Book Review: Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry


Title: Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing

Author: Matthew Perry

Publication Date: November 1, 2022

Number of Pages: 250

Format: Audiobook
Publisher: Flatiron Books

Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir


“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 book fans have been waiting for.

Personal Thoughts:

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I finished listening to the audiobook of this over the weekend, and I really enjoyed listening to Matthew Perry as he narrates his life story and tells us about everything he has gone through over the years.

Before this book, I only knew him as Chandler Bing from my favorite show (and everyone else’s), Friends. It’s no secret that he has been in and out of rehab, but I was still shocked and surprised as he tells his readers about every terrible and sad thing that happened to him. There are many life lessons in this book, not only about addiction, but just life in general.

Overall, I recommend this book to people who enjoy a good memoir. Matthew Perry made this book both funny and sad which kept me turning the pages/listening more.


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