bodybuilding part. Who knew that this would be fascinating and the entire autobiography would be such a pleasant inspiring read.

    Schwarzenegger has accomplished a lot in life and his formula for success in the three diverse fields of bodybuilding, acting and politics is worth hearing about. Although there are probably some distortions in his account, enough of the measure of the man comes through that demands your respect.

    I am not a Republican by nature but would be happy with Arnold as a leader because he knows the value of compromise and he thinks independently and does not blindly follow an entire ideology.

    Whatever your political inclination is - you have to admire this man who always got results.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Molly Goshen, IN, United States 10-02-12
    Molly Goshen, IN, United States 10-02-12 Member Since 2014

    Wazoo Books

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    "True LIES and Alibis~ Brilliant ~ 5 STARS"

    Arnold's Bio~ This starts with his life as a boy in Austria with a less than close relationship with his father. His drive to get ahead by body building which takes him by storm as a teenager. While other boys had girl pin ups Arnold has american body builds in his room leading his mother to worry about his sexuality. His "goal" was to become a body builder and win the biggest titles using this to gain wealth and move to the USA and become a movie star. His very intelligent approach to business and his amazing ability to FOCUS. As his body becomes huge he wins several World Titles and he ends up in LA at the Gold Gym he read about in his teens. He sets up a mail order business selling body building phamplets His first efforts in the movies was PUMPING IRON which caught the attention of the Hollywood crowd. He becomes a millionaire and invested in buildings and land. He gets an education taking business courses. He became an American Citizen. At a fund raiser he comes in contact with the lovely Maria Shriver. He evenutally marries. His movie career takes off to make him the highest paid and biggest box office star. Arnold makes his own decisions even after he is married. He decided not to tell Maria he needed open heart surgery. He was planning on running on the republican ticket for Governor of California and told Maria only *days* before his David Letterman annoucement. Arnold is at best brilliant but perhaps is the worlds great salesman. He can sell himself in bodybuilding, acting, and republican governor in a very democratic state. He finally confessed a life changing "secret" the day after was no longer governor. He has a 14 year old son with his housekeeper. He stated he only suspected the boy was his after the boy was 7. Arnold has a trick he uses throughout his book. His ablity to ignore anything that would cause him trouble. He puts in a "compartment" in his mind and trys his best to keep it "under raps". Arnold comes across as a very intelligent and interesting man. His EGO is as big as he is. We see the flaws in this bigger than life man and his secrets that help destroy his marriage. Arnold at best is a survivor. This is an excellent audiobook. It is very well written and the story flows along. The Reader Stephen Lang is very good and Arnold reads parts himself. I give this 5 STARS over all for a better than I ever expected Bio.

    49 of 55 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cliff madison, MS, United States 09-11-13
    Cliff madison, MS, United States 09-11-13 Member Since 2014

    I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Get to the Chopper, the Book!"
    What did you like best about Total Recall? What did you like least?

    I liked hearing Arnold's story and his take on life. Especially that he could make a lot of mistakes along the way and still be a huge success. The only weak part is that the story can drag at points and the narratation as weak at times. I definitely prefer the parts Arnold reads himself.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Just learning more about someone who I admire and what makees him tick.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Stephen Lang and Arnold Schwarzenegger ’s performances?

    I am not a huge fan of biographies as a whole, but I would consider it.


    Could you see Total Recall being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Maybe a mini-series, but I don't think the demand would be there. WHo should be the star? Seriously... Three guessess ha-ha.


    Any additional comments?

    This was an interesting listen if you can get past the slow points and wooden narrarator.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin OZARK, MO, United States 10-21-12
    Justin OZARK, MO, United States 10-21-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Very interesting"
    What made the experience of listening to Total Recall the most enjoyable?

    Agree with him or not, it is a very interesting story about a very eventful life. I enjoyed the story greatly.


    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    johan Double Bay, Australia 06-26-13
    johan Double Bay, Australia 06-26-13
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    "Oustanding. Inspiring."
    What did you love best about Total Recall?

    It was impossible to stop listening. His story is simply awesome.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Total Recall?

    His bodybuilding years were great.


    What about Stephen Lang and Arnold Schwarzenegger ’s performance did you like?

    It really did not feel like i was listening to someone else than Arnold. His tone was great.


    Any additional comments?

