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True Myths of Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Life and Times of Arnold Schwarzenegger, from Pumping Iron to Governor of California Paperback – January 2, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; Revised edition (January 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582344655
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582344652
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,750,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Somewhere between the simple truth and the possible souping-up... lies the wonderful zone of the True Myth," writes British film critic Andrews in his unauthorized biography of iconic superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger. As a hardbody, actor, businessperson, restaurateur, Republican and Kennedy-by-marriage, "Arnold," as Andrews calls him throughout, seems a perfect subject to deconstruct in this vein. Andrews, an admitted Arnold fan, attempts to explore notions of fame and ambition by tracing the life of the man who rose from rural Austria to become a hulking, prizewinning bodybuilder, then a powerful figure in American entertainment and politics. Focusing on discrepancies in versions of well-known Arnold anecdotes, Andrews suggests that the actor is the malevolent maker of his own myth. It's hardly a shocking idea in the world of Hollywood PR machinery, and the author's lack of firsthand access to the star rarely makes these accusations ring true, or even interesting. Elsewhere, Andrews relies on previous bios to psychoanalyze Arnold's bodybuilding fixations and his relationship to his stern father. As he chronicles Arnold's weightlifting competitions, film work and marriage, Andrews rarely gets under the surface of his subject. Goofy chapter titles such as "Conan the Workaholic" and "Arnold Cybernegger" do little to crack the surface of his monolithic subject, either. Photos.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Every Republican's favorite action movie star comes alive in this revealing biography by a British movie critic who well balances a fan's interest and cynicism about Hollywood press agentry on "Ah-noldt." Strange to think now, but at one time Schwarzenegger's accent was thought a bar to stardom. Through ingenious role selection, however, the accent became part of his shtick, much as Jerry Lewis' early adenoidal whine was part of his. A lot of trial and error preceded stardom, but the role of Conan the Barbarian made a star out of the bulging oddity Schwarzenegger was in the documentary Pumping Iron. In preparation for Conan, a voice coach labored to make Schwarzenegger intelligible, and even then, the student still confused some German and English sounds, such as those for the letter b: he repeatedly ordered "crap cocktail" for lunch. Eventually the studio cut most of his dialogue, thereby giving birth to the silent, impassive acting persona he then developed. Definitely a cut above the usual Hollywood bio, this one entertains as it informs. Mike Tribby --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By JOE-JOE BOOKS on September 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
This my may not be the best book you will ever read, but if you're interested in information about Arnold, this is not a bad choice. The author mentions all the obstacles he had in writing this book and does not try to make it seem like it is an authorized biography in any way. He does give you a look at Arnold without the childish self-promoting efforts that Arnold's autobiography seems to try. This is a fun book, with a slight edge to it like you're reading something that might have been printed in a tabloid were it not printed in a book. You can almost feel like you are sneeking around with the author trying to find out information about Arnold that is not some sort of publicity stunt. It might not be the most fair look at Arnold, but then again neither is Arnold's autobiography. I think the real story might be found somewhere in between the two books.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is crippled by a couple of factors, including the author's fetish for mocking Arnold's accent about twice a page. More seriously, no one close to Arnold cooperated in its writing (a fact that the author acknowledges and laments.)
That understood, however, the books does offer a compelling version of Arnold's rise to prominence first as a bodybuilder and then as an actor. Written from a reasonably neutral standpoint -- the author comes across as more gadfly than antagonist, while certainly not a sycophant -- it seems fair in its criticisms and appropriate in its praise.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By chuckconners on August 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
Although the book is not that flattering for Arnold its not that bad either. I stopped following his career in the early 90's and it has alot of information about him since then. Most of the information about his career early on and into the 80's I already knew but had more detail than in previous material I had read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Carbone on October 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
I needed a book to read on my fligh back from Hawaii and found this one in a used book shop in Maui. It seemed interesting to me,I always found Arnold and his career interesting. It gives good background on his early life, his body building career and early film career. The thing is the writer gets, simply, annoying. The way the book is written at points is really cheesey. I mean, getting all philsophical about Arnold and the roles and movies he chose really turned me off.

The bottom line is I learned about Arnold's life and that is what I paid for. However, I thing the book could have been much better written and had more substance.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By I. Burkhardt on January 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Great Book. Takes an honest look at the real life "Arnold Schwarzenegger". It may take the magic out of the man for some , but it puts a human face on one of the greatest personalities of our times. The book points out that, like all of us, Arnold has his imperfections, but through sheer will and a fanatical determination to succeed, he pulled himself up by his boot straps and propelled himself to success. An absolute "MUST READ" for all true Arnold fans.
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