Total Recall

Total Recall : My Unbelievably True Life Story

4.12 (9,033 ratings by Goodreads)

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His story is unique, and uniquely entertaining, and he tells it brilliantly in these pages.
He was born in a year of famine, in a small Austrian town, the son of an austere police chief. He dreamed of moving to America to become a bodybuilding champion and a movie star.
By the age of twenty-one, he was living in Los Angeles and had been crowned Mr. Universe.
Within five years, he had learned English and become the greatest bodybuilder in the world.
Within ten years, he had earned his college degree and was a millionaire from his business enterprises in real estate, landscaping, and bodybuilding. He was also the winner of a Golden Globe Award for his debut as a dramatic actor in "Stay Hungry."
Within twenty years, he was the world's biggest movie star, the husband of Maria Shriver, and an emerging Republican leader who was part of the Kennedy family.
Thirty-six years after coming to America, the man once known by fellow bodybuilders as the Austrian Oak was elected governor of California, the seventh largest economy in the world.
He led the state through a budget crisis, natural disasters, and political turmoil, working across party lines for a better environment, election reforms, and bipartisan solutions.
With Maria Shriver, he raised four fantastic children. In the wake of a scandal he brought upon himself, he tried to keep his family together.
Until now, he has never told the full story of his life, in his own voice.
Here is Arnold, with total recall.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 646 pages
  • 162.56 x 236.22 x 53.34mm | 1,065.94g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, color; Illustrations, black and white
  • 1451662432
  • 9781451662436
  • 122,603

Rating details

9,033 ratings
4.12 out of 5 stars
5 39% (3,492)
4 40% (3,611)
3 17% (1,566)
2 3% (266)
1 1% (98)

Our customer reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this! I like Arnold, the man, the actor, his humour, his opinions and a lot of his politics. I'm not into sports and thought the bodybuilding would be the least interesting for me but I found the whole thing fascinating. This is a huge book and instead of just sitting down and plowing through I decided to take it a chapter at a time and am so glad I did. The book is 30 chapters long and I ended up spending a month sitting down each night and feeling like I was having a little visit (incl. beer & stogey LOL) with the man himself. You can tell the book was co-written but Arnold's voice is there, one can hear the stilted English, the accent and the voice. I would have enjoyed more time spent on each individual movie but I don't think 1000+ pages would have been marketable. Realistically, the book was proportioned very well. A good chunk of an introduction on his childhood and life in Austria and then a lot of time devoted to body-building which then crosses over with his acting career before he gives up the sport. Arnold is a very intelligent man and that comes through from the beginning. He's also a politically aware person and political opinions pepper the pages right from his landing on American shores and increase as he becomes involved in Republican presidential campaigning and becomes a part of the Kennedy family. His acting and love story with Maria take up the next chunk and finally his career as governor ends the book. I found Arnold to be everything I had supposed him to be: opinionated, fair, full of himself, not into bad-mouthing anyone, deeply in love with Maria, a family man and seriously funny. In a way the book is an ode and apology to Maria; the two are still not divorced nor seem to be in any rush to finalize the proceedings (at the time of this writing). He presents himself fairly, being able to criticize himself throughout his life but he is also a man who is entirely 100% confident in himself. I liked his style, I liked his humour, I liked the book. I'm not keen on his in-betweener politics as governor and found that section the most slow going but with such a varied career: body building, acting and politics, it's unlikely many will be enthralled with every detail of his life. I do think though, that if you personally do not like the man himself, you will not like the book. This is Arnold's story about himself and Arnold is full of self-love and self-confidence. So if you admire or simply like/enjoy the man you'll enjoy the book as I did. However, if not, the tone of the book will likely get your hackles up if you start off annoyed with the man in the first place. A great read and I wish him all the best in the more
by Nicola Mansfield
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