53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
TRUE STRENGTH: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life by Kevin Sorbo - hardcover,
This review is from: True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal--and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life (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. These alternate voices add to a crisp, easy read.
TRUE STRENGTH's true strength is Kevin Sorbo's inspirational, It-could-happen-to-you story. It should appeal to anyone who's ever struggled to overcome a serious setback, medical or otherwise.
On the downside, he kind of blasts through the post-HERCULES years. The show ended in 1999. He fast-forwards through his later 5-year series ANDROMEDA, and the births of his kids. There may be more to Sorbo's heroic journey to be told. Let's hope the poor guy doesn't have to suffer a heart attack to fuel a sequel.
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Initial post: Aug 25, 2014 1:59:52 PM PDT
I never actually saw Hercules when it was on television but loved this book. I am a volunteer at my local library and someone requested the book. I was immediately interested to know more about Kevin Sorbo, and his recovery, since I am myself a stroke survivor, having had a stroke at the age of 56. At that time I though stroke was an "old" persons affliction, I can not imagine having it happen at an even younger age,- though I know that this does happen more than most people realize. I am glad Kevin wrote the book, he is an inspiration to many stroke survivors, I have recommended it myself in my stroke support group. His message that life does go on after a stroke, though in many cases it's not the same life, is so very important.
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