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Hamilton: The Revolution
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September 2020: Other Books > [Poll Ballot] Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda - 3 stars

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message 1: by Joy D (last edited Sep 02, 2020 09:54AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joy D | 4203 comments Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter - 3 stars - My Review

I had just completed reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton and wanted to learn more about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s vision for its theatrical interpretation. This book is oriented more toward the writing, staging, casting, and various celebrity minibiographies. It provides explanations for many scenes. It would be difficult for a book such as this to match Miranda’s ground-breaking accomplishment of turning a piece of US history into a compelling, diversely casted hip-hop musical.

I listened to the audio, competently read by Mariska Hargitay. Lin-Manuel Miranda reads the footnotes. It would have been more effective to read the footnote immediately after the referenced passage to retain the context. This is probably a situation where reading the physical or e-book would have been a better choice.


message 2: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy | 9079 comments Reading the physical book now, alongside listening to the musical numbers on Alexa. It’s been the best way to enjoy this book. I’m 30 pages to the end.


Theresa | 7840 comments You absolutely need to read this in print and listen to the audio album as you read through the lyrics if you are so inspired. It's not just the footnotes and editorial comments being read where they need to be read, it's all the visuals that are included --- photos, drawings, images, diagrams. Even the tactile feel of the pages.

IMHO the audiobook should never have been made. This is strictly a print read. This book itself is a work of visual art -- would you do an audiobook of art history where half the book is reproductions?

Yes, I am a bit passionate about this. I know too many people who just did the audiobook and missed so much as a result.


Robin P | 2018 comments Yes, you need to read this in print. It is full of pictures, notes, photocopies of Miranda's original lyrics, etc.


message 5: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy | 9079 comments That’s exactly how I’m doing it. I love being able to listen to Alexa as I read through the book. You know I keep saying that we got to see Hamilton and were the only people in the history of the world who had never listened to the lyrics first. That would have dramatically increased my enjoyment of the show. But I am fundamentally opposed to having to do research to go to a play. I am also never listen to an album before I see a shell. I like the whole experience of it unfolding in time. So it’s interesting having seen it once, and now listening to it again alongside this book. Which still has 30 pages left. I love the little side notes, any historical parts of the development. It also helps that I saw the Hulu special on Freestyle Love Supreme. That’s what really got me going.


Theresa | 7840 comments Amy wrote: "That’s exactly how I’m doing it. I love being able to listen to Alexa as I read through the book. You know I keep saying that we got to see Hamilton and were the only people in the history of the w..."

You were absolutely not the only ones -- cast album wasn't released until several months AFTER it opened on Broadway. I heard and saw it cold as well.

A friend of mine deliberately never listened to the second Act on the album until after seeing it so there would be surprises - she finally saw it July 2019. I like that approach.


message 7: by Joi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3830 comments I feel like this all just shows how one of the most inaccessible musicals turned into one of the most accessible.


message 8: by Joy D (last edited Sep 09, 2020 11:25AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joy D | 4203 comments I will likely at some point pick up the physical copy of this book. It just did not work well in audio. I have been trying to do audios at night, since I am not a TV watcher, and it has been working well. It is rather ironic that the audio of a musical topic didn't capture the spirit of the musical. Of course, I didn't know all this ahead of time.


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