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True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal--and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  498 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
On television, Kevin Sorbo portrayed an invincible demigod; in his real life, a sudden health crisis left him partially blind and incapacitated at just thirty-eight years old. Yet since appearances are everything in Hollywood, he hid the full details about his condition from the press and continued to film Hercules, which was the number one TV series in the world. In this ...more
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Da Capo Press
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Community Reviews

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Forgotten Realms Queen
Jan 16, 2012 Forgotten Realms Queen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
A side of Kevin Sorbo that few have seen, and that fewer still would believe.

I grew up watching Kevin Sorbo as Hercules. If I never watched anything else in a week, I made sure I caught his show. I have all the seasons on dvd, all the movies, and hope to one day meet this hero of mine.

I knew he had taken ill during the show's taping, but I didn't know the full story until True Strength.

Here Kevin talks openly and cadidly about his life growing up in the Mid West, his modeling career that would
...more
Jenna
Thank fuck that's over.

This is the first book I have ever returned because it was so damn bad. That's the upside of Audible - if you don't like an audiobook you've just listened to, you can exchange it for a credit. And it felt oh-so-satisfying to select "I didn't like this book" and hit return.

It. Was. Terrible. I went in thinking I'd get a nice nostalgia hit, having been obsessed with Hercules growing up, as well as learn a thing or two perhaps about resilience through Kevin Sorbo's medical is
...more
Amber Ditullio
Nov 28, 2011 Amber Ditullio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those dealing with debilitating illness
With the sheer number of books that I've read since January, saying that True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal - and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life was the best book that I've read this year is saying a lot. I haven't been reading a lot of non-fiction lately, but when I'd read a blurb about this book through one of my library newsletters, it intrigued me.

For many, Kevin Sorbo was Hercules. This included, to a large degree, himself. When he was struck down at 38 with strokes that
...more
Michael Brown
Oct 11, 2011 Michael Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you think you choose a book. And sometimes you realize the book chose you.

One such book is Kevin Sorbo’s True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal–and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life. As you guys know by now I like reading biographies and autobiographies. They allow me to see the world through different eyes.

I preordered this book on a whim, not really expecting much. Maybe some cool Hollywood stories about Hercules and Andromeda (which there are many). I figured it would b
...more
Jenna
Oct 20, 2011 Jenna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listen-book, memoir
I've been a fan of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" since the day the first movie premiered. That show, and the character of Hercules, shaped my impressionable teen years. I learned a lot about myself through it, somehow. I remember when Kevin got sick and was off the show for a bit, but of course I really had no idea that the man almost DIED. The production team kept it quiet. But really no one aside from Kevin, his wife, and his doctors actually knew the true extent of Kevin's health issues. ...more
Joni
Feb 06, 2012 Joni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm so glad I picked up "True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life." Kevin Sorbo does a masterful job of telling how he lived during the filming of the series, "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys," and how he spent long days on set where he did his own stunts, devoted his evenings to working out and learning his lines, and got by on only four hours of sleep.

That all changed when an aneurysm in his shoulder led him to have three mini-strokes that affe
...more
Gina M
Dec 11, 2011 Gina M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Gina by: Kevin Sorbo
Kevin Sorbo has been my favorite actor since he first starred in TV's Hercules The Legendary Journeys movies in 1994 which became a Hit TV series for 7 years... Then Kevin moved on to star in Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda and this book tells of the 3 strokes he suffered during the 4th season of Hercules and took him well into the 2nd season Andromeda to get back to as close to normal as possible... This is a very inspiring story of the True Strength it took for Kevin Sorbo a wonderful and extreme ...more
Susan
Dec 01, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir-biography
Very good. I had heard about Sorbo's illness before, but never the extent. Of course, that was the point. Not only is the story about him and the medical, emotional, and career issues he faced, but also about what his family and friends went through along the way. A great story of faith, love, and perseverence. With sections written by others, it really all comes together very nicely. A few more pictures would have been fun ;)
Clark  Isaacs
Mar 04, 2012 Clark Isaacs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Memoirs tend to chronicle the events that have taken place in a person’s life from birth to the present day. Kevin Sorbo’s “True Strength” is different because he starts his life over after having suffered three aneurisms at the age of 38. This is his story, which tells of the new fortitude he found in coping with illness that should have resolved itself after 3 to 8 months according to his doctors.

