I needed a break from reading so I bought Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 630+ page autobiography!

I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true.

After committing myself to read far too many business books, reading was starting to become a chore.

It was hard to motivate myself to open up a book, and the one hour per day I set aside for reading became a real drag.

I didn’t want to stop reading altogether because I didn’t want to get out of the habit of reading, so instead, I switched things up a bit.

Related Read: 5 Ways to Get Good Reading Habits (& WHY)

Reading an autobiography is kind of like reading a fiction book in the sense that you are reading a story – although it is true events.

Having a change from my non-fiction business books to learning more about Arnold’s life is just what I needed to help refresh my view of reading.

3 books in one

Although Arnold’s book is probably bigger than your standard sized brick, it never felt like a big book to read.

Instead, it felt like a trilogy of three books in one.

Arnold has had three very distinct chapters in his life; bodybuilding, acting, governor.

The book is over 630 pages, but you’re not reading a 630-page book, you’re actually reading three books at just over 200 pages each.

My childhood hero

I remember back to when I was about 10 years old and every night my mum used to send me up the stairs to bed. I would go, but then as soon as I heard her go to bed, I would sneak back downstairs to watch TV with my dad.

My dad was a huge lover of action movies and I, therefore, spent most of my nights watching Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone.

Over time, Arnold Schwarzenegger became my childhood hero and I believed that he was the person that he was playing in the movies.

But after reading his book, that hero image I had of him slowly dissolved.

They always say that you should never meet your childhood hero. Well, I’d like to add that you shouldn’t read their biographies either.

An honest autobiography

I have to credit Schwarzenegger for providing us with an honest account of his life’s events.

There was information in this book he didn’t have to disclose. For example, he happily listed how much he got paid for each movie, along with his use of steroids when he was bodybuilding.

He also details the events that led to his secret child being discovered (after he cheated on his wife, Maria, with his housekeeper) along with a fling he had on a movie set before he was due to be married.

A difficult part for me was when Schwarzenegger dropped his first manager in the movie business and jumped ships to a more well-known name. After reading about how much effort his previous manager had invested trying to get Arnold the big parts that he wanted (not willing to settle for smaller movie rolls) I felt sorry for the guy for being dropped just as things started to take off.

It’s these events that have helped contribute to the tarnished glow of my once childhood hero, along with a general sense of his personality that I got from the pages.

Multiple successes

No matter how my opinion of him has changed from reading the book, I cannot take away the success that this man has had.

For this, I greatly admire him and still recognize that I can learn a lot from him.

Throughout the book, his laser focus and work ethic shone through and even helped to motivate me to do more.

At the back of the book, Arnold lists several rules that he has followed and which have helped him to achieve all that he has.

Almost like a bit of actionable content, these rules can be used in your own life in the hopes that you too can repeat some of Arnold’s successes.

My overall thoughts

An honest and entertaining autobiography of a man that is a true testament to the American Dream.

Total Recall details Arnold Schwarzenegger’s life from childhood up to the present day, leaving no stone unturned as he shares his successes.

Although reading this book made me lose one of my childhood heroes, I found it motivating and inspiring to learn how one person can achieve so much.

A great autobiography that I would recommend to anyone wanting to achieve more.

Have you read Total Recall

This book review is simply my own thoughts and opinions. If you have read Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Total Recall, then I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

You can leave your own review in the box below. 

Roseanna x

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Total Recall


An honest and entertaining autobiography of a man that is a true testament to the American Dream. Total Recall details Arnold Schwarzenegger's life from childhood up to the present day, leaving no stone unturned as he shares his successes. A great autobiography that I would recommend to anyone wanting to achieve more.

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Currently winging my way through life and putting most of it on the internet. This is my personal website where I share my business book reviews, my adventure tips and stories, and my general musings on life as a solo entrepreneur.

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1 Comment

  1. Wow. This sounds amazing. Arnold was a role model for me as well, but things changed when I heard rumors of him cheating and using steroids. He did have a lot of success, but his actions were horrible. A similar reaction you had over Arnold happened when I read about Elon Musk. I admired Musk for what he has done. Musk has done some great entrepreneurial things, but his actions toward employees like not respecting them has made me have a different perspective of him. As the employees are his bread and butter for his success and to any other company, Musk and other leaders have to respect their employees.

    1. I think we all create an image in our head of what we perceive our heroes and role models to be. I know I certainly do this. But then when I’ve read the biographies of them, I’ve always been disappointed that they’re not what I pictured. So for now, I’m not reading any more biographies of the people I admire! lol

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