About the Book:
Fans of Patti Smith’s Just Kids and Rob Lowe’s StoriesI Only Tell My Friends will love this beautifully written, entertaining, and emotionally honest memoir by an actor, director, and author who found his start as an 80s Brat pack member.
Most people know Andrew McCarthy from his movie roles in Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Weekend at Bernie’s, and Less than Zero, and as a charter member of Hollywood’s Brat Pack. That iconic group of ingenues and heartthrobs included Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, and Demi Moore, and has come to represent both a genre of film and an era of pop culture.
In his memoir Brat: An ’80s Story, McCarthy focuses his gaze on that singular moment in time. The result is a revealing look at coming of age in a maelstrom, reckoning with conflicted ambition, innocence, addiction, and masculinity. New York City of the 1980s is brought to vivid life in these pages, from scoring loose joints in Washington Square Park to skipping school in favor of the dark revival houses of the Village where he fell in love with the movies that would change his life.
Filled with personal revelations of innocence lost to heady days in Hollywood with John Hughes and an iconic cast of characters, Brat is a surprising and intimate story of an outsider caught up in a most unwitting success.
Entertaining, insightful and filled with humor!
Andrew McCarthy sounds like a person I would like to know. Reflecting back on his rather surprising life and acting career, McCarthy uses droll humor and witty anecdotes to illustrate his career. From watching an Al Pacino movie being filmed to chasing down Amanda Plummer in New York City after a performance, every encounter was fascinating!
For people my age, McCarthy was part of a group of actors that could do no wrong. I still adore ‘Pretty in Pink’ and ‘Less Than Zero’. But the whole “Brat Pack” label was actually a creation of the Hollywood PR machine, and McCarthy was never friends with most of that illustrious group. He still speaks fondly of that time, but his heart truly was on the Broadway stage and he still lives in the West Village of New York City, where he began his acting career decades ago.
I devoured all of the anecdotes about his auditions, movie-making, and the casting process. His recollections of his early acting career and the insecurities that plagued him were both funny and poignant at the same time.
McCarthy also had a complicated relationship with his family and he pulls no punches in that regard. I found his thoughts and feelings to be incredibly honest. It must have been painful to include this portion of his life in his book but the story is all the richer for it. As well, he had a compacted relationship with alcohol and sought help for his drinking years ago. He has been sober ever since.
After he was not getting the acting roles that he should have after his early success, McCarthy turned to writing and in particular, travel writing. He has won many accolades for his writing. He has also now become a director. I truly enjoyed the audiobook which is narrated by the author himself. He has a very dry sense of humor and a wonderful way with words. After his long acting and directing career, he can now add writer to his impressive resume.