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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  12,827 ratings  ·  1,617 reviews
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 bel
Kindle Edition, 544 pages
Published May 15th 2018 by Henry Holt and Co.
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  12,827 ratings  ·  1,617 reviews

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Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Robin by Dave Itzkoff is a 2018 Henry Holt and Co. Publication.

After Robin Williams passed away, my daughter turned to me and said, “I grew up with Robin Williams”. After a moment, I realized that in many ways, so had I. I was in my mid-teens when Robin burst onto the scene in that iconic episode of ‘Happy Days’ which led to ‘Mork & Mindy’. I loved that show and found Robin to be a fresh comedic talent who could pull off what appeared to be completely spontaneous dialogue and accompanied by hig
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
While there will probably be other Robin Williams biographies published I can’t imagine that any of them will be as comprehensive or well done as “Robin” by Dave Itzkoff. Although the book is rather long (550 pages) and uses footnotes extensively, it never lagged. Itzkoff did extensive research and conducted many interviews with Robin’s friends, family, and co-stars in an attempt to understand this complex, driven, and extremely gifted man. Combined with those interviews and research, Itzkoff pr ...more
Elyse  Walters
PLEASE read my updated "ABOUT ME" profile. ...........This is the last review I'm writing for the rest of 2018. This break has been brewing. Its time! by the Fred Berman who was perfect for the task.

"Robin" as close to 'Robin Williams' as we're going to get. Author Dave Itzkoff gave us a thorough-all-encompassing *Robin*. I can't imagine anyone doing more.

I loved the meditative listening feeling I fell into at times while soaking in my pool...and or hanging
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader by: Toni
4 stars to Robin, a thorough and well-written biography of the life of one-of-a-kind Robin Williams! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

This book came highly recommended by my friend, Toni. I’m so grateful I read it.

My earliest memory of Robin Williams includes my mom’s hysterical laughter mixed with my own, while watching re-runs of Mork and Mindy. Robin’s silly humor even translated to small children! My favorite memory of him is when he came to my college’s campus to film Patch Adams, and I walked right by him and
Valerity (Val)
I still remember how stunned I was when I heard that Robin Williams had died, and then even more shocked when it came out that he had likely died by hanging himself with a belt. It just seemed such a wretched ending for the beloved comedian who’d brought such a wonderful humor into our lives. It broke my heart and I cried for what he must have been going through. I highly enjoyed this extremely well-researched book on him.

I feel it did a great job of covering his life including his family and c
J.K. Grice
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio-memoir
Ever since the tragic death of the American entertainment legend Robin Williams, I have been waiting to read the story of his life. I have always been fascinated by Williams because he was a man of incredible professional range. He was both a riffing force of nature as a stand up comic, as well as a quiet and incredibly skilled dramatic actor. I found those diverse talents to be extraordinarily intriguing, as I watched Robin evolve from MORK & MINDY to COMIC RELIEF to DEAD POET'S SOCIETY and eve ...more
Katie B
Every couple of months or so I think about Robin Williams and how he is no longer with us, and I just feel so sad. While he certainly made me laugh over the years and I thought he was a wonderful comedic and dramatic actor, I don't think I fully appreciated how absolutely brilliant he was until he was gone.

This is probably the most comprehensive Robin Williams biography we will ever get. It's not perfect, as I personally thought it got off to a slow start, but it does cover all the parts of his
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an entertaining biography of an incredible and unforgettable performer. I grew up watching Robin Williams' movies and TV antics and found him endearing.

Recently I watched the documentary “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind,” which was a nice complement to this book because it showed footage of numerous scenes discussed in the text. I also recommend listening to the audiobook for “Robin,” which was wonderfully performed by Fred Berman.

Highly recommended for fans of the late great Robin
Martie Nees Record
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Genre: Biography
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Pub. Date: May 15, 2018

The author, Dave Itzkoff, is a culture reporter who writes about film, television, and comedy for The New York Times. Itzkoff writes this book as a combination of straight reporting and insightful analysis. This is a bittersweet biography; the author portrays the artist, Robin Williams, not as a tormented soul who ends his own life, but more as a tender man desperate for talent validation.

