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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

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  •  
    Russell Keswick, ON, Canada 01-23-13
    Russell Keswick, ON, Canada 01-23-13 Member Since 2005
    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.

    8 of 8 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.

    46 of 51 people found this review helpful
  •  
    smartchickdina Elkins Park, PA USA 12-30-12
    smartchickdina Elkins Park, PA USA 12-30-12 Listener Since 2006
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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.


    6 of 6 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.


    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cliff madison, MS, United States 09-11-13
    Cliff madison, MS, United States 09-11-13 Member Since 2009

    I write reviews to help readers, not to win votes. My reviews are my honest opinion whether popular or not. I hope they help you. ;)

    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.

    2 of 2 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.

    4 of 5 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
  •  
    Paul Oakville, ON, Canada 10-24-13
    Paul Oakville, ON, Canada 10-24-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Fascinating and engaging!"
    Where does Total Recall rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Excellent biography. Felt honest and provided insight into a persona that I had mainly formed an impression on from Arnie movies.

    Arnie narrates the first and last chapter in first person so it's a little weird when Stephen Lang takes over, but you soon get used to him speaking in first person without the Austrian accent!


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    johan Double Bay, Australia 06-26-13
    johan Double Bay, Australia 06-26-13 Member Since 2012
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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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew SOUDERTON, PA, United States 04-24-13
    Andrew SOUDERTON, PA, United States 04-24-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Surprisingly A Great and Informative Story"
    What did you love best about Total Recall?

    The title "My Unbelievably True Life Story" needs to accent the 'unbelievably" part more - his story, success and adventures were an amazing listen. Yes we knew the end result of his recent marital issues, but little did i know about his path and efforts to success. I have told so many people about this book as i progressed and encouraged many to listen as well. His centrist political views are, in my opinion, a majority of the nation and he would be successful again in politics if he tried. Grew to respect the Governator more.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 78 results PREVIOUS128NEXT
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  • Mr
    Croydon, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Interesting life. "

    A very accurate events of the authors life. The book goes into great detail about all aspects of Schwarzenegger's life from his early childhood back home in Austria to his multi million dollar movies to his body building. The man has clearly led a packed life, full of exciting and interesting moments.

    He really goes into detail about his days bodybuilding and his movies, his lie life ad marriage break down.

    I would really recommend this book to any fan of his movies as it allows you to understand the man behind the characters.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • alexander
    2/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Salesmans "true" story"
    What made the experience of listening to Total Recall the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed the early days and opinions of LA. His burgeoning businesses were very interestingBest part were the detailed explanations of each film. ( dissapointed commando was hardly mentioned)


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

    Lots of moments (24 hour book). Military stories were fun.


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

    I was disapointed when Arnie only done the first chapter but once the other voice took over he was very good too.


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

    I wasnt moved to tears but i was amazed at the honesty regarding his "affair" with the housekeeper. i didnt excpect this to be in the book but it was handled in a very up front manner.


    Any additional comments?

    I remember reading arnies first biog as a child and being very motivated, now it transpires he did take steroids. This part is handled very tentatively and whilst i loved the story and its telling i think the steroid element should have had much greater importance given in this story. He mentions drug testing happens in bodybuilding now but we know bodybuilders continue to openly abuse steroids.For all his faults which he admits to, Arnie continues to have the ability to inspire. Any young person with a goal or lack of could do worse than listening to this book.Straight into my do not delete library.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • levw49
    United Kingdom
    4/29/13
    Overall
    "Inspirational!"

    This is such a well told story of a remarkable mans life, so much so that I have thoroughly annoyed my friends and family going on about it. I bought it for fun really thinking that Arnold hasn't released anything before really so it would be interesting, but it's so much more. From the start you know this is going to be a tale of rags to riches but throughout all of it you cant help but admire everything about him, from his determination to succeed in life and break the mould, to his gentle nature and just the way he speaks about everything as 'matter of fact' and at no point does he get bitter about events in his life or adopt the 'Woe is me' view which so many of our modern day celebrities do. This was a real eye opener to me and an inspiration, and I believe that no matter who you and what you think of him, everyone should listen to the last chapter titled 'Arnold's Rules' (narrated by arnold himself). It puts a lot of so called motivational speakers and life coaches to shame and is something I have listened to on it's own several times. I thoroughly enjoyed this and would recommend it to anyone, safe in the knowledge that they will take away something positive with them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Wirral, United Kingdom
    1/18/13
    Overall
    "Good listen"

    Fear not, Arnie does not read all of it.



