‘Funny, fascinating and compelling' The Times

Matthew Perry's remarkable journey from a young boy shuffling between parents in different cities to becoming a beloved global superstar is a testament to his resilience and talent. His memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, not only takes us behind the scenes of the iconic show “Friends,” but also into the heart of a man who struggled and triumphed over personal demons. The way he candidly shares his experiences, balancing humor with raw honesty, makes the book not just a tell-all from a star but a deeply human story that resonates with anyone who has ever faced challenges. His openness about his battles, particularly with addiction, and his eventual road to recovery, offer hope and inspiration to countless others facing similar struggles.

Perry's story is also a captivating tale of fame and its complexities. His account of his rise to stardom, becoming a household name as Chandler Bing on “Friends,” provides a unique insight into the world of television and the pressures of celebrity life. Despite the challenges, his enduring sense of humor and self-awareness shine through, traits that endeared him to millions of fans worldwide. The book reveals the person behind the laughter, someone who, despite achieving extraordinary fame, remained grounded and continued to seek out the true meaning of happiness and fulfillment beyond the screen.

Furthermore, Perry's memoir is a powerful narrative of personal growth and finding peace. His reflections on the ups and downs of his life, including the fractured family dynamics of his childhood and his journey to sobriety, are both poignant and enlightening. The book goes beyond just being a memoir of a famous actor; it's a story of human resilience, the importance of facing one's fears, and the journey to self-acceptance. Perry's ability to articulate his life experiences with humor, grace, and a deep sense of authenticity has not only solidified his place as a gifted actor but also as a source of inspiration and hope for many.


Excerpt from Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing © Copyright 2023 Matthew Perry


Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty.

And I should be dead.

If you like, you can consider what you're about to read to be a message from the beyond, my beyond.

It’s Day Seven of the Pain. And by Pain, I don’t mean a stubbed toe or “The Whole Ten Yards.” I capitalize Pain because this was the worst Pain I’ve ever experienced—it was the Platonic Ideal of Pain, the exemplar. I’ve heard people claim that the worst pain is childbirth: well, this was the worst pain imaginable, but without the joy of a newborn in my arms at the end of it.

And it may have been Day Seven of Pain, but it was also Day Ten of No Movement. If you catch my drift. I hadn’t taken a shit in ten days—there, there’s the drift. Something was wrong, very wrong. This was not a dull, throbbing pain, like a headache; it wasn’t even a piercing, stabbing pain, like the pancreatitis I’d had when I was thirty. This was a different kind of Pain. Like my body was going to burst. Like my insides were trying to force their way out.

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