Book Review: “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir”

Canadian/American actor Matthew Perry wrote this memoir

I don’t think I was a regular viewer of the Friends television show, even though it was on for 10 years. However, now as a “mature” lady watching TV, I find myself turning to Friends when I’m not interested in anything else. Friends is always amusing and the TV show seems to be run constantly.

One of its stars of Friends is Canadian/American actor Matthew Perry, the Chandler character. Perry has written a best-selling book and no doubt you have heard about the book. I had, too, and being a celebrity watcher, I figured the book would be interesting and ordered it on my kindle. It is available as a hardcover, audiboook, paperback, audio CD and Kindle.

I could not put it down.

A whole lifetime spent as a famous and rich person, but also an addict that should have died. Matthew Perry writes well. He is very candid–you’ll know everything about his bathroom habits, his girl friends, his acting jobs, his writing projects, his disease and his very long alone times with alcohol and pills. He once took 55 pills a day. His colon exploded. He had 14 surgeries. He wore a colostomy bag. He makes “normal” life seem like heaven. Here are the first two paragraphs from the book:

“Nobody ever thinks something really bad is going to happen to them. Until it does. And nobody comes back from a perforated bowel, aspiration pneumonia, and an ECMO machine. Until somebody did.


I don’t know what the book will do for people with a drug or alcohol problem. Maybe those readers will say “yep,” “that’s right” and will ultimately be helped. I hope so.

As for me, I found the book interesting and horrifying at the same time. I also felt grateful that for me, chocolate is my drug. Yes, right out of college I took a couple of puffs on a marijuana cigarette and had no reaction. Ever after, I was too scared of being “illegal” to continue on. Perry seemed to have no problems obtaining drugs; his money and “connections” helped.

Perry’s autobiography made me curious to hear from the author himself and I found this lengthy interview that is a better summary of the book’s contents than I can give.

You’ll notice that handsome Matthew Perry has aged a bit since Friends stopped filming 19 years ago.


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