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From New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff comes the definitive audiobook 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’ 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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Leigh on 05-24-18
I thought this book did a great job at letting us into the man that was Robin Williams. I grew up watching his films (am I one of the handful of people that actually like Popeye?) and I never realized how many "losses" he went through in his career. I will say that I felt sad the whole time listening to this book because obviously, we all know how it ends.
I do WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with the review that brings up the narrator saying Marin wrong. It really irritated me every time I heard it. It's MAH-RIN, not MARE-IN.
Aside from that one quip and that I think some of the transitions between Robin's life/movies could've been better, overall it was a great purchase for me!
31 of 31 people found this review helpful
By Joseph L. Moore on 05-18-18
Disappointing but worth a read
This book is both terrific and disappointing. It is told very much from the perspective of someone looking in. A great recollection of many parts of Robin’s life, career and family. But, it never explores anything from a psychological or creative perspective. This is the key to this great man and any work omitting this is doing a disservice to the reader.
Also, Robin’s suicide affected the world immensely. But, the author has no perspective and presents nothing or no one familiar with suicide. His treatment of suicide is shallow and inaccurate.
Also, the impersonations of Robin are unnecessary.
All in all a decent read and one worthwhile for fans of Robin Williams
71 of 77 people found this review helpful