Book - 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
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781627794244
Branch Call Number: B W6754i 2018
Characteristics: xii, 529 pages, [16] pages of plates : illustrations (some color), portraits ; 25 cm


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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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