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