On television, as the star of the popular Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Kevin Sorbo portrayed an invincible demi god. He relished living the part—putting in 14-hour days on set, doing his own stunts, and relentlessly working out at the gym. Until one day, it all came to an abrupt end.
Now, for the first time, Sorbo shares what viewers didn’t know: he suffered three strokes from an aneurysm in his shoulder that had been radiating blood clots throughout his body, likely for months. He was left partially blind and entirely incapacitated at just 38 years old. Appearances are everything in Hollywood, so Sorbo and the production studio hid the full details of his condition from the media. After all, how could the strongest man in the world be… fragile?
To continue filming Hercules, the number-one worldwide syndicated TV series at the time, they frantically reworked scripts and revamped production to allow for the star’s severely limited involvement. But as the effects of the strokes persisted—with painful, mysterious, debilitating symptoms—and physicians could offer few answers, Sorbo grew increasingly despondent. What happens when your entire identity vanishes? True Strength is the story of how one man faced the unimaginable and ultimately found the real measure of success.
With tongue-in-cheek humor and an unfailingly candid voice, Sorbo reflects on his childhood in Minnesota, his early modeling and acting days, and his hard-charging charmed life in television. He recounts the onset of his stroke symptoms, the frightening hospitalizations, his battle with depression, and fighting for a recovery that defied medical expectations. And how, through it all, love conspired to save him from missing out on what matters.
With this refreshingly honest account of celebrity, personal tragedy, and the power of letting go, Sorbo aims to blaze a trail for anyone who may have suffered a serious setback in life and is struggling to find their way forward.
©2011 Kevin Sorbo (P)2011 Oasis
"Sorbo is candid about the hopelessness and resentment that characterized his slow recovery, his frustration with contradictory medical advice and holistic therapies of varying effectiveness and the stress his condition placed on his new marriage." (Kirkus Reviews)
"[A] compelling memoir…. Throughout his chatty tale, [Sorbo] drops enough Hollywood names to make any Us Weekly reader happy." (Booklist)
I enjoyed this book very much. I read it in hard copy first and wanted to go through it again in audio. Kevin Sorbo has a very pleasant voice and because he is reading his own story, it feels almost like he's talking to you. The chapters read by his wife are pleasant as well. I would recommend this to any one who is a Hercules, or Kevin Sorbo fan. There is so much more to the actor and his personal life than was ever made public.
I already have plans to listen to this book a second time because there was so much detail, so much information that Kevin and Sam openly shared about everything that took place in a way that left them naked to criticism. They held nothing back when they described everything that happened and that helped me through such horrible memories of a family member who was very dear to me that suffered a stroke. Of course I loved all the little stories about what happened on the various shows where Kevin and Sam were performing. They were places where I laughed - lots of those, and places where I cried as well.
My knee-jerk response would be to say why Kevin of course - the book is his autobiography after all. But in reality I can't separate Kevin from Sam, I see them as a single unit and therefore I say both are my favorite character
The closing chapter because it shows true growth and closure. I won't elaborate to be certain I don't give anything away.
To see something that at first seems to be a negative may actually be a gift.
I knew Kevin and Sam from the years I was an avid Hercules and Andromeda fan. After hearing this book in their own voices I feel I have glimpsed behind the screen to see two genuine loving people who have struggled with what life throws at us all. And somehow seeing how they came through it gives me hope that I can come through the problems that face me also.
I was aware of Hercules but never watched the show, still I found this book really interesting. There are some funny behind-the-scenes tidbits on how the TV/film industry works, but most of the book is about Sorbo's recovery from some strokes he suffered in the 1990s. I am impressed at his honesty about how hard the recovery road was; in fact his honesty about everything makes this book much better than it could have been.
Sorbo does a really good job of reading the book and puts on voices for different people in an entertaining, not irritating way. The book is fairly long (9 1/2 hours) but I enjoyed the whole thing.
I love Michael Jackson, Josh Groban, Hercules & Frodo. I love crafting, jewelry design, making friends. pool & Karaoke. :)
His voice is very pleasant to listen to, he talks from his heart & you can feel what he feels. His wife Sam is also a very good narrator, she speaks from the heart too & you feel her feelings. I actually got upset in some parts where both of them were hurting, mad or scared too, that's a sign that it's a great story.
I have trouble w/ some parts bc it is so emotional & traumatic. I laughed, cried, held my breath & came away learning about the "grateful flow" & to appreciate what is already right before you & in your very hands, & a reaffirmation that "God knows what's best even if we don't". I would give this 10 stars if it went that high, I miss pictures tho. :) I love Hercules, glad they are friends.
I liked when he said he has a reputation for "talking ppl down". Hercules does too. I wish he would have sang one of his favorite E.J. Or other mellow songs at the end.
