Five -Star Amazon.com Review In
her memoir, Barbara Outland Baker remembers her days as Arnold
Schwarzenegger's first American girlfriend in the turbulent late 60s
and early 70s. They dated for six years, and she explores both the
happy and the not-so-happy times. However, she never stoops to revenge.
Instead, her memories of a young Arnold are warm and touching. This
Arnold is the insecure foreigner whom most contemporary Americans
either forgot or never knew. This is the story of Arnold forging his
career out of broken English and hours of body-building. But this book
is more than just another biography of Arnold. Barbara's story is all
her own. This is a story of a woman struggling to learn who she is the
in shadow of a Titan. This is the story of a woman fighting to cast her
own shadow. As such, she touches a nerve in every young woman who has
ever sacrificed herself for someone she loved. Hers is a long and
winding journey, and she took me right along with her.
Reviewer: Whitney S. Christiansen "Publishing Advisor", Bloomington, IN
I loved your book
and it certainly filled in some gaps from many years ago. I first saw
Arnold on stage, and of course winning, right back in 1970. You made a
very enjoyable record of Arnold's early years in USA, complete with
photos I had never seen before. Good luck with the book.
Wayne Gallasch, GMV Productions, Adelaide, Australia
I could hear your
voice talking to me from the pages as you share how women and men look
at life differently. You sure bared your soul to the world -- good for
you! It came across as a warm, heartfelt, honest story of your journey
through life and out of Arnold's shadow. I was glad to see that you
were so satisfied with your life -- you deserve all your happiness!
Sue Kurtik Thousand Oaks, CA
I read your book
over this past weekend and literally could not put it down! It was very
well written. I found that your life with Arnold during those six years
was very interesting and insightful. I also thought that it was equally
interesting that he stayed in touch with you all of these years after
you and he broke up by calling, sending cards, etc., even after he got
married and had his family. This was also very insightful about Arnold!
It sounds like you are also a very strong person to have gone through
all that you did and end up with a happy life and a successful teaching
Tommy Lee Thomas Dallas, TX
I have to tell
you, I just had the pleasure of reading your book. It was just
fantastic. I loved the journey that you took me on. I loved your humor!
I loved reading your words. I could hear your voice like you were
telling me the story yourself. What a great story that all women can
Tracie Trocki, La Center, WA
I truly enjoyed Arnold and Me and think you did a fabulous job tying the now with the then.
Kathy Covell, Frisco, CO
You have filled in
a lot of blanks about Arnold's integrity and character that I
questioned from afar. [My] Republic upbringing made me question if
Arnold was conning the public, or if he had the necessary qualities of
leadership [that] I wanted in our governor. A strong character is one
of the dying traits in most of our politicians today. From your book,
it seems Arnold stands heads above of the rest them. Thank you for
revealing this gift to me.
Kathy Barnes, Newport Beach, CA
I have to
congratulate you as it is so well-written, interesting and, even though
not a thriller, it is still a page turner. You keep the reader wanting
to know more about Arnold and you and what will happen next in this
female saga situated in the late 60s/ early 70s socially charged years.
AND clearly not just an Arnold story, but an insightful story about
male/female relationships that I believe is just as relevant today as
ever. I was enthralled by the story. Though non-fiction - it held me as
much as a well plotted fiction novel
Rick Wallenbrock, Oakland, CA
"larger than life" by comparison to most...but many of us can connect
with some of your ups/downs...."relationships" breed this kind of
thing. Love it when you use Arnold's accent.
Vicki Brady, El Segundo, CA
I'm reading your
book, and I love it. I keep having to put it down because I am howling
with laughter...I don't know if that's how you meant it, but I find
lots of the passages are hilarious. And I can hear him talking...your
accent is perfect. It's just toooo funny!!! I'm nibbling away at the
book a few pages at a time. It's too delicious to gobble down all at
once. I can totally relate to what you are saying. I love your book.
Nancy Christopher, Lake Havasu, AZ
Fifty pages into it, and I don't want to put it down. You really have a talent as a writer. Erma Gratrix, Camarillo, CA
Having known Barbara Baker for about 30 years and being acquainted with many of the details of her relationship with Arnold, I would bet that no one knows Arnold like Barbara. Barbara was with Arnold supporting his personal and career growth before he became the sensation he is now. And, being such a close and integral part of Arnold's life when he was younger, more vulnerable, more accessible and in general, less experienced, her insights into the man he is today are both interesting and heart warming. I truly doubt that there's anyone else who would have the perspective to write such a poignant reflection of who Arnold was then and the prelude of who he has become today. Peggy Runnels, Crystal Bay, NV
The national AARP
convention convened a week ago in Anaheim. As a certified post-50
elderly gentleman, I attended with my wife in arm. Actually, we were
there representing long-term care insurance. There was a booth across
from us, a publisher, and highlighted in the center of his booth was
this tall stack of books with an eye catching cover of this exquisite
young goddess (Gidget with classical beauty) scantily clad in a bathing
suit with a big bruiser of a fellow next to her, and everyone was
stopping at the booth and thumbing through the book. I walked over to the booth and joined the throngs of curious passers by.
was looking at the book and I had to smile and interject; "Not only is
she beautiful, sweet, and wonderful, but she was a pretty terrific
classmate and friend as well." You were a hit with the AARP crowd. Phil Leddel. Sherman Oak, CA
I thoroughly enjoyed your book...interesting, fun and insightful.
