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  • Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing

  • A Memoir
  • Written by: Matthew Perry
  • Narrated by: Matthew Perry
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (3,030 ratings)

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Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing cover art

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing

Written by: Matthew Perry
Narrated by: Matthew Perry
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Publisher's Summary

This program is read by the author.

A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK BY TIME, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, GOODREADS, USA TODAY, AND MORE!

The beloved star of Friends takes us behind the scenes of the hit sitcom and his struggles with addiction in this candid, funny, and revelatory memoir that delivers a powerful message of hope and persistence.

“Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead.”

So begins the riveting story of acclaimed actor Matthew Perry, taking us along on his journey from childhood ambition to fame to addiction and recovery in the aftermath of a life-threatening health scare. Before the frequent hospital visits and stints in rehab, there was five-year-old Matthew, who traveled from Montreal to Los Angeles, shuffling between his separated parents; fourteen-year-old Matthew, who was a nationally ranked tennis star in Canada; twenty-four-year-old Matthew, who nabbed a coveted role as a lead cast member on the talked-about pilot then called Friends Like Us. . . and so much more.

In an extraordinary story that only he could tell—and in the heartfelt, hilarious, and warmly familiar way only he could tell it—Matthew Perry lays bare the fractured family that raised him (and also left him to his own devices), the desire for recognition that drove him to fame, and the void inside him that could not be filled even by his greatest dreams coming true. But he also details the peace he’s found in sobriety and how he feels about the ubiquity of Friends, sharing stories about his castmates and other stars he met along the way. Frank, self-aware, and with his trademark humor, Perry vividly depicts his lifelong battle with addiction and what fueled it despite seemingly having it all.

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing is an unforgettable memoir that is both intimate and eye-opening—as well as a hand extended to anyone struggling with sobriety. Unflinchingly honest, moving, and uproariously funny, this is the audiobook fans have been waiting for.

A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books.

©2022 Matthew Perry (P)2022 Macmillan Audio

What the critics say

2022, Amazon.com Best Books of the Year: Long-listed

2022, Chapters Indigo Best of the Year: Long-listed

2022, Audible.com Best of the Year: Long-listed

"Going into his 'why,' Perry's audiobook is a fascinating listen."- AudioFile

"Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing is a raw, unflinching memoir that took courage to write. As it turns out, Matthew Perry has a lot of courage. He takes us through his addiction, his illness and his paralyzing loneliness. Somehow, during the course of his life, Matthew was able to turn his pain into comedic joy for others, but, he tells us, it was at a cost. Matthew takes us through his 'hell' but doesn’t wallow. Ultimately, this book is filled with hope for the future. If you want to know about who Matthew Perry is, stay away from the rags and read this." —Marta Kauffman, co-creator of the NBC sitcom Friends

What listeners say about Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow!

I never knew about Matthew Perry before "Friends". I was in university when the show started and although I liked it, watched all of it and teared up in all the right places (especially at the end of the last episode), it was never my favourite show. I like all the actors and I particularly enjoy memoirs. "Friends" is the reason Matthew Perry is a household name and, tangentially, was a big reason for his substance abuse problems.

I can't say I "loved" this book because the subject matter is so sad. I do think it will help a lot of people. It is an extremely raw and honest look at Matthew Perry by himself; every flaw on display for the world to read about.

Audiobooks are my preferred way of hearing autobiographies/ memoirs. Only the author can properly convey what they're trying to say with the intonation of their voice. In Perry's case, he's not easy to listen to because he's full of disappointment in himself and his past actions. But he's real all right. And this is why I'm giving it 5 stars.

Make no mistake - this book is not really about the show and not really about his lovers. It's about how his severe alcohol and drug addiction affected his work and life. He spills everything about his addiction: how and why it started, how he tried to stop it time and time again, why it continued. It's a deep dive into his most personal feelings and insecurities and his story is so painful at times that I got very emotional listening to it. I can relate to some of it and that stuff is very hard to admit to oneself, much less to publish in a book for the world to read.

I see a lot of reviews hating on him for his comment about Keanu Reeves. So Matthew Perry isn't allowed his own opinion in his own memoir? C'mon! I love Keanu but I'm guessing not everyone in the world feels the same. Should we all be persecuted in the court of public opinion because we don't share the exact same feelings as everyone else about everything else? What world is this? The man wrote an extremely honest memoir... and without a ghost writer. So it's not perfect but it's so open and true and will definitely help a lot of people. Give the man some credit.

I think it was very brave for Perry to put out his memoir. I think part of his reason for writing the book is to help himself continue to remain sober. Now he's accountable to everyone, right? Keep it up, Perry! I hope he does remain sober, find love and has children, which are all his greatest wishes.

Recommended for fans of Friends, Matthew Perry and celebrity memoirs.

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19 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brutiful

Nope, not a typo. This raw memoir is phenomenal. Addiction is the devil in disguise, and hearing Matthew share his story, in his own voice, is next level. Only he can properly intonate the words as they were intended. As a fellow Ottawaan of the same age group, I loved hearing his memories! Matthew - if you’re reading this, my love and prayers are with you. Easy does it. #ODAAT
~Alexandra from Canada

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Could I BE more interested in this story?!

As someone who was the same age as these characters, at the time of their presence on television, I was greatly influenced by Friends. "Chandler" had the best lines and even now, over twenty years later, they still find their way into conversation. I was touched by Matthew's painful journey and how we never knew his pain. When seeing the Friend's reunion, I was stunned and saddened by his appearance. This autobiography was a brave and honest journey, told first person, of a funny guy with deep and damaging pain. I wish "Matty" all the best and huge success with this book!

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Mathew Perry

This book was the first book I got in audible. It was fantastic as I myself have struggled with addiction and understood everything he spoke about! I still can’t believe he didn’t die through this but God must have a plan for him! It only took me three days to listen to this book and kept me mesmerized throughout! If your looking for a great autobiography this one is great! Just remember Mr Perry, you have to apologize personally to everyone you’ve hurt especially yourself and I can hardly wait for what he does next! Thank you!

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Honest and inspiring

Matthew Perry tells an honest story of his personal demons and the bumpy, long and exhausting road to living his best life. He is funny (big surprise) and open about the impacts our decisions have on others and the impact their decisions have on us. Throughout this book I heard a person who, like all of us wants to be loved and accepted. THe truths he shared and the nitty gritty way he shares these truths only makes me love him more. Matty, you are enough and so much more.

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Addictive

Not only now this the best book I have “read” this year, it is also one of the most detailed, realistic accounts of the reality of addiction. I binge listened as I simply could not stop listening. Marty’s story is proof positive that money doesn’t buy peace or happiness. I hope he lives the rest of his days knowing both.

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The realest memoir I’ve ever read!!!

Matthew Perry has chosen to bleed in front of us all, and in doing so he will save many lives. He removed his “mask”, and shows us the battle scars of his life…happiness is relative, this memoir proves it!!!

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  • Meg
  • 2022-11-10

Moved and inspired.

I’m moved and inspired by this book. I still vape, but I’m inspired to not drink or touch weed anymore, but especially not drink. One day, I hope to give up the vape. Thank you Matthew Perry for your story, it makes me feel less alone for too many reasons to list here.

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Incredible

An incredibly honest and real look into addiction and the disease that is alcoholism. I was glued to this book and want nothing but the best for Matthew moving forward. Good luck finding true love! Xx

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Amazing!

An inspirational story, absolutely loved it! Thankful for Matthew Perry not giving up! HUGE fan of friends, and still cry from laughing at the show!!

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