Customer Reviews for

Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story

Average Rating 3.5
( 68 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(12)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

32 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

Charming, but lacks character

Schwarzenegger's new book isn't as bad as it could be. This is a decent autobiography, with plenty of memories and anecdotes. Like Arnold himself, the book is warm but so guarded I can't help but wonder what he's leaving out. This is not a racy tell-all. It is a not-bad...
Schwarzenegger's new book isn't as bad as it could be. This is a decent autobiography, with plenty of memories and anecdotes. Like Arnold himself, the book is warm but so guarded I can't help but wonder what he's leaving out. This is not a racy tell-all. It is a not-bad account of an ambitious (but not remotely self-aware) man who has done a a fair amount of interesting things.

Arnold's most candid memories come early in the book, with his accounts of childhood in Austria during the early days of the Cold War. He tells of snuggling with his brother and parents in bed during thunderstorms, of their house with no toilet, of being beaten by parents and teachers alike. There is insight into his father's bitterness and the futility of surviving in a country trying to find its footing in the wake of the Third Reich. From a young age, Arnold saw America as a beacon of strength and safety, and bodybuilding as the path to lead him there. He boldly recalls being "absolutely certain" he was special. From a young age, Schwarzenegger was shameless in going after what he wanted: he panhandled money to go to the toy store and movies, went AWOL from the military for a bodybuilding contest, and picked fights for thrills. His concern seems first and foremost about getting caught, and even in hindsight he seems unconcerned as to what this all might say about his character. He unblinkingly describes steroids and women ("one of my girlfriends was a stripper and the other was a gypsy.") But he's also sure to mention his gratitude for the parental figures who nurtured him along the way.

In America, Arnold's cunning and determination bring success at bodybuilding, promotion, and various entrepreneurial endeavors. Some readers will think these parts are funny, like when he learned to lie about his zodiac signs to pick up girls and outwitted a competitor in a bodybuilding competition by working the crowd. When he gets into film and politics, the story becomes more scripted. He's a Republican because he sees this as the embodiment of the American Dream and views Democrats as "too Austrian." He can be genuinely egalitarian -- like openly promoting women in bodybuilding -- but also totally doesn't get it, like his approach to filming a scene with violence against women. There are lots of conversations with Sargent Shriver and George H.W. Bush (who, he'll have us know, was NOT a "waschlappen" - the Austrian word for "wet dishrag.") He describes mentors including Milton and Rose Friedman, James Earl Jones, Marvin Hier, and Andy Warhol. I'm not a film buff but I was interested in all the moviemaking, especially his work with James Cameron on the Terminator films. He might be at his best with inadvertent observations, like an overheard argument about race between Wilt Chamberlain and Grace Jones. For political fans, the section on his campaign and work as Governor of California are as straightforward as a press release but include a fair amount of detail about the political process. To his credit, he does try to explain why his policies, which can seem inconsistent, align with his goals and ideals.

Of course, the object of his affection is Maria Shriver: the savvy, beautiful, energetic woman whose world was "big enough" for him even as she brought him a much-needed dose of common sense. He has only nice things to say about Maria (this also keeps him from being more candid about the Kennedy Family, wh

posted by raisarobin on October 2, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 70 people found this review helpful.

Hello

So stupid

posted by 2346080 on October 1, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 4
  • Posted October 2, 2012

    Charming, but lacks character

    Schwarzenegger's new book isn't as bad as it could be. This is a decent autobiography, with plenty of memories and anecdotes. Like Arnold himself, the book is warm but so guarded I can't help but wonder what he's leaving out. This is not a racy tell-all. It is a not-bad account of an ambitious (but not remotely self-aware) man who has done a a fair amount of interesting things.

