Robin Williams: When the Laughter Stops by Emily Herbert (2014)
Robin Williams: When the Laughter Stops
by Emily Herbert
John Blake Publishing, 2014
The tragedy of Robin Williams’ demise profoundly affected his fans, both here in the United States and abroad. Very few people knew of his struggles with depression, and news of his suicide opened many eyes. A man that was able to make so many laugh, but he was unable to find peace for himself.
Author Emily Herbert examines the comedian’s life in Robin Williams: When the Laugher Stops, bringing out the obstacles Williams faced throughout his life. Starting with his early encounters with bullies, and his attempts to gain his mother’s love and approval through his comedic personality, Herbert paints the picture of a tortured soul who many times used his comedy to mask his pain. Williams’ school days are briefly recounted, including his friendship with Christopher Reeve at The Juilliard School. Once Mork & Mindy comes around, Herbert relies heavily on reviews and interviews in publications to tell the story. Many of the actor’s films are treated similarly, showing both the critical and commercial response to his big screen career.
Herbert does not go into great depth on any particular aspect of Williams’ life, but points out several things that played a part in his life and ultimately his death. From the shock of overnight success and the disappointment of professional failures, to personal problems with drugs and divorce and the loss of friends such as John Belushi and Reeve, Williams had many things working against him. But there are many things his fans can remember him for as well, from his charity work to the comedic legacy he left behind on film.
This posthumous biography is written with his death on the writer’s and readers’ minds, and some may find it harder to read than a standard biography. Still, there is not a lot out there in printed form at the moment, and Robin Williams: When the Laughter Stops is a good overview of his career until a fuller history of the man’s life and work is made available.
Posted on December 5, 2014, in books, movies, reviews, television and tagged biography, Emily Herbert, John Blake Publishing, Robin Williams, When the Laughter Stops. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.