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)
Rob Lowe of course has a voice that is as easy on the ears as his face is easy on the eyes. The book is honest without being cutting. You get the sense that his friends and family would listen and say, "Okay that's a fair interpretation of events." The over-arching theme is simple: "I've been very fortunate to meet some fascinating people." The piece is more like a series of short stories which makes for good car/airplane listening.
Maybe be in a few years because I already know the story.
I liked when he impersonated the people he was talking about.
I wouldn't say I had any extreme reactions but I did laugh a few times.
I thought the book was well written. It moved along at the right pace. It could have had a few more stories about other stars he interacted with but on the whole, I really enjoyed listening to this book.
Growing up in the 70"s, 80's and Beyond this recount and beautiful remembrance of this era is charming, alarming and familiar to those who grew up in this time of innocence, bravery, hard work and extraordinary moments in your life. The moments that make you reflect, breathe and enjoy the moment of life you are in! Thank you Rob Lowe for sharing your life in such and honest manner, this book was a pleasure to read.
Seriously, how did I end up in my 40s?
Hard to say whether the audio version would have been better than print. It was nice to hear Rob Lowe read his own biography, it made it seem like "his" story. But the way he read it was a little, not sure how to describe it, stilted? I could hear him reading. That being said, I still think I would have chosen to hear it vs. read it.
It's great to hear an autobiography read by the author. It makes the story more real and more personal.
Honestly, I loved the book. I really enjoyed his candor and perspective. it gave me a lot of insight into the process of acting and how important relationships and "right time, right place" are to the twists and turns of an actor's career. More than that, the author really shared himself with the reader - insecurities, inner thoughts, mistakes and all. Whether he's as positive, optmistic, patriotic and grateful as he comes across I'll never know, he may have been putting his best self out there. The book came across as if it was an exercise in getting to know himself and taking stock of where he's at at this stage of his life. I felt like he's someone I would really enjoy getting to know, would love to get our two families together and talk about life and love and raising a family.
I would never have selected this book if it wasn't for the reviews of other Audible listeners. I'm Rob Lowe's age and grew up during the "Brat Pack" years. I saw the cover of the book while looking for a change of pace. I would have just passed it by had I not read how much other people enjoyed his story. I'm glad I gave it a chance. It had more depth than I would have expected. I looked forward to listening every commute and was sorry when it ended.
Love learning about Rob's past - directly from him. His voice and cadence remains true to who he is and how he speaks.
There is nothing like listening to someone tell there story in their own voice, especially when the someone is a well-trained actor at the top of his craft.
The frank acknowledgment of the author's struggles with alchoholism and his fight to keep his Hollywood performances authentic.
Filming of the insiders.
An excellent book improved by a terrific narrator.
I loved getting to know Rob Lowe the man. I have always enjoyed him as an actor although I was never the adoring fan that rushed to see his every film. I am just a few years older than him and watched as those labeled the "Brat Pack" rose to fame. I never knew how they got the name "Brat Pack" until listening to this book, I always thought it was a spin from the famed "Rat Pack." Since it was meant to be a put down, I'm glad that it backfired on the a**hole journalist. Listening to Rob open up so honestly about the highs and lows of his life has garnered him my respect. I truly wish him much success as I think he has been shortchanged terribly by the industry and the public.
Listening to him talk about an event at a movie theater in Westwood and remembering that I was actually in that theater the night it happened. I'll never forget the whispers that made their way from one side of the theater to the other as the young girls discovered he was there. He was only a few rows behind me and I can still remember his eyes!
I found his voice to be really soothing and he talked as if you were sitting on a couch across the room from him, or maybe even sitting around a fire pit on the back patio as he entertained you with stories, shared secrets, and reflected on life's disappointments and choices he had made. It really was like he was talking to you as a friend.
I wanted to but was unable to which meant that I often went back a chapter each time I picked it up again just to review! I'll probably listen to it again when I have time to relax in my backyard this summer with a glass of wine...or two ;)
I don't usually go in for books written by celebs. I worked in the industry for 20 years and really don't buy into the poor me crap they tend to spout and I'll be dammed if I'm going to give these new reality based celebs a dime of my money or a minute of my time...they're already getting a free ride in my opinion. This book is different. I could relate to some of the situations...not because they were Hollywood industry based, but life based.
This book was excellent and well read. There were many surprises that kept it interesting. And you don't have to been a "Rob Lowe Fan" to thoroughly enjoy this book.
I didn't read the print version, but I think having Rob Lowe narrate this book made it so much better.
So many it's hard to pick. I grew up about the same time as Rob Lowe, so it's pretty neat to hear the behind the scenes of how The Outsiders was made.
Christopher Walken - cracked me up.
Rob Lowe is like Forrest Gump - LOL
I enjoyed every minute of this book, told especially well by the author. My husband and I grew up in the Midwest and are close in age to Rob, so we shared many of the same experiences from his childhood. We also love movies, so hearing about actors with whom we grew up was a delight. It was fascinating to listen to Rob's history and about the many, many interesting people he has met. I can only conclude that he was meant to be an actor... so many of his childhood experiences led him to where he is today. It's also joyous and refreshing to hear from a celebrity who is very grounded in his love of family. I started listening to the book based on reviews I'd read, then listened to it a second time with my husband because it was so interesting. I hope Rob will write again someday. He really is a wonderful storyteller with a full life from which to draw his tales. Bravo!
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