Title: Stories I Only Tell My Friends
Author: Rob Lowe
Year of Publication: 2011
Length: 9 hours and 11 minutes
First Line: “I had always had an affinity for him, an admiration for his easy grace, his natural charisma, despite the fact that for the better part of a decade my then girlfriend kept a picture of him running shirtless through Central Park on her refrigerator door.”
Summary: A wryly funny and surprisingly moving account of an extraordinary life lived almost entirely in the public eye
A teen idol at fifteen, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at twenty, and one of Hollywood’s top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences as a painfully misunderstood child actor in Ohio uprooted to the wild counterculture of mid-seventies 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 eighties, 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 twenty-five years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.
Review: I listened to the audio book edition of STORIES I ONLY TELL MY FRIENDS (thanks, mom). I highly recommend this method of reading this book since it is read by Rob Lowe. His narration is well done and doesn’t bore the reader or make you cringe horribly (although, I did catch the Chris Traeger speech pattern a few times. If Lowe speaks like this in real life or he had been caught up in his role before recording the book, I don’t know).
STORIES I ONLY TELL MY FRIENDS is more like STORIES I ONLY TELL MY WIFE AND KIDS (AND NOW YOU). Lowe frequently directs the narration more toward his children, who at some point or other, ‘are just about the age I was when this happened’ and to his wife who ‘he loves so much, etc etc’. Doesn’t really mention close friendships other than with cast mates, honestly.
He frequently name dropped, which is something you can expected from a celebrity memoir. But I disliked the way in which Lowe did it. He would talk about the event in which he met the actress, referring to the actress only as ‘she’ and what role she was currently famous for in the 1980s, like that she was currently starring as Annie on Broadway. Then when he was done talking about her in the very last sentence, he’d name drop that it was Sarah Jessica Parker the whole time. Maybe it was cool the first time Lowe did that, but he used that structure… Every. Single. Time.
Being a memoir, you pick and choose what you discuss and for how long. Rob Lowe wasn’t a casualty to this. He talks forever about his time on the film THE OUTSIDERS, and retrospectively spent little time on his acting career in the 90s or on his memorable TV show THE WEST WING (when he does discuss THE WEST WING, it can be summed up as ‘it sucked’). He also completely skipped over getting engaged to Melissa Gilbert and dumping her when he learned she was pregnant (it’s Wikipedia, my friend. Really easy to look up. Curious if Gilbert mentions it in her memoir).
I found STORIES I TELL MY FRIENDS interesting but average. However, Rob Lowe revealing that the theatrical version of THE OUTSIDERS was not the entire script that they originally shot. The original script was closer to the the book. Even though I am not at all a fan of book THE OUTSIDERS, and hate the movie even more, the fact that one of the actors hated it too made me smile. But now they have released the ‘original script’ movie so I have to admit I am curious. So Rob Lowe makes one of my most hated books interesting? Yeah, you get an extra point.
Worst part: Name dropping formula
Best part: The Outsiders bits
Recommend For: Rob Lowe fans
Other Books by This Author: Love Life (coming out on 4-8-14)