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)
knitting keeps me sane.
Loved this book. Rob was pretty open about his own mistakes without trash talking his friends too much. I could have listened to a whole book on the making of the Outsiders. Being from Dayton, the mentions were fun, and his dad is still a lawyer here. Allison Janey and the Sheens are also from Dayton, and they all come back for politic stuff sometimes. Mostly, it was dreamy to have Rob Lowe read to me. ;-)
The book opened with a very interesting anecdote on JFK Jr's decision point to marry Jacquelyn and their subsequent tragic death. I followed the subsequent chapters with interest because the stories are connected with public personas during my teen years. I also remember St Elmo's fire very vividly. However, the book "reads" more like a collection of articles on the lifestyle of the rich and famous or a written reality show in sections. Although I appreciate Rob's honesy about his problems with alcohol and challenges with the hollywood system, I find that the book lacks the depth and level of development that one might find in a memoir such as Angela's Ashes, or even that of Hillary Clinton's, Cathie Blak or Bob Schaeffer. Towards the middle, I also got somewhat jaded with the parade of famous sexy women he's had sex with - it almost felt like a subtle boasting of his conquests. Good enough book for a first publication though.
Perfect. Fun. Wonderful listening. Having Rob Lowe narrate it himself makes it even more incredible. I hated to have it end. He did a superb job writing the stories he tells.
I just finished this book and can't speak highly enough of it. Rob not only takes us on a journey through his life, but does a great job of narrating it as well. I really enjoyed it. If there was any one negative, I would say that it ended somewhat abruptly. I'm not sure when he actually finished writing it, but there wasn't much about his time from when he left The West Wing to present.
That being said, the book shows him to be so much more than the "brat pack" actor of the 80's that most people know him as.
Retired systems analyst; Lover of music, art, travel, technology, birds, Caribbean, scuba; Favorite audiobook genres: mystery, biography, travel, humor, fiction
Based on my scant knowledge of Rob Lowe, I expected this book to be a recital of a risque life with few serious notes. Instead I found a wonderfully written, stong, inciteful story of one actors personal evolution. This is the first book I have read about Hollywood that evoked real emotion and understnading in me. It is well paced, interesting, very real and very well read. Thank You...Write MORE
Rob Lowe offers a parallel perspective of my lifetime. The curtain is pulled aside and you see the reality of the Great Oz.
I saw you on Oprah, and since we've grown up together, decided to get your book. I have some news for you.... as good as your acting is, and it is good, you are a writer in your soul. Never have I read a book that was so well written and so well narrated. You also do really good impressions! Please write another book, I have a newly found respect for you; your outlook, your perspective, your talent. I hope I will read you again!
I bought this book last week, and my husband started to listen to it before I did! I'm enjoying the book so far.
What a fascinating book. I couldnt stop listening to it. I always enjoy audiobooks that are read by the author, but this is one of the most personal i have ever heard. Great audibook.
Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!
I thought that Lowe was at the popint in his career where he'd still feel the need to "hold back" and "sugar coat" certain aspects of his life...boy, was I wrong!! He was refreshingly honest, thoughtful, and insightful about his life to this point. If you enjoy hearing about the long, hard road to the top of Hollywood, I strongly recommend this! Well read, as well, which I guess should be a given.
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