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Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era

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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  889 ratings  ·  168 reviews
A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at Friends, published for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the shows premiere, including brand-new interviews with the series creators

In September 1994, six friends sat down in their favorite coffee shop and began bantering. A quarter of a century later, new fans are still finding their way into the lives of Rachel, Ross, Joey, Chandler,
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Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Penguin Random House
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Erin Yes and no. I'm about 1/3 through Generation Friends, and so far it's a lot more about the actual production and mechanics of the show, where I'll Be…moreYes and no. I'm about 1/3 through Generation Friends, and so far it's a lot more about the actual production and mechanics of the show, where I'll Be There for You talked more about the social impact and some of the cultural implications (i.e., Fat Monica and why Chandler couldn't just be gay), as well as the author's personal experiences as a fan of the show. Both books are excellent, though, especially if you're a Friends fan who enjoys lots of inside knowledge and trivia!(less)
Sarah - All The Book Blog Names Are Taken He definitely got a lot of facts wrong in this book, the threesome never happened except in the 'what-if' episode, so no, as others also said. There…moreHe definitely got a lot of facts wrong in this book, the threesome never happened except in the 'what-if' episode, so no, as others also said. There were so, so many mistakes in this book. I am as die-hard a fan as they come and I deeply regret wasting time reading this one. (less)

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Kate Vocke (bookapotamus)
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My first thought when I saw this book was coming out? Oh. My. Gawd. And then, How You Doin? Could I BE any more excited? Nope. I dont think I could. Its a 'Moo' point. This book, Would Be Perfection. This book, will be my Lobster. We will go together like a Chick and a Duck because its not that common, it doesnt happen to every guy and it IS a big deal!!

Youre going to want to be On a Break and summon all your UNAGI when you dive into this one because you will gobble it up like teenage Monica and
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Laura • lauralovestoread
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I grew up watching FRIENDS, and still find myself drawn in to watch the show if its on. I knew I needed to read this book, to get all of the behind the scenes details.

I loved that some of the influences of the show creators were represented in Phoebe, Chandler and Monica. I cant imagine the characters being represented by any other actor, so that was interesting to learn that som of the actresses auditioned for other characters for the show!

*Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy for
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Ellie
If you're a Friends fanatic--as I am--then this book is a must read. I was already familiar with some of the information here of course having read everything else I could find on the subject but Austerlitz offers interesting analysis of the Friends' phenomena here in the U.S. and across the world. This sit com from the 90s continues to be popular with new generations. Why?

Austerlitz finds the answer in the world presented in Friends. It's one of belonging, of finding one's way into adulthood
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Paige Connell
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book, like gum, is perfection. When you read it, you've found your lobster. You'll want to PIVOT into your favorite chair and dive into it. Could it BE any more fulfilling for a Friends fan? You won't want to be on a break from any of the chapters. The 5th dentist caved, and they're all recommending that you read this book. If I could give it more than 5 stars, I would definitely give it 7...7...7... SEVEN...seven.

If you have any nostalgia and knowledge of Friends from the 90s and early
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Lyndsey thelittlereadingmermaid
holy nostalgia!
I consider myself to be a FRIENDS superfan, okay? ive seen each episode well over 100 times, and I STILL laugh at Chandlers jokes, Rachels ditziness, Phoebes eccentric personality, Joeys blonde moments, Monicas antics, and Rosss hopeless romantic gestures. I was beyond excited when I saw this book was being released because I had hoped it would dive further into the behind the scenes life of FRIENDS than a certain other book released last year had.
This book exceeded my
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Lauren
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Its hard to take a Friends book seriously when there are a few glaring mistakes regarding plotlines and episodes! ...more
Janet
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it

When you don't have a car for a month due to a predatory car insurance industry, you can get a LOT of reading done!!

I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

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

In
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Leah Lawson
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it
This is the second book in the last year that I have read about Friends. I enjoyed reading this one much more. If felt less political and more about the actual show and actors/actresses.
Claire
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received Generation Friends as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

On the 25th anniversary of its premiere, Saul Austerlitz recounts the background, meteoric popularity, and aftermath of Friends. Overviews of episodes and story arcs, interviews with creators and writers, and related information about the cast and crew give a well-rounded portrait of the ratings juggernaut.

As someone who adored Friends as a teenager, I really enjoyed this. There were some stories I knew backward and forwards; others I
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Alyssa Fedder
Jan 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I would give this book a better review if the author didnt feel the need to include their political opinion multiple times. ...more
Beth
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
While parts of this book are a lot of fun for a friends superfan like me, I feel this author just doesnt get it. I was expecting some behind the scenes gossip and show facts and that would have been really good to me. What it actually was turned into a TON of stupid opinions by this obviously liberal idiot author and at least four stupidly mentioned digs on the president of the United States. Automatic deductions of Stars for those comments. I hate that more than anything in a book. To me this ...more
Ben Lund
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What can I say, I liked this book. I'm the guy that has Friends on in the background while I'm cleaning up, or has it on while I eat my breakfast. It's fun, it's familiar, and I know what I'm going to get. The same goes for this book, I knew what I was getting into when I picked it up. I wasn't looking for the "rumours" or the "gossip" of the show. That has been throughly covered by the tabloids. I wanted to know why Friends is the way it is. I can't think of any other show that had 10 ...more
Hannah
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I really enjoyed this and found it to be a much better read than I'll Be There for You: The One about Friends.

This is less trivia and more about the process - how FRIENDS started and how it got to where it is today. It highlights the show's shortcomings (i.e., whitewashing, homophobia, transphobia) and refuses to justify those decisions in the show by stating "yes, the show should have done better.

I felt like I'll Be There for You: The One about Friends was more like a Wikipedia page about the
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Heather McC
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Saul Austerlitz does his very best to commemorate Friends' 25th anniversary and while his book does serve as a love letter of sorts to the beloved TV show of the mid 90s and early aughts, the book falls short in terms of getting little details correct in quite a few instances. It wouldn't take very much for a superfan to notice referenced storylines that are not quite accurate, or pieces of character backstory that do not add up with what viewers originally saw. Ultimately, a commemorative book ...more
Ramon van Dam
Feb 29, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is a bit of a mixed bag. As a major fan of the show I'll happily read anything that can give me new insights into the world-wide phenomenon that had a big footprint in my teenage years, but to be honest the actual quality of the writing isn't up to par.

Austerlitz brings some new information to the table, he definitely did good research by talking to a lot of people that were very involved in the creation of the series. That alone made the read worthwhile to me, although large sections
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Jim
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Not being a superfan, yet having watched many episodes and enjoyed them, I found this somewhat interesting and informative, especially about how these types of shows are created. I was expecting a little more gossipy insider stuff, and you do get a bit of that, but this is perhaps more for the serious fan. It did bring back some enjoyable memories, so there was that.
Jenny Leitsch
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it
A fun, fast read. Not as juicy as I hoped, but I did enjoy a peek into the life of a television writer. I also liked the analysis of why the show was an audience favorite when it originally aired versus why audiences like it now. Interesting social commentary. Definitely a worthy read for fans of the show!
Elizabeth
Jan 06, 2020 marked it as to-read
I had to stop because of the hold list at the library, but what I've read so far I've really enjoyed!
Rachel
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Could this book BE more awesome?!?
Tina
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a fun walk down memory lane, and I appreciated reliving some of the episodes I remember watching years ago, and also adding to my knowledge of Friends by hearing some behind the scenes details for the first time.
Laura Hill
Jul 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, non-fiction
Thank you to Penguin Group Dutton and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on September 17th, 2019.

A fun read for those of us who are big Friends fans (and apparently there are a lot of us). Im not a big TV person I dont have cable, and usually just watch a single movie on DVD at night but I loved Friends, owned all the DVDs, and it was definitely my go to in times of stress. I just never realized how popular it was
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Lorraine
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Penguin Group Dutton and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The book will be published on September 17th, 2019. 📚

As someone who has only seen about a third of Friends' 236 episodes, I wasn't sure if this was going to be the book for me. I was a year and three months old when the first episode hit the air. I've watched episodes casually with friends and seen clips on Youtube, but as a more casual fan than a die-hard one, I wondered
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Ashley *Booksbrewsandbarks*
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved reminiscing through reading this book! Packed with informative tidbits about the show, from its initial conception through its very last episode as well as the individual actors' lives beyond its end, this book truly brings insider information to the average viewer and reader. While I initially thought the layout of the chapters was odd, by the end I appreciated that it read more like a collection of essays. It was easy to finish a chapter and really let the information sink in that was ...more
Mary Bronson
I thought this was such a great well written story about the creation and ending of one of pop culture's most loved television shows of the 1990s and early 2000s Friends. I like how it started at the beginning and worked its way through to the end of the show. This book talks about all the ups and downs of the show and how hard it can be to create and maintain a popular show. How unlike a movie you have to come up with new material each week and keep the stars happy. I like the little back story ...more
Brian
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
"The One About The Book About Friends.."

Friends was a TV show that represented my college years. I watched it every week and have many vivid memories of enjoying so many of the episodes. I remember being thrilled that on Thanksgiving,there was always a special episode to watch. And I remember the night the finale aired I had a grad school class.. This book is about the history of Friends. It contains the origins of the show, the evolution, the struggles with some of the plotlines as well as a
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Lulu
Oct 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Interesting read for "Friends" fans, a few mistakes (misattributed quotes from some episodes) but those are minor quibbles, overall an enjoyable, behind-the-scenes look at television's most enduring sitcom.
Sara
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2020
If youre a Friends fan, youll enjoy this book! Like so many others, Ive watched the entire series multiple times, often quote from it, and still find humor and relevance in so much of the series despite it being off the air for 15+ years. This is the second book about the show that Ive read, published around the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of its premiere, and it is definitely a nice read giving both a behind the scenes look at the making of the show, as well as recaps of how it came ...more
Shelley
This book, unfortunately, left a lot to be desired. However, as a longtime fan of the show, I still found just enough of interest to keep me turning the pages to the end.

Austerlitz goes into exacting, dull detail of every step of how this show was conceived, cast and written. If he could've thrown in the weather on every given day in the process or what people had for lunch, he would've. We're talking a level of unnecessary detail that will test your resolve and ability to remain conscious.

And
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David
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I have not seen an episode of Friends from beginning to end. I've seen clips, and before reading GENERATION FRIENDS, I was passingly familiar with some of its in-jokes, quotes, and impact on popular culture. So, why read a book dedicated to the making of a show I haven't seen? Because I love reading about how things are made, particularly "things" stemming from pop culture. GENERATION FRIENDS is one of the best of those "things" I've come across.

Author Saul Austerlitz leaves no stone unturned.
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Caleb Hoyer
Oct 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I already read a book about Friends earlier this year, Kelsey Miller's I'll Be There For You. Whereas that book felt more about the series' place in our culture rather than about the creation of the series, this book is much more about how the show came to be and the history of its ten-year production and afterlife. It spends less time, although (I would argue) still too much, trying to figure out why the appeal of this sitcom has lasted as long and as fervently as it has. I've always found that ...more
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I am the author of the upcoming Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era (Dutton, September 2019), which is an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at Friends, just in time for the show's 25th anniversary.

I am a freelance writer, and my work has been published in the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone, the Boston Globe, Los Angeles
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