Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent

by
3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  3,138 ratings  ·  311 reviews
Anthony Rapp captures the passion and grit unique to the theatre world as he recounts his life-changing experience in the original cast of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical "Rent." Anthony had a special feeling about Jonathan Larson's rock musical from his first audition, so he was thrilled when he landed a starring role as the filmmaker Mark Cohen. With his mom's cancer...more
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published February 7th 2006 by Simon & Schuster
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Without You, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Without You

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Nancy
Posted at Shelf Inflicted

I’ve wanted to read this for a while, but not before seeing at least the movie version of Rent. Off to the library I went and borrowed a copy of both film and book. I’m certain I would have appreciated this story, loosely based on Puccini's La Bohème, a lot more in its original version as a play, and had I been about 30 years younger. Back then I probably would have been able to empathize with a cast of talentless characters who wanted to succeed as artists, but who cou...more
Cathy
Very good. I was inspired to read it because I'm going to see Rent this weekend, starring original Broadway (and movie) cast members Rapp and Adam Pascal. Rapp was very open and honest in this book, sharing primarily his memories of his journey as one of the original members of the Rent cast, through Jonathan Larson's death and opening on Broadway, and most of all through his mother's life and death. Having lost my mother to cancer as well, I really identified with a lot of what he went through....more
Faith-Anne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathrina
Overshare? Why, yes I will, thank you. For a condensed review: This is a great memoir, not just about Rent, but about grief and love and honesty. For way more information about most-likely-irrelevant-to-you connections I made to my own experience, read here...(view spoiler)...more
Erin
I met Anthony at summer camp and we only really chatted once. Even then, I think everyone recognized his incredible talent and so he had a reputation of being one of the kids who was going to make it really big. I also remember both the guys he talked about in the book - Ben was so funny and I remember him always cracking us up. He was always on the edge and even then I worried for him because despite being totally hilarious, he seemed, well... too close to the edge. It was so sad to hear the st...more
Sarah Arant
My advice to Anthony Rapp would be to stick to acting and not writing. Either that, or don't be ambiguous about the contents of what he is writing.
This book should not have included "and the Musical Rent" in the title, because I honestly felt that he touched very little on the subject. I was under the impression upon going into this book that it would have been more focused on his time working with the show, especially since he was there since the start, and his experience through it all and NO...more
Jillian
Let me preface this review by saying that I absolutely love the musical Rent...and I've loved it for a long time. In fact, although I'm certainly not as hardcore as some Rentheads, I've even seen the musical three times.

That being said, I found the actual writing of this memoir almost painful to digest...perhaps for the simple fact that Anthony Rapp is an actor, and a very talented one at that. But he's not a writer. And while I found his stories about how he became involved in Rent, his strugg...more
Stacy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephanie
I love Rent and I love Anthony Rapp. I just saw the show for the umpteenth time because he toured with Adam Pascal. I first saw the show in NYC, but the originals were already gone (1998). What a duo. I wish the entire original cast would regroup for a tour...I would pay big bucks to see them all, especially Idina, Adam, Mark, Jesse, and Taye.

I enjoyed the insight into Rapp's life, but mostly enjoyed the morsels about the start of Rent and the evolution of the show. I think only true fans of Re...more
Anthony
Anyone who follows my Twitter account knows this book absolutely devastated me. I read it on two legs of a cross-country flight and the people around me were absolutely giving me concerned looks as I teared up and sniffled and once even stopped reading, set the book down and closed my eyes to take deep breaths. It hit home.

