eBook - 2018
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From New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff, the definitive biography of Robin Williams - a compelling portrait of one of America's most beloved and misunderstood entertainers.

From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his breakout role in Mork & Mindy and his Academy Award-winning performance in Good Will Hunting , Robin Williams was a singularly innovative and beloved entertainer. He often came across as a man possessed, holding forth on culture and politics while mixing in personal revelations - all with mercurial, tongue-twisting intensity as he inhabited and shed one character after another with lightning speed.

But as Dave Itzkoff shows in this revelatory biography, Williams's comic brilliance masked a deep well of conflicting emotions and self-doubt, which he drew upon in his comedy and in celebrated films like Dead Poets Society ; Good Morning, Vietnam ; The Fisher King ; Aladdin ; and Mrs. Doubtfire , where he showcased his limitless gift for improvisation to bring to life a wide range of characters. And in Good Will Hunting he gave an intense and controlled performance that revealed the true range of his talent.

Itzkoff also shows how Williams struggled mightily with addiction and depression - topics he discussed openly while performing and during interviews - and with a debilitating condition at the end of his life that affected him in ways his fans never knew. Drawing on more than a hundred original interviews with family, friends, and colleagues, as well as extensive archival research, Robin is a fresh and original look at a man whose work touched so many lives.

Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2018.
ISBN: 9781627794251
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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May 13, 2019

One of my favorite comedians was Jonathan Winters , and Robin is similar in his comedy . The book does a good job in describing Robin's upbringing, education, marriages, and diverse movie career. There's depth and balance to the book, and it's well-researched.
Robin's struggles with drugs and alcohol and depression are examined .

Jan 22, 2019

In the 70s I was a teen doing homework in front of the TV when my world was suddenly rocked forever by the force of sheer comedic genius that was Robin Williams; the childlike man with the lightning-quick brain who seemed to have literally come from another planet. His sudden death left a huge hole in the hearts of millions, who had come to love this crazy brilliant force of nature, who could leave you breathless from laughing one moment and touched by his gentle tenderness the next. A complex character, a man difficult to fully comprehend as he spun so quickly from manic madness to heartbreaking pathos; and this work does an excellent job of trying to capture the contradictions that were Robin Williams the man and to tell his story with honesty and love. As the end grew near I sobbed yet again, knowing what was coming. An incalculable loss of an incredible man.

LPL_KimberlyL Nov 29, 2018

I experienced the full range of emotions while reading this brilliantly executed and compassionate biography. There was so much joy and drama and excitement within these pages that I eagerly tore through the book, almost forgetting how it must end. This is a masterpiece of non-fiction.

Sep 22, 2018

How many times can you describe Robin Williams as brilliant, evanescent, unique and totally irreplaceable? And also as a terribly addictive personality? Many times, in this powerful biography of a basically shy, modest person whose genius carried him to the height of both celebrity and wealth. There were plenty of stumbles on the way, but he always prevailed. We all know that it ended very, very badly. But it's a powerful story, told in sometimes too much detail, perhaps needed to convey the complexity of Williams's life and relationships.

Sep 22, 2018

Written by Williams' friend Itzkoff, there is much interesting information but felt somewhat like a puff piece spending large amounts of time on congratulatory material, but sometimes unquestioning or absent discussion of questionable behavior. E.g., "sexualized outbursts" directed at women on the Mork and Mindy set, such as "goosing" Mindy's "sweet old lady" grandmother with a cane, groping costar Pam Dawber's ("most frequent target of these sexual outbursts") breasts and "ass," etc. This is in the book chapter titled "The Robin Williams Show," where it is made clear Robin was the alpha dog of the series, apparently allowed many liberties.
Good photos included.

Aug 22, 2018

If you read this book because of the hype, you won’t be disappointed. Although I skimmed through much of the film-making details, Williams’ life and loves is well-written. What is most stunning is what is learned abut William’s health in the post-mortem autopsy.

ArapahoeLesley Jul 16, 2018

Itzkoff has written a well informed and very enjoyable biography of comic legend Robin Williams that makes you smile and laugh with the memories that Robin's long career bring forth. I am shocked I haven't ever seen The World According to Garp, Good Morning Vietnam or The Fisher King, where was I? I have put them all on hold from my local library and I look forward to watching them with my behind the scenes knowledge. You'd have to be heartless to not cry while reading this, it is very affecting. So heartbreaking but heartening too.

Jun 25, 2018

This is a very well-written thoroughly-researched biography about a very complicated and interesting man. The author has clearly gone to great lengths to ensure accuracy and honesty, and shows no bias toward the subject. The composition is excellent and the story line remains interesting. The ending, of course, is sad, but one is given a very clear insight as to why Robin Williams committed suicide. The author leaves it up to the reader to decide whether it was the right or wrong course of action for this extraordinary man. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the life and death of Robin Williams.

Jun 15, 2018

This book was just what I wanted- some insight into Robin's mind, what his life was like, what it was like to be him. He had so many gifts but with those came many insecurities. I can understand more now why he would live and die as he did, love him even more and wonder how anyone would manage his brain better than he did.

May 13, 2018

The new Robin Williams bio is terrific, containing both something of the heady stimulation of his comedy and the inevitability of his tragedy.

The end result had the remarkable effect of strengthening my feelings for someone for whom my feelings were already pretty strong. It made me want to compare Williams to Peter Sellers, only without the distaste for people which Sellers had. I don't think the Brit liked many very much; I think Williams liked most.

Herein, as he rises, you want him to reach the heights you know he will attain, and root for him. Then as the downhill slide begins, you *don't* want to reach what you know lies at the bottom...but it's well-written enough you can't stop reading.

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