Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry

Macmillan Audio

Audible Release: November 1, 2022

Listening Length: 8 hours 49 minutes

Narrator: Matthew Perry

Genre: Memoir

KKECReads Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

KKECReads Rating for Performance: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

KKECReads Rating for Story: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I purchased this audiobook on Amazon, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Matthew Perry is a Canadian American actor, executive producer, and playwright.

“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.

“There’s howling in the Hollywood hills.”

Matthew Perry shares his brightest and darkest moments in his life so far. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.

I was expecting this book to be hilarious. I figured Matthew Perry is a funny guy, so naturally, his memoir would have me crying from laughter. This is not that story.

It’s so much more than that. Shame on me for having that expectation. There is so much more to this man than just being the funny guy.

I found Matty’s honesty and vulnerability incredibly brave. He held nothing back as he told his story. He bares his scars for the world to see and bravely declares his struggles.

The first portion of the memoir seemed angry, but as I continued listening to Perry tell his story, I realized he was angry. But he is also incredibly passionate, and this is his public declaration of change and intention.

Perry makes it clear that being famous and wealthy doesn’t give you the perfect life. And he explains that explicitly. Money doesn’t buy or bring you happiness. Sure, money makes life easier… alleviates specific stresses in life.

And having money can allow you to seek help for addictions, but money doesn’t love you back. I appreciated the humor that was placed throughout this read. But mostly, I found the raw vulnerability beautiful.

Perry was not trying to paint himself as a martyr or hero. He admitted his faults repeatedly. He owned his misgivings, even when it was difficult. And that endeared this beautiful man to me. Also, I have never seen Perry and Batman in the same room- so.

Addiction is ugly. It’s hard, lonely, and something that feels impossible to overcome. My relationship with addiction is different from Matthew’s. I’m not an addict, but I’ve been on the other side of addiction. I’ve seen the struggles. I’ve witnessed multiple rehab attempts. I have seen what addiction can do to a family, and I’ve felt the sting of despair that only addiction can leave in its wake of destruction.

I see you, Matthew Perry. And you are more than alright. Coffee on me if you’re ever in NorCal. Maybe you can explain hockey to me… because despite going to college in North Dakota, which is basically Canada, I don’t get it.

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