Audiobook Review: Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe

Audiobook Review: Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob LoweStories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobography by Rob Lowe
Narrator: Rob Lowe
Length: 9 hrs, 11 mins
Published by Macmillan Audio on April 26, 2011
Genres: Memoir
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible

A wryly funny and surprisingly moving account of an extraordinary life lived almost entirely in the public eye. A teen idol at 15, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at 20, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences as a painfully misunderstood child actor in Ohio who was uprooted to the wild counterculture of mid-70s 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 onThe 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 80s, 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 25 years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.

I’ve admitted before my obsession with celebrity-narrated audiobooks. I mean, hello, they ought to be brilliant narrators, considering that speaking is part of their profession. As such, the exception to me being wholly uninterested in memoirs is celebrity memoirs. Anyway, I didn’t have a huge interest in Rob Lowe specifically, considering that I think I’d only seen him in Parks & Recreation. But, still, I got his second memoir for review and decided it might make sense to listen to his first one first. Since the library had Stories I Only Tell My Friends available on audiobook for download, off I went.

At first, I was really regretting my decision to listen to Rob Lowe’s audiobook. This man is just so sincere about everything, a bit like Chris Traeger, though not quite as positive. Close though. The opening and closing chapters get a bit preachy and focus too much on faith for me. There’s discussion of prayers and a couple mentions of God. It’s not that bad, all things considered, but I am so not interested in that. It’s great that Christianity helps him find meaning and helped make him a better person, but I don’t need to know about it.

However, once he finished his introductory bit about John F. Kennedy and the importance of finding a wife, he begins to move through his life in a linear fashion. This part was awesome. Lowe is a big name-dropper, so you will get to learn about tons of famous people he met, and he met a lot of them. After his parents divorced, his mom moved with the children to California, where he was childhood friends with Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen. The Penns lived nearby too.

He runs through basically everything in his early career, how it’s a mixture of talent and luck to get noticed in Hollywood. The fact that young Rob Lowe was absurdly pretty probably didn’t hurt matters. I will say I now have the urge to watch a lot of his early films, because the discussion of filming them made me want to see if I agree with his analysis of them and whether his acting is as good as he says it is.

The later years he focuses primarily on his alcoholism and marriage, on healing and living less off a Hollywood lifestyle. Otherwise, he talks mostly about The West Wing, which I do now actually want to see, even though my friends have been trying to convince me to watch it for years. Apparently he totally got shafted by that show. Awkwaaaard.

I can’t say that I came away from Stories I Only Tell My Friends with any valuable life lessons, but it entertained me, so good enough.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

Parks & Rec Chris Traeger

6 responses to “Audiobook Review: Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe”

  1. Jessica says:

    So when I first saw this I laughed – the rumors I’ve always heard about R.L. is that he has a huge ego and is very difficult to work with. So, the name is ironic and makes me laugh. He left the Left Wing because he was a fool but after reading your review I might have to check it out and see what the man speak for himself. ^_^
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    • Christina Franke says:

      Ha, well, I definitely could tell he had an ego. That’s part of why I want to watch a bunch of his stuff now. I mean, he talks about himself like he’s the best actor ever. Is he really that good? I’m just curious. About the West Wing, he made it sound like he had good reasons for leaving, but I can’t say for sure which account is true, you know?

      • Jessica says:

        He’s a good actor, I’ve always enjoyed him when I see him in things. So, I am a big West Wing fan and my understanding was that he left the West Wing because when it started he was going to be the star of the show and it morphed into an ensemble thing so he left to star in a show called The Lion’s Den. The Lion’s Den was a total flop – I don’t know that it lasted an entire season. He came back to the West Wing for a few episodes after that. Who knows though, Hollywood is a rough place.
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        • Christina Franke says:

          The gist of what HE said was that he accepted a much lower salary than was usual to star on the West Wing, because he really believed in the project. Then the show was a surprise monster hit, and every other member of the cast got a raise but her didn’t. His agent tried to get him one, but they wouldn’t. So then he said he would stay for the same salary if he had a somewhat expanded role, though he didn’t make it sound like he wanted it to be just about him, just the primary of a few more episodes. They also turned him down on that, so he felt he had to leave. Though he didn’t mention returning, so I really don’t know.

          • Jessica says:

            Interesting – you’re telling me everything I wondered about so now I don’t know that I need to read the book. hehe It does sound strange though that EVERYONE got a raise except for him – the first person singed for the show. Oh Rob Lowe, nothing but drama.
            Jessica recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday – Females Who RockMy Profile

            • Christina Franke says:

              I mean, he gets into more stuff with the West Wing, and more detail, but that was the bulk of why he left.

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