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 came to select this book from what very little I knew about Rob Lowe: the sex scandal in the 90’s and his character in a show I watch, Brothers & Sisters; honestly, outside of those, I was unfamiliar with his early work and his abilities. Lowe spends half of the book recounting the experience of filming The Outsiders with Francis Ford Coppola and the group of young actors he worked with on this journey, all of which ended up with successful careers in the aftermath (Swayze, Cruise, Estevez, Dillon). This is a book to listen to, not read. Lowe brings such nuances and rhythm to the narration that you can visualize and place moods, setting, imagery and sound into the text. Every single character he gives voice to is spot-on, the impersonations, especially of President Clinton at the end of the book (when discussing The West Wing section) is as if you’re actually listening to Clinton himself. I wished for Lowe that he would have spent more time telling the story of what he endured at the grip of alcoholism and his darker days instead of spending the entire first half on The Outsiders, but he does maintain a consistent optimism throughout the storyline which sometimes gives it the tone of a self-help book (not a bad thing, as a listener, it’s refreshing to tune into something uplifting – especially when unexpected). I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would, and came out of it wanting to know Lowe – actually feeling as if I know Rob – personally. A great listen.
I LOVED this book. Of course, the narration by Rob Lowe brings a wonderful immediacy to the text, but the book itself is very enjoyable. Lowe tells one fascinating story after another. I tried this book based on the great reviews, still not expecting much, but there were times I sat in the car after I got home just to hear how one of his stories turned out. Great book!
This audiobook was pretty good. I found myself getting distracted easily, but it turns out I didn't miss much. It's a typical celebrity book. I thought it was odd that he discussed politics and JFK jr, so much. But overall, ok. easy listening.
Carol Deming Casey
Rob's writing is intelligent, witty, and strikingly honest. Merely based on his vocabulary, he is a man of above average intelligence. His ability to descriptively paint a picture as he is telling his story is remarkable. He wrote is such positiveness, it was nice to not hear negativism, whining, and bemoaning. He is fortunate and he understands as well as appreciates this. He characteristically brings his story full circle to give these small chapters of his episodic life closure. He has always been an actor I admired. Now it is clear I have yet another reason to admire him. As a novice writer myself, his talent of writing and telling a story engrossed me. His interpretations and insightfulness contribute to his remarkable talent. It isn't every day I read (isten to) a book written by someone who is popular in Holywood. It is clear that I made the right choice in reading this book. My Thanks to Mr. Rob Lowe for giving me the opportunity to hear those stories you only tell your friends. Thank you. I look forward to more writing from you in the future.
I've been in LOVE with Rob Lowe since my adolescence, and this audiobook has only enhanced my crush (and I'm 41). The story is chronological, engaging, rich with detail, humor, and self-deprecation. Lowe is an excellent storyteller and shows himself to be intelligent and funny; I'd heard before reading this book that he is an incredible mimic, and his imitations of assorted celebrities and personalities are incredibly dead-on.
I loved this book and didn't want it to end. I also really, really loved that it wasn't smarmy, negative, or rude towards anyone. I highly recommend this book, especially in audiobook format.
Very fun to sit back and hear all the interesting stories from Rob Lowe's treasure trove of experiences. Kind of felt like he was sharing over a glass of wine, very entertaining and quite enjoyable.
Since I listened to this interesting book, I've read several reviews that talk about what a juicy tell-all it is. It is not. Its a well-written and interesting story of someone who has been through Hollywood's trenches and emerged as a pretty normal guy. I loved hearing about his early friendships and found stories about movie-making to be really interesting. I would recommend this book. Its an easy and enjoyable listen.
Rob Lowe fell off my radar in the early 90's and I was just too busy to get into The West Wing to see him redeem himself. BUT... I must say I had a mad crush on him in the 80's because of his fierce sex appeal and insanely handsome face. This book reminded me of his awesomeness, but it also impressed me because it was so well written. His deep and insightful reflections are clever, funny, and sensitive. I even CRIED a few times!!!! Rob's impressions of people like Matt Dillon, Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, and others are dead-on and very entertaining. Download this one. He is WAY more than the sex symbol I used to stare at 20 years ago.
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