Actor Rob Lowe's (Stories I Only Tell My Friends) second memoir deals largely in his more recent past, using the personal essay as a form to reflect on a variety of topics most, notably his television work and life as a husband and father. He provides insight into his acting process, how he held his own in a scene with Dame Maggie Smith, captured the essence of JFK for Killing Kennedy and conceived the character he played in Soderbergh's Behind the Candelabra. He also breaks down some of his post-West Wing failures like NBC's The Lyon's Den plagued by production, writing, and actress problems and CBS's Dr. Vegas, where Lowe found himself ruing his insistence on casting troubled actor Tom Sizemore. When he does travel back to earlier years he seems less invested, but paints a vivid picture of 1970's Malibu, "a bastion of laissez-faire, self-centered, malignant disregard," recalls a visit to the Playboy Mansion at age 19, and being on set for Alec Baldwin's classic speech in Glengarry Glen Ross, "one of the largest beat-downs an actor has ever delivered." On parenting, Lowe shares several amusing anecdotes, the best of which involves a camping trip and a Bigfoot costume, and he reflects on the mix of pride and sadness of sending his son off to college. Lowe's second effort is an interesting insider's perspective on what works in Hollywood and what seems to be irredeemably broken and his advice on life and relationships is well-conceived and intelligent. (Apr.)
"Engaging, relatable… entertaining and admirably frank."
Lowe addresses his life with a welcome levity. This book confirms that Lowe is more than just a pretty face."
Not just pretty but witty and wise.
"Lowe had been reborn as a winning memoirist."
Somehow Lowe manages to describe a visit to the Playboy Mansion and an unpleasant grade-school sleepover next to the manatee tank at Sea World with equal enthusiasm.
If you love Rob Lowe, you'll love his "Love Life."…. His self-effacing humor keeps the pace brisk.
The fact that his second book is every bit as engaging as the first proves his point. I’m betting he could do an equally fine job on a third.
Lowe vividly depicts what it was like to be a 19-year-old Hollywood heartthrob. . . . As in the best celebrity memoirs and musings, Love Life is sprinkled with star power. . . . [Lowe] spills secrets and private thoughts with eloquence.
Lowe is a gifted storyteller who uses humor and self-deprecation to draw readers in, and keeps their attention with fun tales of Hollywood behind-the-scenes.
[An] easygoing but thoughtful memoir.
Incredible. … This isn’t your typical celebrity written book. This was a fun read and very well written, that’ll have you laughing and shedding a tear along the way.
A wild ride of a memoir by Rob Lowe that will leave you amused, fascinated and ultimately charmed.
[Lowe is] an interesting and perceptive writer.
An interesting read, and a page-turner. Lowe has an amazing insight about life and what is important.
Love Life is just as genially and charmingly guarded as its predecessor. … [Lowe] is admirably self-aware.
[Lowe] skillfully weaves stories together with common themes and a philosophical perspective. … Fans who fear he gave up all the good stuff in the first book will be pleasantly surprised. … Lowe’s candor and willingness to admit his flaws create an authentic voice. His easy writing style will hook readers who won’t judge his book by the handsome man on its cover.
Lowe's self-effacing and straightforward assessments of his own foibles and weaknesses, combined with first-rate storytelling skills. . . .make [Love Life] still feel like a night on the town with a well-connected, charismatic friend with more tales to spill. . . .[I]t's sweet, and he includes very funny accounts. . . . Showing how well he can laugh at himself.
"[Lowe] writes with perspective and humorous self-effacement.
[Love Life] is loaded with showbiz anecdotes, self-deprecating tales and has a general sweetness that some readers might not be expecting from Lowe.
Actor Lowe follows up his Stories I Only Tell My Friends (2011) with a potpourri of observations and reflections about youthful indiscretions, celebrity tidbits, marriage and fatherhood, addiction and the acting life. In his Brat Pack days, the author's good looks cast him as a leading man and, at the same time, an underrated actor. Readers will learn there's more to him: his love of the craft; seriousness in steering his acting, writing and producing career; dedication to his wife and sons; and a keen self-awareness. He readily admits his flaws—e.g., self-centered tendencies ("[Parks and Recreation co-star] Rashida Jones claims that I am what she likes to call a benevolent narcissist") and emotional aloofness. Given the latter, it's no surprise that his best writing comes in astute observations of the world he inhabits rather than through introspection, which comes off as a bit forced. The strongest material demystifies the process of developing projects for TV and film or choosing and preparing for roles. Lowe approaches his work with an adventurous spirit and an eye toward improvement, and he notes how he often chooses more challenging characters rather than leading roles. Lowe obviously enjoys pointing out the absurdities of show business, as when he conjures up a hilarious conversation between an agent/manager and his client that captures the duplicitous nature of the game. Tender essays about his family show a more vulnerable side to the actor. He writes of losing it after sending his oldest son off to college, teaching the youngest boy how to stand up to a bully on the baseball field, and his glowing admiration for his wife. Readers won't soon forget his most fearless essay, which recounts a raw, heartbreaking experience from his days in rehab for his alcohol addiction. A savvy writer with a quick wit, Lowe invites readers into his world with easy charm and disarming frankness.