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Will by Will Smith with Mark Manson


by Will Smith with Mark Manson

Quick take

Brave, astonishing, and inspiring, Will Smith's memoir is a profound, entertaining journey of self-knowledge.

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    400+ pages

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    Famous author

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One of the most dynamic and globally recognized entertainment forces of our time opens up fully about his life, in a brave and inspiring book that traces his learning curve to a place where outer success, inner happiness, and human connection are aligned. Along the way, Will tells the story in full of one of the most amazing rides through the worlds of music and film that anyone has ever had.

Will Smith’s transformation from a West Philadelphia kid to one of the biggest rap stars of his era, and then one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood history, is an epic tale—but it’s only half the story.

Will Smith thought, with good reason, that he had won at life: not only was his own success unparalleled, his whole family was at the pinnacle of the entertainment world. Only they didn't see it that way: they felt more like star performers in his circus, a seven-days-a-week job they hadn't signed up for. It turned out Will Smith's education wasn't nearly over.

This memoir is the product of a profound journey of self-knowledge, a reckoning with all that your will can get you and all that it can leave behind. Written with the help of Mark Manson, author of the multi-million-copy bestseller The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Will is the story of how one person mastered his own emotions, written in a way that can help everyone else do the same. Few of us will know the pressure of performing on the world's biggest stages for the highest of stakes, but we can all understand that the fuel that works for one stage of our journey might have to be changed if we want to make it all the way home. The combination of genuine wisdom of universal value and a life story that is preposterously entertaining, even astonishing, puts Will the book, like its author, in a category by itself.

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Why I love it

Nothing about the career of Will Smith was inevitable. One of our most dazzling, mercurial stars, he rose to rapid fame first as a rapper and then the star of hit show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and has stayed in the public eye since. But despite his prominence, do we really know him? In this eye opening book, the Hollywood star opens up about his ascent to fame and how he came to reassess what was most important and central to his life. More than a memoir, WILL is a rich meditation on living a fulfilled, fruitful life that is chock full of hard-won wisdom and insight.

At the peak of his success coming off an unprecedented tear of box office successes, Will Smith found himself in an odd position. At the top of the world, he nonetheless felt adrift from his family and his own internal compass. It slowly became clear that in order to reach a higher level of success and meaning he would need to reconcile his internal desires, his most important relationships, and the external signifiers of success. In order to achieve this he embarked on a long journey in pursuit of self-knowledge. This book is a record of that journey and the lessons learned along the way.

The best books resist categorization or easy labeling. This is just such a book. Exceedingly entertaining, it also contains so many ideas and concepts to ponder that it may leave you a little dizzy on first read. But you will be better for it. Don’t wait, crack a copy of WILL open right now, I guarantee an unparalleled adventure awaits you within its pages.

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Member ratings (3,551)

  • Sarah L.

    Augusta, NJ

    I really enjoyed this, I’ve been a fan of Will’s since I was a child watching Fresh Prince reruns. I liked Will’s style and the call backs to previous lesson’s and phrases from earlier in the book.

  • Jackie D.

    Columbia, SC

    I was so captivated by the storytelling in this book, it was almost conversational. If you haven’t, listen to the audiobook after reading the book. It’s heartfelt and just downright good for the soul.

  • Tammatha D.

    Temple HIlls, MD

    Learning the true Will Smith was very eye opening. I can now understand him and his ways of handling certain situations. It’s ironic that I read this book at the same time as the Academy Awards drama.

  • Jennifer B.

    Tucson, AZ

    I’ve always been a fan of Will Smith and being close to the same age I found it very interesting to relate to his life experiences through similar times. I enjoyed his writing style and found his boo

  • Kelly L.

    Denver, CO

    I read with the audio book and it is the only way! It was a different experience to hear one’s story from their own mouth. I really enjoyed Will’s story and I can say that I appreciate him more now!