Sunday, July 12, 2015

"True Strength" by Kevin Sorbo

I wrote this review back in May when I was visiting my parents, and then I didn't post it right away because I was in the middle of the Little Women read-along, and it just got shoved so far down on my post list I forgot about it!  So here it is at last :-)

This is not a book I anticipated reading.  I've never particularly been a fan of Kevin Sorbo, though I've seen a few episodes of Hercules here and there since I have several friends who are fans.  And I recently saw Shadow on the Mesa (2013), an enjoyable made-for-TV western that features Sorbo.  I mentioned that movie to my mom, asking if she's seen it because I believe it aired on the Hallmark channel, and I know she enjoys Hallmark movies.  She did see it, and she asked if I'd read Sorbo's autobiography.  I was like, "Um, no, I'm not especially a fan."  She said, "You should read it!  I think you'd really like it.  He's a Christian, and it's all about how his faith saw him through this really awful illness."

Well, my mom probably knows my reading taste better than anyone else, so if she says I would probably like a book, I generally try it.  I tried out the ebook version on her Kindle, and was quickly hooked, much to my great surprise!  Sorbo tells his story very compellingly, and it feels very much like it was written by him, not entirely ghost-written by some professional.  I have no way of knowing if that's true, but that's the impression I got.  Several of the chapters are by other people, including his wife Sam and costars from Hercules, like Bruce Campbell and Michael Hurst.  They share their perspective on how Sorbo handled his illness and how it changed him, that sort of thing.

Basically, back in the '90s while on hiatus from filming Hercules, Kevin Sorbo suffered an aneurysm and several consequent strokes, which left him with lasting health problems.  This book is about his struggle to recover from the strokes and deal with his wobbly health, and how he finally learned to accept that his life would never go back to "normal."

Sorbo was raised a Lutheran, though he later began attending a different church with his wife.  He speaks frankly of his reliance on God during his struggles, and also how he questioned why God would allow him to become so very sick.  However, there are also a lot of obscenities in this book, mainly in the dialog, and I would not recommend it to young people as a result.  He doesn't take God's name in vain, it's all the more crass language you'd expect from Hollywood actors, etc.  

If you're a fan of Sorbo's, or enjoy reading about people dealing with major illnesses, and don't mind the rough language, you'd probably like this book.

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  R for language and occasional non-graphic sexual references.

4 comments:

  1. When I got to meet him at the Hollywood Show, he was very down-to-earth and nice. It was really a pleasure to talk with him. I had not known about his health issues until reading this review. :(

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    1. Minnesota Nice! He grew up a couple hours from where I went to college. One of my first roommates' dad worked with his brother.

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  2. How interesting! My husband and I were re-watching Hercules and Xena episodes back-to-back about a year ago; that's what I always think of when I see Kevin Sorbo. But I didn't know about his health struggles. This sounds really fascinating.

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    1. Well, if you noticed that during the final season of Hercules, he was only in about half the episodes, and generally sitting down or doing very little in those, this is why. He could only work for a couple of hours at first. It's a really fascinating book, and a quick read -- I think you would enjoy it.

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