Book Review: Stories I Only Tell My Friends – Rob Lowe

Title: Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography
Author: Rob Lowe
ISBN: 9780805093292
Pages: 320
Release Date: April 26, 2011
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

In this memoir, Rob Lowe reflects on his life and career, discussing his most memorable projects as well as the more difficult times in his life.

Review:

I don’t consider myself a “celebrity memoir” person, but I do enjoy reading books from actors and actresses I like. I’ve loved Rob Lowe ever since I saw him in The Outsiders, so I was eager to pick up his memoir and see what he had to say.

The first thing that surprised me about Stories I Only Tell My Friends was the writing. I knew that Rob Lowe had written this book himself, without the aid of a ghostwriter, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from the writing quality. I was pleased to find that Lowe’s writing style is engaging. He is a talented writer, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he tries his hand at fiction writing in the future.

There is a lot of name dropping in Stories I Only Tell My Friends, but not the kind that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Instead, Lowe successfully illustrated how small Hollywood really is – from becoming friends with Charlie Sheen at a young age to meeting LeVar Burton one week before Roots was released, Lowe really demonstrates how close knit Hollywood can be. I enjoyed these little tidbits, as well as the respect Lowe showed his fellow actors and actresses.

If you’re looking for detailed chronicles of Lowe’s partying years, however, you won’t find them here. Personally, I liked that – Lowe was honest about his issues with drugs and alcohol and discussed his sex tape in brief, but that wasn’t the focus of the book. I’m glad for that, as otherwise it would have given this book a tell-all feel, and I don’t think I would have enjoyed it. This book isn’t about the gossip or scandal, but instead is a clear look back at Rob’s life through his own eyes.

One particular area of interest for me personally was Rob’s exit from The West Wing, a show I love to this day. In my opinion, Rob’s character, Sam Seaborn, was one of the best parts of the show, and it never fully recovered after his exit. Lowe frankly discusses the reasons behind his departure; while he never points fingers, he is honest about how hurt he was by the whole situation. While I realize this was only one side of what is likely a very complicated story, it was interesting to see his thoughts on the subject.

Stories I Only Tell My Friends was an engaging memoir from an actor I enjoy. The main focus of the book is on his early years, which was a bit of a disappointment – as much as I enjoy Rob’s “Brat Pack” days, it’s his career renaissance with shows such as The West Wing and Parks and Recreation that I really would have loved to hear more about. Still, it was a fun read, and I can only hope that he releases another memoir about his later career in the future.

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Comments

  1. I am curious about this book, but it is not something I would buy. I will have to eventually get it from the library.

  2. I am curious about this book, but it is not something I would buy. I will have to eventually get it from the library.

  3. I really enjoy memoirs, and even though Lowe isn’t at the top of my list, I think he has really pulled himself out of a bad situation. Even reinvented himself. I like those stories.

  4. I really enjoy memoirs, and even though Lowe isn’t at the top of my list, I think he has really pulled himself out of a bad situation. Even reinvented himself. I like those stories.

  5. I’m jealous that you got this one! Does it have pictures? Lowe has certainly aged well, hasn’t he?

  6. I’m jealous that you got this one! Does it have pictures? Lowe has certainly aged well, hasn’t he?

  7. Kathy – I got the ARC, and it didn’t have pictures, but it would be great if the finished copy did! And yes, he has aged VERY WELL – I think he looks better now than he did when he was in his 20s.

  8. Kathy – I got the ARC, and it didn’t have pictures, but it would be great if the finished copy did! And yes, he has aged VERY WELL – I think he looks better now than he did when he was in his 20s.

  9. I have always liked Lowe, and the fact that his memoir is more classy than sordid makes me have even more respect for him. Glad to see this review here today. I really want to check this book out.

  10. I have always liked Lowe, and the fact that his memoir is more classy than sordid makes me have even more respect for him. Glad to see this review here today. I really want to check this book out.

  11. Swapna, can you just tell me why he left West Wing – what happened? I love that show and still watch it every year ( I bought the set of dvds) and loved the character of Sam and hated that he left the show. I doubt I’ll read this book, but would love to know what he wrote about West Wing. Cheers!

  12. Swapna, can you just tell me why he left West Wing – what happened? I love that show and still watch it every year ( I bought the set of dvds) and loved the character of Sam and hated that he left the show. I doubt I’ll read this book, but would love to know what he wrote about West Wing. Cheers!

  13. I haven’t read this but I did just see him on a repeat of Oprah where he was talking about the book and his life. What a really awesome guy he is. Beyond charismatic, gracious, down to earth and just all around awesome. I would honestly watch just about anything he’s in after seeing that appearance.

  14. I haven’t read this but I did just see him on a repeat of Oprah where he was talking about the book and his life. What a really awesome guy he is. Beyond charismatic, gracious, down to earth and just all around awesome. I would honestly watch just about anything he’s in after seeing that appearance.

  15. I loved the book. In fact, I’ve been talking about it to anyone who will listen. LOL People are surprised that I rave about it so much. I loved how he wrote it. I felt like we were sitting down and he was telling me these stories in a little cafe.

    I’ve always liked him but now I respect the trials he’s been through and that made him stronger.

    I also stopped watching West Wing when he left. I loved Sam Seaborn and I agree that the show wasn’t the same without him.

    I certainly hope he writes another book in the future.

  16. I loved the book. In fact, I’ve been talking about it to anyone who will listen. LOL People are surprised that I rave about it so much. I loved how he wrote it. I felt like we were sitting down and he was telling me these stories in a little cafe.

    I’ve always liked him but now I respect the trials he’s been through and that made him stronger.

    I also stopped watching West Wing when he left. I loved Sam Seaborn and I agree that the show wasn’t the same without him.

    I certainly hope he writes another book in the future.

Trackbacks

  1. […] been a big fan of Rob Lowe’s for a long time, so I was interested in his first memoir, Stories I Only Tell My Friends. I was surprised to find myself blown away by it; his candor, wit, and insight were really […]

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