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Publisher's Summary

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.

Robin by Dave Itzkoff 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.

©2018 Dave Itzkoff (P)2018 Macmillan Digital Audio

Critic Reviews

"This well-written page-turner is the definitive biography of the genius of Robin Williams, whose life redefines the highs and lows of the American dream." (Steve Martin) 

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  • 06-11-18

A fitting biography for a tortured genius

I have been waiting for a decent biography of the beloved Robin Williams and this book is superb. The narration is excellent. I have read some reviews where some have said that the book is to long and detailed.. It is long and it its detailed, But this amount of details is necessary to to tell the story of a genius who was troubled insecure and many other facets which are described in this book. The research is impeccable as many close family and friends give the reader an amazing insight not just into the comedian/actor that we think we know but also the complex private man drawn from amazing interviews.

I came away with the notion of being thankful that for a time i frequented the same plant as this fireball of energy the likes of which we will never see again the later chapters as he got ill and his struggles with dealing with failing health are hard to hear but ultimately this again is necessary to aid in understanding exaclyt what was going on at that time.
There are many surprises and many comedic moments which will leave you laughing out loud. In short I already loved Robin Williams but after reading this book i now have a new found love which is now coupled with respect for both the actor/comedian and the man.

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  • Ryan W.
  • 06-14-18


It was a very good book. Hearing the journey Robin went through, his self doubt, His struggles.

A great read. Narattor impersonated snippets of his stand up routine well. I cannot wait till this book gets copyright licences to use the actual snippets of shows.