Total Recall

Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger is a story about the American Dream. In the up close and personal book, the whole life story of Arnold Schwarzenegger. From young Austrian boy to a American Senator. Whether you like like or dislike the man, his story is ever so inspirational. But is it the whole story…

Schwarzenegger begins with his younger years. First as a kid who begged for money (supposedly for a bus ticket) to visit the cinemas. Then about how his father was not the best father to have around. But also stating that his father has learned him a lot about discipline and rigour. At the age of 16 he joined the army and also started working out. In credit for his drive for body-building, he left the army base one morning to travel to a contest. For this he received quite the punishment, but states that it was worth all the trouble.

After making it big in Germany and Eastern Europe, Schwarzenegger made the giant leap to America. Here he managed to both develop himself in body-building and as an entrepreneur. He and a buddy of his started a company in laying bricks, and through nifty advertisement made quite the fortune. Money from this and other businesses he invested in real-estate that would later give great returns.

In quite some detail, the book is about 650 pages long, he describes his film career. From the initial smaller movies to Terminator and Predator. Schwarzenegger emphasises the role he has played in the movies and how the success is thanks to him. Here is a flaw of Schwarzenegger in not giving enough credit to other people and taking responsibility for the failures that have also crossed his path.

Also in his personal life he has made some questionable mistakes. First there is an affair whilst filming in Europe and then a baby boy with the house maid. The first is described in some detail, but the second is only credited with two sentences. Being a role model should not only entail the good side, but (certainly for an autobiography) also the bad side.

In the end the reader is presented with the success story of Arnold Schwarzenegger. One in which buying a Boeing 747 and getting out of the Planet Hollywood investment on time are key. At the same time a certain level of determination, strength in persistence and drive is clearly showcased. Though leaving out the lessons from which people can most benefit (learning from another person’s mistakes) could have given the book a much better rating.


The book:

Total Recall: My Incredible Life Story – Arnold Schwarzenegger – ISBN-10: 1451662432| ISBN-13: 978-1451662436


More on Total Recall: – Review by Blogcritics – Review by The Guardian – 160 Greatest Arnold Schwarzenegger Quotes – Small Documentary on Arnold Schwarzenegger