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Generation Friends

An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era
Narrated by: Barrett Leddy
Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
4 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at Friends, published for the 25th anniversary of the show's premiere. Howyoudoin’?

In September 1994, six friends sat down in their favorite coffee shop and began bantering about sex, relationships, jobs, and just about everything else. A quarter of a century later, new fans are still finding their way into the lives of Rachel, Ross, Joey, Chandler, Monica, and Phoebe, and thanks to the show’s immensely talented creators, its intimate understanding of its youthful audience, and its reign during network television’s last moment of dominance, Friends has become the most influential and beloved show of its era. Friends has never gone on a break, and this is the story of how it all happened. 

Noted pop culture historian Saul Austerlitz utilizes exclusive interviews with creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman, executive producer Kevin Bright, director James Burrows, and many other producers, writers, and cast members to tell the story of Friends’ creation, its remarkable decade-long run, and its astonishing Netflix-fueled afterlife. Listeners will learn how the show was developed and cast, written and filmed. There will be talk of trivia contests, prom videos, trips to London, Super Bowls, lesbian weddings, wildly popular hairstyles, superstar cameos, mad dashes to the airport, and million-dollar contracts. They’ll also discover surprising details - that Monica and Joey were the show’s original romantic couple, how Danielle Steel probably saved Jennifer Aniston’s career, and why Friends is still so popular that if it was a new show, its over-the-air broadcast reruns would be the ninth-highest-rated program on TV.

The show that defined the 1990s has a legacy that has endured beyond wildest expectations. And in this hilarious, informative, and entertaining audiobook, listeners will now understand why.

©2019 Saul Austerlitz (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Saul Austerlitz gets at the heart of [the show’s] appeal." (New York Magazine)

"[An] under-the-hood chronicle of the nineties sitcom." (The New Yorker)

"All die-hard fans need to read this tome, which reveals never-before-known tidbits, including how the show writers’ lives inspired the storylines for the beloved characters." (Star)

"Chock full of behind-the-scenes info, this fond accounting is a must-read for both new and old Friends fans." (Booklist starred review)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    3 out of 5 stars

Some good nuggets but SEVERAL inaccuracies.

I really wanted this to be a 5 star review all the way around. There were some really good stories in this audio however there were some sizable inaccuracies that any super fan would know and to hear them is like nails on a chalkboard.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Read "I'll Be There For You" Instead

This book is basically the another version of the book" I'll Be There For You" by Kelsey Miller. Miller's was more entertaining and heartfelt.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Interesting Perspective

My favorite part was when there was discussion about fan favorite episodes. But the beginning of the book feels lengthy with all the name dropping of individuals that many of us haven't heard of.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A must for any friends fans!

This is a beautifully researched synopsis of everyone’s favourite show. Definitely worth a listen! The book sums up Friends history and its impact on popular culture impeccably.

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Fun For Any Fan

I pride myself on knowing a lot of Friends history and trivia, but I still had a lot to learn (and regurgitate to my own friends and family) from this book. There is a lot of recapping the show’s actual events - a waste of time given that most people reading this book could quote the described scenes backwards and forward. Most of the recaps were short enough to make me chuckle and move on. However, the “Ballad Of Ross & Rachel” segments went on way too long, often with minimal behind the scenes treats at the end. I put the audiobook at a faster speed during those parts. Still loved it and recommend.