Top positive review
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Good, just don't expect too much salacious detail!
on 3 October 2012
I am very much a child of the eighties and grew up watching the films of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, although due to my age and the ratings on most of their films I only saw the 'comedies' they made at the cinema.
I relied on my VHS copies of films such as Running Man, Predator, Commando and Totall Recall on an almost daily basis and literally wore them out.
Even though Arnold Schwarzenegger is still undoubtedly one of the more famous celebrities in the world, he has some how managed to keep a great deal of his private life out of the public forum, and so it came as quite a surprise to a great many people when stories of the big mans numerous extramarital affairs and began breaking in the news over the last year or so.
Now with the release of this book it leaves me thinking of the chicken and the egg.
Which came first here?
The scandals in the press, so Arnie decides to cut his losses and release a autobiography on the back of it?
Or a decision to 'release' these stories to drum up publicity for this new book?
To be honest having read this book, and therefore having a better understanding of what a determined, intelligent, driven and calculated man Arnold Schwarzenegger is, I am inclined to believe the latter.
Its a big book, just under 700 pages spread across 30 chapters, and there are lots of really good photographs, some instantly recognisable but some I assume must be from his private collection because I have never seen them reproduced previously.
The book starts right at the beginning and tells of his youth in Austria, these bits are really well written and from an early age you get a real sense of how he was forming a plan for the rest of his life.
He talks in great detail about his body building and admits the steroid use, something that led to serious health problems later on in his lfe, and illustrates how an unbelievable amount of hard work and dedication enabled him to win Mr Universe.
What follows then is a perfect example of the 'American Dream', it really is amazing when you read what Arnold came to America with and what he has achieved in that time.
Is it inspiring?
Yes most definitely, but unfortunately the world has changed a great deal since Arnie started out and for an individual to do now what he achieved would be quite a different matter in my opinion.
One thing that surprised me about the book was the lack of 'surprises'!
I really thought this book would be a warts and all book, but to be honest all the major revelations are already out there and all this book does is give more detail, unfortunately it is very much from the authors side of things and I fear he doesn't always accept as much responsibility for his mistakes that I would have liked.
The book is very funny in places and I definitely got a sense of a man with a quick wit and a wicked sense of humour, it has some great stories about the worlds of bodybuilding, Hollywood and politics.
With regards to the latter, politics, the book does go into considerable detail, and so it should, Arnold Schwarzenegger governed the state of California for nearly a decade at a time when it went through huge upheaval, many consider him to have been very sucessful and this is yet another remarkable achievement in a remarkable career by a remarkable man.
It is definitely not as salacious as the hype has suggested it may be, infact it probably is more of an attempt to rebuild a tarnished reputation and make a lot of money at the same time, it is ultimately another example of what this man has done best throughout his career; refuse to be beaten, control his image, come out on top, and gain financially.
Does this matter?
Not to me!
I grew up loving the films of Arnold Schwarzenegger, I am really excited that he is back in the movies, and this book lived up to my expectations.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and definitely know far more about the author than beforehand, I also have far more of a respect for what he has achieved considering what humble beginnings he came from.