Will Book Summary - Will Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro
00:00

Will summary

Will Smith with Mark Manson

Inspiring Observations and Life Lessons

3.8 (283 ratings)
24 mins

Brief summary

'Will' by Will Smith with Mark Manson is a memoir about the life and career of Will Smith. It's a story of hard work, perseverance and overcoming obstacles to become a successful actor and entrepreneur.

Table of Contents

    Will
    Summary of 7 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 7

    Will’s Future

    It’s the year 1985, we’re in Philly – more specifically, in the leafy, middle-class neighborhood of Wynnefield. Will is just returning from school. He’s seventeen years old. 

    As he enters the house, he senses that something is wrong. Sure enough, his mom’s at the kitchen table, with a look somewhere between sadness and anger on her face. 

    That’s unusual. With his father, trouble’s never been far away. There’s no pleasing the man. A hard-drinking disciplinarian with a mean streak, he’s always been moody and unpredictable. But with Mom, it’s different. They’ve never not been on the same page. Until now. 

    Will is no scholar, but he’s done well in school so far – well enough to be able to get into a good college. That means everything to his mother. 

    What you have to know about Mom is that she came up in a poor family in a bad neighborhood during hard times. College saved her. It’s what put her in this comfortable brick house in leafy, middle-class neighborhood of Wynnefield. Times have changed, sure, but the world’s still a brutal place – especially for a young Black man like her son. He has to go to college. That’s her truth.

    But Will’s grades have started to slip. And that, he assumes, explains the look on her face. 

    A while back, Will’s cousin introduced him to hip-hop. He’s been rapping ever since – hippity-hopping around, as his Mom says. Right now, he’s teamed up with a disk-jockey named Jeff Townes. They call themselves Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and they’ve been making waves – first in Philly, then in New York. Hip-hop’s still new, but everyone in the scene knows it’s the next big thing. And they’re riding the wave. There’s even talk of a record deal.

    But hip-hop, Mom says, isn’t a career. It’s a hobby. He can rap but he can’t be a rapper. That’s when Will says it – the thing that’ll break her heart. He doesn’t want to go to college. 

    It’s a stalemate. Neither Mom nor son backs down.

    Enter Daddio. For Mom, it’s education that matters. For her husband, it’s hard work. They’re different like that. She chooses words with care, speaking with academic finesse. Daddio, though, is a poet of profanity. Will remembers how he once called a man – and please excuse his French – “dirty rat, cocksuckin’, low-down, mangy pig fucker.” 

    On hip-hop, though, they see eye to eye: college is a safer bet than a music career. 

    But there’s an artist underneath the hard exterior of Daddio. Thing is, this cussing old soldier didn’t dream of owning the ice-packing business that puts food on the Smiths’ table. He wanted to be a photographer. But his parents made him sell his camera. Art, they said, wasn’t “practical.” 

    So Daddio agrees. Will can pursue his music career – with one condition: if Will doesn’t succeed in a year, he’s going to college.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Will?

    Key ideas in Will

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Will about?

    Will (2022) is a firsthand account of one of Hollywood’s greatest careers. Will Smith doesn’t just tally up his many successes, though. He also opens up about his struggles, shortcomings, and the help he received along the way.

    Will Review

    Will (2021) is a memoir by Will Smith that delves into his life experiences, lessons, and personal growth. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • Offering insights from a global icon, it provides a unique perspective on success, fame, and the pursuit of happiness.
    • Smith's raw honesty and vulnerability throughout the book make it relatable and inspiring, encouraging readers to reflect on their own lives.
    • Through engaging storytelling, Will takes readers on a captivating journey, offering a glimpse into the mindset and determination that propelled Smith to international stardom.

    Who should read Will?

    • Film buffs 
    • Hip-hop aficionados 
    • Anyone who loves inspiring true stories

    About the Author

    Will Smith is an actor, producer and musician. He is a two-time Academy Award nominee and a Grammy Award and NAACP award winner. His career spans the worlds of music, TV, and film. He’s best known for his roles in films like Bad Boys, Independence Day, Men in Black, and Aladdin

    Mark Manson is the New York Times best-selling author of Everything is F*cked and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. His books have sold over 12 million copies worldwide. 

    Categories with Will

    Book summaries like Will

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Will FAQs 

    What is the main message of Will?

    The main message of Will is about personal growth and self-discovery through the life experiences of Will Smith.

    How long does it take to read Will?

    The reading time for Will varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary of Will can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Will a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Will is definitely worth a read. It offers valuable insights into the life of a successful artist and the lessons learned along the way.

    Who is the author of Will?

    The author of Will is Will Smith with Mark Manson.

    What to read after Will?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Will, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Everything is F*cked by Mark Manson
    • The Beatles Anthology by The Beatles
    • Finding Me by Viola Davis
    • JAY-Z by Michael Eric Dyson
    • Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
    • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
    • AI for Business Leaders by Michael Ramsay
    • Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday
    • Bedtime Biography: An Autobiography by M.K. Gandhi
    • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin