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

hi guys Olive here here today to review friends lovers and the big terrible thing by Matthew Perry this book was published in 2022 by Flatiron books which is an imprint of MacMillan the hardcover comes in at 272 Pages however I listened to the audiobook Edition narrated by the author himself that I accessed through my library this is a memoir written by the actor who is probably best known for playing Chandler Bing on one of the most popular one of the most successful sitcoms of all time friends in this Memoir he starts off by discussing a

medical emergency that he had in the not so distant past this medical issue was caused mainly because of his long-standing issues with addiction which is a topic that he discusses at length throughout this Memoir but then he rewinds and starts talking about his early life growing up in Ottawa Ontario with his single mother later she remarried and so he was living with his mother mother his stepfather and the family they were building together but he didn’t feel that he fully belonged in this environment so when he was not very old he moved to California to

live with his father who was an actor he was big into tennis as a teenager but after that moved to California he realized that his talents

couldn’t quite compare to the people in California who have all year round to practice because of the amazing weather versus Ottawa when he could only play a few months out of the year and so he started developing an interest in following in his father’s footsteps of becoming an actor he talks about how he lucked into a small role in a movie starring River Phoenix he speaks so positively about that

experience it was obviously such a wonderful time in his life and after that he knew he wanted to continue being an actor he worked sporadically over the years before just barely getting an audition for a TV show called friends like us which later on just became friends it’s very odd to think that Matthew Perry very nearly wasn’t Chandler Bing especially because he himself knew right from the start that he was perfect to play Chandler the two of them were already so similar and then after all the actors got their roles the writers started incorporating real

parts of their personalities into these characters to make the characters feel richer and so Matthew or as everyone calls him Matty started to become even more intertwined with the character of Chandler his tendency to crack a joke during a moment when he feels uncomfortable or his notoriously bad luck in the love department these became core pieces of who Chandler was but another thing that Matthew Perry has in common with his character Chandler is that he’s a very funny guy and it shows in this Memoir especially if you listen to the audiobook like I did he

has such a great sense of timing and his delivery of each and every line adds humor to basically everything even some really hard moments in the Memoir but it’s interesting as you progress through the book because he talks at length about the ways in which he uses humor to mask his insecurity he’s gone through a lot of therapy during this process of dealing with the addiction issues so he has a great amount of self-awareness and he knows this is something that he talks about a lot he knows that he uses humor to make himself feel

good enough to be in the room basically to bolster himself up he has a very low natural self-esteem and so over the course of his life he’s used humor to feel like he belongs somewhere but as he was cracking jokes throughout this Memoir I couldn’t help but wonder is he doing the same thing now is he using humor is he cracking jokes at every turn because he feels some sort of insecurity about the vulnerability required to write this memoir are if that was the case I don’t think he should have worried because this is a

very strong Memoir you feel his presence it’s very solidly written but most of all it has a level of self-awareness that you don’t always get out of a celebrity Memoir Matthew Perry isn’t trying to be anyone other than himself and he’s also not attempting to sugarcoat any of his experiences especially the ones that deal with addiction those issues make up the big terrible thing in this book’s title the big terrible thing is addiction and Matthew Perry’s issues with it began extremely early on in his life it was so sad to find out about that but

he is shockingly candid throughout this Memoir about what he was using when he was using how much he was using the periods in his life when he felt in control he may have been using but he felt in control and then the times in his life when he felt very out of control and had to seek help the times that his addiction was affecting his career during times that he was able to hold it all together his addiction story is more intense than anything I have previously heard now granted my own personal knowledge in that

arena is rather lacking so I am sure there are lots of people out there who have comparable stories or who even went through worse things and certainly most people in the world do not have the financial means to enter treatment centers or seek therapy in the way that Matthew Perry definitely has but let’s just say through reading this Memoir I was able to see that that figurative monkey on his back is more like a great ape these issues have been made public previously of course the media reported the first time that he went to rehab

as he was still starring on Friends they’ve reported on other things regarding his addiction but also he himself has spoken out on a number of different occasions and so I knew that that would be a hot topic of discussion in this Memoir and I was still really surprised at how honest he was willing to be about it all and I was really shocked as he was talking about all the different things he was doing while starring on the biggest TV show at the time all the things that he was doing and he was still managing

to keep it all together these issues have represented the biggest struggle of his life and so of course they’re all over this book just that cycle of getting clean getting back on track and then relapsing and having to start the whole process over again he says at one point in this Memoir that he was perfectly capable of remaining sober just so long as nothing happened nothing went wrong that caused him to turn to drinking or drugs as an escape or as a coping mechanism but as life tends to do things went wrong on occasion and

the cycle would begin all over again as I was going through this book I realized that it started to feel very repetitive relapsing and then getting clean and then relapsing and then getting clean but there was a moment as I was listening to him tell his own story that I realized if that feels repetitive in a just over 200 Page Memoir how exhausting must that have been to live it Matthew Perry has been extraordinarily fortunate in a number of different ways he definitely does not argue that but he expresses a few times throughout this book

that he would happily give it all up if it meant he could just live a normal life without the urge to use he craved Fame so ferociously in his younger years but as he says sometimes it takes all of your dreams coming true to realize you have the wrong dreams when we leave Matthew Perry at the end of this Memoir he’s doing about as good as you could expect after years of having done very serious damage to his body the ramifications of which he will learn all about as you read this book but it does

seem like he’s in a place of understanding himself better than he ever had us he understands why he did the things that he did in his past but also he knows so much more now about what he wants for his future namely he wants to find companionship after years of dating women and then dumping them before they could leave him because of those feelings of insecurity he would like to stop doing that and actually find someone to spend his life with he talks about a lot of Prior relationships throughout this book and it’s clear to

both us and to him that a lot of those relationships were serious enough were real enough to be forever but he let them slip through his fingers and it’s something that he very obviously regrets but most importantly he wants to stay clean he will never be without those issues it is a disease and one that has brought him close to death more than once but it is just so obvious as you read this book how much he wants to just live a healthy life and how much joy he finds in helping others get clean as

well well overall I found this Memoir to be a very harrowing but definitely rewarding read is it a perfect book absolutely not some of those admitted insecurities that Matthew Perry has they do pop up here and there and I do think he reveals probably a little bit more about people than I think he should have I don’t know how comfortable they felt or or going to feel now that this book is out and I don’t think that was entirely necessary and also those Keanu Reeves lines are really weird if you don’t know what I’m talking

about you will after reading the book or if you Google it you can find out what I’m talking about but it’s an example of a joke just going a little bit too far I think an editor should have caught that but Matthew Perry himself is far from perfect something he is perfectly willing to admit and does so throughout this Memoir but he is a decent guy if you are a fan of friends you will not want to miss this book there is so much great information about the series Series in here what the experience was

like from his perspective how much love he has for the cast and the crew and really just the whole process it was obviously a very creatively fulfilling not to mention lucrative gig and hearing some of The Insider stories was a lot of fun this is definitely one I recommend reading but those were my thoughts on Matthew Perry’s Memoir if you want to read this book or if you’ve read it and have thoughts of your own I would love to hear from you in the comment section below if you want to get your hands on a

copy of this book you’ll find links in the description box below if you’re on a mobile device just go ahead and tap the title of this video and that will expand for you and at the bottom of that exact same description box you’ll see links to everywhere you can find me around the internets like Goodreads and Instagram the two places where I’m the most active if you would like to keep up with what I am reading and writing about right now thank you so much for watching I hope you’re having a wonderful day I’ll see

you in the next video bye

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