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Stories I Only Tell My Friends

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  47,067 Ratings  ·  4,286 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
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published April 15th 2011)
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dizzy pickles I enjoyed it. Was nice to have a laugh and remember stars who aren't with us any longer. Also nice to read about Patrick swayze and that he was always…moreI enjoyed it. Was nice to have a laugh and remember stars who aren't with us any longer. Also nice to read about Patrick swayze and that he was always grounded and genuine. Good to see that rob has over come his battles with his demons.(less)

Community Reviews

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Feb 12, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite-nf
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 matured and I very much enjoyed his look back at the journey thus far.

I also listened to the au
May 19, 2011 Kat rated it really liked it
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
May 01, 2011 Tracy rated it liked it
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
Nov 08, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book way more than I expected to. Listened to it and it's read by Rob Lowe. Lots of interesting background on his life and many of the movies that he starred in. He is passionate and heartfelt. Recommend !!!
Apr 26, 2016 Kelli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, memoirs
Color me surprised! This autobiography kept my attention and brought me to the edge of tears on at least three occasions. There was an air of nostalgia to it with talk of growing up in the seventies and so many eighties movies I had long since forgotten about, but it was also genuinely interesting and surprisingly well-written. Rob Lowe, an actor worth $30 million, comes across as humble, hardworking, grateful, and small feat. He eluded to his big videotape scandal a few times wit ...more
May 15, 2014 Diane rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs, hollywood
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
Jun 30, 2015 Emily rated it liked it
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
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
May 17, 2011 Twobusy rated it it was ok
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
Sep 26, 2011 Shannon rated it liked it
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
Julia Reed
Jun 06, 2011 Julia Reed rated it really liked it
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
May 18, 2011 Kayla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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-
Apr 30, 2016 Linda added it
Shelves: favorites, memoir
Rob Lowe was a heart throb of my generation, though he wasn't my heart throb. Emilio was my brat pack crush. Which may be why I procrastinated on listening to this highly rated memoir.

Rob Lowe tells a great story, and I'm so happy to be among his friends that he shares with. I was captivated with his unfolding of his youth, including the details of casting, shooting and immediate stardom of The Outsiders. He affectionately describes his friendships and his mentors. The book is beautifully paced,
Joanna Silverstein
May 09, 2011 Joanna Silverstein rated it it was ok
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").
Oct 11, 2011 Holly rated it really liked it
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
Feb 24, 2015 Misty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the audiobook read by Rob Lowe. Listening to this on a long car ride, the first two-thirds of the book was a fun guessing game of which celebrity Lowe was referring to in his story! Lowe also does great impressions of the celebrities he discusses.

Rob Lowe has definitely lived a #blessed life - his family moving to Malibu when he was young, introduced him to some of the great actors of his time and gave him lots of opportunity. It is really amazing that he turned his life around
Andrew Hicks
Mar 20, 2015 Andrew Hicks rated it it was amazing
Lately, l’ve read memoirs from an interesting hodge-podge of celebrities, most of them men of medium talent. We’re talking Jim Breuer, Steve Guttenberg, Jason Priestley, Pat O’Brien, Bob Saget and Corey Feldman. The best of the batch so far has been Rob Lowe’s Stories I Only Tell My Friends .

Lowe seems the most in touch with his own natural personality and the greater scheme of the world around him. While no doubt there was some selective editing, the stories in this narrative aren’t concocted
Sue Arnold
Sep 12, 2013 Sue Arnold rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, autobiography
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
Sep 07, 2011 Bean rated it liked it
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
Mar 17, 2012 Lewis rated it did not like it
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.
Miss Kim
Oct 04, 2016 Miss Kim rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, e-book, 2016
In the mid 80’s, I had a poster of Rob Lowe in my room for a few years when I was a teen. He was dressed in a white suit, but shirtless, leaning against the wall. His eyes would follow you. Wow, I sure loved that poster…

A good third of this book is about filming the movie “Outsiders”. In 8th grade, this was required reading for me. (My son is currently assigned reading it 8th grade as well). Lowe was only 17, and it was his first movie. Honestly when someone brings up that movie, Rob Lowe does n
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
Sep 05, 2011 Robin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir-autobio
I "read" this in audio format and was glad I did as Rob does a good job of narrating his own stories. He comes across as honest, intelligent, and had many good stories about his relationships with the rich and famous (one of my favorite stories was when he visisted a low-budget movie set with really cheesey props for the movie that turned out to be Star Wars), plus for a guy who really isn't known for comedic impressions does good voices of people in his life (Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Christo ...more
Great. I loved it! I have always enjoyed Rob Lowe as an actor..and a heartthrob! If he is in it, I want to see it..still to this day. I just watched the pilot of his new show "The Grinder." I enjoyed it. I listened to the audio of this and I loved hearing Rob tell his story in his own voice. He is an excellent narrator. I didn't really need anything to make me like him as an actor, but now I like and respect him as a person. Very much. He has a wonderful outlook and he writes with hones ...more
Mar 01, 2012 Riv rated it liked it
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
Mildew Fairy Reads
Mar 14, 2016 Mildew Fairy Reads rated it it was amazing
Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe I listened to the audio book and highly recommend that anyone interested in this book go with the audio edition as Rob is the narrator. Rob narrates his book with much humor and heartfelt insight as well as some great spot-on impressions of those featured in his stories. And some interesting stories he has! I was pleasantly surprised and you will be too. ...more
Kristen Doyle
Feb 22, 2016 Kristen Doyle rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! Do the audio version!
*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
May 25, 2013 Lynn rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star, don-t-own
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Time of My Life
  • Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son
  • From This Moment On
  • This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection
  • If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't)
  • Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time
  • Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist
  • Prairie Tale: A Memoir
  • Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated
  • The Elephant to Hollywood
  • My Life So Far
  • Then Again
  • Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath
  • Happy Accidents: A Memoir
  • Drama: An Actor's Education
  • Up Till Now
  • Here Comes Trouble
  • Tales from the Pantry: Random Rants & Musings of a Stay-At-Home Mom
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...

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“So I came to the realization: Nothing in life is unfair. It's just life.” 46 likes
“Be funny whenever possible, even if some people don't get it.” 29 likes
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