ONE teeny tiny dislike...he put the "F" word in quite a few times & I understand why, but I wish he wouldn't have, even if it was quoting someone. Other than that I love listening, it's one I listen to a lot. I miss seeing pictures tho.
His knack for making you feel what he felt, the 2 of them (him & Sam) mesh well reading together & how he teaches you stuff subtly w/o "preaching" to you.
I haven't, are there more? I watch Hercules, does that count?
Same as the title but he would have to play the title role.
I wish he would have sang one of his favorite songs at the end, like an E.J. Like he did on the Wayne Brady show. JMHO. I wish there would be a cd w/ pictures :P :D :)
Love Reading, happy I found Audible. Listen to books, on my way home, while working out, and at work. Been reading a lot of Non-Fiction history and science.
Very good book, it is definitely a personal look at Kevin Sorbo and all the health troubles he endured. I was hoping for a few more stories about being on Hercules, but I was still really intrigued about how he was able to put on a strong front even though he felt like he was always on the verge of dying. I also enjoyed Kevin's narration, adds to the personality of story. Really powerful stuff, totally recommend even if you might not be a fan of Hercules.
Yes. This is book that gives perspective on life's curve balls.
I like how they weaved Mr. Sorbo's friends take on things into the book. It gave different look on what was going on in his life.
When it comes to Audible, action hero, actor, and author Kevin Sorbo does his own stunts. For those Kevin Sorbo fans out there, he reads the book with passion and emotion, along with his wife Sam’s contributions. The book is arranged chronologically and the action is often based off a life epiphany that Kevin had. He shares intimate details of his life with the reader/listener.
The book starts with Kevin’s aspirations as an athlete, which would later transition to becoming an actor. There is great moment Kevin shares about discovering his love for theater; it is definite must-read. Next, he discusses the struggles and the challenges he overcame in pursuing a modeling and acting career. It may seem surprising that even the man who played Hercules and Captain Dylan Hunt had to face rejection and overcome obstacles to earn his dream career. The listening audience is also invited to Kevin’s celebration on landing the role of Hercules. Kevin is a visual writer and his writing transforms the listener’s experience to a dynamic one.
Kevin also shares the evolution of his love life and the different relationships in which he was involved. These led to him meeting Sam, whom he later married. They have three children.
Kevin continues the story with his health crisis, which I assumed would be a heroic tale of how Kevin defeated his illness. However, it was much more than that. Kevin allows the audience to see the interpersonal struggles, the mental stress, and the emotional strain he went through. He also informs the listener about his wife’s strength and the support she gave him and continues to provide. Kevin shares how the illness brought his family closer together and how he grew as a man, a husband, a father, a son, a brother, and as an actor. He even takes the audience on the spiritual journey he went through as he discovered the importance of a balanced life. Once the story concludes the listener will likely realize True Strength is the story of two heroes, Kevin and Sam, and how they work together to face an aneurism, three strokes, and continuous side effects.
Kevin Sorbo inspires in his book and I would like to do the same with this book review. True Strength is an entertaining, informative, and well-written book. It should inspire anyone that has or currently experiences an ailment similar to Kevin’s condition. The book will be enjoyed by anyone overcoming an obstacle, dealing with an illness, or striving to succeed.
Kevin and Sam delivered a great performance.
Yes, very much.
Kevin's story is one I enjoyed, it brings home that actors are people too.
That they get ill and have life's ups and downs like everyone else.
To embrace the things life brings at you.
I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.
This book ranks right up there in my humble opinion with the books written by the late Christopher Reeve. It's the story of a man who had everything going for him - not because it was handed to him, but because he followed his dreams and worked for what he earned - only to see all of that and indeed his very life threatened just as his star was in ascension. This book is an honest recounting of his encounters with his own mortality, and the mixed blessings of what it truly means to be human. By "human," I'm talking about the demonstrations of fear, weakness, and helplessness, but I'm also talking about equal demonstrations of determination, contemplation, and the power of love. It's a triumph of the human spirit. Just as Dana Reeve was there for Chris, so too is Sam Sorbo the power behind this Hercules. Kevin Sorbo is one of those guys who tells it like it is, and this book is written with the voice of one friend to another. What's in this book isn't sugar coated, but nor is it exaggerated. It's simply an examination of how a man came to terms with his medical nightmares and pushed forward. It's a truly inspirational tale that will hit close to home on a number of levels, regardless of your own personal situation.
Tell us about yourself!
Kevin told the story in a very unassuming way that made the impact of what happened to him even more powerful: going from a grinding high pressure success journey to zero in a matter of hours.
..and then detailing the love that helped him come to terms with all that followed.
"A real must have for your library"
This is without a shadow of a doubt the best book I've listened to since joining Audible.
Kevin and Sam's story should be compulsory listening for anyone who is going through a life changing illness or accident.
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