Prepare to be amazed by the many ways this book and its author are better than you thought they would be. Everybody knows that Rob Lowe is very handsome, and that he spent a long time being a Hollywood wild child. Now in his 40s, Lowe’s reflections on his life thus far demonstrate a remarkably responsible perspective and a refreshingly self-deprecating look at how he ended up in the better state of mind he inhabits today. While the headlines and high notes may come and go, Lowe remains a devoted husband and proud father.
This listen is a small miracle for many reasons. It’s not simply the fact that Lowe reveals himself as capable of compelling writing, which he certainly does. It’s also not merely the path of the narrative that’s intriguing, though that’s definitely the case. Whether he is spending several chapters thoroughly reminiscing about the many lessons he learned during The Outsiders or sharing a quick anecdote about trying to meet Liza Minnelli when he was a little kid, Lowe indeed offers up a terrific set of insights about both life and stardom. He proves himself as a generous spirit, with strong thanks for Martin Sheen and solid praise for Patrick Swayze.
His narration is clearly heartfelt, and never comes across as phony or acted. This listen feels like a casual dinner conversation, minus the slick descent into rumor-mongering that usually rears its ugly head in memoirs of this variety. Lowe manages to steer clear of the blame game when analyzing the simultaneous blessing and curse of the Brat Pack label or his decision to leave The West Wing, and even finds some gracious adjectives for Tom Cruise. Be on the lookout for eerily spot-on impersonations of many stars, including a particularly good Christopher Walken and Matt Dillon.
In the end, it’s hard to put a finger on what makes this book so utterly fascinating. There isn’t anything shocking in the subject matter; there isn’t any mud-flinging in the tone; there is very little that stands out as an exclamation point. Yet the total package undeniably and irresistibly triumphs at being genuinely charming. This is ironic, because the book then actually sort of mirrors Lowe’s career. He’s spent the last two decades trying to upend the idea that he is simply a pretty face. The book succeeds in that endeavor, just as his several iconic film roles have done, and yet the shallow type-casting of Rob Lowe somehow too frequently persists. It’s true that he is a very dreamy guy, but this memoir absolutely proves that he is also intelligent, worldly, witty, and political. It’s an excellent listen that ought to once and for all put an end to the notion the Rob Lowe’s charisma is only skin deep. Megan Volpert
A wryly funny and surprisingly moving account of an extraordinary life lived almost entirely in the public eye. A teen idol at 15, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at 20, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences as a painfully misunderstood child actor in Ohio who was uprooted to the wild counterculture of mid-70s Malibu, where he embarked on his unrelenting pursuit of a career in Hollywood. The Outsiders placed Lowe at the birth of the modern youth movement in the entertainment industry. During his time on The West Wing, he witnessed the surreal nexus of show business and politics, both on the set and in the actual White House. And in between are deft and humorous stories of the wild excesses that marked the 80s, leading to his quest for family and sobriety.
Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last 25 years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.
©2011 Robert Lowe (P)2011 Macmillan Audio
"[Lowe] writes viscerally and insightfully...He looks back at the aberrant highs of his heart-throb days, the changing nature of stardom in Hollywood, the trade-off he has made between high life and home life, and the step-by-step effort behind his show business survival. He looked like the callowest kid in the "Outsiders" crew. Now he looks like the sturdiest of them all" (The New York Times)
"A fresh pop-culture history of Hollywood in the ’70s and ’80s from the point of view of the man who lived it…[Lowe] is as funny as he is thoughtful. This is the best type of celeb memoir, because its author is as interested in the world as the world is interested in him." (People Magazine)
"A lovely autobiography, equal parts dish and pathos.” (Vanity Fair)
I watched him on some talk show and was intrigued. I then saw clips of his interview with Oprah and just thought he was too "good" and "smiley" to be true. I had a few credits on my account so I thought, "What the heck?". I am glad that I did.
His book is full of interesting stories and side notes. He reads it so well and kept me and my husband interested the whole time. During the final chapters, I kept looking at my Iphone to see how much was left. I didn't want it to end. Having just finished the book, it feels as if I had family come visit for a week and they have just driven out of the drive way. I smile because they were here but saddened that they are gone.
Good book....definitely worth the listen.
Audible Member Since 2003
I downloaded this book because of the good reviews and high customer ratings. I was not disappointed and was actually very impressed with the depth, humility, and intelligence of this memoir. Rob Lowe is so much more than just a pretty face. His writing is solid and articulate. His reading is perfect and I had no idea he was such a good impersonator. He nails every voice from Carey Grant to Robert Wagner, including spot-on mimics of Patrick Swayze, Christopher Walken, Matt Dillon, Bill Clinton, Francis Copolla and more.
This is a book that you do not want to stop listening to, whether or not you are a fan of Rob Lowe.
Who knew Rob Lowe could write? Who knew he could mimic just about any accent? Who knew he genuinely has a lot to say? This is one of those rare audiobooks thats grabs you at the first sentence and just keeps delivering.
