Cover of "St. Elmo's Fire"

I have been a Rob Lowe fan since I fell in love with Billy Hicks years ago.  St. Elmo’s Fire was my absolute favorite film when I was in high school and on into my early 20s, and got me through many an angst-filled sleepless night.  When his biography crossed my desk, I knew I had to read it.  I figured it would be sort of a guilty pleasure, a look back at one of the Teen Beat/Tiger Beat idols of my teen years.

While I respect Lowe immensely for his work as Sam Seaborne on The West Wing, and for his continued sobriety after a life lived in the spotlight, my first impression of the book was not great. The sheer amount of name-dropping is nearly painful.  In all honesty, I don’t see how he’d tell his life story without mentioning all the stars and other important industry people he’s known, so it could be just my own impression.  Like Forrest Gump, he turns out to have known everyone there was to know.  Still, I feel a bit unfair saying so.  That was his life, and I guess it couldn’t have been told differently.

Overall, I liked the book.  It was interesting to read about his exploits, especially ones we followed so closely as teens–the days when we hated Princess Stephanie just because she dated him.  Reading about his time in The West Wing was probably my favorite part of the book, although hearing about his time with The Outsiders comes in a very close second.

To anyone who grew up in the 80s and 90s, this book is not only a look at the life of one of the big actors of that time, it is a trip down memory lane too.  I definitely recommend it, and would be interested in hearing others impressions of it too.

Cross-posted on Goodreads.