Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography, by Rob Lowe
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)