Thursday, June 16, 2011

Stories I Only Tell My Friends

Published:  2011 by Macmillan Audio
Source:  Purchased (audiobook)

  As a rule, I avoid celebrity books of any sort like the plague; partly because I am a mild book snob but also because I never see any that would interest me.  I don't care to read about the "troubles" of being a celebrity or whatever else they choose to write about, because most of the time they are just doing it for the paycheck.
  That said, I still was skeptical when I saw Rob Lowe had written an autobiography, but I thought I'd give the audio version a try because:  a.  I had a HUGE crush on Rob Lowe back in my teenage years; b. Rob Lowe narrates the audiobook; and c. I had heard favorable things about it.  Oh, and if I may be so shallow -- that cover photo is AWESOME.  Mr. Lowe is still a fine-looking man.

  So I spent about two weeks listening to it driving to and from work, and I absolutely LOVED it.

  This is a true autobiography.  Lowe starts almost right at the beginning, from his young years growing up in Dayton, Ohio, to his move to Malibu, California as a teenager with his mom and brother after his parents' divorce, to his start as an actor, his spectacular rise (The Outsiders -- what a great movie!), his fall (the sex scandal at the Democratic Convention in Atlanta, his battle with alcoholism), and his revival. 

  Through the highs he is generous with praise to those who helped him along the way, yet with the lows he does not really blame anyone but himself; even though it appears at times that there were those deserved blame.  It is an honest story of his life, where he admits he made mistakes, but also recognizes that he had and continues to have a very privileged life.

  And aside from his personal story, Lowe provides a unique insight into the entertainment industry.  He specifically highlights the process of making The Outsiders (did I mention that I loved that movie?), which was his "big break"; and his efforts to be cast in The West Wing.  For me, since I listened to the audiobook, what made these anecdotes that much more interesting was Lowe's pretty decent impersonations of his castmates. 

  Add some fascinating stories of his life in the fast lane (a brief relationship with Princess Stephanie of Monaco, for example) and an eerie connection to the 9/11 attacks and you have a book that is never boring.  This is the first audiobook I've listened to in a long time where I can say that my mind didn't wander once from the narration.

  And now I have to get on Netflix to put The Outsiders on my queue so I can relive my lost youth :-)

Highly recommended (especially the audiobook)


  1. I also have a little crush on Lowe, and do have to admit that the man is aging nicely :)! I am glad to hear that this autobiography was interesting, and perhaps I will think to pick it up when I am looking for another audio read. Thanks for the great review!

  2. Covet!!! Must. Get. This. Audiobook.
    I'm a huge Rob Lowe fan, esp. after his exceptional work in West Wing. And in the one episode I saw of Parks & Rec, he was hilarious. And, as you say, he's rather pleasant to observe as well. It's so nice to see an actor (or musician or artist...) who just gets better with age.
    Watched all his interviews on this book tour and found myself even more impressed. Plus I know that he's a huge policy wonk and has been sober for - what? - 20 years or so? Seems like a fascinating person in all respects.

  3. I would listen to it strictly because I all kinds of hearted him in St. Elmo's Fire. Loved! :)

  4. I'm glad you gave this genre a shot. Some actors' memoirs are actually very interesting and well written, i.e. Jane Fonda, Ellen Burstyn, Alan Alda. And it's refreshing to see that Lowe didn't try to lift the blame for things gone wrong off his shoulders and onto someone else's like many celebs with memoirs do. Taking responsibility for one's mistakes is a humbling thing to read from a celebrity. Nice review :)

  5. Rob Lowe was always my favorite on WEST WING. it never recovered after he left. Or maybe I didn't. So I too love the cover of this one. I like that he did the audiobook...may need to listen to that one.


What do you think? Good or bad, I'd love to hear from you (but be nice - I'm sensitive!)