Arnold Schwarzenegger, born in Thal, Austria in 1947, was Governer of California from 2003-2011. Before that, he had a long career starring in such films as the Terminator series, Stay Hungry, for which he won a Golden Globe,Twins, Predator, and Junior. His first book Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder was a bestseller when publisher in 1977 and has never been out of print since. The New Modern Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding has sold more than half a million copies in the past decade. Total Recall is his first public reflection on his term as Governor during what was perhaps California's most tumultous decade.
Schwarzenegger devotes the first 200 pages of his autobiography to his austere beginnings in Austria and his single-minded pursuit of a bodybuilding career, which culminated in his winning the Mr. Universe title five times and being Mr. Olympia four times, foreshadowing his drive for bigger and better things. Readers seeking gory details of his affair and subsequent fathering of a son with his housekeeper or his separation from Maria Shriver will be disappointed. He devotes only six pages to it, saying that "people.make stupid choices involving sex." Then he dusts himself off and ends the book with "Arnold's Rules," including, "Turn your liabilities into assets," "Don't follow the crowd," etc. If readers haven't figured it out by now, Schwarzenegger has an ego as massive as this 600-plus-page book. But, then, a person who came from nothing to become a huge movie star, the governor of the United States' most populous state, and the owner of a huge fortune isn't likely to be a shrinking violet. That is largely the lesson in this book. Verdict Though often self-serving, this rags-to-riches tale is surprisingly engaging.-Rosellen Brewer, Sno-Isle Libs., Marysville, WA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Bodybuilder turned actor turned politician Arnold Schwarzenegger narrates the opening and closing chapters of his memoir, but leaves the remainder of the recording in Stephen Lang's capable hands. In giving voice to the Gover-nator's first-person narrative, Lang works to evoke Schwarzenegger's distinct accent and vocal mannerisms without falling into the trap of mimicry. Ultimately, he succeeds at this effort, particularly in portraying Schwarzenegger's notorious bluster and machismo. Passages related to Schwarzenegger's family tragedies-the loss of his brother in particular-and his courtship of and marriage to Maria Shriver prove especially poignant, as the tough guy comes to terms with tenderness. A Simon & Schuster hardcover. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.