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An Autobiography

by Rob Lowe

Pub Date: May 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9329-2
Publisher: Henry Holt

Lowe presents a well-modulated actor’s memoir.

Whatever readers’ impressions of the actor, he understands them: “There is just no way anyone is likely to take a nineteen-year-old as pretty as I was seriously,” he writes. “Even I wouldn’t…People looked at me and made a judgment. It’s the way of the world. I do it too, sometimes.” Lowe doesn’t strain to be taken seriously here, though neither does he follow the kiss-and-tell conventions of the actor’s memoir nor the descent into hell of the recovering alcoholic’s. Instead, Lowe presents himself as a Midwestern guy very much aware that he won the genetic lottery; who became obsessed with acting at a young age as an escape from his dysfunctional family; enjoyed (mainly) the perks that came with his emergence as a teenage pinup; suffered career reversals that let him (and the reader) know just how little control an actor sometimes has; and ultimately found serenity as a devoted husband and father: “(I’m) like most American men. In love with my wife, living in a normal town, and blessed beyond imagining with two precious, beautiful, and inspiring babies.” The author goes into great detail about the making of The Outsiders, St. Elmo’s Fire, About Last Night and The West Wing, reinforcing the impression that his acting credits don’t come close to matching the level of his celebrity. Lowe is discreet about his romantic relationships and the extent of his partying with what would be dubbed the “Brat Pack,” opting instead for understatement (e.g., “Charlie Sheen is also one of a kind”) or general appreciation (“Jodie Foster should be any actor’s role model. She is certainly mine”). He treats the infamous sex tape that all but derailed his career so obliquely that the rare reader not aware of it will have little idea what he’s talking about.

Lowe writes, “I…genuinely like people.” His memoir will make readers believe him—and like him back.