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)
The fact that Rob Lowe narrates this book really makes it extra enjoyable.
It feels like Rob is actually sitting down and telling you about himself. It gives a good complete life story without bragging.
When Cheryl breaks up with him, and he realizes he has hit rock bottom. I got a little choked up.
I really enjoyed this book. I loved how Rob impersonates voices of the other characters--he is really good at this. I also see Rob in a whole new light.
I feel truly fortunate for being allowed to hear the stories of Rob Lowe. I went into listening to his biography with some trepidation. I didn't know much of his past, hadn't watched much of him in The West Wing. In fact I know him best from his times on Parks and Recreation. "Ann Perkins!"
Regardless Rob chronicles his life in such a way that you feel your sitting in a room just having a conversation. It doesn't hurt that Rob has some incredible stories to tell from his times with the young Sheen's to his time visiting the President in the oval office.
I immensely enjoyed my time listening to Stories I Only Tell My Friends and think anyone with any interest in Rob or the trials and tribulations of actors will enjoy this as well.
I started paying attention to Lowe during Parks and Rec. A little late for a star that has been known for decades.
I was drawn into this book. I found his voice soothing and story enticing. His narration rings true. I believe him. No regrets buying it.
His struggles are easy to relate to and a good lesson in chasing your dreams.
surprisingly interesting; honest
I don't care much for hollywood people but Mr. Lowe definitely surprised me with his candid honesty and intelligence.
Yes, because it is narrated by the Author.
It felt honest.
I loved the part about the outsiders.
I looked forward to listening beginning to end.
I really enjoyed seeing from the inside of the bubble, took me back to the time of the events.
It really felt like Rob was a close friend telling you a story.
When he decided to put his life in order of what was important to himself.
top two or three ranking; best autobiography (winning out over Anthony Bourdain)
Rob speaks of his experiences on the television series "The West Wing" with tremendous reverence. It inspired me to watch it on instant video. I had no interest in political drama when it originally aired. I would like to personally thank him for turning me on to the show. Thank you, Rob.
The birth of the Lowe's son.
I got weepy-eyed in a few places, chuckled often, and laughed out loud a few times. It was just right.
This book is read by Rob Lowe and I'm happy to report he does a good job--authors are not always the best readers. It is appropriately name-droppy, and unlike the habit of some name-droppers, he gives the reader enough information to know the subject's full name, title if any, and other pertinent information before he would call, for example, Robert Wagner, "RJ". He has one annoying writer's habit, however. He does long build-ups, revealing the name of the mystery person or event until the end of the paragraph. ~sigh~ I get it. Maybe it is "good storytelling" but, personally, I find it annoying. That is my only criticism, and being subjective as it is, not worthy of removing a single star.
I got this audiobook based on a recommendation from a friend, and it was a wonderful surprise. I don't know what I thought Rob Lowe's memoir would include - more bros? - but his storytelling is surprisingly warm, humble and endearing. I did not know he struggled with addiction, or knew about his heart-warming marriage, or thought much about his varied and intentional career. I just thought he was a funny, cute actor from my youth and present. But, I managed to enjoy his stories and life lessons. I think it's a little too well-polished or one-sided in some places (I bet the other side of the story could be different), and almost too earnest (often a by-product of addiction recovery. Doesn't bother me one bit, but I think some folks could be cynical about it.). But all in all, it was entertaining to hear all his funny and interesting stories, and surprised how relatable and engaging his storytelling was.
Because I was reluctant to read yet another celebrity biography, I was reluctant to get this book.
I read all the reviews and decided to give it a go.
I wasn't disappointed.
It gives a new face to Rob Lowe. I would definitely recommend.
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