What this book has that most celeb bios do not is heart and context. He shares the parts of his life that have meaning and weaves them into a cohesive whole. This makes for a much more engaging tale that a string of career highlights.
He clearly thought this book through before he wrote a word. It's a delight.
Lastly, while Rob Lowe is an actor of my generation, I would never consider myself a fan...so this review is not influenced by a previous crush.
He is a great writer and narrator. I loved hearing the journey of his life and his growth. His stories are all from my generation. So many of his stories made me stop and think..."I know where I was when that happened." Many interesting inside stories. Love how he changes his voice for the different characters! Now I want to go back and watch all his shows again.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book and insight into a celebrity who seems to have figured things out about life. Nice that he reads it himself. Love his discriptions of celebrities he's met, how & where.
Having grown up in the 80's I was intrigued by this book by my former Teen Beat crush but went in not expecting much. I LOVED this book. Rob Lowe's narration following his career from his childhood through the video scandal to the West Wing has renewed my crush all over again and really put that sex video scandal in perspective. If it had happened now it would've restarted his career not stalled it!
This was actually an interesting autobiography, with very few dull moments.
In part because it was well-written. In part because Rob Lowe has led a fascinating, and some might say a charmed, life.
There is a lot of inside information on what Hollywood is actually like. Lowe has rubbed elbows with many A-listers early in their career, so it is interesting from that perspective as well.
I came away with the book understanding more about Robe Lowe the man and the actor, but cannot say that I personally "liked" him better. It felt authentic much of the time, but it also had long moments of name dropping, competitive jockeying, and setting oneself up to win (perhaps by writing this book and getting 'back in the public's eye' again).
Excellent narration by Mr. Lowe.
Brag, brag and more brag. Terrible, self centered listening torture with clear evidence of limited awareness that a good story is more than name dropping. It must be difficult to view oneself as the center of the world. It certainly was difficult to hear about it. My suggestion is to give this book a pass. Wish I had returned this mega dud.
but he’s not telling things a good biography should.
This is Rob talking about his life and career from grade school forward. I was impressed with his desire to be an actor at an early age. During 7th grade he wrote a letter to Aaron Spelling (top TV producer) about wanting to be an actor. As a result of Rob’s early efforts he was in a TV show at age 15 and a major film at age 18. Rob did not have a stage mother or other adult helping him in the business. His parents were divorced. His mother was sickly and occupied with other things. Everything Rob did was self initiated and self motivated. He was not popular at school and considered a nerd. So he was surprised later when girls would throw themselves at him. He said “they wouldn’t like me if they knew me,” meaning other kids knew him as “not cool” at school.
I have not seen most of his movies and shows. But I was interested in what he had to say. He really cares about his craft.
As to content, this is mostly stories of Rob interacting with famous people. I wish he had “opened a vein” and told us pain and details about other things, for example: his sex tape scandal, his long relationship with Melissa Gilbert, anything about his brother Chad, his mother’s vague early illness issues, more details about things with the Sheens and other peers, were there drugs in his life (never mentioned), and other things that I don’t know enough about to ask. I’m reminded of the fabulous Isaacson biography of Steve Jobs. We got warts and all. Rob is not giving us that. This should be re-titled “stories I’m willing to tell the public.” His friends would get details that we are not getting.
One thing was annoying. For every actor, director, and other person in the business, Rob said they were great, classic, perfect, oscar winning, charismatic, one of the best, favorite, etc. Although I’ve not seen a lot, every actor I have seen on talk shows does this. It’s as if they are all politicking for possible future jobs. Or, forgive me for the elephant in the room, but is it possible that they want to be liked by coworkers because coworkers vote for academy and other awards? They all do this. It’s good to say nice things about everyone, or in this case great things about everyone, but I question the sincerity.
The only negative Rob said about anyone was the Prince of Monaco. When Rob was dating his daughter Princess Stephanie, the Prince was avoiding Rob at a fundraiser. At the same event, Robert Wagner said to the Prince and some other men “I think he’s banged every one of our daughters.” Oh! Rob had a very active sex life in his 20s. He would see a girl on TV, was able to get her phone number, invite her on a date, and she would go. I wonder if he was ever turned down? He didn’t say. Again he’s not giving us any pain - his or others.
Then he married Sheryl at age 27 and is still married today, twenty years later. That was unexpected and admirable. Prior to his marriage he had alcohol problems. He’s been sober ever since - again admirable.
PHYSICAL BOOK VS. AUDIOBOOK:
The physical book has pictures. Sadly there were none included with my audiobook purchase. I wish he would have included pictures in a downloadable pdf file for audiobook customers. Other authors have done that. Rob wrote and narrated this. He did excellent voice impressions for several celebrities which I enjoyed.
Even after all these years, the term "brat pack" conjures up images of pretty boy Rob Lowe. I was never interested in him as an actor, and thought he was just another self absorbed celeb writing a tiresome tell all. The book got such glowing reviews that I decided to give a listen. I was amazed to discover that Lowe has had an interesting life, writes well, and did an amazing job of the narration. In fact, Audible should consider him for future work - his accents are great! Well done, Rob.
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