The journey he faced mirrored the best-known character he portrayed in “Hercules: The Legendary Jo
...more
Christy Johnson
Sep 25, 2013 Christy Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
I had the great honor to meet Kevin this last Sept. Yep, I was a total fangirl. But after wanting to meet him for nearly 20 years what could you expect?? I had picked up this book before I met him thinking I might have him sign it, I went for a frame-able picture instead. After Salt Lake Comic Con I finally got a chance to read the book. I found it inspiring and fascinating.

As a fan I well remember the news about Kevin's aneurism and that some things would be different on the show. I remember c
...more
John
Sep 27, 2013 John rated it liked it
TRUE STRENGTH chronicles Kevin Sorbo's journey from male model to king of syndicated television. At the same time, it provides an intimate look at the debilitating health problems that nearly cost him everything he'd worked so hard to achieve. Half the book pertains to Sorbo's movie and television career, while the other half concerns itself with Sorbo's attempts to deal with his health issues, both physically and spiritually. It's a heartfelt book, but rather poorly written and self-congratulat ...more
William
Feb 21, 2012 William rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An exceptional book, one that I'm glad to have read. I knew of the series, but aside from a handful of glimpses of the show and its spinoffs, didn't follow it, so I wasn't aware of the health issues Sorbo went through at the time. The book was recommended to me, and it's not at all the sort of standard name dropping sort of memoir you might expect out of an actor.

Instead it's a gripping, powerfully rendered account by Sorbo (with the odd contribution here and there from others for good measure)
...more
Andy
Mar 28, 2012 Andy rated it really liked it
Overall, some good life lessons from a TV star who comes off as a likeable human being.
Interesting critique of medical system, given that he's a young super-fit rich guy with an acute illness and so exactly what American medicine should be good at dealing with, but his care overall leaves a lot to be desired.
A sort of predictable survival story (he's alive to write the book).
Ironic that living the life of Hercules every day didn't teach him about the "hero's journey" or how to deal with trage
...more
Janine Shelton
Oct 16, 2011 Janine Shelton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physical-books
I picked this book up soon after it came out simply because I was going to New York Comic Con and wanted Kevin to sign it. Boy, was I in for a treat. It's wonderfully written, with touching stories that made me tear up from time to time. I grew up watching HERCULES and learned so much reading this. I had no idea he had gone through these health problems. Meeting him was also a delight. He's a very kind and approachable man.

I definitely recommend this for fans of his works or just someone lookin
...more
Emlen
Mar 10, 2012 Emlen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly interesting. I could have done without some of the celebrity name-dropping, and basically all the stuff that wasn't about Hercules or Sorbo's medical condition, but the book really does give a sense of the frustration of being forced by a stroke to limit a previously really active life, and the difficulty of accepting that.
Carol
Jan 20, 2012 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this autobiography. It's well written, honest, and very readable. I'm not a huge action-adventure person (ie, not at all) but was very interested in Sorbo's account of his struggle with health problems and his journey towards spiritual and physical health. Sorbo's a likeable fellow and an excellent writer also.
Akhet
Jan 03, 2012 Akhet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Great book on how a health crisis saved Kevin's life and changed how he viewed and lived each day. i very much appreciate his honesty about the challenges that providentially came his way and how his God, wife, faith and hope carried him through.
Gay
Mar 18, 2012 Gay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very much enjoyed this book, very eye opening. I learned a lot about how a stroke not only effects the person, but also how tough it is on those around them.
Life can change in an instant.
Patti
Jan 27, 2012 Patti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book was awesome. It was hard to put down.
Rosemary
So, confessions first. Confession One: I've always loved celebrity bios and autobios, especially the ones that are "I did this" more than the gossipy, feet of clay (themselves or others). I don't really want to know that Errol Flynn liked his women "young"--I'd far rather read Chuck Heston's journals (he always kept journals on the set, and they are chatty, about the craft, and not political). So, when this book came out, it went on my "read it some day" list.

