Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story
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In his signature larger-than-life style, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Total Recall is a revealing self-portrait of his illustrious, controversial, and truly unique life.
The greatest immigrant success story of our time.
His story is unique, and uniquely entertaining, and he tells it brilliantly in these pages.
He was born in a year of famine, in a small Austrian town, the son of an austere police chief. He dreamed of moving to America to become a bodybuilding champion and a movie star.
By the age of twenty-one, he was living in Los Angeles and had been crowned Mr. Universe.
Within five years, he had learned English and become the greatest bodybuilder in the world.
Within ten years, he had earned his college degree and was a millionaire from his business enterprises in real estate, landscaping, and bodybuilding. He was also the winner of a Golden Globe Award for his debut as a dramatic actor in Stay Hungry.
Within twenty years, he was the world’s biggest movie star, the husband of Maria Shriver, and an emerging Republican leader who was part of the Kennedy family.
Thirty-six years after coming to America, the man once known by fellow bodybuilders as the Austrian Oak was elected governor of California, the seventh largest economy in the world.
He led the state through a budget crisis, natural disasters, and political turmoil, working across party lines for a better environment, election reforms, and bipartisan solutions.
With Maria Shriver, he raised four fantastic children. In the wake of a scandal he brought upon himself, he tried to keep his family together.
Until now, he has never told the full story of his life, in his own voice.
Here is Arnold, with total recall.
I thought that doing one movie a year might be the perfect pace. People now accepted the fact that I was one of the biggest stars, so I didn’t have to prove anything. But they were expecting more movies, so I had to make sure I came back and gave them good ones. If I heard an idea or saw a script that was exceptionally good and triggered something in me, I wanted to be able to make that movie. But there were other opportunities out there as well, and movie acting was no longer enough. I thought
that was for sure. Eventually they wheeled me back down to the room. I did feel a little bit better, I guess, to be outdoors a bit. Eventually I came around, especially after I got home. I played with the kids and little by little started working out in the gym. Not bench presses, of course, but riding the Lifecycle a little and afterward walking up the hill to Will Rogers Park with Conan and Strudel, our black Lab that Franco gave me on one of my birthdays. A little later I could go back to
else would have expected. By the final pose-off, the contest was down to me and an American named Chester Yorton, and the judges decided for Chet. I had to admit that was the right call: although Chet was at least twenty pounds lighter than me, he was truly chiseled and beautifully proportioned, and his posing was smoother and more practiced than mine. Besides, he had a great suntan that made me look like bread dough next to him. I was ecstatic being the surprise runner-up; I felt like I’d won.
me earlier that this is the first time you’re in Belfast, and you couldn’t wait to get here. Right?” “Yes.” “So tell them! ‘I couldn’t wait . . .’ ” “I couldn’t wait . . .” “ ‘. . . to get here.’ ” “. . . to get here.” Wow, again applause. And every sentence he said for me to repeat, I got applause. If he had told me the day before, “I’m going to bring you onstage and ask you to say a few words,” I would have been scared to death. But here I was able to practice public speaking without the
in front of our house, and on this occasion he was letting Meinhard and me help him carry it into the cellar. We were always so proud to be his assistants. My father and mom both originally came from working-class families farther north—factory laborers, mostly, in the steel industry. During the chaos at the end of World War II, they’d met in the city of Mürzzuschlag, where my mother, Aurelia Jadrny, was a clerk in a food-distribution center at city hall. She was in her early twenties, and a war