Robin

September 14, 2019 - Comment

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

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.

An Amazon Best Book of May 2018: David Itzkoff’s monument of a biography is an intimate and thorough examination of Robin Williams as both man and performer. From his years as a reclusive kid playing up in his attic bedroom, to his early days of standup, to the runaway success of Mork and Mindy, to movies, addiction, recovery, and fame, his need for affirmation was the thread that drew him forward. He sought that affirmation by working tirelessly, and Itzkoff chronicles the actor’s successes and failures, as well as his close friendships in and out of show business, to create a deep psychological portrait. Robin Williams possessed an earnestness and a craving for honesty that made him shine brighter even as it threatened to destroy him. This is a bittersweet read, with highs and lows, but the Robin Williams who emerges is as compelling as his greatest performances. — Chris Schluep

Product Features

  • 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 his true range.

Comments

Anonymous says:

Must-read for Williams fans I’m not usually a fan of celebrity biographies, but Robin Williams was something special–a singular talent whose intellect and wit that were off the charts. I may have seen only a handful of his movies and never watched more than a few episodes of Mork and Mindy, but if I saw he was going to be on a talk show, I seldom missed it.This exhaustively researched book,written by NY Times reporter Dave Itzkoff, delves into every aspect of Williams’s life, from his lonely but privileged…

Anonymous says:

The Kid From The Attic My concern about Mr. Itzkoff’s ‘Robin’ was that the book would simply be a hagiography, because so little time has passed since Mr. Williams committed suicide. Emotions are likely still raw for many of the people who knew the comic genius when interviewed by the author. Glossing over Mr. Williams’s less appealing qualities was a distinct possibility. Fortunately, Mr. Itzkoff shows a great deal of professionalism by giving a balanced portrayal.At 440 pages, the book is more an…

Anonymous says:

A man who “seized the day” In his new biography “Robin,” author Dave Itzkoff relates an anecdote in which while he is doing a story on Robin Williams back in the day, he and Robin visit a comic book store together – an offer that Itzkoff initially doesn’t take too seriously as that kind of thing is not uncommon with celebrities. However, when the two do go, a customer bumps into Robin and stares open-mouthed at coming face-to-face with a legend in the flesh. In “Robin,” Itzhoff gives fans and just those…

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