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True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal--and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life Hardcover – October 11, 2011

308 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Kirkus Reviews, 10/1/11
“Sorbo is candid about the hopelessness and resentment that characterized his slow recovery, his frustration with contradictory medical advice and holistic therapies of varying effectiveness and the stress his condition placed on his new marriage.”

Booklist, 10/15/11
“[A] compelling memoir…Throughout his chatty tale, [Sorbo] drops enough Hollywood names to make any Us Weekly reader happy.”
Asbury Park Press, 9/25/11
“This actor has a real and really interesting story to tell…This is the story of a man who had taken from him that which made up the entirety of his persona: strength. And how he recovered.”

Huffington Post, 10/19/11
“A gripping account of Sorbo's illness and gradual recovery.”
A.V. Club, 10/19/11
“As much an inspirational story as a narrative about the former model’s rise to cable stardom, the often surprisingly candid memoir offers a look at the effects long-term debilitation can have on relationships and careers…A compelling look at a life temporarily derailed.”
Shelf Awareness for Readers, 10/21/11
“His story is no mythic journey; it's all too human, and well worth reading.”, 10/15/11
“A story of inspiration and hope through the most trying of situations. It should be read by everyone so that they can understand, even if just a little bit, how it feels to live through a stroke or other life altering medical issue, and come out on the other side spiritually renewed.”, November 2011
“Sorbo has written an interesting memoir…[that] will be of interest to his fans and others.”

Mesquite Local News, 11/13/11
“If there’s a Hollywood fan on your list this year, you can’t go wrong with True Strength.”

Pottstown Mercury, 12/6/11
“An informative, inspirational memoir…A very personal, realistic account of a devastating event to which we can all relate in some way, having faced adversities of our own. [Sorbo’s] frank, casual narrative draws readers into his story.”, 12/15/11
“The story of his harrowing journey is told with humor and honesty. An inspiring book for everyone who’s battled health issues, or watched a loved one suffer debilitating illness.”
American Profile, December 2011
“A powerful autobiography…An outstanding survey, highly recommended for any film or general lending collection strong in actors' stories and accounts of personal strength and recovery!”

Politics & Patriotism, 2/22/12
“He’s got a conversational writing style that makes it easy to imagine his voice and mannerisms while you turn the pages. His presentation is passionate. His outlook is optimistic. He doesn’t pull his punches…True Strength is more than the story of how Kevin Sorbo beat the odds, banished his demons, and went on to be a better man. It’s a roadmap for others to follow, if they should ever find themselves in a similar situation.” 

Kingman Daily Miner, 3/2/12
“This book is intended to give hope to those who have encountered unforeseen ailments and need encouragement to overcome their frailties. It shows that with the will to go on, following the advice of doctors, and most importantly accepting support from significant others, true strength emerges.”
WTBF Radio
“[Sorbo’s] story is honest, inspiring, and cautionary: don’t ignore your body when it warns you.”
Westlake Malibu Lifestyle, June 2012
“An inspirational read.”

Midwest Book Review, July 2012
“A powerful testimony, this deserves ongoing attention and recommendation.”

About the Author

Kevin Sorbo is an actor, producer, and director, best known for his leading roles on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Gene Rodenberry’s Andromeda. He lives with his family in California.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; First Edition edition (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306820366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306820366
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (308 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kevin Sorbo was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 100% Norwegian and proud of his Viking heritage! Best known for his 7 year series, "Hercules, the Legendary Journey's" from 1993-2000. Hercules became the most watched TV show in the world. 2000-2005 he was Captain Dylan Hunt on "Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda" which was America's number one first run syndicated show for its entire run. Actor, director, and producer for over 30 years, and now a writer! 2011 recipient of The Movie Guide Awards "Most Inspirational Performance of the Year for his performance in the faith based movie "What If". Sorbo has also starred in over 40 movies including "Kull, the Conqueror", Walking Tall: the Payback", "Soul Surfer", "The Santa Suit", "Poolboy: Drowning out the Fury", "The Christmas Angel", "Abel's Field", "God's Not Dead", "Julia X", and "Single in South Beach". for information on all movies and more detailed biography. You can also follow on Facebook at and on Twitter at A World Fit For Kids spokesperson since 1997. The after school program was awarded with the California Gold Star Award for best after school program in the state of California. for more information. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and 3 children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 82 people found the following review helpful By David Ryan on October 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It doesn't matter what you think about Kevin Sorbo or his acting career. When you pick up this book, discard all you think you know. This is a memoir of a human being who dealt with some traumatic events in his life...and just so happens to have played Hercules on TV. The honesty in which Kevin talks about all the events that occurred during the past almost 20 years is both remarkable and brave. Shortly into it, you will feel a connection to Kevin and the voice will be one of a friend rather than a TV star.

