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 andFrom 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....
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||544 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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Disclosure: ARC received from Netgalley & publisher in exchange for an honest review. (They may regret this.) Any and all quotes were taken from an advanced edition subject to change in the final edition.
Me having been an energetic, oddball boy named Mark, with brown hair & blue eyes, born in the early 1970’s, I got called “Mork” a lot in school, thanks to Robin Williams on “Mork & Mindy”. And I never took it as an insult, because the man and the character were both magical to me. I even had the rainbow suspenders. Nearly 40 years later, having an opportunity to read an advance copy of a biography of Robin Williams on the condition that I write a review, I was both eager and hesitant. Biographies of celebrities typically tend to fall into one of three categories: The lazy, hastily ensembled pastiche of commonly known information, written for a quick buck; the scandalous, cynical tell-all; and the gushing, overlong love letter that glosses over the negative stuff. Dave Izkoff’s “Robin” is thankfully none of these. The book’s lighthearted approach, and steady advancement through events initially worried me for a couple chapters. But this friendly, optimistic approach to Williams’ life and career ends up making the serious stuff pack that much more wallop when it comes along. Not unlike when a fun, lighthearted movie like “Mrs. Doubtfire” suddenly injects an unexpected serious note out of nowhere, and instead of putting you off, it pulls you in. With the full cooperation and input from Williams’s children, ex-wives, and close friends like Billy Crystal, Bobcat Goldthwait, Eric Idle, and countless others, and more footnotes of sources than a textbook, this is an incredibly thorough biography, without ever feeling too heavy. It celebrates all that was great about Robin Williams, and never apologizes for his reckless mistakes in life. It shows us what got him to low points in life, leading to drinking/drugs/infidelity, never excusing it or justifying it, but also never treating it like tabloid scandal. It’s the biography of a man who had struggles, made some bad decisions, but who also made some truly great decisions and brought joy to people’s lives. Despite making the occasional stinker movie , he truly was magic. I was about halfway through the book when it occurred to me that it was inching along ever closer to his ultimate death, and I didn’t want it to ever get there. I had somehow overlooked that, enjoying long ago tales of Mork & Mindy, and of Popeye (shush, Popeye was magical, in its own quirky, plotless way), forgetting that I was reading the life of someone who was gone, whose death had crushed me at the time. This book comfortably, casually pulls you into a mood of comfort, to where when it finally reaches his death, it hurts all over again. I had forgotten the post-death announcement of his Parkinson’s diagnosis, but I had correctly remembered that he was clean and sober when he ended his life. This isn’t a book with any sort of calculated, shocking revelation, but it does contain a piece of autopsy information about his health that I had not heard before, that makes it possible that he was not aware what he was doing when he took his life. And that possibility just adds to the tragedy. I applaud the author for somehow crafting a true rarity - a biography that is sentimental and adoring, while pulling absolutely no punches.