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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

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    levw49 United Kingdom 29/04/2013
    levw49 United Kingdom 29/04/2013 Member Since 2012
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    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr Croydon, United Kingdom 07/04/2013
    Mr Croydon, United Kingdom 07/04/2013 Member Since 2014
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    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alexander 11/02/2014
    alexander 11/02/2014 Member Since 2015

    Fan of biographies, starting to get to the obscure ones now.

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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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aydin 23/02/2015
    aydin 23/02/2015 Member Since 2014
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    "Best audiobook I've ever listened to"

    Honestly is the best biography / memoir of any celebrity I have listened to. Whilst most characters (who admittedly also have interesting stories) simply have only one profession and thus can get fairly dull or tedious, Arnold's unlikely transition from bodybuilder to actor to Govenor combined with his incredible drive and work ethic makes the story fresh and intensely gripping. His ideology and backstory is one of the most inspiring to date and his name will surely go down in the record books for all he has, and surely will still to come, accomplish. 5/5 I highly recommend this to all members of the public, regardless of sporting interest or political inclination.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs Wirral, United Kingdom 18/01/2013
    Mrs Wirral, United Kingdom 18/01/2013 Member Since 2012

    M H

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    "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
  •  
    Mr Bournemouth, United Kingdom 20/12/2012
    Mr Bournemouth, United Kingdom 20/12/2012 Member Since 2015
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    "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
  •  
    Maria Laindon, United Kingdom 10/11/2012
    Maria Laindon, United Kingdom 10/11/2012 Member Since 2014

    Copious reader and listener of most genres. Enjoy personal development books, fiction, Sherlock Holmes and real crime. Eclectic or what?

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    "More human than Terminator."

    Arnold talks a lot about his body building, his tournament wins and his drive to achieve this success. He speaks of his movie roles, his political career and the son he had with his house maid. Once I finished this listen I concluded that I sincerely hope he and Maria Shriver stay together. He clearly adores her and has suffered a great deal as a result of his selfish actions. You will hear Arnold himself speak at the start and again at the end. The speaker in the midst is good to listen to.

    I enjoyed this autobiography very much indeed. He is a human being rather than the Terminator. This book gives him a humane quality easy to understand and empathise with.

    If you like self help books this would be a good listen to see how those skills you read about are put into practice and he sums them up himself at the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pippa Lamb 16/01/2013
    Pippa Lamb 16/01/2013
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    "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 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jakob Bisgaard Knudsen 29/03/2015 Member Since 2014
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    "Inspirational! but"

    Mr. Lang does a fine job but it is mr. S.'s life and we know his voice and accent. It would feel much more like he wanted to share his experiences if he himself had taken the time to read it all.
    I'm sure he read the book several times, and I would wish he had read it into the microphone once for me to hear.
    But the story is still there and it makes me dream!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    amazonlover2011 29/03/2015 Member Since 2014
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    "fantastic"

    best book ever.
    loved hearing about the life of Arnold the highs and lows of fame and his life in Austria.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 54 results PREVIOUS126NEXT
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  • Russell
    Keswick, ON, Canada
    23/01/13
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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.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • smartchickdina
    Elkins Park, PA USA
    30/12/12
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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.


    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Molly
    Goshen, IN, United States
    02/10/12
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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.

    50 of 56 people found this review helpful
  • Justin
    OZARK, MO, United States
    21/10/12
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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.


    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Jack Merritt
    18/10/12
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    "The Authornator hits a home run!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Although this book follows the life of this amazing person, it's much more, it explains why Arnold made all of the major decisions in his life. He is extremely fair pointing out all of the both his bad points as well as the good. Here is a man who came to the United States with next to nothing and became a successful business person, the world's best bodybuilder, one of the world's top grossing actor, led the nation in a push for physical fitness and became the governor of California. He has mingled with Presidents, business giants and celebrities and yet in his mind he is still a regular guy who just worked extremely hard and did well. It's truely the best example of the American dream. You can't listen to this book and not be motivated. Arnold did more than say that the United States of America was the greatest country in the world he proved it.


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

    The book is read by both Arnold and Steven Lang. It's a great mixture. It's great to hear Arnold tell his story and Lang jumps in for the bulk of the book.


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

    I was so impressed with a young Arnold buying an apartment building when most everyone else would have waited until they were better suited. He did plenty of research and began his empire when the rest of us would have still been dreaming. He is a man of action and this more than all of his other accomplishments demonstates this fact.


    Any additional comments?

    As Arnold indicates, don't copy all of his actions, learn from his example and improve your life and the lives of those around you. He gave up countless millions to be governor of California so he can give back to the country that allowed him to be such a success, we can all learn from his example.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Tuan
    Edgewater, NJ, United States
    09/10/12
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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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    Balwyn, Australia
    19/02/14
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    Performance
    Story
    "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.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • johan
    Double Bay, Australia
    26/06/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Shopcoholic55
    Corvallis, Oregon, United States
    17/01/14
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    "Arnold should read it by himself"
    What did you love best about Total Recall?

    Great story, well written, but it loses a lot since Arnold reads only a small piece of it by himself. Really disappointing. With another person's voice, it felt strange - not really false, but not as true as when Arnold reads his chapter.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Oakville, ON, Canada
    24/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
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