Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir

by Matthew Perry

Narrated by Matthew Perry

Unabridged — 8 hours, 49 minutes

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir

by Matthew Perry

Narrated by Matthew Perry

Unabridged — 8 hours, 49 minutes

Audiobook (Digital)

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Notes From Your Bookseller

From the highs of sitcom fame to the downward spiral of addiction, Matthew Perry delivers a memoir that’s both haunting and hilarious. This extraordinary story of hope and courage, told in Perry’s iconic and inimitable voice, is the book fans have been waiting for.

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

This program is read by the author.


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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Remarkable, startling, and heartfelt...The bravery of Perry’s book is not just in what he says, or how he says it, and how unflinching he is in his commitment to say it, but that he chose to say it at all." GQ

Candid, darkly funny…starkly chronicling his decades-long cage match with drinking and drug use. Perry writes gratefully and glowingly…fans will find poignant nuggets in its pages.” The New York Times

“A heartbreakingly beautiful memoir.” People

"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

Library Journal


"Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead." These words begin this harrowing story of addiction. Best known as Chandler on the TV show Friends, Perry grew up in Canada. When his parents divorced, he remembers flying from Canada to L.A. alone as a five-year-old child to see his dad, which fueled his lifelong feelings of insecurity, an emotional hole difficult to fill. But he tried—first, by being the funny guy, then with alcohol. That first drink at 14 was a revelation. He thought that was what he needed to help fill the void. When he moved to L.A., he thought fame was the answer, especially when he landed Friends. But then he discovered opioids, and his lifelong battle with "the Big Terrible Thing," his addiction, really began. Over 65 detoxes later, Perry is sober, self-aware, and grateful for his life. To hopefully help others, he uses his self-deprecating humor to candidly discuss Friends, lovers, and his addictions. VERDICT A tale of hope for those trying to overcome addiction or in recovery. Friends fans will also likely enjoy Perry's celebrity anecdotes.—Rosellen "Rosy" Brewer

NOVEMBER 2022 - AudioFile

Narrating his memoir, actor Matthew Perry sounds like the beloved Chandler character he played on “Friends” but with far less enunciation. Addiction has taken a toll on every aspect of his life. Both self-deprecating and self-aggrandizing, Perry shares memories that can sometimes irk listeners. He uses humor to heal, but throwing shade at another actor and being sarcastic about the length of time it took doctors to resolve a lifesaving medical complication does him no favors. Perry uses his iconic cadence to emphasize certain words: “Could this show BE any hotter?” he says of the sitcom. “That is NOT true,” he says of rumored methadone side effects. Going into his “why,” Perry’s audiobook is a fascinating listen. A.L.C. © AudioFile 2022, Portland, Maine

Kirkus Reviews

The TV star details his career and his major addiction issues.

"I don't think it's an exaggeration to suggest that Chandler Bing transformed the way America spoke," writes Perry of his character on the megahit sitcom Friends, who habitually emphasized a different word in a sentence than one might expect. Could this be any bigger of a deal? Apparently not. "Aaron [Sorkin] and Tommy [Schlamme] had changed the way America looked at serialized TV with The West Wing, and I had changed how America spoke English,” writes the author. Certainly, plenty of readers will be interested in Perry's fabulous wealth and extraordinary fame—at one point in his life, he was one of the "most famous people in the world—in fact, I was being burned by the white-hot flame of fame”—his unsuccessful relationships with women, his 15 trips to rehab (“I have spent upward of $7 million to get sober”), numerous surgeries for the ravages of opioid-induced constipation, and his inability to add anything significant to his resume after Friends. However, Perry is a blurter, not a storyteller, and no ghostwriter or collaborator was involved in this project. Though he asserts that he does not blame his parents for his difficulties, the author sticks a major pin in the day they sent him on an airplane as an unaccompanied minor when he was 5 years old. Some will find it hard to sympathize with this story, and further mean-spirited outbursts don’t help—e.g., "Why is it that original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger died, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?" The concluding chapters trail off into what could be notes for some future acceptance speech. "I am me," he writes. "And that should be enough, it always has been enough." It’s not enough to carry this memoir.

Strictly for Perry’s fans.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940176166842
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication date: 11/01/2022
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 200,134
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