His journey is one that many of us can relate to and his recovery is both heart-wrenching and uplifting. One might even say herculean.

When you finish this book, you will have an entirely different perspective on Kevin Sorbo, and maybe even about yourself.
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Format: Hardcover
I didn't know Kevin Sorbo had written a book, but there it was in the New Bios section at Barnes & Noble. Being a sucker for show-biz bios, I bought it. HERCULES was a favorite show of mine. Of course it was clear from the blurbs on the jacket that this was more than just an "actor's story." No, this was about life and near-death and SURVIVAL...

I remember hearing about Sorbo's aneurysm and strokes at the height of HERCULES' popularity. Despite the show's physical demands and stunts filmed in New Zealand, his crisis actually occurred while he was back in the States. Ironically, Lucy Lawless, star of HERCULES' sister show XENA also suffered a serious injury the year before, being thrown from a horse while taping a comedy bit for THE TONIGHT SHOW in Burbank. Odd, how both happened during the actors' "vacations."

Author Sorbo's gift for details is impressive. His accounts of those scary early hours and days in the E.R. are dramatic; chilling, even. He doesn't veer from unpleasant memories... that he nearly lost an arm, for instance... though such details were understandably kept under wraps at the time. Even if he recovered fully, would the studios continue to insure an action star who'd confessed to such a life-changing debilitating condition?

Sorbo comes clean now, and his tale of his long road to semi-recovery and learning to manage his symptoms (which persist to this day) is honest, enlightening and often funny. He talks about HERCULES gamely struggling to stay in production with "Herc-light" scripts. Who can forget "Porcules"; Hercules-turned-into-Babe!

Especially entertaining are occasional chapters contributed by family and friends... Kevin's wife Sam, for instance, and his HERCULES co-stars Bruce Campbell and Michael Hurst.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Tallie on October 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Terrific memoir! Was really taken with all Kevin went through and how much he was able to turn to his wife for healing and support, as well as lift himself up by the bootstraps and take his future into his own hands. He chose to go from victim to hero! Also inspired by how honest he could be about where he was and where the journey led him! A true inspiration! I'm gifting to several folks this year for Christmas!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By LGR on October 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have always found it fascinating how each person dealing with a crisis in their lives deals with what is handed to them. As a rehabilitation professional for over 30 years I have worked with many individuals who were dealt difficult hands in the life of poker. Some folded, while others bluffed and hoped for the best and still others put on their game face, weighed the odds and decided to play out their hand with everything they had. I have also found that while 3 people can all have the exact same illness/condition, all three will cope with it differently, have varying degrees of ability due to it and will ultimately recover form it differently. Kevin gave us a look at the horrible hand he was dealt and how that hand effected him, his career, his love life, his future and how he ultimately won the pot in that game.

I can't begin to imagine what it must have been like to be a 38 year old man, doing all the right things as far as health goes, (eating right, exercising, not smoking, limited to no drinking, etc), no previous health issues, no hereditary issues, at the top of his career and finally finding the love he had pretty much given up on to be hit suddenly with several strokes and an aneurysm. These are things that happen to unhealthy people, older people, people with high blood pressure, but they don't happen to healthy, young men. The psychological issues that came along with the physical issues certainly played a huge role in Kevin's illness, as is seen in the book and with good reason. The fear alone in wondering why, could it happen again, what caused it and can it kill me would be enough to sideline a large number of people.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By violetray on October 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book to be an interesting read, at times riveting and thought provoking. When you watch an actor for a long period of time, through both Hercules: TLJ and Andromeda, you feel like you get to know them. This book showed that is not always the case, and that actors are not immune to the trials and tribulations of us regular folks. Thanks for sharing your innermost thoughts with us, Kevin, and may you continue to improve with your health.
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