After meeting Kevin Sorbo three times I was really impressed with the fellow. The first time he whirled around me and spun backwards to check on me and give me a peace sign, instead of plowing through me as had been my momentary fear, as he was dashing off from his autograph signing station at Chicago Wizard World 2012. I was impressed with the fact that he was still moving with the dexterity and grace of a teenager speeding through the high school hall. The twinkle in his eyes and his cheery demeanor displayed a joie de vivre seen more commonly in small children than in men of our age.
As one who played roleplaying games of the “dungeons and dragons” genre for decades, Kevin Sorbo would be the result you might get if your game master said, “You’re going to be playing demigods in this campaign so everyone starts with 20’s for your character stats.” He has strength, intelligence, dexterity, and charisma in excess. Quite frankly his charisma is such that I was hesitant to consider doing a review of his book until I read and loved it as I just wouldn’t want to disappoint him. I had to read it though since he had agreed to do an interview and I wanted to know all I could about the fellow before hazarding a question.
If any of you dear readers are unfamiliar with Mr. Sorbo you MUST go watch at least a few episodes of “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and Gene Rodenberry’s “Andromeda.” Until you have seen a few episodes of each, reading his book “True Strength” won’t give you the full impact since it is the behind the scenes autobiography of the star of both shows. No worries as this review should still be around and you can buy a copy of his book then.
For those familiar with Kevin Sorbo’s Hercules and Captain Dylan Hunt, “True Strength” is a wonderful, behind the scenes narative. There are a few juicy tidbits regarding his dating life, modeling before becoming an action hero, and scenes from his childhood. When it gets to his courtship of his wife, Sam, there are moments where you just can’t help but saying, “Awww… that’s sweet.” and smile.
He really opens up when it comes to what he went through when he had the aneurysm that nearly killed him and the life altering complication that nearly cost him his career, the love of his life, and his life itself.
To call the book an autobiography is actually a misnomer. Looking back over the table of contents I can almost imagine him in bed with his wife going over the notes of the first third of the book he has written and turning to Sam for advice on the next chapter. With her insightful input he says, “What you said is perfect but I can’t say that. Mind writing this chapter?” and so the chapter titled, “Prince Charming” notes a change in author, being written by Sam Sorbo.
Later conversations with Bruce Campbell, John Mahaffie, Eric Gruendemann, Michael Hurst, and Ardis Sorbo (Kevin’s mom!) produce an autobiographical work worthy of Tom Sawyer.
I can picture him rolling his eyes and saying, “Aw Mom!” as his mother pens the opening words of her chapter of his “autobiography” with “As a kid Kevin was a picky eater. If he didn’t like what I served for dinner, he would hop on his bike and head for the grocery store with his paper route money to buy Chef Boyardee.” Her response might then be, “Now Kevy, your fans will just think it is cute and you know it is true.”
The book has many sweet, heart warming moments but he doesn’t pull the punches when he talks about how unbearable he became at times when he was at his worst after the aneurysm and its complications. My heart went out to him and my admiration grew for his wife as she exhibited the strength to lift him up in his weakness.
At the end I had a far greater appreciation of the Sorbos and am much more of a fan than I ever was before and it was apparent that, while his strength and dexterity may have dropped a bit into the top of the range of being human, he has gained a few points of wisdom.
My conclusion and rating is that this is a “must read”, 5 of 5, excellent “autobiography” that is made better by its many authors.
As for it preparing me for the interview, the truth is I find myself overwhelmed with his story and don’t know where to start so I am inviting you, dear reader, to send me a message via my Facebook or Twitter and suggest questions that you might like to have asked. With luck I can pull a Kevin Sorbo move and you will suggest that question that will make me look brilliant. As it is, the best question I have thus far is, “Does Sam have a sister?”
More about John Collins