Cover Image: Generation Friends

Generation Friends

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Member Reviews

If I’m being honest, I came late to the Friends game. (To be fair, I was only 5 when it premiered). I didn’t watch the show until college when my husband introduced me to the show. He had all 10 seasons in DVD (before Netflix had acquired the rights and we were forced to get off our behinds and change disks 😂). It quickly became a new favorite of mine, so I was thrilled when @Netgalley and @duttonbooks gave me access to the ebook for Generation Friends in exchange for an honest review.
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What I Liked: I’m a film and TV nerd. In that I find all the behind the scenes, how they came to be stories fascinating. Austerlitz gives a very thorough back story on how Friends came about from the fruition of the idea to how the show has endured. I loved the nuggets about how each cast member got their role (David Schwimmer was a shoe-in from the beginning. Who knew?!?) to how writers would have to change stories on the fly and how some of the iconic episodes came about. It was also surprising to learn how critically, the show wasn’t very well received.
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What I Struggled With: The book just got a bit dry. Also, a lot of time was spent dissecting Ross/Rachel and rehashing their major episodes. It just went a bit long and lost my interest. He briefly touched on the controversies of the lack of diversity, homophobic jokes, and transphobia on the show, but I would have liked a bit more on if there had been anything said about this at the time of the shows creation instead of how it’s perceived now.
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If you’re a Friends fan, it’s definitely a solid read!
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This book was a joy to read. It was far superior to the other books that i have read that attempt to discuss the epic television series, FRIENDS, as  Austerlitz engages with in-depth research while also providing insightful discussion on prominent episodes. The behind-the-scenes look at the show paired with the cultural impact analysis that Austerlitz provides for the reader in 'Generation Friends" makes this book a must-read for an fan of the series. I have already recommended it to several others, and we've enjoyed discussion our love of the show even more with the helpful analysis provided in this book.
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This was such a fun read being that I am a HUGE fan of the tv show Friends. I loved how this book gave so much background info on the show and the things we did not see while watching. Such an iconic show and a great book to go along with it. I think this is the perfect book for first time friend watchers.
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I love Friends. I’ve watched every episode at least three times. This book was so fascinating to dip deeper into the show. Getting to know the in ands outs was so neat!
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What a great trip down memory lane and reminding me all about why I fell in love with Friends in the first place!
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I liked the show Friends, but never considered myself a real fan until recently binge watching the entire series. I liked learning the history behind the show since as I hadn't known it already, not being a huge fan growing up. It was a little wordy for me at times, but overall an enjoyable read.

Thank you to NetGalley for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Perfect book for anyone who loves the show Friends. The behind the scenes information and interviews are great!
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I’m a huge Friends fan and this book was a complete treat. I enjoy that while learning things you didn’t necessarily know about the show but the nostalgia of reading about your favorite characters and show  is still there and will never go away.
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There was one thought on the back of my mind as I was reading this: who is book intended for? Was it for the big fan base of the show? If that's so, I doubt they need someone to describe iconic episodes scene by scene. Fans know each line and will be able to point out mistakes (as many have done). Was it for someone who is not (yet) a fan of the show? If that's so, I sincerely doubt that they would even pick up a book about some show they are not interested in. Personally, I didn't watch the show when it was on, but became a big fan watching it on re-runs since. This book would have been so much better if it stuck to "behind the scenes" - the parts about getting the show off the ground and the workings on the inside of the writers' room were what I was hoping to see. But I didn't want to read a written replay of episodes (I'd rather watch them instead).
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I admit it: I am a “Friends” addict! I have watched every episode of the show numerous times and know most of the lines by heart. Even so, I read some interesting bits of information in Saul Austerlitz’s new book, Generation Friends, that I had not heard before, and I thoroughly enjoyed  hearing some behind-the-scenes stories and learning more about how the show was put together.

Austerlitz is a talented writer, and the way his book is set up makes it very reader-friendly. The analysis at the end is also admirably done. The only things I might quibble with are a few tiny details in the book that aren’t quite right (things I probably just noticed because I have watched the episodes so many times), plus there is a bit too much rehashing of storylines for my taste, although that is clearly a personal preference.