    Best bio sofar.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack Merritt 10-18-12 Member Since 2009
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    "The Authornator hits a home run!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Although this book follows the life of this amazing person, it's much more, it explains why Arnold made all of the major decisions in his life. He is extremely fair pointing out all of the both his bad points as well as the good. Here is a man who came to the United States with next to nothing and became a successful business person, the world's best bodybuilder, one of the world's top grossing actor, led the nation in a push for physical fitness and became the governor of California. He has mingled with Presidents, business giants and celebrities and yet in his mind he is still a regular guy who just worked extremely hard and did well. It's truely the best example of the American dream. You can't listen to this book and not be motivated. Arnold did more than say that the United States of America was the greatest country in the world he proved it.


    What does Stephen Lang and Arnold Schwarzenegger bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The book is read by both Arnold and Steven Lang. It's a great mixture. It's great to hear Arnold tell his story and Lang jumps in for the bulk of the book.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was so impressed with a young Arnold buying an apartment building when most everyone else would have waited until they were better suited. He did plenty of research and began his empire when the rest of us would have still been dreaming. He is a man of action and this more than all of his other accomplishments demonstates this fact.


    Any additional comments?

    As Arnold indicates, don't copy all of his actions, learn from his example and improve your life and the lives of those around you. He gave up countless millions to be governor of California so he can give back to the country that allowed him to be such a success, we can all learn from his example.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tuan Edgewater, NJ, United States 10-09-12
    Tuan Edgewater, NJ, United States 10-09-12 Member Since 2009
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    "A modern day renaissance man"

    Arnold Schwarzenegger is a prime example of someone whose focus and determination set him apart from other people. Athlete, businessman, actor, public servant, philanthropist...the list goes on and on. He embodies so many qualities that I find admirable. I grew up watching his celebrity rise through movies and then peak as governor of California. I always wondered what kind of man could go to a foreign country without speaking the language and become so successful. The book provided insight into his motivations, ambition and intelligence. I found his life story fascinating, although I think there were times he did not give us the whole story. Some may fault him for his foibles and peccadilloes, but who among us is perfect in thought and deed? In fact, I believe his weaknesses make him easier to relate to. I highly recommend this autobiography from a truly exceptional modern renaissance man.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Balwyn, Australia 02-19-14
    Sarah Balwyn, Australia 02-19-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Very much enjoyed"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Total Recall to be better than the print version?

    Yup, but only since I don't like reading


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Total Recall?

    There were quite a few throughout the book. I don't know much about american politics but quite enjoyed his account of his years spent as governor. Also enjoyed how he talked about body building and the physical requirements. There are a few funny stories too!


    Which character – as performed by Stephen Lang and Arnold Schwarzenegger – was your favorite?

    Arnold of course.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Same as the title.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shopcoholic55 Corvallis, Oregon, United States 01-17-14
    Shopcoholic55 Corvallis, Oregon, United States 01-17-14
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    "Arnold should read it by himself"
    What did you love best about Total Recall?

    Great story, well written, but it loses a lot since Arnold reads only a small piece of it by himself. Really disappointing. With another person's voice, it felt strange - not really false, but not as true as when Arnold reads his chapter.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 93 results PREVIOUS1210NEXT
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  • Thomas
    Chessington, United Kingdom
    9/17/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really good book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Total Recall to be better than the print version?

    yes - flows more easily


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Total Recall?

    the story is great - he is quite an impressive man


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Arnold's reading adding something but I was glad it was just the first chapter


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ky
    warrington, United Kingdom
    8/17/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I wanted more Arnold !!!"
    If you could sum up Total Recall in three words, what would they be?

    Totally Amazing Story


    What did you like best about this story?

    The determination of this man is unbelievable what a legend


    Which character – as performed by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stephen Lang – was your favourite?

    Arnold !!


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laugh lots and I really felt sorry for him at parts


    Any additional comments?

    I just wanted the audiobook to be read by Arnold and not Stephan, no offence to the guy but I wanted to hear Arnold tell me his life story, His accent and vocal expressions would have made the story a million times better !!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • C. R. E. Jewison
    Jersey Channel Islands
    7/16/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Arnie's Back"
    If you could sum up Total Recall in three words, what would they be?

    Powerful motivational compelling


    What did you like best about this story?

