I am a huge fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Although I took issue with his portrayal of Conan the Barbarian in an earlier review for misrepresenting the character, the blame is really with the director rather than Schwarzenegger himself. Schwarzenegger’s autobiography, Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story delves into every aspect of his life. Body-building, acting, and his time as governor come to mind as the three primary stages of his story, but none completely excludes the other.
It is no secret that Schwarzenegger is often lampooned for his trademark accent (the obligatory “get to the choppa” clip is linked at the bottom of this review). Because of this, I want to point out that his writing is extremely thoughtful, intelligent, and easy to follow. Schwarzenegger constantly reflects on his life choices (some of them are much better choices than others) and this sort of introspection leads to a plethora of wise observations about life and living. Anyone who is tempted to view Schwarzenegger as a stereotypical oaf will be surprised by his depth of understanding and uncanny ability to set and reach his goals.
Growing up in Austria, Schwarzenegger’s meteoric rise in the body building scene is no less amazing than his later domination of acting and politics. Arnold Schwarzenegger decided from a very young age that he would be the best at everything that he did, and his autobiography bears witness to his dedication. From joy-riding tanks in the Austrian army to crashing his friend’s expensive sports car when he first arrived in America, Schwarzenegger’s life often reads like a script from one of his own films.
The only thing I can criticize is that Schwarzenegger does not go into as much detail as I would like when he talks about all of his different movies. He spends a lot of time with The Terminator, Conan, and Twins, but glosses over a lot of his other projects. Still, I suppose this choice was understandable when you consider that the book is over 600 pages in length.
Any Schwarzenegger fan should find more than enough incentive to read Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story.