    Arnold's most candid memories come early in the book, with his accounts of childhood in Austria during the early days of the Cold War. He tells of snuggling with his brother and parents in bed during thunderstorms, of their house with no toilet, of being beaten by parents and teachers alike. There is insight into his father's bitterness and the futility of surviving in a country trying to find its footing in the wake of the Third Reich. From a young age, Arnold saw America as a beacon of strength and safety, and bodybuilding as the path to lead him there. He boldly recalls being "absolutely certain" he was special. From a young age, Schwarzenegger was shameless in going after what he wanted: he panhandled money to go to the toy store and movies, went AWOL from the military for a bodybuilding contest, and picked fights for thrills. His concern seems first and foremost about getting caught, and even in hindsight he seems unconcerned as to what this all might say about his character. He unblinkingly describes steroids and women ("one of my girlfriends was a stripper and the other was a gypsy.") But he's also sure to mention his gratitude for the parental figures who nurtured him along the way.

    In America, Arnold's cunning and determination bring success at bodybuilding, promotion, and various entrepreneurial endeavors. Some readers will think these parts are funny, like when he learned to lie about his zodiac signs to pick up girls and outwitted a competitor in a bodybuilding competition by working the crowd. When he gets into film and politics, the story becomes more scripted. He's a Republican because he sees this as the embodiment of the American Dream and views Democrats as "too Austrian." He can be genuinely egalitarian -- like openly promoting women in bodybuilding -- but also totally doesn't get it, like his approach to filming a scene with violence against women. There are lots of conversations with Sargent Shriver and George H.W. Bush (who, he'll have us know, was NOT a "waschlappen" - the Austrian word for "wet dishrag.") He describes mentors including Milton and Rose Friedman, James Earl Jones, Marvin Hier, and Andy Warhol. I'm not a film buff but I was interested in all the moviemaking, especially his work with James Cameron on the Terminator films. He might be at his best with inadvertent observations, like an overheard argument about race between Wilt Chamberlain and Grace Jones. For political fans, the section on his campaign and work as Governor of California are as straightforward as a press release but include a fair amount of detail about the political process. To his credit, he does try to explain why his policies, which can seem inconsistent, align with his goals and ideals.

    Of course, the object of his affection is Maria Shriver: the savvy, beautiful, energetic woman whose world was "big enough" for him even as she brought him a much-needed dose of common sense. He has only nice things to say about Maria (this also keeps him from being more candid about the Kennedy Family, wh

    32 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2012

    Other reviews

    I have noticed other reviews are not even related to the book. They just criticize a few mistakes hes made in his career. I have read the complete book, and its a great story behind the making of a legend

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2012

    Hello

    So stupid

    8 out of 70 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2012

    Recommended reading.

    Although I wouldn't classify myself as an Arnold "fan" I have certainly found most of the movies he was in quite entertaining. I purchased the book more out of curiousity than anything. The book was very well written, certainly entertaining, and I found it quite interesting with the detail of where he came from and what was encountered along the journey of his life essentially right up until current. Essentially a "rags to riches" story that truly emphasizes the opportunities that lay in waiting here in the USA for those with determination and drive to pursue a dream. A fairly short sentence toward the end brought out the feelings of a remorseful person with regards to his recent relationship with his wife...something I was not expecting. A recommended, entertaining read.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2012

    Anonymous

    Does he go into detail about all his extramarital affairs? His excuse-- "I'm only human." What a crock!

    6 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2012

    Not Impressed....

    Sorry Arnold but you really don't get it...

    5 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2012

    Honestly, who cares...

    It's obvious that the machismo behind the man who is Arnold Schwarzenegger drives this remorseless, indecent man to do whatever he feels like in the moment, without regard. In some circles, there are numerous names for that; narcissism, anti-social personality disorder, bi-polar disorder, or any other 'brand' of mental illness. To think that Californians elected him governor TWICE is not any validation, either. He belongs in his fantasy world of acting.

    5 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 28, 2012

    The honesty of the story is the magnatism, what a life, dreams and beleife in them

    A fairy tale that came true ,told with such down to earth jargon, clear and distinct, I will trade my polyester curtains and the redwood deck for one hour in his shoes. Parents read this one to your kids. This man is real and I get to watch him on the big screen again.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 26, 2012

    A Good Read!

