Tuesday, November 7

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

Author: Matthew Perry
Title: Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing
Genre: Nonfiction, Autobiography
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 250
Published: November 1, 2022
Where I Got It: My shelf (Xmas gift)

“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.

I got this for Xmas last year. Finally decided to start this on 10/26 while I was waiting at the mechanics for my car. Two days later the poor man passed away. I had to stop reading for a couple of days because my poor heart couldn't take it. 

Matthew Perry was known for his role in countless movies and for 'Friends' the sitcom that was beloved across the world. I had a weird relationship with the show personally. I didn't TRULY love it until I was in my mid to late 20s. I had watched it on and off but it never really resonated with me like others until I was the age of the characters in the show. And then I have been utterly addicted to it. I loved Matthew Perry because of a few of his movies and other shows. 

This book touched me in so many ways. I really could relate to him especially his early life when he was a kid. There was a section that had me in near tears while I was sitting at the mechanics. Gah. That is all I need is to be sobbing where people already don't respect me hahahahaha. But the memory he shared reawakened a core memory of mine when I was about 5. Whyyyyy hello trauma my old friend! It's been a minute! 

This book was honest and raw and you can't help but hear his voice telling us the stories. Gosh. I'm glad I didn't listen to the audiobook because I don't think I could listen to this without tears. 

After he passed and I finally finished this.....it broke my heart. He had so much hope for the future and had so many plans. It is devastating that he will never get to accomplish everything on his list. What a rough reminder that death does not discriminate. It takes and takes no matter the plans you have (and yes, I had to sprinkle in some Hamilton). 

I honestly believe that Matthew Perry wouldn't want us to mourn him. He would want us to take his story and learn from it (and chuckle a bit). 

The story had everything. Sadness, lessons, happiness, humor, and hope. My one and only issue is that I wish it was more linear. It does jump around a bit so be prepared for that. You def have to pay attention. 

All-in-all this was worth the read if you never heard of this author. It was an emotional roller coaster. I'll give this 4 stars. 


Northwoman said...

I'm glad to hear it was a good book. AT least he ended in a good path but it is very sad he didn't get to do more of his plans.

Anne - Books of My Heart

Blodeuedd said...

I was so sad to hear the news

Carole Rae said...

Anne, yes. Reading the book made me extra sad bc he had such great plans and ideas and hopes and dreams that he never got to accomplish.

B, it's so sad.

Jen Twimom said...

WOW Carole. That's just eerie. I'm glad you were able to finish and enjoy the book. Your review has me in tears.

Carole Rae said...

I was tearing up writing the review. Just so eerie and tragic.