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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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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Learnt so much of Robin!

Have been RW fan for decades but knew little about him as he was a private man.
I feel like I know who Robin was now and enjoyed listening and having a laugh along the way. Fully recommend!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Philip
  • Upper Hutt, New Zealand
  • 02-09-2018

A must read for William's Aficionados.

I was not entirely sure about this biography at the beginning because Williams was portrayed in a way to which I had not previously had insight. This was not initially helped by Berman's narration. However, as the biography progressed I gained a new understanding of this extraordinary man. Berman then excelled as his characterisations of Robin progressed. His enormous number of friends/associates, his family, his loves and weaknesses, his loneliness, his lack of self-confidence, only excelled by his need to be better and a great comedian. His tragic end and the real story that happened behind that one many imagined and its cause for me added particular meaning (as a doctor). Williams was a most unusual, and immensely talented individual. Like all special people, they are complex, sometimes hypocritical but this man, loved by so many, was his own tragedy. He will be remembered as a one-off. A great comedian not yet to be outdone. This book allows us more insight into what this man was really like. For those who like Williams, this is an important book.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful

Loved it. To hear a more in depth portrayal on the fantastic human being of Robin William's it really pulled a few strings on my favourite childhood and adulthood comedian. Worth a listen to see the man behind the comical genius. I miss his beautiful heart soul and laughter. brilliant an absolutely brilliant man.

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  • Caoi#$%
  • 12-07-2018

An overview of a comic genius and complicated man

A very well written biography. I really enjoyed Itzkoff’s writing and felt that it provides an opportunity to get to know as much as possible about a man who was quite closed. As a fan of Robin Williams, I, like everyone else, was so shocked and saddened to hear of his passing and the details. To learn later that he was in stages of Lewy Body dementia, without him knowing it, was so sad.

This book certainly covered the sad loss of Williams, his health and his latter days. However it also summarised his price ledger upbringing, how he perhaps never felt accepted by his parents and how hard it was for a genius to conform to societal norms. There was a lack of true depth in the book to be expected given it was written after Williams’ death so there are unanswered questions. There was also frequently a negative sentiment around Williams’ career or his perception of it, but perhaps, sadly, this was the case.

The book was rounded by interviews with close family and friends, including Williams’ children, wives and friends such as Billy Crystal. A good, well written book which I would recommend.

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  • L. BETTLES
  • 11-06-2018

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • ShabadooGMan
  • 23-06-2018

Essentially perfect

Beautifully written, utterly heartbreaking, incredibly insightful. Strongly recommend to any fan or admirer of the great man.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • MINDWELLER
  • 27-08-2018

Detailed and interesting

I thoroughly enjoyed this detailed account of this unique individual who seemingly was as flawed as he was talented . Though in a different genre from Freddie Mercury there are many similarities in the charismatic sensory tsunami each flooded any environment they inhabited with vast influence and intense interest. Both are reported as being relatively shy in their personal lives.
This account of Robin probably needs addressing at least a couple of times by normal individuals such as I or even more due to its intense detail. It renewed my interest enough to revisit some of his films and presentations. The material from this book enhanced my enjoyment and profound sadness evoked by these.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tony R.
  • 17-08-2018

a great biography of a great man

Very well put together so pleased to hear a true appraisal of his life hope more people listen to this book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-07-2018

fab insight into one of my favourite comedians

awesome insight into a much loved comedian. It was a well read interesting book recommended for anyone who knew the iconic Robin Williams my love and respect to Robin's family Sadly missed RIP Robin

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • K.B
  • 10-07-2018

Fantastic audiobook

Absolutely amazing audiobook describing Robin Williams life. A credit to a great actor, comedian & person.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan W.
  • 14-06-2018

Touching

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful