Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography by Rob Lowe
(Henry Holt & Co, 2011, 308 pages)
I’m not ashamed to admit that part of the reason I felt compelled to read Stories I Only Tell My Friends is because I think Rob Lowe is an incredibly attractive man. That being said, I also enjoy Lowe as an actor – at least in his more recent work (Brothers & Sisters, Parks & Recreation). I was surprised to learn that Lowe didn’t have a ghostwriter for this book – it made me appreciate him a little more since it seems like EVERYONE uses a ghostwriter now.
The memoir chronicles Lowe’s life and explains how he came into the world of acting. It started when he was a young boy living in Ohio – he was drawn to the idea of acting after going to his first play. His success stemmed from his assertive attitude in knowing what he wanted (he introduced himself to Liza Minnelli by simply knocking on her hotel room door) and fate (his mom and step-dad felt compelled to move to California for the “cleaner” air). The book is interesting, not only for Lowe’s personal back story, but also for the celebrity run-ins he’s had his whole life. He grew up hanging out with the Sheen family, he could have dated Sarah Jessica Parker, he worked briefly with Janet Jackson, he palled around with Patrick Swayze and Michael J. Fox, he “dated” Princess Stephanie of Monaco. . .
This was a fun, light-hearted read. There are some darker times when Lowe briefly glosses over the scandals he dealt with in his life, but it’s clear the purpose of the memoir is to show how he was able to rise above it and survive as an actor and as a successful father and husband. He spent a fair amount of time talking about the phenomenon that was “The West Wing” and it’s now waiting in my Netflix queue (I think I’m one of the few people who never watched the show).
I’d definitely recommend this if you like celebrity bios or just appreciate celebrity gossip. If you need a good beach read, a light summer read, or something perfect for perusing while you travel, I’d recommend Stories I Only Tell My Friends.