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Arnold Schwarzenegger's new memoir: anything but 'total recall'?

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Rich Pedroncelli/AP

(Read caption) The subtitle of Arnold Schwarzenegger (r.)'s new memoir is 'My Unbelievably True Life Story,' but many readers say the text doesn't live up to the billing.

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Everything about “Total Recall,” by Arnold Schwarzenegger, written with Peter Petre, is larger than life. The book offers a length of 646 pages, an enlarged glamour shot on of Schwarzenegger on the cover, and an outsized claim in its subtitle: “My Unbelievably True Life Story.”

But according to early reports, that title is nothing more than empty grandiosity and its outsize claim is never delivered in any of those 646 pages. Most disappointing, perhaps, is Schwarzenegger's insipid explanation of his affair during his marriage to Maria Shriver (more on that soon).

“Schwarzenegger’s tale falls far short of total recall and fails to achieve either the depth or the emotional impact that would make us care more deeply about this fascinating public figure,” writes the Washington Post in a piece titled “Arnold Schwarzenegger’s memoir is something less than ‘Total Recall.'”

Echoes the LA Times, “For the record, “Total Recall” is about as far from a 'tell-all' memoir as it gets. Although an exhaustive and at times exhausting documentation of Schwarzenegger's unique and amazing career, it is a book almost completely devoid of self-examination.”

What it lacks in introspection, however, “Total Recall” makes up for in recounting successes. And by the Arnold’s count, there were many. The author divides the book roughly into the three career arcs of his life – bodybuilding, acting, and politics.


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