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Total Recall

My Unbelievably True Life Story
Written by: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Length: 23 hrs and 21 mins
5 out of 5 stars (158 ratings)

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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 Ratings

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Unsatisfied

I had read other reviews before getting into this one. I was hoping to hear about the grandeur of Arnold’s life but it seemed like he skimmed over a lot of things. I suppose each accomplishment could be a book unto itself but he seemed to gloss over the emotional impact of each major event in his life. I was disappointed in his personal character in the ways in which he did not open up to his family about significant events and changes (heart valve replacement, running for governor etc). My new view of Arnold after listening to this book is of someone who put in some work, but was unbelievably lucky in the ways that numerous people put work into him and his career, even his finances to build his wealth. There is no thanks given by him to those people in the book. There are a lot of instances in which he seems to charge forward without considering others. I definitely feel for Maria in the ways in which Arnold walked all over her, and made himself the priority. It also feels more like an example of ‘a thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters...’ but in his case, a team of monkeys have prepared him things to type, a quicker typewriter, better paper, publicity, support, and access to publishers. Very disappointing he also didn’t read the book himself.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Incredible

I wish Arnold did more of the reading - what an incredible story.

Such an inspiration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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awesome!

great book! really learned a lot about him! totally recommended it to everyone, even if you're are not a fan, read it

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Thumbs up

Great book. The only negative is that Arnold should have read the whole book. He reads first and last. Its one thing to hear his story, another to hear him tell it.

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loved it

great book on a great Man . i enjoyed every chapter . i recomand it for sure

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Sad it’s over

I’ve wanted to listen to this book for years and I’m glad I finally committed to the 24 hours needed (unless you listen at 1-1/2 speed).
An incredible story about an incredible man. There were quite a few shocking moments hearing about stuff in his life. The whole time my ears were locked in during my commute.

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what a life!

what a life. so drivin! this book had me paying attention to every word. this man is so drivin almost to a fault he earned EVERY PENNY ...it is incredibly candid and open from his true feelings to the money he made....something no one else talks about. . the only down side to this book is all the politics. 3 or 4 chapters talking about policy in extreme details. honestly i skipped 2 chapters in this book and felt like a didnt miss a thing. thats why the 4. highly recommend this book.

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  • MW
  • 2019-02-26

Great for Arnold fans

The story was quite good. It is really engaging at the beginning and lags toward the end when it gets into politics. Also, it is mostly, like 95%, read by Stephen Lang, which is a little disappointing.

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A true inspiration

I have been a huge fan of Schwarzenegger for 30+ years, since I was a kid. His story is wonderful. He has accomplished so much and has so much great advice to offer. He just tells it like it is, but the overlying message is that you can achieve everything you want in life with hard work. Reps reps reps. Everything is reps. It's a solid message and ethic. I do wonder when he ever has time to watch movies.... There are no/few surprises in this book, but the details of his story are fascinating. And in his own voice/words, it's really refreshing. Throughout the book, his enduring love for Maria Shriver comes through. It's really endearing and sweet.

The narrator is perfect! As much as I love Arnold's accent, 23+ hrs of narration in his accent would have been way too much.

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Great Read! Great Role Model for fitness

great read! amazing role model for fitness and entreprenuership. keep me hooked the entire time and listened while at the gym

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  • Russell
  • 2013-01-23

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.

63 of 69 people found this review helpful

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  • Molly
  • 2012-10-02

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.

83 of 92 people found this review helpful

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  • johan
  • 2013-06-26

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 2014-02-19

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • smartchickdina
  • 2012-12-30

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.

46 of 54 people found this review helpful

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  • justin hastings
  • 2012-10-21

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.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Jack Merritt
  • 2012-10-18

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.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Shopcoholic55
  • 2014-01-17

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.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Tuan Anh Do
  • 2012-10-09

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.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 2013-04-24

Surprisingly A Great and Informative Story

What did you love best about Total Recall?

The title "My Unbelievably True Life Story" needs to accent the 'unbelievably" part more - his story, success and adventures were an amazing listen. Yes we knew the end result of his recent marital issues, but little did i know about his path and efforts to success. I have told so many people about this book as i progressed and encouraged many to listen as well. His centrist political views are, in my opinion, a majority of the nation and he would be successful again in politics if he tried. Grew to respect the Governator more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mathis A.
  • 2017-05-12

Super!

Tres bonne autobiographie, je ne connaissais pas l'histoire d'Arnold shwarzeneger et elle est hors du commun! je recommande vivement ce livre a tout les aspirants entrepreneurs et a tous ceux qui veulent prendre leur vie en main.
n'étant pas anglophone de naissance j'ai eu un peu de mal à tout comprendre les premiers chapitres. mais mon oreille s'est vite habituée.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Antonin C.
  • 2018-06-27

The most inspiring book I’ve read

Where to begin ?!

I’ve read so many books and this one is the best by far. How inspiring Arnold’s live is! This book should be read by everyone. I don’t have words. Thank you Arnold. I really hope to shake your hand one day.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • champi
  • 2017-11-03

Fantastic

This book was very inspiring and interesting. Now I just want to stay hungry and lift weight

1 of 1 people found this review helpful