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)
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
I loved this book. It is not a great piece of literature. It does not provide earth shattering insight into Lowe's life. It does not give you dirt on Hollywood A-listers. It does, however, allow you to relive the 80s, if you were a child of that decade, learn a little more about the heart throb from St. Elmo's Fire and gain an appreciation for the professional and adult Lowe has become. Read it because you love Lowe, because you love the 80s, because The West Wing was a favorite tv show. And if you listen to it, Lowe narrates it and he's just dreamy.
This book was so very good. It is obvious this is an intelligent, well read man. He wrote a wonderful story giving you a view into his coming of age. I thought the writing was so very good. Wish he would write a novel also. This book made me laugh and shed some tears.
If I could give him a 10 on narration I would. He narrates his story better than any star biography I have heard. Really really appreciated his narration. He is quite capable of mimicking others voices. Tastefully written book...I admire you Rob in all your incarnations.
Fantastic! Lowe is a great performer and actor but also a great WRITER! The stories are compelling and he tells them with humor, wit, warmth and heart.
First of all I love it when the author is also the narrator so kudos to Rob Lowe for putting his voice to his words. Secondly, it was hard to turn it off. His stories pull you in and you want more. I loved that he kept it dignified throughout while still telling such personal details. This will be one of those books I listen to once a year. Loved it.
I am just slightly older then Rob so the cultural references were spot on to my own experiences. This story will make anyone who believes show business is easy to think twice and really appreciate being raised in a stable household. I have always been a big fan and loved listening to this book - the writing is so beautiful and heartfelt, I'm sure I will revisit it and plan on checking out his follow on book.
SET REVIEWS TO BE SORTED BY 'MOST RECENT' INSTEAD OF 'MOST HELPFUL'!
Rob Lowe's excellent delivery made the experience of listening curiously addicting.
I did recommend it to everyone, up until I reached the second half of the book. Then I had to read it in short spurts, taking frequent breaks to listen to other books. While the first half (Rob's childhood and teenage years) was riveting due to his honest exploration of his hopes, dreams and fears as a kid, the second half felt both rushed and heavily edited. For example, no real discussion of the sex tape (how, why, who put it on the internet, did anyone profit?), and literally NO MENTION of his broken engagement to Melissa Gilbert, discovery of her pregnancy, or her miscarriage. And his heavy partying and womanizing years frankly became more than a little nauseating, like eating too much sugar. His objectification of women during those years was a troubling, never-explored undercurrent throughout most of the book.
Born to Act
The chapter on The West Wing will leave you furious with the show's producers for, in essence, forcing him to quit the show due to their consistently unfair treatment. How could he have been consistently left out of ensemble photo shoots and cast salary negotiations? Obviously someone WANTED him to quit, but WHY? I wish I knew. That question will haunt me.
Honest and sincere. And I loved all his impersonations. We differ in politics but I still found it very relatable. Also think he has a great talent for writing. He did such a good job of expressing his feelings and experiences. He built wonderful mental visualizations.
Rob Lowe's narration of this book was superb! His down to earth, yet elegant and sophisticated writing was a joy to hear. I have admiration and respect for him and had no idea what hurdles he overcame in his life. Loved every bit of it!
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