We all know that Robin was a comic g
Goodness, this is long. I don't mean long as in "lots of pages", although there are, indeed, lots of pages. I mean long as in "goes on and on and on". Certainly the author has done extensive research, but it feels more like a long-form journalistic piece rather than a book. There is a huge amount of superfluous information provided - on distant family members, on the making of and reviews of lots of movies (not all of which had Robin in them), on the lives and loves of other celebrities, and so ...more
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When he was at the top of his form, Robin Williams was the craziest, most intense comedian. He was a bright light among a lot of dull bulbs in Hollywood. Itzkoff has presented us with a full complex biography of Williams that traces his path from childhood to his end when his flame blew out. From Williams' childhood among armies of toy soldiers to his adventures in the San Francisco comedy clubs, from his struggles with celebrity status and fears of the fleeting character of success, to his thre ...more
Shaun Hutchinson
I really enjoyed this biography. It gave me insight into Robin's life and mind, and even some insight into my own.

I would say, however, to avoid the audiobook. The narrator attempts to do Robin's voices while narrating. The narrator does a passable job, but no one could do the voices the way Robin did them, so when the narrator tries to do Robin doing the Genie from Aladdin, all it does is remind you you're not listening to Robin Williams. It felt disrespectful to me in a way. I wish I'd read t
Deborah Edwards
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I know three stars seems stingy when this book had so many glowing five star reviews, but here was my one problem with this incredibly comprehensive, thoughtful, well-researched biography: it had no spark. Robin Williams was an entertainer who, on both his best and worst days, was always interesting, always unpredictable, and always had the spark of something about him - the spark of genius, experimentation, manic energy, humanity, lust for approval, individuality, maybe even, at times, yes, a b ...more
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, comedy
The moment I knew that Robin Williams was a genius was when he did an impression of Mother Teresa with nothing more than a napkin dangling over his hand. How daringly creative was that!

His whole life, he served others. He lived to make us laugh. He was a master of improvisation.He could memorize a script in a single sitting,even after partying hard the night before. And he also became a great actor of movies, as well, taking on some very serious and deeply touching roles. He gave to others in m
Alissa Patrick
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars.

Warning- novel-type post.

August 11, 2014.

I was in the kitchen preparing lunch for my toddler when my husband came in, with a stricken look on his face. "Robin Williams died. They think he killed himself."

I'll be the first to admit that celebrities are treated like superheroes who are put up on a pedestal revered as gods. Most of the time,its unwarranted. But I feel like there are certain celebrities whom we just resonate with, who invoke emotions within us that touch us deeply, whose d
Donna Davis
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans.
Where were you when you heard that Robin Williams had died?

I was so stunned and grieved at this loss that I honestly wondered if something was wrong with me. I had admired Williams since Mork “uncorked” in the late 1970s, and for decades I enjoyed his work, but after all, he was a complete stranger. I had never met him; why did my heart drop to my toes and stay there for a while when he left us? But as the internet exploded and friends also responded, I understood that it wasn’t just me. He was
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We all knew Robin Williams was a genius; but most of us didn't know the intimate details that made up the man, and ultimately, his death. We knew he was an intellectual, studied drama at Julliard before he left after 3 years to devote his life to comedy and acting. Even Oliver Sacks, the renowned neurologist he portrayed in the film, "Awakenings," marveled at the workings of Robin's brain.
In "Robin," Dave Itzkoff leaves no stone unturned. He spoke to everyone and anyone who knew or worked with
Joy D
Biography of Robin Williams, including his childhood, schooling, comedic performances, relationships, children, television shows, movies, substance abuse issues, recovery, and health issues. His suicide is covered in a respectful manner. Dave Itzkoff provides an in-depth profile. He includes many direct quotations from Robin’s friends and several family members.

The book seems candid, revealing Robin’s foibles as well as his gifts. It gives the reader a sense of the factors that may have contrib
Brett Swanson
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I remember exactly how I felt nearly five years ago when I heard the news that Robin Williams had passed away. I was hurt, to the point that I was near tears. This reaction honestly shocked me. I remember asking myself "why are you reacting this way? You've never even met the guy?" He was a stranger to me, and yet I was reacting like a good friend had just died.

I saw this book at Barnes & Noble recently and knew I had to read it. There was something about Robin that I always admired. His person
Janelle Janson
BIG thanks to Henry Holt for providing my free copy of ROBIN by Dave Itzkoff - all opinions are my own.

This book is incredible, but also a difficult one for me. Robin Williams has been one of my favorite actors for many years, so it was a shock when he passed away in 2014. He was such a gem in the acting world, flourishing in any genre from drama to comedy. He had a heart of gold and one could see the generosity in his eyes in every part he played. He moved so fast in his standup and television
Marnie  (Enchanted Bibliophile)
“And when he was gone, we all wished we’d had him just a little bit longer.”

