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Robin Review

An Amazon Best Book of May 2018: David Itzkoff’s monument of a biography is an intimate and thorough examination of Robin Williams as both man and performer. From his years as a reclusive kid playing up in his attic bedroom, to his early days of standup, to the runaway success of Mork and Mindy, to movies, addiction, recovery, and fame, his need for affirmation was the thread that drew him forward. He sought that affirmation by working tirelessly, and Itzkoff chronicles the actor’s successes and failures, as well as his close friendships in and out of show business, to create a deep psychological portrait. Robin Williams possessed an earnestness and a craving for honesty that made him shine brighter even as it threatened to destroy him. This is a bittersweet read, with highs and lows, but the Robin Williams who emerges is as compelling as his greatest performances. -- Chris Schluep

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A New York Times Bestseller

Named a Best Book of the Year by Vulture, San Francisco Chronicle, AARP The Magazine, Mental Floss, The Sunday Times, and Writer's Bone

"A must-read."―Vogue

"Dave Itzkoff allows readers a rare intimate look at Robin Williams in this honest and emotional biography of the late entertainer. . . . Robin is a fresh look at a man loved by many but truly understood by few."―Time

"Will make you weep in missing him just as much as you laugh in remembering him."―Entertainment Weekly

"Immersive, intimate and incredibly detailed. . . . A revealing, warts-and-all portrait of a man of great talent trying to design a career and a life while being buffeted around by a cacophony of contradictory voices and impulses. . . . The result of exhaustive research and fan-like devotion."―Merrill Markoe, Washington Post

"A breathtakingly good biography, exhilarating a lot of the time, yet disturbing, too, and one of the best books ever written about anyone who sees no way out of life except by trying to make people laugh. Or is it weeping? Who can tell in a storm?"―David Thomson, San Francisco Chronicle

"A generous, appreciative biography of Robin Williams by a New York Times culture reporter. The author, who had access to Williams and members of the comedian’s family, is an unabashed fan but doesn’t shy away from the abundant messiness in his subject’s personal life."―The New York Times Book Review (editor's choice)

"Terrific. . . . Itzkoff captures the ebb and flow of Williams’s career beautifully, with respect and with honesty. . . . [Here is] a life that was both miraculous and troubled, told in an artfully shaped, fact-filled book that honors the truth of his life."―Boston Globe

"There will never be anyone quite like Robin Williams, and there may never be another celebrity profile or biography quite like this again either. It’s not hyperbole to say that New York Times correspondent Dave Itzkoff’s engrossing and all-encompassing biography of one of the most beloved actors of the second half of the 20th century will change you."―Fortune

"The biography we've been waiting for. . . . [A] meaty, well-researched, moving story of a man who could never quite come to terms with his own brilliance."―Booklist

“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

“[A] page-turner. . . . [Itzkoff keeps] us clued into so many aspects of Williams’ life, with finesse and foreboding, but no showy sentiment. His writing is simply imbued with Williams’ special intimate connection.”―Newsday

"[Williams'] life was one of compulsive creativity and genuine kindness and perpetual insecurity and frequent infidelity and uniquely electric imagination. Dave Itzkoff’s biography 'Robin' gets its hands around as much of that life as possible. It's an incisive, comprehensive, very fine book. . . and the author captures it with grace and evenhanded perception."―Chicago Tribune

"Reveals the heart and soul of an icon."―Christian Science Monitor

“In Robin, Dave Itzkoff manages to straddle the man and the myth of Robin Williams, all the while helping us see why we fell in love with both. He has written a book about the truth and pain that lies in comedy, and the price paid by a sensitive soul.”―Amy Poehler

"[A] really great book - a living chronicle & secret history of 50 years of American pop culture - and you should pick it up!"―Colson Whitehead, Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning author of The Underground Railroad

“Dave Itzkoff’s Robin is much like the man himself―warm, funny, frenetic, with a core of darkness and empathy. It gets at that darkness, and shows how it fueled, beautifully, the manic brain and kinetic body of the man himself. An amazing read."―Patton Oswalt

"Thoughtful and devoted. . . .a must-read."―Harper's Bazaar

"This book should be on everyone's summer reading list. It's certainly on mine."―James Corden

"Many who never knew [Robin Williams] were hit hard by the loss ― how could someone so dizzyingly funny encompass such darkness? Dave Itzkoff’s well-researched, thoughtful biography fills in some of those shadows. . . . Itzkoff, a New York Times reporter, writes with a clear-eyed fondness for his subject (including a moving epilogue in which he discusses his personal encounters with Williams)."―Seattle Times

"Captures the magic and the sadness of Robin Williams' life ... a well-researched and solidly written biography."―Dallas Morning News

"A revealing portrait of the motivations of a quiet comic genius whose explosive persona moved millions."―Kirkus

"Meticulously sourced and comprehensive in scope, Itzkoff's work gives Williams's many fans a rare glimpse of the man behind the celebrity."―Publishers Weekly

“This is the complete portrait of Robin Williams, from the boyhood inception of his genius to the complexity of his death. Williams may well be one of those people who are impossible to fully understand, but this book is as close as anyone will ever come.”―Chuck Klosterman, author of But What If We’re Wrong?

“Dave Itzkoff has produced a remarkable and empathetic portrait, packed with satisfying detail, of a comic whirligig who could break your heart. He reveals Robin Williams the man with clarity and poignancy.”―Julie Salamon, author of The Devil’s Candy and Wendy and the Lost Boys

“For someone who often seemed to wear his heart on his sleeve, Robin Williams was also surprisingly elusive. In his probing and compassionate biography, Dave Itzkoff does justice to both the blazing light and the dark corners in his work and life. Robin is deeply reported, finely attuned to the ebb and flow of a long and singular career, and ultimately very moving.”―Mark Harris, author of Pictures at a Revolution and Five Came Back

“Everyone Dave Itzkoff interviewed for his account of Robin Williams’s life and career seems unsure if they fully knew who Williams was and why he did all the things he did, but Itzkoff pieces him together in his entirety. This engrossing book paints a stunningly complete picture of both the man and the comedian. A triumph, and a tragedy."―Alan Sepinwall, coauthor of TV (The Book) and author of The Revolution Was Televised

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