So much of Anthony Rapp's life parallels my own. Not perfectly, of course -- I'm not claiming to be the man's twin. There are some obvious differences -- the successful theate...more
Katie
I'm a big fan of both RENT and Anthony Rapp, so I was ecstatic to finally read this book. It did not disappoint. I've read it twice and a refuse to get rid of it because I know I'll read it again. For anyone that has ever dealt with terminal illness, loss, guilt, love, passion, hate, this is a must read. Not for RENT-heads alone, this book will speak to everyone.
Meg
Anthony Rapp, may be a good actor, but he is a horrible writer. Wow. I only stuck with it, because I have this sick habit of finishing books that I have started. Sigh. I do want to resee the movie----or the show if it was not done.
Jen
Rent is by far my favorite Broadway show, probably will be ever, and this memoir was a really easy read and a good reminder of why Jonathon Larson's death was such a loss to us fans. And why I adore Anthony Rapp so much.
Meredith
I am listening to this book.
Samanthadorcean
In Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent, Broadway star Anthony Rapp shares the story of his life pre, post, and behind the scenes of the classic rock opera Rent. Beginning as a 20 something struggling actor in New York City, Rapp was working as a barista at Starbucks patiently waiting for his Broadway big break. Starring in Adventures in Babysitting as a teen, he had a taste of fame which made him want it even more. It took a few years before his performance of REM’s “Losing...more
Erika
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christopher
I've owned this book for a few years and I never got around to finishing it (...a problem I consistently have...). I first got it in St. Louis when Anthony Rapp was in town for the farewell tour of RENT. He had a book signing that I attended, and the next day I saw him perform onstage at the Fox Theatre. This wasn't the first time I met him. That was back in high school when he came for a master class and to see our production of Miss Saigon. I was surprised he remembered me when I saw him at th...more
Maggie Burgess
I love when a book really reaches me. I especially love when that book is a memoir of a person who I consider above me for whatever reason (celebrity, leader of their profession, etc.) I love Anthony's ability to write openly and honestly about family, about struggles, about relationships, and more. I found myself completely relating to his experiences, and even when I couldn't relate, I truly felt for him- and I knew he'd feel for what I went through. I really felt as if we were becoming friend...more
Izzy
This book has been on my list for about a year now and I was so excited to read it. The first thing that hit me was how good the writing was from the very first chapter. Sometimes when someone has such a gift as Rapp has as an actor, it's easy to forget that there is a lot more to them than just that. The narration was so clear I could picture everything and for an autobiography/memoir it's amazing how many conversations were remembered and recorded throughout the course of the book.
I will admi...more
Ellen Cohen
Perhaps it's best to preface this by saying that I have had in the past year the pleasure, privilege and honor of getting to know the author of this book. Anthony, aside from being an actor of immense talent and accomplishment, is eloquent, intelligent and has a heart of gold. I speak so highly of his personality in this review only to go on and say that it shows in the heartfelt nature of his memoir.

The book reads incredibly quickly; it's just that good. The raw emotion keeps coming and coming,...more
Kim
About a year ago, I watched the musical RENT. I'd heard good things about it, and it seemed intriguing from the pictures and gifs I'd seen on Tumblr. I instantly fell in love with it and the message that it shared, and, as I usually do when I find a new obsession, I spent many nights reading up on the Broadway musical and the cast members.

RENT is an amazing musical about living life to the fullest and without regret. Unfortunately, the musical's writer, Jonathan Larson, unexpectedly died the nig...more
Marianna
Wow. That was a powerhouse of emotions.

Rapp is a wonderful writer. I could imagine his mother's house, Rachel, Anne, Adam, the workshop of Rent, literally everything. His imagery was precise. I loved glimpsing into his life. Anthony Rapp is so interesting but so, so sad!

As a fan of Rent, it was interesting seeing first the workshop cast to finally the Broadway cast. Seeing Anthony's first reactions to Anthony Pascal, Idina Menzel, etc. I feel the show will mean so much more to me now because of...more
Anjum
When I was in chorus in middle school, I would go into class everyday forcing myself to have a great time, and get a lot out of the class. When people asked me what my favorite class is, I would say chorus without hesitation. Well, I actually hated middle school chorus looking back on it, but aside from that, that's how I went into reading this book. I picked it up knowing that I would love it. Having this internal push to like this certainly gives me a bias and clouds my opinion, so take that a...more
Jodie-Lee
As a usually sceptical reader of memoirs and biographies I was surprised at myself when I giddily ordered Anthony Rapp's book. Surprising myself further I read it in 2 days, refusing to put it down.