Confession Two: I loved, loved, love
...more
Elizabeth Tai
3.5 stars
Jenn M
Sep 22, 2015 Jenn M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book for the message it communicates--when faced with a unexpected, life-changing, devastating situation, the resilient tough-minded individuals will find a way to persevere and come out the other side changed for the better. So it is for Kevin Sorbo, the actor who played the lead role on the TV series Hercules.

While on hiatus from filming, Kevin experiences critical medical events (aneurysm and strokes) that put him out of commission in the prime of his physical life and acting caree
...more
Mary J. Westlake
True Strength

I like Kevin Sorbo and this was a very good book It gives true insight into what Kevin Sorbo went through. A must read.
Lara
Jan 19, 2014 Lara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Unlike most, I became a Kevin Sorbo fan from watching Andromeda, not Hercules. However, I haven't seen much of him recently, and when I came across the ebook of his memoir I was intrigued. Kevin clearly had a healthy childhood, with a normal family and loving parents in a small, Midwestern town. He grew up playing sports and being active. Once he discovered acting, he went acting that as well, by way of modeling. The book is peppered with celebrity stories, which are fun, but the meat is really ...more
Mediaman
Apr 23, 2014 Mediaman rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a terribly-written book that is not about Kevin Sorbo's life or career. It's about his illness and he spends about 2/3's of the book doing nothing but complaining. Though it's meant to be "inspiring" and he does bring a small element of faith to the discussion, overall it's depressing and makes him look incredibly weak.

Sorbo starts by skipping through his first 25 years in just a couple of pages--don't look for any details because none are given (you don't even know where exactly he grow
...more
Jennifer
Oct 02, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I will never forget when Hercules: The Legendary Journeys movies came out on the WB! on Saturday afternoons. Back in middle school, I was obsessed with Greek Mythology, and I was enthralled with the Action pack hour. Eventually, I became completely obsessed with Hercules' spin-off, Xena: Warrior Princess, but I still loved watching Kevin Sorbo as the son of Zeus demigod. I was lucky enough to receive this book from my sister-in-law for Christmas. Since I am going to the Xena Convention this week ...more
brooklynnnne
Oct 03, 2016 brooklynnnne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-books
I grew up in the Hercules era where it would be on in the background and my brother would watch regularly. I don't remember too much of that time because I was still pretty young but I do remember Kevin Sorbo's portrayal. I also remembered him from my brother watching him in Andromeda but then it seemed he fell off the map for awhile.

Then I came across him again earlier this year when watching the movie, 'God's not dead' (which I loved by the way). I loved the movie and loved how he put so much
...more
Arlene
Feb 19, 2017 Arlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kevin Sorbo's story about his unexpected fall from the height of his acting career down into an abyss of undetected and unimaginable serious health problems is unlike any other. Fortunately, he never lost his sense of humor; he used it liberally when telling this, his remarkable battle to get back to the top.
Rebecca Hayes
Jun 09, 2012 Rebecca Hayes rated it liked it
It really deserves a 3.5 rating, but since I can't give it one, a 3 will have to do.

I'll start by saying that although I know his show (who doesn't?) and have seen some episodes of it (and Andromeda as well) and liked it well enough, I am not a Hercules 'fangurl'. Still I picked up this book to read because well, it is Kevin Sorbo after all. ;^) Plus I like that whole peeking behind the curtain and seeing the reality behind the glitz and glitter of showbiz. I have to say that the book didn't di
...more
Rachel
Dec 18, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to review this book, so I'll break down the different parts.

Story: **** The story is an emotional roller coaster. Often I started to picture myself in their shoes. Not only does Kevin share his side, but his wife Sam shares hers. Various friends and crew members give outside points of view. Those were very powerful. It's easy to forget there are others in the world who are suffering. This puts it front and center. Kevin shares so many intimate details. It's raw, and an incredible insi
...more
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