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4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  9,762 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
In these pages, Rent offers what most theater books can't: a chance to step behind the curtain and feel the electricity of a stage phenomenon as it unfolds.

Rent has single-handedly reinvigorated Broadway and taken America by storm. Sweeping all major theater awards, including the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for drama, as well as four 1996 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best B

Hardcover, 160 pages
Published May 21st 1997 by It Books (first published December 1st 1996)
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Sep 21, 2012 Jillyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I will never get tired of the emotions that I feel whenever I read/see this play. Set in the 1980s during the AIDS crisis, this story based on La Boheme chronicles the lives of different people in New York City who are impacted by the disease. Mimi- the infected but vibrant young dancer. Roger- the infected brooding musician. Joanne and Maureen are an opposites attract lesbian couple, and Collins and Angel are an interesting pair also infected with the virus. Mark is the one who chronicles it al ...more
Jan 14, 2008 Faith-Anne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Rentheads
The Rent Bible is the perfect book to prop open & immerse yourself into the world of Rent. The photos are amazing. There's a full libretto...& Much much more. If you're a Renthead, you must pick this book up.
Brie Garza
Apr 29, 2012 Brie Garza rated it really liked it
Jonathan Larson (1960-1996)
"Stay true to yourself and to your dreams and know they can come true."-JL
-"At some point in their lives, most creative people have to decide whether to apply their talents to a moneymaking career, or pour them purely into artistic en devours and pay their bills with a day job."
-"Art is about love-the love you never got as a child, the love you can't give as an adult-the love you can only give your work."-JL
-"Does anyone really appreciate life when they're living it?"-
Paula Verdicchio
Dec 30, 2014 Paula Verdicchio rated it it was amazing
I'm a huge fan so this was a beautifully illustrated insight into Jonathan Larson who is one of my heroes.
Halley Hopson
Jan 15, 2015 Halley Hopson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
My favorite show for a reason <3
vi macdonald
So here's the thing: Rent is kinda shitty.
Like, this play actually deeply hurts and offends me.
Sure, the music's nice and all (well, some of the time) but honestly its attempts at updating Puccini's La Boheme to fit AIDS crisis-era New York are actually seriously surface level and are (I hate to be that person) actually kinda simplify the whole issue to the point that it's basically rewriting a VERY ugly part of history to be this horribly sanitised piece of fluff. This musical is to the AIDS p
Jun 20, 2012 Sammy rated it did not like it
Shelves: theatre
I don't get it. "Rent" is loved by so many for its music, its themes, and its outlook, so I don't want to besmirch something that clearly brings others joy. Suffice it to say, while Larson had musical talent, I find both the libretto and the lyrics to be quite amateur, and I think it does little justice to the characters involved.

Or maybe I'm just too hopelessly bourgeois? As a creative myself, I find the idea of people refusing to get real jobs to support their artistic careers to be... just to
Kelsey Trinkner
May 01, 2014 Kelsey Trinkner rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-senior-year
There isn't really a plot to this book. This book consists of information about the musical "RENT." It includes lyrics, pictures, biographies and almost any other question you could have about "RENT." I enjoyed reading this book. The musical meant a lot to me and to read this and be able to find out countless fun facts about it was amazing.

There is no true characterization in this book. It allows the reader to learn more about the actors, writer and crew.

There is no setting for this book. It was
Page Christman
Jul 02, 2011 Page Christman rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love Rent!! I think that this book gives a good behind the scenes look of how the show was created and what the creative team went through to make the show presentable to an audience.
It is very sad in my opininon that Jonathan Larson the creator of the show did not get a chance to see all of the success that Rent has had over the years.

No Day but Today!
Jul 25, 2016 Andrew rated it really liked it
Shelves: pulitzer-winners
Reading a musical you are pretty familiar with is interesting because you start to notice weird little word choices. I'd explain more, but I'm not sure I would be able to adequately articulate it. Still good, just wayyyyyy more 90s than I'd like to remember.
Alouise Dittrick
Aug 01, 2013 Alouise Dittrick rated it it was amazing
The book to own for any Renthead. It contains lots of information about Jonathan Larson's life, including interviews from family, friends, and colleagues. It has the full show libretto, plus pictures on every page. Great coffee table book, and one I love flipping through again and again.
Aug 15, 2016 Kirsten rated it really liked it
This is pretty awesome, including lots of background making-of information and a full libretto. Great pictures too!
Sep 12, 2007 Dana rated it it was amazing
RENT changed my life, as silly as that may sound. Not the book, but the stage musical. This book goes with it. Thank you Jonathan! RIP.
Randi (The Artist Formerly known as Guitar Chick)
Who do I give my left kidney to to direct a run of this show?
Bridgette Elston
Jan 10, 2017 Bridgette Elston rated it it was amazing
hands down my favorite book, movie, and play EVER!
Jan 06, 2017 Skyler added it
great books just loved it
Emily Ross
A brilliant musical with a brilliant book. It deals with taboo issues such as grieving, loss, sexuality, gender and HIV/AIDS. In keeping with these themes, the music is rather raw and emotional with songs like I'll Cover You (Reprise) and What You Own being personally tear worthy.
A criticism is that, while the plot is strong, the characterisation is rather weak. Mark's character's plot line, being the main character and narrator, is only vaguely touched upon in the first act, in La Vie Boheme w
Nov 07, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Larson's Pulitzer-Prize-winning musical remake of the opera La Boheme has long been one of my favorites, but I'd never read the book until now. I loved seeing the dialogue and lyrics all written. The show moves fast and there are frequently multiple conversations going on at the same time, so it's easy to miss things. It was especially fun to read the lyric-heavy La Vie Boheme. There are so many clever references that I had to read it through multiple times just to appreciate it all.

