Grimly funny, mostly unvarnished and frequently proctological ... Aniston, like Keith Morrison and Perry’s eventual costar Bruce Willis, appears here as a warm, if half sketched, character. The more Perry likes a celebrity, the less he mentions them, as if out of professional courtesy ... Perry’s wryly conversational and self-deprecating style will seem familiar to Friends viewers, like a smarter version of Chandler wrote a book. He is easy to like, if prickly, and as easy to relate to as someone with multiple Banksys and a talent for repeatedly blowing up their own life could be.
Funny, fascinating, compelling ... There are some lovely stories ... I’d have liked a few more stories about the Friends years, and a few less about the work that came later. He goes a bit LA woowoo at times, and the words 'creative process' and 'brilliant source material' start to crop up. He thinks that his future will be about helping other addicts and hopes that this unflinching chronicle might play its part. You can’t not love this twinkly, sad, funny, broken man who right to the very end makes you laugh.
Admirably honest, sometimes cringe-inducing memoir ... His book is chiefly about the titular 'Big Terrible Thing': Perry’s alcoholism and painkiller/opioid addiction ... Elsewhere, there’s cringe-inducing griping (poor reviews; award snubs) and barely veiled bragging about his wealth and multimillion-dollar homes ... Perry doesn’t always come across as likable, but maybe that’s the mark of a truthful memoir ... It’s harrowing and revealing about the juncture where extreme compound addiction collides with mega-celebrity. It’s a scream of authentic human pain, albeit one sprinkled with stardust. You end up admiring his honesty.
Reading it is exactly as grim and as exhausting as all that sounds. For a book about a life getting high, this is a collection only of lows ... It isn’t enjoyable (or funny, and Perry is funny) to read and it is not in the least bit glamorous. The chronology is scattered, he repeats himself and his anecdotes, and he at times seems bitter, while at others self-effacing. He has been in Alcoholics Anonymous for decades and at points his narration reads a little as if he is standing at a meeting, sharing his story ... Dark and miserable.
By turns fascinating and maddening, Perry’s memoir is less a tale of a glittering showbiz career than a fitfully gruesome account of his efforts to keep the show on the road ... The drily funny tone is typical of Perry ... The massive show-off in Perry hasn’t been entirely vanquished. He blithely refers to himself as one of the funniest guys on the planet, gets antsy about reviews and can’t stop talking about how rich he is ... Perry can undoubtedly be a pain in the backside but in Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing he wears his big, bruised heart on his sleeve. The overwhelming sense is of a lonely, disappointed man in desperate need of a hug.
There are so many pills contained within this book that the reader will be tempted to shake it to see if it rattles. The memoir, which Perry began writing on his notes app during the pandemic, is spiky, fast paced and relentlessly self-lacerating. Perry’s grudges are amusing and specific ... He dishes zero gossip on his five co-stars but confirms that off-set, they are all good eggs. He chronicles his various love affairs with a candour that other famous names will not relish ... He achieves something approaching peace towards the final pages. Being Chandler Bing must be a strange and curious fate for an actor, but with it Perry has produced a fizzing account of wrestling the demons of television fame.
Perry is sober, self-aware, and grateful for his life. To hopefully help others, he uses his self-deprecating humor to candidly discuss Friends, lovers, and his addictions ... A tale of hope for those trying to overcome addiction or in recovery. Friends fans will also likely enjoy Perry’s celebrity anecdotes.
There are plenty of memoirs in which celebrities tell you all about the behind-the-scenes horrors they have endured, but this book is different. Perry doesn’t really blame anyone but himself. And it’s a big deal to admit to everything one has done while masking pain in the giant world arena ... He is more like the snarky, funny, vulnerable Chandler in person than he is in the book; in these pages he is forthright and funny at times, but angry and then resigned as his illness goes on ... To watch this handsome, talented man write so honestly about how his addiction and fears have turned him into a bachelor semi-recluse is a difficult read ... Congratulations to him for being alive, first and foremost, and for writing a compelling, partly TMI book about one man’s battle against himself. Could there BE a more human story than that? I don’t think so.
Perry is a blurter, not a storyteller, and no ghostwriter or collaborator was involved in this project. Though he asserts that he does not blame his parents for his difficulties, the author sticks a major pin in the day they sent him on an airplane as an unaccompanied minor when he was 5 years old. Some will find it hard to sympathize with this story, and further mean-spirited outbursts don’t help ... 'I am me,' he writes. 'And that should be enough, it always has been enough.' It’s not enough to carry this memoir ... Strictly for Perry’s fans.