Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe

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Based on the title of this post, I may have lost you already. But wait. Give me a chance to explain. Rob Lowe’s memoir, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, is not the kind of book I normally read, but this one had a few things going for it. When it was published a few months ago, it caught my eye because of a statistically insignificant connection to Lowe.  We are about the same age and both grew up in Dayton, Ohio. My sister was at a party with him once when she was an usher at the Kenley Players summer stock theater where he was performing.  I was already a bit curious about the book when I read Janet Maslin’s positive review in the New York Times.  That was all I needed to push the download button on my Nook!

I finished it last night and already kind of miss him. Not that I ever knew him, but his book is, as the title says, like listening to a friend’s stories.  Lowe’s honest about his character flaws, missteps and challenges. There was one point in particular that really hit “home” for me. He writes: “I’m from Ohio; if someone asks you nicely, you do it.” I get that in a way only a fellow-midwesterner would. He made some mistakes. Some were really big, and this book is not for young readers. Lowe had an active, to put it mildy, nightlife. He is also self deprecating in an endearing and insightful way. He knows where he messed up (he would use a different word) and he owns it.  On a purely gossipy level, Stories I Only Tell My Friends is an entertaining read. They’re all here: Tom Cruise, Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen, Francis Ford Coppola, Princess Stephanie of Monaco, Sting and many others. But if that’s all there was, I wouldn’t recommend it. Lowe’s book is good because he is honest and observant. Not to mention the fact that he’s from Dayton!

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