    The Depth of detail provided in to his life story is great


    What about Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stephen Lang ’s performance did you like?

    Stephen Lang's performance reading this book is great, but I was disappointed that Armies voice is only used for a short time.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listened to this book over a several days while driving to and from work


    Any additional comments?

    Very motivational and inspiring what one person can achieve, if one is prepared to put the effort into what you want to do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daniel
    Ireland
    7/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Inspiring read and very motivational"
    If you could sum up Total Recall in three words, what would they be?

    Interesting Funny Motivational


    What about Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stephen Lang ’s performance did you like?

    Very relaxed story telling and very easy to listen to.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    What really moved me about the book was how Arnold formed ideas in his head for his goals for the year ahead and then how he went about achieving those goals!


    Any additional comments?

    Some very funny stories.....I wont ruin them for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Derek
    Perth, United Kingdom
    7/5/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love it"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, ever need inspiring, this is it


    What did you like best about this story?

    The rags to richest element


    What does Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stephen Lang bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Balance was right, I think Arnold reading the full book would become tiresome.....or would it?


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    What are the odds.....


    Any additional comments?

    Obviously skims over the scandals, but does talk about 2 of his affairs

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • __Steve__
    Celbridge Ireland
    7/3/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Total Recall to be better than the print version?

    Possibly it was a long audiobook but very enjoyable


    What other book might you compare Total Recall to, and why?

    I don't think there's ever been anyone else in the world who has accomplished so much so no one


    Have you listened to any of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stephen Lang ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes laughed alot Arnie was and still is a very interesting man


    Any additional comments?

    I would have loved if the whole story was narrated by Arnie but then I was constantly wondering if "he'd be back" and he was in the end. amazing story all the same don't think I'll ever hear another like it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Matheus
    Diemen, Netherlands
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Reps reps reps"

    When reading biographies from rich and powerful people, you see how bad person they were in life and how they step on people to arrive where they are now. But not Arnold Schwarzenegger. I was very impressed how hard worker he is, and how he could achieve all his goals and dreams by working hard on it, believing in himself, studying and winning on life. A true inspiration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ben
    BRISTOL, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Bigger than just the biceps"

    I have always found Arnie an interesting character. Having first seen his films, then read some of his books. This story was however by far and away the best. It was interesting to learn of his background and development as both a body builder and a business man. By definition, autobiographies are likely to portray a more than positive spin on the trials and tribulations of the author, I felt that this was no different. However on the whole a great book and one I really enjoyed, but probably for fans only.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pete
    United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "A life story and self-improvement manual in one!"

    I have to admit up-front to being an admirer of Arnie and all he has achieved in his life. I approached this book expecting it to be a tale of his exploits during his rise to fame, maybe a little salacious at times, and a fun read. Instead what I got was an absorbing story of a man who through his own determination and focus achieved almost everything he set out to, told with wit and a fair measure of self-deprecation. The difficult times in his life (his split from Maria Shriver, for example) were told with honesty and sensitivity. And his advice to the reader was most inspiring - after listening to this I was raring to get on with those challenges I had always promised myself I would go for but never seemed to get round to.



    What also made interesting reading/listening was his time as Governor of California, which I thought would be far less interesting than his Hollywood years. I had no idea how much he achieved in his time in office, and the good he did for the citizens of California and the environment.



    In terms of the narration, the first chapter is read by the man himself, and lends a certain intimacy to the text that I really enjoyed. So I was somewhat disappointed when Stephen Lang took over the telling for the rest of the book (until Arnie comes back for the final chapter, talking about the breakdown of his marriage), but soon forgot and found myself almost hearing Arnie speaking as he read with confidence and clarity.



    One of my most enjoyed biographies for a long time. Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Castle lane, bramber, Steyning, United Kingdom
    4/10/13
    Overall
    "Long but interesting"

    This was an unusual choice for me as I am a huge film fan but with only a passing interest in Arnie's films.



    The early chapters about his life growing up in post wwII Austria were fascinating as was his clear business ability on his arrival in the US. A surprisingly small proportion of the book was given over to his film career but then it's a long book! Likewise his time in politics was always very interesting.



    The challenge for me in this book was how much time he spent talking about body building. Clearly it has been a major part of his life and success but it was, for me, a very dull part of an otherwise fascinating story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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