Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Without You” as Want to Read:
Without You
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Without You

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  5,037 ratings  ·  446 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

Paperback, 309 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Simon & Schuster (first published February 7th 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

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

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,037 ratings  ·  446 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Cross-posted at Shelf Inflicted and at Outlaw Reviews

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 succ
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tbr-cleanup-2018
Re-read 2019/5/11:
This time I listened to the audiobook read by the author himself and I would love to give this an extra star. Yet since I'm already at 5 .... The reading is so good!


I picked up the book, cause I liked the casting photo of Anthony Rapp on the Discovery announcement. Weird reason, but sometimes I see somebody I don’t know the slightest bit of and get curious, cause something in the facial expression speaks to me. I had no idea of Anthony Rapp and of Rent and just wanted
Jan 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
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
Nov 02, 2009 rated it liked it
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Arant
Aug 20, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
May 11, 2008 rated it liked it
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
The American Broadway Musical. In my opinion, it is THE only true art form. If anyone can attest to the veracity of that statement it would have to be me. I have seen more musicals in my life than most people I know, and more Original Casts on Broadway than I'd care to remember! But in all the thousands of hours I've spent in theatres in my life no other musical has had the power to touch me so profoundly as seeing the entire Original Broadway Cast of Rent in the summer of 1996, both in June and ...more
Stacy Deyerle
Aug 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex Black
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book, which probably isn't surprising considering I'm such a big fan of both Rent and Anthony Rapp. But even then, this book was better than I was expecting. It was so emotional and took me ages to read because I never felt ready for the heartbreak this book brought. I learned so much about Rent and so much about Anthony Rapp, and I can't remember the last time a book made me cry this much.

I don't think there's enough in this book for people who aren't already fans of Anthony Rapp
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was raw and visceral and felt jarringly honest. Rapp discusses grief in such a compelling manner, and while the narrative begins and ends with Rent, this memoir is so much more personal than I expected (in a great way).
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
My Grade = 85% - B

In the last year or so, I have collected a series of autobiographies by (fairly) young entertainers: two by Rob Lowe, and one each by Michael J. Fox, Tina Fey, John Barrowman, and Anthony Rapp (all, of course, from thrift stores).

I donated the first four to my local library, but felt a connection to the other two, so I read them. Not only did I see John Barrowman perform on stage, but I watched him carry on at a Soho pub. I am also a great fan of him in Doctor Who, Torchwood, a
Feb 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir-bio-abio
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
Mar 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audible
I'm a total "RENThead" and this book has been on my list for YEARS but I finally decided to give it a go. I'm really glad I chose the audio version, because listening to Anthony Rapp tell his own story was fantastic! It was fun listening to his take on the audition and workshop processes for "RENT". What really hit home for me was his struggle to deal with his mother's illness. It's a real parallel of how I'm dealing with my mom's. People always tell the stories of the strong journeys, but don't ...more
Jordan Brown
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Considering how obsessed I was with Rent as a teenager, I can't believe I had never read this before. I can honestly say I was not prepared for how heartbreaking this book is. The success of Rent exploded for Anthony Rapp in the wake of the loss of it's creator Jonathan Larson and the drawn out death of his mother. His grief his palpable on the pages. He uses the music of the show to help convey those feelings throughout the book and it honestly wrecked my emotions. Worth a read for fans of the ...more
Sep 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
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.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it
although average in writing, I don't think I cried this much since I found out frat boys truly enjoy naty light
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It says a lot about an author’s writing when their story can pull a reader in, even when the reader might not have any reason to be invested in the story other than curiosity. Such is the power of Anthony Rapp’s candid and forthright book, Without You: A Memoir of Love, Lose and the Musical Rent.

I have known of Anthony since I saw him in the movie Adventures in Babysitting when I was a teenager. In the 90s, I was active in an org called Friends of People with AIDS in my hometown, surrounded by m
Lauren Burlew
May 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
I used to be so obsessed with Rent and had a secret crush on Anthony Rapp back when I was 15. But I found this book sort of boring. There were so many mundane day-to-day conversations that went on too long and I failed to grasp the greater meaning. I rolled my eyes at the parts about him being the savior of his family as a baby. I did enjoy the part about him as a teenager learning about his sexuality, while being friends with Andy Dick. I enjoyed some of the parts about the making of Rent.
David Dollar
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2017, audible
Book 5 of #45Booksin2017... I never want to fault someone's memoir because it's their own story. That said... I was bored. This was in my Audible queue for 3+ years, and I was hoping for a life story with a little bit of Dazed & Confused, maybe some Adventures in Babystting, or Twister, and of course, Rent. What I got was a life story of coming out, sex, bad boyfriend breakups, barely anything on movies (except for the terrible time he had on Twister) and Rent. And the relationship with his ...more
Jul 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: tv
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
Jessica Jeffers
I may be a little biased because of how much I love Rent. The play itself is incredible, but the tragedy behind it is almost as compelling a story in and of itself. Anyone who knows the story knows that Anthony Rapp played an integral part in the development of Rent from three-week workshop to cultural sensation. It's important to note that this book is about more than just Rent; it's also about Rapp's childhood, acting career, homosexuality, and, most of all, the loss of his mother. As someone ...more
Jul 23, 2016 rated it liked it
I got this book back in 2009 when I had the honor of meeting Anthony Rapp after a performance of Rent. Seven years later, I grabbed it off my shelf and finally sat down to read it while on vacation. This story renewed my love of Rent. I laughed, I cried, my heart broke and was repaired all in the course of one book. A must read for any Rent head... or just any lover of theatre in general.
May 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Every performer should read this book, every gay man should read this book, every person whose ever suffered a loss in the family should READ THIS BOOK! It is so much more than a book for Rent heads, it is a book for the passionate.
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful memoir of the making of Rent as well as a devastating account of the authors loss of his mother to cancer around the same time.
Nicole Suder
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Perfect book for fans of Rent.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Honors English II...: Book 4 Jones 1 3 Mar 04, 2016 08:22PM  
Aiossa's 12/13 Se...: Joelle Kasprisin 2 1 4 Oct 19, 2012 11:52AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Spring Awakening: In the Flesh
  • Patti LuPone: A Memoir
  • Rent
  • Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics, 1981-2011, With Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes, and Miscellany
  • Spring Awakening
  • Theater Geek: The Real Life Drama of a Summer at Stagedoor Manor, the Famous Performing Arts Camp
  • Stephen Sondheim: A life
  • The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed
  • Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical Follies
  • Ghost Light
  • Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time
  • Broadway Nights: A Romp of Life, Love, and Musical Theatre
  • Free for All: Joe Papp, the Public, and the Greatest Theater Story Ever Told
  • Anything Goes
  • A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages
  • Broadway: The American Musical
  • Next to Normal
  • Dress Codes: Of Three Girlhoods—My Mother's, My Father's, and Mine
See similar books…
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
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Grief does not expire like a candle or the beacon on a lighthouse. It simply changes temperature.” 74 likes
“On the flight over to Chicago, I thought of a story Mom had once told me from her days as a pediatric nurse.

"There was this little boy I was taking care of," she said "and he was terminally ill,and we all knew it,but he kept hanging on and hanging on. He wouldn't die, it was so sad.
And his parents were always there with him,giving him so much love and support,but he was in so much pain,and it really was,time for him to go.
So finally some of us nurses took his father aside and we told him, 'You have to tell your son it's okay for him to go. You have to give him permission.' And so the father took his son in his arms and he sat with him in a chair and held on to him and told him over and over, that it was okay for him to go,and,well,after a few moments,his son died.”
More quotes…