The 30 week project - week 1 conclusion
So week 1 of The 30 Week Project was successful, partly because I stuck to public transport, mostly because the book that I was reading held my interest.
I had no idea who Rob Lowe is till I'd seen Sam Seaborn. Without having seen too much of his work, I can say with certainty that Rob Lowe would be hard pressed to not put Sam's name forward were he asked to present just one of his roles to showcase his work. As I often tend to do when I like something, I read more about The West Wing and that was when I came to know of his unceremonious exit from the show, the controversies surrounding his video-tape, the early fame and the late blossoming as a dependable and sellable TV star. The stuff that I read was interesting enough to get this book on my reading list when it came out, and I am glad that it did.
What I like best about the book is that it is in first person throughout. It is not an adult Rob telling you what a 10 year old Rob did, it is the 10 year old Rob who navigates you through those experiences, (re)discovering them along with you. This is not something that I come across too often, and I think it's a very neat way to put across an autobiography. Another aspect that I liked is that he's come across as a pretty honest bloke through the book. Maybe it helps that the controversial stuff is already in the public domain, he correctly assumes that anyone reading this book already knows the details and so he circles around them, neither giving a detailed account nor skipping them completely. And it works mainly because he does not hold back in the other chapters. The book is lively, engaging, and full of interesting anecdotes. As a cinema enthusiast it is especially fascinating to read of his early interactions with the Penns and the Sheens, and also the formation of the Brat Pack. His method of sharing an anecdote, saving the most interesting tidbit for the conclusion, keep you hooked and sometimes also makes your jaw drop.
As someone who got to know of Rob Lowe only in his post-Sam years, it was kind of strange to read of his addiction and rehab days. His years since then have been pretty fruitful, probably the reason for the contentment in his voice as he narrates to us the ups and downs of his life, stories that most of us would only tell our friends.