    I was worried that he would read the whole book. Thankfully Stephen Lang was hired to finish the job. Arnie’s style of narrating just didn’t sound right to me and made for difficult listening.



    Over all it was a good insight to the man. I do think it is maybe part of a PR campaign to recover his image. The other thing which stuck out was the references to his 'amazing wife'. Just seemed like this book was a way of sucking up to her to get her back.



    Over all a great read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pippa Lamb
    London
    1/16/13
    Overall
    "Too long, too much."

    Well, his life story is quite something. But in the end I got bored by the great 'I am' that comes with such a successful life. The book does go on and on. So you have to be a real Arnold fan to wade through this. His early life is the most interesting part, after that it is all predictable.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    Bournemouth, United Kingdom
    12/20/12
    Overall
    "Without Fear"

    If you are interesting as to what makes someone successful then here is one of the greatest examples. When you consider he knew no one when he got to America with limited English and a basic education Arnie became one of the greatest, certainly the most famous bodybuilders of all time. He then went on to be one of the highest paid actors of all time and then governor of California not once but twice. The remarkable thing is that he doesn’t think of himself as remarkable he just wanted it and did what was needed to get it, without fear.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You can't help but be impressed with Arnold"
    If you could sum up Total Recall in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating , Insightful , Entertaining


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Arnold's Character. A Genuine larger than life personally, who created his whole life story from nothing, very humble origins.


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

    Arnold's of course.


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

    His mothers death - a strong woman who's stubborn reluctance to look after her own heart and take doctors advice was ultimately her own undoing


    Any additional comments?

    Arnold's story is told with honesty, and his drive and character to achieve all he sets out to do is a fascinating feature of his personality that you can't fail to be impressed with, as with all the best and most interesting he is far from perfect, and has his own contradictions, loyal but unfaithful, successful but failed his wife and ultimately a failed marriage, in his latter political career he achieved a great deal for the people of California , arguably as governor of California his achievements surpassed that of his film career, a brilliant and inspirational story well told in a true and faithful fashion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Keith
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worth a listen"
    What did you like most about Total Recall?

    The rags to riches story. As soon as he hit the ground, he set about buying land or property. His goals included finding land or real estate including superstores and an airport. His goal was a million dollars for a movie but this overtaken very quickly.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Arnold and his ambition and rise to fame. He never took no for an answer.


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

    Arnold.


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

    Yes I finished it within a few days.


    Any additional comments?

    Good value for 1 credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rob Wilson
    6/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "not much of arnie speaking"
    Would you try another book written by Arnold Schwarzenegger or narrated by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stephen Lang ?

    His life story is actually quite interesting and when you stand back to think about what he's saying also quite funny. Arnie speaks for only 2 chapters probably about 1:30 max which annoyed me but he also rambled quite a bit when he spoke so perhaps it was better to have Lang to read.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    yeah ok arnie rides again


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stephen Lang ?

    not really sure


    Do you think Total Recall needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    no because his life is pretty dry now


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • PJ
    United Kingdom
    2/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A man with hidden depths"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Arnie's story is one you really couldn't make up. From the poverty of post war Austria, he trained as a tank driver during National Service, moved to America s Mr Universe, studied business, became a property millionaire and then a movie star. Oh, and then served two terms as the Governor of California. A very intelligent, honest and warm account, written by the man himself.


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

    Maybe the Steve Jobs official biography.


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

    No, but this one was excellent. Stephen Lang does most of the work but you feel it's Arnie speaking throughout. A very listenable voice.


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

    Laugh certainly and thoughtful about how scarily focused this guy is, compared with the way I am!


    Any additional comments?

    There's a lot more to Arnie than meets the eye. Even allowing for the fact this is a politician telling his own story, there's enough documented evidence in this book that he has a life worth reading about if you like biographies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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