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Laurence Leamer is the prominent author of many bestsellers, including The Kennedy Women, The Kennedy Men and Sons of Camelot. He lives in Washington, DC, and Palm Beach, Florida.

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America's love affair with machine brutalism spills over into this somewhat smitten biography of its foremost icon. Leamer (The Kennedy Women) chronicles Schwarzenegger's progress from bodybuilder to action-movie megastar, then California governor, visiting along the way his romance with Kennedy scion Maria Shriver and feud with rival Hollywood muscle-head Sylvester Stallone. It's a tale of relentless self-promotion: Schwarzenegger's fanatical weight-lifting routines are nothing compared with his grueling publicity marathons, including 94 puff-piece interviews in one day for Last Action Hero. Leamer gives his subject a bombastically vain personality, then struggles to make it appealing. He celebrates Schwarzenegger's room-filling ebullience, his "emotional wisdom" and "agape." He discerns a "subtle, ironic distance" in Schwarzenegger's acting. And Leamer downplays Schwarzenegger's alleged habit of groping women, chalking it up to "signals" sent by women who secretly welcome his advances, a casual European attitude toward sex that is "frustrated and puzzled" by American "political correctness" and a fun-loving spirit that "moves toward whatever is most joyful and gives him pleasure." The author is less indulgent toward what he sees as Schwarzenegger's substance-free political campaigning and unwillingness to grapple with California's long-term budget crisis. His book is not fantastic, but it's well researched and moves along at a pleasantly robotic clip. Agent, Joy Harris. (June 7) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

" No American immigrant' s tale of our time is more extraordinary than that of the man who is not only Mr. Universe Emeritus but also Hollywood' s beloved Terminator, California' s popular Governor, the star Republican of the Kennedy family and the nation' s possible future President: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Charting Arnold' s rise from the backwoods of Austria to the pinnacle of success, Laurence Leamer has written a modern Horatio Alger story that guides us through the hidden rooms of bodybuilding, action movies and finally politics in America in the 21st century. Rich with new interviews and sources, the book illuminates not only Schwarzenegger' s life, but the very process of achieving fame itself. Utterly fascinating, unflinchingly candid and relentlessly readable, "Fantastic" will be the standard by which all other works on Arnold Schwarzenegger are judged." -- Nigel Hamilton, author of "JFK: Reckless Youth""" " Balanced and insightful... a splendid account." -- "The New York Times Book Review" " A serious attempt to present a balanced picture of a man who, despite increasing doubts of Californians, is arguably America' s most popular (and certainly most intriguing) Republican politician." -- "The Economist"""" Provides rich insights into the conditions that have made Schwarzenegger what he seems to be, material that will no doubt form the basis for any subsequent biographies... . Leamer provides extensive details... persuasive." -- "The Washington Post"""" [Leamer] has done a splendid job... his book is fair andbalanced." -- "The New York Sun"""" [A] painstaking biography... Leamer achieves a depth of nuance." -- "The Daily Telegraph" (London) " Delicious... fascinating." -- "People "magazine " An impressive and substantial piece of work... " -- "Sunday Mail" (London) " Absorbing" - "The Sunday Telegraph" (London) " An even - handed assessment of the warrior king." -- "The London Sunday Times" " An exhaustively researched and richly detailed book." -- "The Sacramento Bee" " ["Fantastic"] sorts through the pulp and the fiction on a search for the real Arnold and... finds him... . Leamer skillfully sails between the idolaters and the iconoclasts, heading toward the multitude of readers interested in Arnold' s character and life." -- "Booklist" "" "Leamer is an assiduous researcher, and a master of narrative...FANTASTIC will certainly stand as a serious, fair-minded examination of a paradigm of self-invention, and a man whose success says something serious about America." --"Cox News Service" " Despite the cooperation Mr. Leamer received, his book is not hagiography. All his subject's lowlife moments are presented, from his cruel jokes and harassing sexual overtures to his obsessive narcissism." -- "Wall Street Journal" " Laurence Leamer' s lavish, well-researched rendition of the post-fiction, meta-narrative that is Arnold is an amazing feat." -- "New York Press" " (Leamer) is not starry-eyed about his subject - he really rather likeshim, which makes his objectivity all the more commendable." -- "The Financial Times" " Through Leamer's exceptional access to Schwarzenegger, the reader gains a more complete understanding of who he is. FANTASTIC is a rare opportunity to read a fairly portrayed account of Arnold, replete with entertaining stories and characters." -- "The Weekly Standard"

The author of three Kennedy best sellers sidesteps to Ah-nold. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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