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 really enjoyed listening to Rob Lowe's Stories I Only Tell My Friends. After watching his career over the past 30 plus years. I found the book to be a wonderful look behind the scenes of some great films of the late 20th century and beyond. Rob does a wonderful job of putting one in the moment and experiencing his life, his friends, his work, his loves. I was amused by his voice acting when quoting his fellow actors and directors. Overall a very good read especially since it is read by the author and comes from the heart.
I've watched West Wing (the TV show), but really never realized the people that play the characters have a life that they have lived. Very honest and sensitive, told in a story form that is enjoyable to listen to. The speaker is also the author,and his voice draws you into his tales. Some are heartbreaking and some are very light hearted, but all enjoyable. I've gotten a new perspective re-guarding this actor and feel strongly that he has found his way in life, and is now giving back.
good natured and full of voice imitations of well known people you know, surprising story of growing up in show business with a bunch of today's well known actors. I did not want to stop listening, but had to just to get some sleep or at the end of my daily walk. I especially enjoyed that he never spoke ill of people in his life. You can not let the harm others do to you define you, be true to self, well said by Rob Lowe, I loved hearing his story told by him. Jeanie2000
Rob Lowe turns out to be a great writer and narrator. Perhaps because of his extraordinary good looks, one expects him to be shallow. He is anything but. This is by far the best Hollywood (auto)biography I have ever "read." It is real literature, which is not to put anybody off. It is not in any way stuffy or boring. It is filled with riveting episodes and insights. I could not stop listening!
Well, I never was a particular fan of Mr. Lowe, but I did enjoy his work on The West Wing. With that said, I took a chance on a recommendation of a friend and 'read' the book. Who knew that he's lead such an interesting life. Truly great stories and his impressions of the characters of his life are very entertaining.
I'm not sure why I downloaded Rob Lowe's book initially. I have never particularly been a fan. I wasn't not a fan, but I guess I figured he was another shallow, pretty faced aging kid actor.
Whatever struck me, I'm glad I listened to this book. In it Rob talks about the stress and thrill of being hounded by hoards of adoring fans and admits that while he loves people, the mindless mob can steal your soul (not a quote, but my summation). However, his true affection and admiration for the interesting cast of characters who have populated his life make him seem like a deeply caring, thinking, fun person I would enjoy chatting with. And I feel like I had the opportunity to do so.
I hope he wasn't just acting this part... I believed him. If you're a Rob fan, you must read this book. If you're not, but you have at least a mild interest in the who he is a a human being, you'll be pleasantly surprised. Hey Rob, thanks for sharing.
An amazing "read", wonderful story telling, you will not want it to end. I now have more respect and appreciation for this self described pretty boy. Wonderfully narrated by Rob Lowe himself this is a steal!
I never knew much about Rob Lowe but now I do. He wrote a candid book and I found the real him inspiring. I never knew how hard he worked and he knew what he wanted to do since he was 8 years old and was single minded. The last paragraph made me cry for two reasons...one...the book was over and two...the beautiful way he summed up his life to this point. I have already told everyone I know to get this book. I loved the behind the scenes stories of the movies he made so much so I had to buy each of the movies from ebay just to watch them again. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
English major. Love to read
Guess it is again a time not to judge a book by its cover. I consider myself to have high standards so when my daughter read this book and suggested I do, I think I guffawed. So too my friends when I told them I was not only reading this but loving it. I majored in drama and this is a possible teaching piece for young actors. It's a fascinating and often brutal world in Hollywood and it's fascinating to read someone's story of being in the middle of it - someone with integrity and insight. And he's a good writer! This is obviously not for everyone but if you are a bit intrigued, you won't be disappointed.
I felt like Rob was actually telling me stories in a sit down conversation with him thus its easy to see why the book was titled as it was. I enjoyed all the stories he told and especially was impressed with his vocabulary and the way they were told. Very, very good listen and highly recommend it.
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