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This listen is a small miracle for many reasons. It’s not simply the fact that Lowe reveals himself as capable of compelling writing, which he certainly does. It’s also not merely the path of the narrative that’s intriguing, though that’s definitely the case. Whether he is spending several chapters thoroughly reminiscing about the many lessons he learned during The Outsiders or sharing a quick anecdote about trying to meet Liza Minnelli when he was a little kid, Lowe indeed offers up a terrific set of insights about both life and stardom. He proves himself as a generous spirit, with strong thanks for Martin Sheen and solid praise for Patrick Swayze.
His narration is clearly heartfelt, and never comes across as phony or acted. This listen feels like a casual dinner conversation, minus the slick descent into rumor-mongering that usually rears its ugly head in memoirs of this variety. Lowe manages to steer clear of the blame game when analyzing the simultaneous blessing and curse of the Brat Pack label or his decision to leave The West Wing, and even finds some gracious adjectives for Tom Cruise. Be on the lookout for eerily spot-on impersonations of many stars, including a particularly good Christopher Walken and Matt Dillon.
In the end, it’s hard to put a finger on what makes this book so utterly fascinating. There isn’t anything shocking in the subject matter; there isn’t any mud-flinging in the tone; there is very little that stands out as an exclamation point. Yet the total package undeniably and irresistibly triumphs at being genuinely charming. This is ironic, because the book then actually sort of mirrors Lowe’s career. He’s spent the last two decades trying to upend the idea that he is simply a pretty face. The book succeeds in that endeavor, just as his several iconic film roles have done, and yet the shallow type-casting of Rob Lowe somehow too frequently persists. It’s true that he is a very dreamy guy, but this memoir absolutely proves that he is also intelligent, worldly, witty, and political. It’s an excellent listen that ought to once and for all put an end to the notion the Rob Lowe’s charisma is only skin deep. Megan Volpert
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 25 years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Natalie J. Belle MD on 04-30-11
Great Book and Great Story
Rob Lowe can add "superb storyteller" to his resume with this book. He keeps your attention, in many instances, he leaves you astonished at the twists and turns of his life. You may find yourself asking, "how was he there in that place?" For someone under the age of 50, he has been close to events and people who have made a significant and lasting impact on our times and culture essentially by being a good-looking actor who has taken on astonishing roles that were not "lost" on him. He gives a great accounting of his life at many vantage points from his 5-year-old childhood impressions to his "brat pack" celebrity and into the clarity of adulthood. This is a very interesting and absorbing read from a most unexpected source.
45 of 56 people found this review helpful
By Chris - Audible on 04-17-12
Believe the hype
Would you listen to Stories I Only Tell My Friends again? Why?
It's unlikely I would listen again, but not because there is anything wrong with this book or this narration. Lowe's memoir is phenomenal and his narration is near-perfect. There are just so many other books out there I haven't yet listened to, I don't see myself doing a re-listen.
What does Rob Lowe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
His voice adds a lot. To hear him tell his stories in his tone, at his pace, with his inflections, makes the entire thing much more relatable. After listening, I felt like we were buddies.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
If I had the time, I would have tried. It went very quickly, and I was sad when it was over.
Any additional comments?
I now want to watch The West Wing start-to-finish on DVD because of Rob Lowe.
35 of 44 people found this review helpful