Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond


Just reviewed Kevin Sorbo’s autobiography TRUE STRENGTH at SBR

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Folks, if you haven’t read Kevin Sorbo’s autobiography TRUE STRENGTH: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life (co-written with his wife, Sam Sorbo), you really should.  It’s an excellent memoir, well written, well-thought out, and has enough Hollywood “names” dropped to please any fan.  Yet the real purpose of this book is never obscured; as the subtitle says, Sorbo had to deal with a major medical crisis and he nearly died due to many blood clots in one of his arms.  During this time, he also found out that he’d suffered three strokes.

And this didn’t happen at a particularly good time, either — not that life-threatening illnesses ever do, mind — because Sorbo was at the height of his fame.  He was starring on the TV show Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.  And he well knew that in Hollywood, fame can be quite fleeting; due to this illness, he had to turn down at least one movie role (a lead role, at that), which just made his overall feelings of helplessness even worse.

Sorbo had no idea if he’d recover or not when all this happened.  It was kept very quiet, just how ill he was, and his doctors didn’t have any idea how to help him once his initial arm problems were fixed.  So he suffered as anyone who’d nearly died would suffer — he dealt with despair.  Depression.  Feelings of worthlessness.  And as he’d not been with Sam all that long when the health crisis happened, he had to be concerned that she’d maybe not want to stay with him, too.

The upshot of Sorbo’s tale is that he got in touch with the Higher Power.  He learned to enjoy his family, his faith, his friends, and value them above his work — because no matter how enjoyable (or lucrative) his TV series was, he was still going to be there at the end of his, providing he survived in the first place.  (That’s why he subtitled the book the way he did.)

The way this book is written is refreshing; Sorbo is candid but in a way that doesn’t reveal as much as it seems.  His wife, Sam, reveals more in the passages she wrote — what she was thinking at the time, what she noticed about her soon-to-be-husband, and the fact that living through this with him was important to them both.

This is an excellent book, so even if you hate Hollywood and couldn’t stand either of Kevin Sorbo’s TV series (as he also was in Andromeda), you should read it.  The quality of the writing is outstanding, as is the craftsmanship.  And the overall message — that it’s people who are important, not things (even “things” such as your own profession) — needs to be stated far more often.

Here’s the link to my review:

Have at!

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm