Stories I Only Tell My Friends
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Stories I Only Tell My Friends

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  31,233 ratings  ·  3,221 reviews
A wryly funny and surprisingly moving account of an extraordinary life lived almost entirely in the public eye

A teen idol at fifteen, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at twenty, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences as a painfully misunderstood child actor in Ohio uprooted to the wild counterculture of mid-seven...more
Hardcover, 306 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published April 15th 2011)
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Bossypants by Tina FeyStories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob LoweConfessions of a Prairie Bitch by Alison ArngrimHome by Julie Andrews EdwardsWishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
Best Show Business Memoirs/Biographies
2nd out of 96 books — 140 voters
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Celebrity Biography
1st out of 322 books — 135 voters


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Community Reviews

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Sarah
Okay, I have to say that I met Rob in Arizona in the early 90's...and I was very surprised then at how charming, self-deprecating and intelligent he was...and, yes, beautiful...This memoir reveals all of that, although thanks to SNL and West Wing, his wit and intelligence have already been revealed. The best review that I read of this book said that it was a love letter to his wife...and it is. He has grown up and I very much enjoyed his look back at the journey thus far.



I also listened to the a...more
Kat
If there's one thing I dislike about celebrity autobiographies, it's the amount of affectation and pretension that exist within the pages. While Rob Lowe's memoir certainly contains a lot of name dropping, I couldn't really hold that against him — after all, if you're telling the story of how you worked your way up in Hollywood, it'd be hard not to mention the names of other famous people you met along the way.

I haven't seen much of Lowe's work. I've probably seen two or three of his movies, and...more
Tracy
Just brought this one home yesterday. Yes, I have 4 papers due Monday. Yes, I have a full-time job and two children with many end-of-year activities. But I also have a weakness for celebrity biographies - the trashier the better - and come on. It's ROB LOWE. I'm thinking he's got some stories to tell. Plus, the back cover photo is...well...inspiring. Pure eye candy and the reading is pure mind candy. Awesome.

Well, I'm finished. Rob, what can I say? You dished...sort of. Although the celebrity st...more
Diane
This was a surprisingly enjoyable read. I generally avoid celebrity memoirs, but I saw a nice excerpt from Rob Lowe's latest one, "Love Life," about how emotional he was when his son went away to college, and decided to give his first autobiography a chance.

I am a child of the 80s, so I grew up with Lowe's movies and those of the so-called Brat Pack. The Outsiders was popular when I was a kid, ("Stay gold, Ponyboy") and I also loved St. Elmo's Fire and About Last Night. Lowe's book had good behi...more
Kaliki
I really gained a lot of respect for Rob Lowe through reading this book. He's genuine, honest, he talks openly about his talents, his escapades, his addictions, and his insecurities. I listened to the audio version, read in his own voice and I feel like that made it more personal. I listened to it at the same time as I was reading Patrick Swayze's The Time of My Life and while I enjoyed that one also, it wasn't nearly the read that this one is. I did however, enjoy the parallels between their tw...more
Shannon
A fun, quick read. Great stories with cameos by Cary Grant, Dick Wolf, Demi Moore. Lots of time spent on the making of the Outsiders...but breezes through the West Wing and stops there. Where's the dirt on Sally Field and Calista Flockhart and the week-after-henious week of bizarre plots on Brothers & Sisters, which drove him into a persistent vegetative state, which sounded like a good deal if it meant getting off that show?! Lyon's Den, anyone?

One item of note: you'll perhaps be unsurpris...more
Julia Reed
Bought this on a whim and really ended up enjoying it. Lowe is funny, witty, and at times even eloquent (mostly when he talks about lessons learned from fatherhood, or being a recovering alcoholic). You can tell why he called this "Stories I only tell my friends," since much of the book is: "One day, I was walking down the street, and I met this girl, and she was really pretty, and really nice, and she told me she was into acting, and I said I was too. Oh and by the way, she was [insert famous n...more
Kayla
Rob Lowe's life sounds so insanely cool that it's hard to believe it all actually happened to one man. I mean, before I even reached chapter ten he'd already befriended the Sheens and Penns, been on the set of Star Wars and seen the taping of The Muppet Movie. Then he goes on to make some of the greatest films of all time, receive random gifts from Bill Murray and got to work for Aaron Sorkin (genius). If it weren't for the acoholism and numerous deaths of family and friends, it'd be a perfect r...more
Emily
Sep 08, 2013 Emily rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ladies of the 80s
Before I read this book, this was my entire conception of Rob Lowe:



so I was definitely surprised to run across an excerpt of this book in Vanity Fair and realize that Rob Lowe used to be a bona fide star in the 80s. WHAT.

This book is downright hilarious for any number of reasons, but it is also surprisingly fun to read. The section on the making of Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders takes up about 1/4 of the book, and it's absolutely fascinating. If you aren't interested in reading this whole...more
Twobusy
Um... yeah. So I read the Rob Lowe autobiography.

Why? Perfectly fair question. The answer lies in the fact that Vanity Fair ran a long excerpt from it a month or two ago, featuring the segment where Lowe talks about his experiences auditioning for and then appearing in Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders. And when I read it, I was surprised to find... it was good. Really, really good. Well-executed, thoughtful, and offering tremendous insight not only into what was going through Lowe's head at...more
Trudi
I don't read celebrity gossip rags or keep track of who's marrying / divorcing / screwing who at any given time (not that there's anything wrong with that people!). I definitely didn't pick up this memoir of one of Hollywood's all-time pretty boys hoping for a salacious tell-all about who wears women's underwear or who includes small animals in their sex play.

So why the hell did I pick up this book? Several reasons top the list:

1) Reviews promised it offers a poignant, self-deprecating coming-...more
Holly
I don't believe there were many straight girls or gay boys who did not have a crush on Rob Lowe in the 1980s. That said, his career has had its major ups and downs and who didn't cringe when he hosted the Oscars? But as he tells his life story thus far, you start to get to know the "man behind the mask" so to speak. I found Lowe an intelligent, sensitive and quite eloquent man and he really has a great story to tell. I heard of his childhood and all the pain and laughter that entailed, his rise...more
Joanna Silverstein
I got this book as a get well present from a friend (thanks, Jan!), and it was a decent mindless read. I only rated it ok beucase he doens't dish any dirt, whcih is what I hope for in a celeb authobiography. The way he writes it, everyone he's ever dealt with was wonderful, every movie another experience for him to grow and make BFFs (when all I want to hear is stories like "I once did PCP with Charlie Sheen and we ended up eating his cat").
Bean
What just fell on my head? Oh - the ten thousand names that Rob Lowe drops in this book. I enjoyed this and found the writing to be surprisingly good, but the first 150 pages or so definitely exhausted me with all of the random celebrity sightings that he included. Yes, it was cool to hear about Patrick Swayze and Tom Cruise as kids, but c'mon. LeVar Burton? A ten second meeting with Janet Jackson? I liked it better when he focused on his own career. Overall, this was engaging, interesting, and...more
Riv
Eye candy and brain candy :)
Do all celebrities know EVERYONE? This guy met Liza Minelli when he was a kid and just kept on going... he drops names like sunflower seed shells. However, he totally glossed over his sex-tape scandal, as if it left his personal life and career completely unscathed, which I guess is the prerogative of any autobiographer; I'll have to read the unauthorized biography for the real story.

Of course, he makes himself sound like a really nice guy, which is the image everyone...more
Stephanie
This is the first celebrity memoir that I've read that isn't some sort of juicy tell all about all the people the celebrity has slept with and all the drunken parties and drug binges the author part took in with other celebrities.

I will not lie. I first picked up this book because I love Rob Lowe. No, really, I love him...sure, I don't know him, but there is some deep love. I realize, now after finishing this book, that the reason I love him is the fact that even though he's 12 years older than...more
Hip E.
First impressions:

I started reading this because I was buying the Keith Richards book and then I bought the Tina Fey book and I had heard that Lowe does good impressions of all the other people in his book so that sounded funny. Then I bought the Daniel Ellsburg book.

His writing style is not great. Too much. Over the top. Too important and lofty for the autobiography of a pretty actor. Things that are going to bother me:
- His crappy writing style; Tina Fey is much better at writing.
- He's a chr...more
Lynn
Fascinating perspective from an actor who was one of my "poster boys" when I was growing up in the 80s. While my impression of Rob Lowe has always been that of a pretty-boy party hound, after reading this book, I have a new appreciation for what his life must have been like. He's emerged from the other side of extreme fame as a grounded family man who seems to have his act together.

That said, Lowe does not delve very deeply into the party aspect of his life. Anyone looking for salacious gossip a...more
Carole
I have my sister to thank for my free copy of "Stories I Only Tell My Friends", but it is a fun and engaging read, and actually worth obtaining by other means (i.e., buying it).

Lowe is a cracking storyteller, and has a terrific bunch of stories in his bag of tricks. He does rely a little too much on the element of "surprise" in his stories. For every "and my date's Dad was Cary Grant!" there's a whole lot of, "... and that girl I had a crush on was... Holly Robinson Peete!" (ZZZ) Not everything...more
Sue Arnold
I have been eyeballing this book ever since it came out; I was one of the many teenagers of my generation who had a wild crush on Rob Lowe after St. Elmo's Fire came out. And I loved him in The West Wing. But, I thought his book would be like many celebrity autobiographies and held back from buying it. Plus, I must admit, I was a little embarrassed if people were to find out I was reading it. Well, I'm happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I also bought the audible book (highly recomm...more
Tiffany
*sigh* I hadn't planned on reading this (trying to be practical and realistic about my larger-than-life to-read list), but after seeing him on Oprah (which I only watched *because* he was on), I think I've been suckered in to wanting to read it. (But to make it less bad, I'll go for the audiobook version, so I can at least multitask while I "read" it.)

------------------------------------

One of the few things i dislike about audiobooks is that you don't get pictures. i'm sure there are lots of pi...more
Vickie
I have enjoyed movies that had Rob Lowe in them, but not because he was in them. I am pretty sure I would have passed on by this memoir, but a friend listened to it and couldn't stop talking about it. So I found it on SimplyAudio and put it on the wishlist. It showed up in my mailbox pretty quickly and just as quickly it ended up in my CD player in the car.
SUCH a fantastic book to listen to! Rob is a natural born storyteller, has excellent recall of his life and tells the story in such a way th...more
Lilly G
Moral of the story: Rob is not just another pretty face!

It took halfway through the book for me to buy his plea, but his book was well written and touching. He seems like a grounded person, someone you might want to sit down with (I know, I know- every woman under 90 wants to hang out w him)

I appreciate that he included just the right amount of hollywood dirt so it wouldn't be a boring Celeb Trash Bio Book Club meeting. Great context for the Brat Pack, the evolution of his career, etc. And perh...more
Jennifer
It took me awhile to get into this book - the writing style is much different than other memoirs and autobiographies I've read. When I saw the title, I expected a warm, open style like he was talking to a friend, but it's much more stiff and formal, like he's trying to sound very intellectual. That being said, I did eventually get into and enjoyed the stories Rob had to tell. He's met so many interesting people and done so many interesting things, and despite his fame, at heart he is a family ma...more
Holli
Rob Lowe impressed me very much with his way with words..... his storytelling abilities are amazing. I loved this memoir. Great read!! I would definitely recommend it even if you didn't have a crush on Rob Lowe.... his book is a testament to life in Hollywood and what it's like to go from being a small town kid with big movie star dreams to an adult finally realizing what his big dreams really are..... family and true love.
Strawfoot
Wow. I wanted some hot gossip from the 1980's. Mr. Lowe I admire your sobriety and positive outlook; however, without said gossip your book bored the hell out of me.
Katz Nancy from NJ
Who knew that Rob Lowe could write this well. Now, that I said that, I do hope he did write this book because it not only is well written but interesting. Mr. Lowe's begins this autobiography with his early days living in Ohio with his parents who soon divorce. His mother moves to California with her second husband who is a psychiatrist but even before this the acting bug hits Rob. Living in Malibu he makes friends with Chris Penn who makes movies and Emilio Estevez who will someday be part of R...more
Stephanie
I can't believe I read a celebrity autobiography...this is the sort of thing that rarely finds its way onto my shelf. I don't really even have a standard of comparison. But when I was a teenager my walls were papered with Tiger Beat posters, and Rob Lowe was up there among the others. And The Outsiders remains one of my favorite movies of all time. I'm glad I read it just for his extensive coverage of the making of The Outsiders (which was Lowe's first movie), because that part was fascinating....more
Gail Cooke





Yes, there are a few strands of gray in his hair but that certainly didn’t dim the enthusiasm of the crowds that overran his Dallas agent’s home for a book signing. There was still a bit of a Brat Pack gleam in his eyes, and cordiality to spare.

There is also honesty, warmth, and humor to spare in Rob Lowe’s autobiography STORIES I ONLY TELL MY FRIENDS. And, he has a great many stories to tell from fame at the tender age of 15 to watching a movie from the foot of Cary Grant’s bed when he was da...more
Kats
After failing to make it through a slim Paul Auster novel, I knew I needed a palate cleanser to get my reading groove back, ideally something light and low(e)-brow to get through in a jiffy. ;-)

Even though I'm in my (now late) thirties, I wasn't into teen culture in the early/mid 80s, so most of the references to cult films like "St Elmo's Fire" and "The Breakfast Club" are lost on me. When the name "Rob Lowe" is mentioned I think of Sam Seaborne in my all-time favourite TV series "The West Win...more
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Bookworm Bitches : April 2012: Stories I Only Tell My Friends 56 185 Mar 20, 2013 01:54PM  
Audiobooks: free Audible downloads 21 327 Feb 07, 2012 04:37AM  
  • This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection
  • The Time of My Life
  • Happy Accidents
  • My Life So Far
  • All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir
  • If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't)
  • My Lucky Life in and Out of Show Business
  • Drama: An Actor's Education
  • Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son
  • Lucky Man: A Memoir
  • From This Moment On
  • Jeannie Out of the Bottle
  • Prairie Tale
  • Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny
  • You're Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations
  • Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated
  • Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath
  • My Extraordinary Ordinary Life
438483
Rob Lowe is an American actor. Lowe came to prominence after appearing in films such as The Outsiders, Oxford Blues, About Last Night..., and St. Elmo's Fire. On Television, Lowe is known for his role as Sam Seaborn on The West Wing and his role as Senator Robert McCallister on Brothers & Sisters. He currently appears as a main cast member of Parks and Recreation in the role of Chris Traeger.
More about Rob Lowe...
Love Life Socs and Greasers: Behind The Scenes of The Outsiders from Rob Lowe's Stories I Only Tell My Friends Nightmares & Dreamscapes, Volume I Dolan's Cadillac, and Other Stories

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“So I came to the realization: Nothing in life is unfair. It's just life.” 35 likes
“Be funny whenever possible, even if some people don't get it.” 18 likes
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