Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
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.
Publishers Weekly Review
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.
Choosing the title of his autobiography must have been easy for Schwarzenegger. Finding a reason for writing it, especially at this particular moment, must have been a lot harder. As everyone (at least everyone who reads the gossip sites) knows, the body builder, movie star, and governor fathered a son with the housekeeper. As Arnold makes clear, he wants nothing more than to reunite with his wife, Maria Shriver. So why go there? Oh, well, Arnold has always been a guy who sets a goal and meets it, so maybe this will work out, too. His strong will was forged in a harsh Austrian environment, where parents and teachers delivered body blows, and dentists didn't use anesthesia. At 10, Arnold knew he would one day come to America, and, by 21, he was a Mr. Universe living large in L.A. His movie career pushed him into superstardom, and when he decided to run for governor, he won that, too (though he left office with an approval rating of 28 percent.) This is a dishy bio on lots of fronts, dipping as it does into the worlds of body building, politics, movies, and the Kennedys. Arnold seems to have a modicum of self-awareness: for instance, he knows he's secretive (you think?), but his last chapter, Arnold's Rules, really reveals him: don't overthink (no problem); stay hungry; change always takes big balls. A guilty pleasure for those who just can't say no.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
Immigrant muscleman, action-movie star and former California governor pumps himself up. In what reads more like a 650-page annotated rsum than a dishy celebrity memoir, the life story of Schwarzenegger (The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, 1999, etc.) seems to have been penned by his soulless celluloid alter ego, the Terminator. Born in Austria the son of a card-carrying Nazi, the author began idolizing bodybuilders as a youngster. After a slapstick-filled stint as a tank driver in the Austrian army, Schwarzenegger dove headfirst into the world of bodybuilding, flexing and posing his way to the Mr. Universe title by the time he was 21. He then invaded America. From here, the author drags us through his version of the American dream: the endless weight training, real estate deals, political suckups and bad movies; the Humvee and private jet; his affair with Amazon man-hunter Brigitte Nielsen and rivalry with Sly Stallone; his love for Richard Nixon, his penchant for saying "outrageous" (read: stupid) things and his pathological zeal for self-promotion, and much more. Schwarzenegger documents his one-man Hollywood takeover in a blur of name-dropping and efficiently adds up the profits from each of his movies. By 2010, in addition to being a washed-up actor, the author was also the dubious mastermind behind the flashy culinary failure of Planet Hollywood and a lame-duck conservative ex-governor with record-low approval ratings. But just when it seemed like he was out of the spotlight, Schwarzenegger stirred up some saucy domestic drama, admitting to his wife that he impregnated the family housekeeper in 1996. Yet the iron-willed author admits to few imperfections and apologizes for little. A vapid, hulking doorstopper of a self-tribute.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.