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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

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

I really don't read celebrity bios very often at all. In fact the last one I read was Mary Tyler Moore's Growing Up Again in 2009. But I've really enjoyed Rob Lowe on Parks & Recreation and I loved him way back when in St. Elmo's Fire, and I heard really great things about the book. My BF wanted to read it too so it was the perfect thing to bring on a recent trip as we didn't need to both bring a book to read - the one would work for us both.

Did he write it himself? Well no ghostwriter appears on the book, and if that's true, kudos to Mr. Lowe! I really enjoyed it and think he's an excellent writer. That said, he does have one writing tic (everyone does, it's not necessarily a flaw), which is when he meets someone and it's going to be a big, famous name now, but at the time it wasn't or in the way they met it wasn't expected, he'll often give you the whole entire scene before he tells you, "that was Darryl Hannah" or whoever it turns out to be. It's actually a good way to build anticipation and keep readers turning pages, and in any other book I likely wouldn't have noticed it because it only would have happened once or twice. But if you're Rob Lowe, you don't meet people like Tom Cruise, JFK Jr., and Princess Stephanie of Monaco once in a lifetime - you meet these sorts of people all the time and you play baseball with them, hit on girls with them, or date them (respectively.) The name-dropping didn't at all feel gratuitous though - Rob seems to truly be awed by many of these people (at least the ones who were already famous when he met them) and constantly, to this day, surprised by his own good fortune and the circles he runs in. His self-deprecation and humility suit him very well.

Yes, he does talk about the videotape and about drinking and partying to much and about getting sober, but he doesn't dwell on any of that (especially the video - he assumes you already now about it.) He's very positive, while also being honest about a not-great upbringing with a multiple-divorced mother who became a hypochondriac and a bit paranoiac, although her loves her dearly and thinks she was a great mom. But that doesn't mean he doesn't tell you about the bad things. But he moves on. Being a people-pleaser, and a generally upbeat midwesterner, he's never been one to wallow. And somewhat ironically, a lot of those same traits are what led to his alcoholism. He doesn't get into the details there either, and although he tells you it's largely due to suppressing feeling about things like his parents' divorce, he doesn't give you the nitty-gritty details. While some people might feel miffed that he's glossed over a lot of the juicy gossip, I admire him for not laying it all out on the table as so many in Hollywood do these days. Lowe is certainly not in the TMI camp.

He's led an interesting life filled with fascinating people and he writes very well about it. I've been lucky that the handful of celebrity bios I've read have been great so it's a little surprising that I don't read more, but I don't think most celebrities have interesting lives, aside from self-inflicted drama which I don't find remotely interesting. Rob Lowe is a wonderful exception.

I borrowed this book from my boyfriend.

1 comment:

Booksnyc said...

I really want to read/listen to this one! Rob Lowe is just so damn attractive - good to know he can write too!