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)
This tome is a captivating look of Rob Lowe's life from his childhood to his adult life. I can see why his friend Mike Meyers told him he must write this book! I'm close in age to Rob Lowe (having watched most of the movies he talks about in the book) and he gives interesting tidbits of information that he might indeed only share with one of his friends. It's refreshing that he and his wife have a strong relationship which he cherishes to this day, and he reveals the story of their love affair. I enjoyed his narration and it enhanced the telling of his life story. Money well-spent.
The stories about his West Wing years.
The many behind-the-scenes stories where the listener/reader learns what happens in order to get movies made.
The story that opened the book which he returns to near the end of the book. It has to do with John Kennedy, Jr. and leaves the listener/reader wanting more Rob Lowe stories!
A great read by Lowe himself, with a compelling story and he's not afraid to talk about the tough parts of his life (rehab, etc)
Lowe changed my idea of who he is with this book - I always took him for a pretty-boy member of the brat pack, who lacked a lot of substance. His writing and reflection reveals his intelligence, wit and humour. I only downloaded this bio because others recommended it, and it was well worth it.
Hearing Lowe read his book adds another dimension - I feel like he was truly telling his most personal thoughts, and while he happily laughs at himself, Lowe feels like a friend now. (Note: I am not a deluded stalker, it was just great to hear him read his words in the phrasing he intended)
Yes, very intriguing. There is alot more to Rob Lowe than you would think. He has a very unique story of his beginnings in Hollywood and the parts about his upbringing and his neurotic mother are touching, and funny at the same time.
I loved best how candid he was.
Getting to know about his life.
His relationship with jfk jr
no, but it was a very emotional story. Very heartwarming.
I am often reluctant to read celebrity memoirs because of the potential for whining or the special remove that celebrities often have from real life, which can be annoying. However, this book did not operate that way. Rob Lowe accounts his life, both his personal life and his encounters with other celebrities, in a matter-of-fact way that keeps the narrative fresh. He is at the same time aware of his celebrity, but not in awe of it -- or himself. His grasp of story-telling is great, and there's not a dull moment in this book. I was slightly disappointed that he didn't go into more detail about his very public scandal, but I understand why he didn't -- he wants to be known as an actor and a good guy (which he seems to be), not someone who's going to be forever tainted by a bad decision. Take a chance on this book -- at the very least you'll be entertained, and at the most, you'll be moved by the struggles of this public person's challenging life.
Rob Lowe's performance lends an extra layer of oomph to this book that someone reading it would not get. He mimics the voices of the other people in the book, mainly celebrities, very well, giving the narrative a lot of character.
Having the author read the story really added an additional element to the story.
Everyone should download this as it goes by quickly and you don't want it to end!
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
Rob Lowe is a good writer and storyteller... it helps that he had an extraordinary life filled with celebrity encounters.
His book kept my wife and I company on a long car ride, and held our attention throughout.
His tales of the politics surrounding the West Wing politics leaves me wondering what the other side of the story is. I'd love to know why the studio treated him so badly when he was a fan favorite. Did Rob have any enemies there? Or was the nice guy we hear on the tape actually not such a nice guy on the set and in negotiations?
I'm inclined to give Lowe the benefit of the doubt, as I'm a fan of his writing and his work in general. Anyway, he comes off as extremely likable here, and I think listeners will find that listening to this book is like sitting down with a good friend.
I'm not even a Rob Lowe fan but absolutely loved this book! After purchasing Tina Fey's book this popped up as a recommendation for me. I was intrigued by the rave reviews it was getting so I gave it a try. This book is great. Listened to it non-stop every free moment I had. Surprisingly interesting and very well written. His story is intriguing and includes many fantastic actors, directors, writers, and producers. If you grew up in the 70s/80s and enjoy movies then you'll love this book!
Yes, the emotions of the writer/narrator come through this audio version, better than it would in a book. I am glad it's read by Rob Lowe himself. Makes it very authentic, almost like you are his friend and he is talking to you in person.
Considering I wasn't living in America when all of the story was happening, and honestly did not have a clue who Rob Lowe was; I was compelled to read the story. I am truly impressed by the book, in terms of the ability to relay a story, it's honesty that comes through, and the good writing. I had to do a lot of background research as I read the book to make all of it make more sense to me. Rob Lowe... now decades later, I am a fan!
I've not read the print version, so I am unable to provide insight in this regard. I do think that "Stories I Only Tell My Friends" in print would in no way, for me, compare to listening to Rob tell us about his life.
I loved the history of which Rob spoke. From JFK Jr. to Martin Sheen as neighbor, Rob's lived a rich, full life with some rather fantastical ups, as well as, downs.
As previously stated, I can't imagine just "reading" this autobiography. Rob's voice, his impersonations, his passion, his humor... All of it wrapped up into one of the best audiobooks I've heard. After listening to "Stories I Only Tell My Friends," I jumped over to Amazon, purchased, and watched all seven seasons of "The West Wing."
Prior to "The West Wing," I wasn't a big Rob Lowe fan, but I did thoroughly enjoy him as Sam Seaborn on TWW. Now, having listened to "Stories I Only Tell My Friends," I'm totally crushing on Rob! ;-)
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