What a project! Congratuations!
Mary Hamilton, Incline Village, CA
The very first time I heard about your book was
months ago on the Internet while it was still a work in progress. Of course, I
thought it was just a rumor, and only dreamed that such a book would come out.
Well, that dream became a reality when you released the book this year.
Needless to say, I have been a HUGE Arnold fan for many years and have
always been intrigued by the relationship you and he shared. When the book
became available I immediately jumped at the chance of purchasing it. I may not
have been around at Zucky's in 1969, but you put me there with your pictures and
memories. Thanks! :)
I just want to take the time to say thanks for
writing this book. I had a smile on my face through the whole reading. And as
for the pictures inside the book... priceless! Again, thanks for taking me down
YOUR memory lane with Arnold. It was a real treat! :) Victor
I'm the woman you met and spoke with at Barnes and Nobles in Valencia.
I'm a screen writer and we spoke about writing. I've never cared about
Arnold one way or the other, even though I've been aware of him most of
my life, having moved to L.A. from NY in 1974, but you had such a
warmth and sparkle in your eye that I was interested in reading your
book because of you. My instinct was correct. What a great read. As
others have told you, it's remarkable how openly and honestly you
reveal yourself in a world where self-revelation is almost
non-existent. At times, you are painfully honest. Your journey has
been fascinating, learning the ultimate truth that our lives, though
not what we hoped or expected, have miracles all their own. I did the
EST training back then too. One of the sayings I remember best is "Life
is like a horse and you're riding it. You can sit side saddle, try with
all your might to get it to turn one way or the other, you can even sit
on it backwards and yell giddyup all you want. But the horse is going
where it's going. Turn around, face forward and enjoy the ride." Isn't
THAT the truth. :)
get your book completely. I'm sure there must be a ton of women who
identify with your journey. Your story is validating. And encouraging.
I loved how you finally accept that maybe you simply WILL be affected
by Arnold for your entire life. There is peace in acceptance. Ain't it great?
thing that made me want to take you by the shoulders and shake you was
your lack of awareness of your own value and specialness (is that a
word?). Granted, Arnold
is an overtly powerful presence. But you, as I think you know now, have
that something special that attracts and draws people to you in an
equal measure. Why the heck do you think he was attracted to you in the
first place? You were smart, open, talented, beautiful...sheesh. Hard
to believe it took you so long to begin to get that. I'm not sure you
even get it completely now. Maybe with the response to the book, you'll
realize you are no longer in the shadow. You cast a rather large shadow
yourself! I am way impressed. Congratulations not only on an extremely
well written book (some phrases were so well turned I re-read them,
surprised at your ability...where's the novel?)
I feel like I know you after reading your book. Once again, thank you
for a great reading experience and for sharing so much of your life. Venita Ozols-Graham, Valencia, California
You are an absolutely fabulous writer. You wrote this in such as way as to make the reader want to come back and read more. You have a real talent!!! I'll buy your next book too!! :) Madie Gracey, Cambria, California
First of all it was interesting to learn about your side of the story, compared to Arnold's
own book and the biographies written about him. Secondly, it was
fascinating to learn how if was for you to live in the shadow of this
no doubt truly amazing man. Therefore the title of the book is so
right! Thirdly it was intriguing to read about the somehow ?rocky road?
you traveled after having being able to break away from Arnold.
It appears as if it took you many years to get out of his shadow. Today
you are somehow shining under his light, so things have been turned
around one could perhaps say.
was very interesting that you appear to have Norwegian or at least
Scandinavian genes. When I looked at the photos in your book at the
time you were together with Arnold, I thought to myself, this girl has this clean Scandinavian look (no offence to the American girls). No wonder Arnold fell for you, being from Europe himself.
was a true pleasure to read a book about bodybuilding coming from
someone who writes excellent English and giving the life of a
professional bodybuilder/the most famous bodybuilder in the world
another dimension. You are obviously a very nice and caring person.
I wish you all the best and thank you for writing and publishing an excellent book.
I recently purchased
your book "Arnold and Me: In the Shadow of the Austrian Oak." I
wanted to send you a quick note to tell you how much I enjoyed reading
it. Although I wasn't born until 1978, I am a big fan of the West
Coast Bodybuilding Scene of the late 60's and 70's, and I have always admired
Arnold for his determination and enthusiasm for everything he's
attempted. I am a competitive bodybuilder myself, however, even if I had
no interest in the sport of bodybuilding this would have been a great
read. Lawrence Leamer's "Fantastic" was interesting for the
hard-core fan, but your book was so much more than just the story of
Arnold. I thank you for following through with sharing your experiences in
such a personal and insightful way. All the best,