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

Unabridged Audio Book

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Matthew Perry

8 Hours 49 Minutes

Macmillan Audio

November 2022

Audio Book Summary

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.

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  • Laurie T.

    Guttural. As a 20 year old that watched the pilot of Friends in 1994 and cried like a baby on the last episode, I was devoted to the entire cast. I too played the game, “Which ‘Friend’ would you want?” Answer: “Chandler.” I knew I wanted to hear what Matthew Perry had to say, but I’m the release of the book already started to get an inside idea. I knew through the press years ago that he had some challenges and left it there. Be careful meeting your hero’s, part of my take away. Matthew made choices I can not comprehend. I also can not imagine the pain he must have felt in his mind. If this book is a giant thank you to the hundreds of people who helped him over decades, it probably still isn’t enough. Does this book bring another magnifying glass to mental health, I hope so to those that listen. For me, I had to take this in 30-45 mins doses because I found it to be so painful and at times a little irritating. His story is his and his life has been very much a challenge. His gift is greater than his demons, I hope.

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  • Perkibest22

    This was more a story about addiction than the TV show Friends. I was engrossed in the story until the last hour or so when he repeated the same thing over and over again. Eh.

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  • Anonymous

    Loved it from start to finish.

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  • Megan G.

    entertaining the way he describes things. so crazy to see the sad and hard life he has lived.

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  • Pamela Brown

    Totally awesome.

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  • Anonymous

    My heart goes out to Matthew Perry. Addiction is no joke, the fact that he overcame it should be celebrated!

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  • Mary F.

    If you are a Matthew Perry fan you will love this book. Glad that he finally got it together.

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  • Emily R.

    One of the best books I’ve listened to in a long time. Matthew is a great storyteller and incorporates his humor and sarcasm during the most intense parts. His raw honesty and desire to help others who struggle with addiction is inspiring. It will be a definite listen-again book for me!

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  • Laura Z.

    Great book

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  • Lori D.

    I am amazed by your honesty and heartbroken of what your 30 years have brought you Matthew . My son is 25 and I’m devastated of what he is going through any guidance would be most grateful. Thank you Matthew for your beautiful journey! You are truly loved …Always, Lori Dean

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