Still, I have no hesitation in recommending this book to other “Friends” fans, both old and new. It is a wonderful tribute to a groundbreaking television series that has stood the test of time and will always hold a special place in my heart.
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This was a funny and interesting look at the world of Friends, from its conception to its end. It made me smile in so many instances and I found out things I didn't know about the show. I think the book definitely needed photos of some of the scenes mentioned in the book.
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I grew up with friends. I spent 10 years watching Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe live their lives. Now I have been given the chance to see the behind the scenes things. And I couldn’t be happier! I love this book! It’s an amazing tribute to an amazing show.
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Generation Friends by Saul Austerlitz is the latest in a recent wave of analyses and retrospectives on the history and lasting legacy of FRIENDS. FRIENDS will always hold a special place in my heart as I watched it with my brother on DVD and it was one of the first things we really bonded over. Generation Friends takes a look at the history of the show - how it came to be in every facet, what made it so successful, and why it has endured long since it went off the air, not just with those who watched it during its run, but as a new generation has found it and identified with it.

The writing of Generation Friends was great; Austerlitz provided great detail and new nuggets of information that even this avid FRIENDS fan didn't know. However, there were times where SO much detail/rehashing of storylines was provided, down to many many quotes. While I understand the necessity of explaining storylines for a reader who may not have every episode memorized, for someone who is extremely familiar with almost all of the storylines at time it just felt like a bit much.

That said, I really enjoyed the way the book was structured and all of the different elements that were examined from the casting, to the writing, to the design, etc. I think this is a great read for FRIENDS fanatics, and for those curious about why it has connected with so many people for so long.

4/5 stars
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I really wanted to love this book with all my heart. I did for the most part, and it succeeded at getting me out of a major reading slump. However, my issue comes with some of the smaller details. I'm a huge Friends Superfan. I've seen every single episode more times than I can count...and can even quote the lines cut from the NetFlix versions of the episodes, because I own them all on DVD. So my only issue is that some of the who said what, or did what is wrong. For example, it was Monica who whistled (or woo-hoo'd) to put the guy in the coma. And it wasn't boxer shorts that were found in the couch at Monica and Rachel's, they were Chandler's tighty-whiteys. 

That is really my only grievance with this book, Generation Friends. I thoroughly enjoyed the behind the scenes moments. I'd recommend this book if you're a huge fan of Friends.
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I am on the fence about this book. I really wanted to read a fast-paced and engaging book about my favorite show, but this was not it. This book read more like a thesis paper and was very technical in its descriptions of the show itself. I just could not get "into" this read, unfortunately.
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The book with something for every Friends. As someone who was less invested in the series when it was airing, I still found a lot to value in this book. The behind the scenes glimpses of how a television program is created from the writers to costumers and set designers etc. was very informative. The analysis at the end of why and how the show continues as a part of the national and international dialogue of people young and old was especially well done.

The Ross and Rachel parts, which mostly just recounted the evolution of their relationship which anyone reading a book on Friends surely knows, was the weakest part. I also wish there were more focus on the negative parts, not in a salacious way but because that is a very real part of the legacy of the show. The chapter on the Friends lawsuit was too short and left out nearly all details on what was actually alleged. One can be all in for free speech but realize it crosses a line when reading what was alleged to have been said in the room. The only mention of what the accused writers thought was that they denied the worst parts. The analysis of how the Friends lawsuit impacted the entertainment industry and delayed many other accusations of sexual harassment was on point but it also feels as if the section would have been even shorter or just a passing mention in another chapter if the #metoo movement had not happened and brought the case to light again.

But I get it. Friends is a feel good show that was set in New York but didn't acknowledge 9/11. For a Friends book to skip or gloss over some of the seedier parts of the show seems apt. 

Recommended for the Friends fan who wants to know more about one of the last great cultural touchstones of television.
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This book is most definitely for fans of the TV series Friends.  Perfect for me, since I love the show.  I was skeptical at first because I am such a fan of the show that I didn't think there was anything left for me to find out.  I was definitely wrong.  This book is full of interesting nuggets about the show, the creators, and the stars.  I loved everything about this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who loves the TV series Friends.
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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.
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Fans of Friends will love this book. Nonfiction is not my go to but I couldn’t not pick up Generations Friends. This book has such a good balance of information while also calling on all of the parts of Friends we know and love so well. If you love Friends hit Buy Now!
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In September 1994, Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe all sat down in a coffee shop for their first infamous cup of coffee as “Friends”. Twenty-five years later, Friends still airs on television and has never taken a break. What makes this series so iconic? How does it withstand the test of pop culture through time? In this book, Austerlitz dives into the pop culture, the making, and gives a behind-the-scenes look at what occurred as the show was cast, written, and filmed. The layout is well-done and the intriguing is helpful and intriguing. Fans of the Friends television show will want to pick this one up.
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