The most striking thing about Rapp's book is the sheer love that it is written with. The overwhelming affection seems almost tangible as it seeps through the pages. Anthony has a knack for giving life, even when it's at its bleakest, that fairy-tale feeling that we all crave.
Fairy-tale though it may s...more
Rebecca
This book has been bouncing around in my head and I am sure it's on a list of mine somewhere and I don't know what prompted me to finally request it now. Oh well. This is another autobio from the original actor to play Mark in the musical RENT. I quit enjoyed the musical. I saw it in LA when NPH played Mark. Everyone my age in LA remembers that. I never saw it on Broadway. I was sad when I was overseas and saw it was closing because seeing the original cast preform it was sort of on my bucket li...more
Amanda
Having just finished this book about 30 seconds ago, I couldn't decide whether to rate it 4 or 5 stars. I will list what I loved and what I didn't love as much, and you can decide if this book is for you.

In all honesty, I wasn't crazy about the incredibly detailed descriptions of his sexual encounters. I believe some private things should be kept private, so that was difficult to read (though I wouldn't recommend skipping these pages, because you may miss something important). I also would have...more
Mary Catherine
Memoirs that recount the loves and losses of a person’s life are so numerous; it’s hard to find one
that really yells out, “READ ME!”

Without You, the memoir from original Rent member Anthony Rapp, does not have that problem.

Rapp’s recount of his failed relationships, the loss of his mother, and the birth of the hit Broadway musical Rent is filled with courage, fear, happiness, and sadness. Yet, despite the overtones of death and sorrow, Rapp fills in the spaces with humor and uplifting warmth.

Dur...more
Kate
Apr 05, 2011 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kate by: Courtney
Shelves: read-in-2011
I do not read many biographies, but I have to ask myself why after finishing Without You. It was a really great read, at times funny, a lot of sad, some uplifting, sometimes infuriating, but always honest. Anthony Rapp shares his mother's illness and ultimate death during the time he started with Rent. Anthony is a complicated person, sometimes completely caring and unselfish, but at other times selfish and self-absorbed. He presents both sides of himself, revealing the hidden thoughts felt when...more
Tracy
If you're a renthead be warned the book mostly focuses on Rapp's relationship with his mother and family and not about his time working on Rent. I give it four stars because I found myself engrossed in his story about growing up in a family that never communicates. Anthony Rapp is certainly honest in his memoir. Because of this he comes off a bit self-indulgent and self-centered. Everything, even his mother's death, seemed to be about him. However, that's what I sort of liked about the book and...more
Kori Talbot
If you are looking for a sanitized memoir full of stale excuses and mundane scenes from a life, this is probably not the book for you. In "Without You", Anthony Rapp takes an unflinching look at himself, the loss of his mother, grief, his relationships, and sexuality - with his clear goal being honesty and healing. The backdrop for all this is, of course, Rapp's lead role in the smash Broadway musical 'Rent'.
Rapp puts you in his head as he speaks with utter poignancy about his mother, Jonatha...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Aiossa's 12/13 Se...: Joelle Kasprisin 2 1 4 Oct 19, 2012 11:52AM  
  • Rent
  • Spring Awakening: In the Flesh
  • Spring Awakening
  • Patti LuPone: A Memoir
  • A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages
  • Next to Normal
  • Ghost Light
  • Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics, 1954-1981, With Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines, and Anecdotes
  • Stephen Sondheim: A life
  • Anything Goes: My Autobiography
  • Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical Follies
  • Audition
  • Broadway Nights: A Romp of Life, Love, and Musical Theatre
  • The Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing About Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Other Identities
  • I Am What I Am
  • Theater Geek: The Real Life Drama of a Summer at Stagedoor Manor, the Famous Performing Arts Camp
  • The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed
  • Exile in Guyville: How a Punk Rock Redneck Faggot Texan Moved to West Hollywood and Refused to Be Shiny and Happy
103240
Anthony (Deane) Rapp is an American stage and film actor and singer.

Rapp first performed on Broadway in 1981 in the flop The Little Prince and the Aviator, a musical based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's novel The Little Prince. The show closed during previews. He also appeared in the 1987 movie Adventures in Babysitting, which was directed by Chris Columbus. Columbus would later direct Rapp in the...more
More about Anthony Rapp...
The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness Selected Shorts: A Touch of Magic

Share This Book

“Grief does not expire like a candle or the beacon on a lighthouse. It simply changes temperature.” 42 likes
“It was my kind of song: fast and fun and exuberant,the lyrics tumbling out almost faster than my ears could follow them,some times rhyming,sometimes not. . .” 3 likes
More quotes…