Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe


I must admit I felt pretty weird buying this book.  It probably didn’t help that an intellectual chap Readings Carlton sold it to me, and gave me a very strange look which questioned my credibility and sanity at the same time.

However, I had seen Mr Lowe interviewed a few times and he seemed decent enough. Besides, everyone needs a brainless holiday read every now and then right?

So into the 80s I delved, and I was pleasantly surprised.  Rob Lowe can write. His book is simple, readable, self-deprecating and honest.  It is classy and slick, and reads like a private conversation.  It also gives a cool insight into Hollywood, and is peppered with name dropping and star spotting which proves for a fun ride.

Lowe talks about some predictable memoir themes, such as his childhood, an absent father, his rise to stardom, shitty treatment of women, alcoholism and insights into the acting world.

But in addition to that, is the grittier and more moving stuff; his relationship with his Mom who demonstrates severe traits of mental illness, his views on American politics tied nicely to the chapters on his time on the West Wing, and his feelings the day his friend JFK Jnr was killed.  He also reveals the ugly moment when he realised he needed rehab.  Described to conjure a sexy image of Hollywood glamour and excess, juxtaposed with a grimy, unhinged tumble from grace.

What I found the warmest and most relatable were his revelations on being a parent:

“And today, that is what I look forward to.  Time… Time to love my wife and watch our young men grow to make us proud, as I have no doubt they will.  Time to watch them crystallize into the strong, sensitive, witty and engaging men they almost are.  The future is theirs.  It’s all so close for them.  It takes my breath away.”

I must say I was never really a Lowe Fan.  I was more of a Corey Haim and Feldman kinda girl, but this book made me want to watch classic 80s films again, download the West Wing, and listen more to exceptionally good-looking people – they may actually have something worthwhile to say. 

In Short:  Devine dimples and a great holiday read.


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