“Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder” by Samuel Wilson Fussell
March 31, 2015 (digital edition) – originally published 1991
4 of 5 stars (very good)
Samuel Wilson Fussell stepped from the University of Oxford into the world of bodybuilding and its quirks when he arrived in New York City. Little did he realize where this adventure would take him and he recounts his days in New York and California living the life of a professional bodybuilder in this autobiography that is being republished in digital format.
Even though I knew nothing about the sport of bodybuilding aside from the fact that a certain actor-turned-politician was a famous participant in the 1970’s, I decided to accept the offer for a copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. I am very glad that I did so, because I found this book a fun read. It was much like reading a comedy-drama fictional story as there are elements of both humor and horror wrapped into one book. I felt connected to Sam as his story progressed even though I would never imagine living that type of lifestyle.
A reader does not have to understand the sport or know anything about its history in order to understand or enjoy this book. The workouts that he endures are spelled out in a manner that anyone can clearly understand the strength and endurance a bodybuilder must have in order to last through these workouts. The diets and steroids that he or she must do as well as a look at the competition are also covered and the reader will be both entertained and informed as these are described.
This is one of the better memoirs that I have read recently as it clearly shows that Samuel didn’t regret this choice, and covers all the reasons that he may have done so earlier. I also enjoyed learning about this sport and thought Samuel was quite the character once he truly became part of this club. This is certainly a book to pick up if the reader enjoys an entertaining autobiography.
I wish to thank NetGalley and Open Road Media for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Pace of the book:
Good stories are usually fast paced reads and this is certainly the case with “Muscle”.
Do I recommend?
Even if the reader knows nothing about bodybuilding aside from a certain former California governor being a former participant, this book would be an enjoyable read for anyone who likes a good story.