BOOK REVIEW: Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry


Title: Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing
Author: Matthew Perry
Publication: November 1, 2022
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: Autobiography
Pages: 272

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SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

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.


I have wanted to read this book from the moment it came out and even more so with the passing of Matthew Perry last year. I decided to do the audiobook so it would be like Perry was reading it to me and telling me his story. I recommend this method if you are able to. Hearing his words and his warnings towards how he got into the things he got into was like hearing a story from the grave.

This book was the most real autobiography I have ever read. I’ve read a lot and they were not bad in any means, but this was raw, unfiltered, and downright heartbreaking at times, but it was such a heartfelt story. Hearing his stories of working while going through the things he went through was eye-opening and gave insight into the Hollywood world most people don’t understand. He didn’t filter and told the gory details that most would skimp over. While this story was heartbreaking and obviously I wish his life story had ended a different way, it did make me realize that there is so much more to celebrities and what we are seeing on the big screen or in the news. They are real people and Perry really brought that to the forefront.

Hands down the saddest story, but to know he came out of it with such a light heart still made me happy in the end. While it will be hard to read, it is worth every single word on every single page.

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