This versio
May 02, 2009 Briana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So as I've said before, Rent is one of my guilty pleasures...the morals are rather...questionable. But there's a lot of thought and soul put into Rent, albeit somewhat misguided and imperfect. And it really makes me ponder exactly what life is about... Rent puts forth an impressive presentation of moral relativism that's just filled to the brim with heartfelt emotion and passion. But is simple emotion enough in the end? Is getting your own way the purpose to existence? Seems like a pretty shallo ...more
Maggie Needham
Oct 10, 2011 Maggie Needham rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, library
The Rent Bible. A must-have for Rentheads. I love immersing myself in this book. It has gorgeous photos and the full libretto, as well as much, much more. There's so much information in here. I adored this show from the moment I heard "Seasons of Love" for the first time. I was lucky enough to see it during two different national tours, one with Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp. In my sophomore year of high school, I was on stage crew for our school production of the show, which remains one of my fa ...more
Jan 28, 2009 Kat rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Rentheads, Broadway fans
I was fortunate enough to see this show twice on Broadway before it ended its amazing run at the Nederlander. This book is an excellent companion to the musical. It's like carrying the musical with you in hardcover format.

The book has wonderful photos of Jonathan Larson and the original Broadway cast as they progressed through the workshops and eventually brought the show to the Broadway stage. It contains the full libretto of the musical, so it's fun to listen to the cast recording while readin
Jan 01, 2016 Kristen rated it it was amazing
I'm a huge aren't Head and I loved reading this. Learning more about Jonathan, the ideas behind RENT, reading about it going from a modern day La Boheme to more than that, and then learning about all the personal touches within the musical (the stories, the characters, the lines, etc) was really awesome.

I decided to listen to RENT while I read this and when I got to the lyrics part I listened to it again and it was really awesome to see how some songs p/lines changed a bit and see the stage note
RENT is one of my favorite musicals, but most of the arrangements for easy piano in this book were horrible. There were a handful that were acceptable (for example SEASONS OF LOVE). However, most of them didn't sound like the music and were full of one finger notes repeating over and over.

I don't recommend this book. It's a shame. I really do love the musical. I just wish I could play the music in fond remembrance. Oh well.
Brittany Granger
Sep 14, 2013 Brittany Granger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my all time favourite musicals.
It deals with subjects, such as drug addiction, homosexuality, cross dressing and AIDS/HIV, that many people tend to shy away from. The only reason why I am giving this a 4/5 is because, since it is play, the book is just a screen play, and like Shakespeare, it's better performed, but it's still a fun little read through. It's a must have for all RENT lovers.
Jul 14, 2011 Livia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
L'introduzione è interessante ma purtroppo chiude troppo in fretta senza approfondire il processo della creazione di Rent.
Curiosa l'edizione Kindle vettorizzata che rende le liriche gradevoli per schermi di diversa grandezza: il risultato finale, nonostante in alcuni casi il testo risulti molto piccolo, è buono.
Sul libretto c'è poco da dire, Rent _è_ e questo basta. :)
Mar 26, 2009 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was absolutely fantastic. Yes it is basically the lyrics but lyrics are brilliant. Yet the introduction by Victoria Leacock Hoffman is beautifully written but you can honestly tell how close they were and how much she respected him and the work that he did. In his short life he created a masterpievce.
Brian Sison
A great book about a great musical. This book shows you the story behind the story. Jonathan Larson was an immensely talented musical mind. This book includes much about him and the trials and tribulations he endured trying to stage his prodcution of Rent. Also includes the libretto to the musical.
Debbie Hoskins
This is a beautifully designed book that celebrates the musical, Rent, with exciting pictures of the cast and Jonathan Larson.
Interviews and other text tells the story of how Jonathan Larson created Rent and details about the casting and productions.
The book ends with the libretto.
Feb 17, 2010 Staci rated it liked it
Goes into the making of RENT and it's composer, Jonathan Larson. Parts of the book are slightly dated as some things are mentioned in present tense and the book was first published in 1997. It's a good souvenir for any fan of the musical.
Sep 17, 2011 Emily rated it it was amazing
Shelves: desert-island
The Rent Bible. This defined my life for so long. My copy has been in tents waiting for rush tickets off-broadway, signed by multiple casts, every word carefully read and re-read.. I used to open to random pages and lose myself in the pictures, story, and history inside. Its impact is immeasurable.
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Jonathan Larson was an American Tony Award-winning composer and playwright who lived in New York City and authored musicals, including Rent and Tick, Tick... BOOM!. These musicals tackle serious issues such as multiculturalism, addiction, homophobia, and the AIDS epidemic. His artistic vision and goal was to fuse Generation X and the MTV Generation with the world of musical theatre in his work. Th ...more
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“The heart may freeze, or it can burn. The pain will ease and I can learn. There is no future, there is no past. I live this moment as, my last.” 164 likes
“Forget Regret, or life is yours to miss” 143 likes
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