• Generation Friends

  • An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era
  • By: Saul Austerlitz
  • Narrated by: Barrett Leddy
  • Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (77 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $28.00

Buy for $28.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

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)

“Austerlitz has written a love letter for fans of the show to remember key moments from the 10-season run of Friends while also revealing the good and bad of how difficult it is to create a show, put it on the air and find lightning in a bottle.” (Associated Press)

Featured Article: Go Behind the Scenes of the Small Screen with These Television Tell-Alls


Nothing quite compares to a night in with your couch, a bowl of popcorn, and a fresh season of your favorite show. But what if you just can’t decide what to watch? We’ve all spent literal hours scrolling through our watchlists or recommended carousels, going glassy-eyed at the thousands of options available—before turning on that same familiar sitcom or dependable drama. Look no further for something new and different that's also sure to satisfy.

What listeners say about Generation Friends

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    40
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    45
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    34
  • 4 Stars
    21
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

5 people found this helpful

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

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Seinfeldia but for FRIENDS

I really enjoyed this book and it was definitely what I was hoping it would be. A history of one of the most popular sitcoms of all time and a show that has a special place with people old enough to have grown up with it. It's hard not to compare this book to Seinfeldia and I'm happy to say that it is just as good of a read. This isn't a juicy tell-all so much as an insider history. You'll learn about the casting process, the writer's room, the actors, and much more. The author focuses mostly on what the show did well and the positive impacts it had on pop culture but doesn't shy away from the criticisms the show has endured since it aired. My chief complaint is that the Author seems almost too eager to shine a modern light on the show and judge it based on current conventions and standards. That sort of analysis is natural and expected, but it sometimes felt like the author was more worried about making sure not to disagree with certain popular movements, rather than presenting an unbiased retelling of events. For example in the chapter about the lawsuit, the book just assumes the allegations are true and spends most of the analysis talking about the negative impacts of the decision and how it contributed to the problems leading to the me-too movement. His points aren't invalid, but I would have preferred a more unbiased look at the specific allegations and responses to those allegations. I don't want to spoil the book, but even in this book there were facts that made it clear the court's ruling may have been the correct one in this specific case, even if the consequences of the decision had much broader negative impacts.

All in all, I enjoyed the book and finished it in a matter of days. The writer has a passion for the material and is skilled enough to make nonfiction as interesting for me as fiction and that's no small feet. I will definitely look to see what else the author publishes in the future.

The narrator is definitely effective. He manages to sound like he genuinely enjoys the material and finds it interesting without devolving into fanboy territory. It's strike's me as the right tone for this book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great book

Love the book! Makes me want to go watch friend all over again.
Could do with out the political opinions at the end of the book.

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

There is a mistake in Chapter 6 - Ross and Joey

There is a mistake in Chapter 6 - Ross and Joey both date Gabrielle Union's character, not Chandler and Joey...

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Just a summary of the friends plot

Most of the content is just a summary of the friends episodes! Boring. It has a few facts sprinkled in.

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

A book about friends littered with liberal garbage

It was hard getting passed the passive aggressive jabs of their political leanings. Maybe if they could control their emotional outbursts, it would have been better. A real letdown.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

really good

just a touching and hilarious read. one of the best books I've listened to

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

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.