    Coming as he did from extremely modest conditions as a child growing up in Austria, Arnold Schwarzenegger's life story is one that has the power to inspire all who have a dream. It is also a cautionary tale, of what can happen when you reach a point in life where you are so successful that you sometimes think the rules can be bent to suit the situation. Even with the missteps he has taken along the way (as have we all), as a fellow "Baby Boomer" I still respect the man. And after reading his book I will continue to wish Mr. Schwarzenegger well in all his future efforts, both onscreen and off.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    Fascinating!

    I have lived in NorCal and SoCal both, all my life, and had no idea how much influence He had on Real Estate, especially around Venice. It reads as if he is talking into a recorder that is typing his exact words; it makes it that much more personal. Very intriguing and interesting to find out so much more about him because he has never been a 'dig me' kind of guy, to the general public. Made mistakes in his personal life, but in general, the kind of entrepreneur that should be an inspiration to anyone who thinks 'they can't'.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    Destiny

    Not a good book for kids lots of rude comment

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2012

    Its ok.....

    I was really looking forward to this book. Iwas kind of disappointed in it. I was hooked and thought it was good up until about chapter 15 or so. The politics at the end were really boring. Alot of name dropping!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2012

    RIDICULOUS! DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY!

    When i heard Arnold was writing a boik, i figured it would be a groveling attempt at gaining public sympathy. What i didnt realize is that he would take our money to systematically spell out how his life revolves around making money and gaining fame mingling with people like the Kennedys and contributing to every Jewish fund to get into movies produced by Jewish Hollywood moguls. He has no shame spelling out his misguided intentions, even with his affairs! What a disgusting person! After reading this book, which i had to quit halfway, I,m only sorry he got my money too! He deserved the maid! DO NOT BUY! VILE! PS he cant write or spell either!

    1 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    What a selfish man

    Why did he need to document all the times he deceived his wife and put his family second?

    1 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 17, 2015

    more from this reviewer

    Don┬┐t call it a comeback. In what I can only describe as my favo

    Don’t call it a comeback.
    In what I can only describe as my favorite autobiographical book of all time, Arnold Schwarzenegger presents his entire life story in such an intriguing and humorous manner that I didn’t even mind in the slightest when he delved into an area I wasn’t interested in (politics). At almost no time in my life have I found the political process to be fun or interesting, but leave it to Arnold to make it so.
    Schwarzenegger’s life is really quite astounding when you begin from his humble roots in Austria and journey with him as he ascends to the top of pretty much every mountain he feels like climbing. His story is inspiring and really shows Arnold’s personal sense of humor throughout. An impressive amount of candid photos from all parts of his life are included, my favorite being a shot of him (with long Conan hair) and his body building construction buddies standing on the top of a roof they’re working on. It just looks so bonkers! Would you hire a superhero to re-shingle your roof? I don’t know, but that’s a great picture.
    This is a big book about a big larger than life dude. He was the action hero of my childhood and I doubt we will ever see his equal. The stories and anecdotes he has to tell are captivating and I loved every page of this.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    Thats my fav actore besides adam sandler

    XD

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    True Inspiration

    Arnold came to America with a vision! Some would call it luck, others call it fate, whatever it was Arnold always followed his true ambitions and never took no for an answer! This story shows that if you dream it, do not take no for answer, and simply work hard to follow your goals and dreams, you too can have success!

    A great read for anyone looking for inspiration to follow their dream!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 26, 2013

    Always admired Arnold coming to this country and making a name f

    Always admired Arnold coming to this country and making a name for himself with body building, acting and politics. Didn't know he's done so much
    more with reall estate and special olympics. For all his success like everyone else has character defects and like everyone else has faced his Incomprehsible Demoralization as he stated in the chapter The Secret. It was a good read and his last 10 rules for success i think is a good advice.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    Good

    Good

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2012

    Got it at the library

    Sure am glad i didnt spend money on it. Just my humblee opinion.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 4