Saturday, July 16, 2011
Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe
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.
I love biographies and the chance to get a glimpse into anther person's life, especially celebrities because they seem to live a charmed existence. After seeing The Outsiders I remember being drawn to Lowe. I'm not sure I actually saw him in much of anything until later on when he was in Austin Powers, but for some reason he was one of my favorite actors so to be able to read his own account of his life was intriguing to me.
I found this book to be a bit uneven. It reminded me of when I took American History in high school and we spent a ton of time on the beginning of the country and the beginning of the textbook, and then as the year started to run out we learned on fast forward and by the end of the year we had barely covered the more current events. This book covers a lot of Lowe's early history and then more recent events are only mentioned briefly.
Parts of this book really grabbed me and kept me reading and then I would start another chapter and it would lose me. I really enjoy books where it feels and sounds like the author is just sitting down and talking with the you, as if you were hanging out with a friend, and at times that was what this was, but not all the way. I applaud Lowe for getting sober and for finding fulfilment with his wife and children, but sometimes when he was upset with not getting what he felt was his fair share of a show I felt a little less compassion. I understand that stars make a lot of money and work a lot of hours, but they make more for a few months of work than many people will make in half their lives.
By reading this I realized that a lot of Lowe's movies I have never seen. I never watched The West Wing and only occasionally caught Brothers and Sisters before his character was killed off, an episode which I did see. I'd like to look around to see if Outsiders:The Novel the movie was ever released to see the movie with the deleted scenes to make it more like the book.
I didn't dislike the book, but it didn't quite live up to my expectations either.
•Pub. Date: April 2011
•Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
•Format: Hardcover , 308pp