Robin McLaurin Williams

This is incredibly informative and marvelously written. Combine Fred Berman's excellent narration and you get a Fantastic end product.

I grew up knowing Robin Williams as a successful actor; producing wonderful films for my entertainment. I never released all the heartaches, hard work and loyalty that went into the man I came to know.
This book made me stop and think about how we assume things. For instance, all high pr
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comedy, biography
Robin Williams always felt especially inaccessible to me. In interviews some stars give at least the impression that they're revealing parts of their inner selves, but Williams seemed to be all shtick, all the time, always doing his impressions, giving one punchline after another. At times it felt like he was saying something authentic, but then he'd launch into some exaggerated Shakespearean accent, and I was left scratching my head.

Dave Itzkoff gives us a fairly comprehensive biography of the
Scott  Hitchcock
It was a good overview of his life. You forget everything he was in over the years and totality is impressive. I do wish there was a lot more day to day details with on location stories, etc.
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have been absorbed in this book for a couple of weeks now. When i finished it this morning, i felt like i had some closure in a personal relationship with robin williams. I was so sad for him and his family, as if i had made his life’s journey right at their side.

Itzkoff really benefitted from an obviously close and personal collaboration with robin williams’ family and friends, particularly his eldest son, zak, and his wife, alex, and close family friend billy crystal.

An intimate and heartf
April Cote
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh captain, my captain, you are so missed...

I have and always will love Robin Williams. Not only did he make me laugh until I cried, he could make me cry in sympathy for him in his serious roles. My heart broke when I heard of his passing, and to this day I still can't believe he is gone. If you're a fan, I highly recommend this book. It is a well written and researched biography about a wonderfully talented man that everyone loved and few understood.
Amy Leigh
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This book will be released on May 15, 2018.
When I got approved for an advanced copy I was ecstatic. I was also nervous that maybe the author won't do the man justice but that thankfully was not the case. This book is so thoroughly researched with a lot of cooperation from his family and friends. The author doesn't judge or take jabs at Robin but lays out the facts and lets you form your own opinions without being pushy.

It would be an understatement to say I got lost in this book. It was as eng
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Phew, this book hit me hard and has given me a lot to think about. It might sound silly, but I have always instinctively related to Robin Williams (minus the talent). I wouldn't call him my hero or anything, because honestly I didn't like 60% of his work, but I felt like I sort of understood him in a way.

That weird combination of being very private and in your head, combined with being a pathologically manic people pleaser, I got it. When I watched him goof around, I understood it as the relief
Jennie Damron
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I grew up watching Robin Williams. He was the first, non family member, to make me belly laugh. I thought for years of him as a long distant uncle. He felt like a family member to me. The day he died was awful and I just remember feeling shocked and sort of numb. This book helped me know more details about the man and actor I so admired. Dave did a fantastic job of writing this book. You can tell he actually cared about Robin and his family. There was no hidden agenda just a desire to tell Robin ...more
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Don't get me wrong - I think Robin Williams was a magician, a one of a kind comedian who had the ability to make us shake with laughter at times and still show us a bit of his vulnerable side. This biography chronicles his life, from growing up reasonably well off, to making his name in comedy clubs in San Francisco and LA, his Mork and Mindy days, then finding fame in movies.

I just found that reading this book felt like reading a sports or political memoir, with lots of changes of scenes and c
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting and thorough review of the great Robin Williams’ life - tragic how he self destructed and such a sad story in the end.
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Play Book Tag: [Poll Ballot] Robin by Dave Itzkoff - 4 stars 1 5 Aug 18, 2020 10:29AM  
Play Book Tag: Robin: The Definitive Biography of Robin Williams 5 stars 5 15 May 23, 2020 07:53PM  
Return of the Rog...: Robin by Dave Itzkoff 8 7 May 29, 2019 01:49PM  
Damage: Questions about Robin 2 17 Aug 01, 2018 04:10PM  
Damage: June Book Selection! 1 16 May 31, 2018 03:08AM  

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Dave Itzkoff is a culture reporter for The New York Times who writes frequently about film, television and comedy. He is the author of three books including, most recently, Mad As Hell: The Making of Network and the Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man in Movies. His fourth book, Robin, a biography of Robin Williams, will be published in May.

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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
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“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded.” 6 likes
“And when he was gone, we all wished we’d had him just a little bit longer.” 5 likes
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