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Once again, David Sedaris brings together a collection of essays so uproariously funny and profoundly moving that his legions of fans will fall for him all over again....
Ron Chernow now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history....
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At the age of 22, Jennifer Worth left her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar London’s East End slums....
Mary Beard narrates the unprecedented rise of a civilization that even 2,000 years later still shapes many of our most fundamental assumptions about power....
Raised by unconventional Irish Catholics who knew "how to drink, how to dance, how to talk, and how to stir up the devil", Kate Mulgrew grew up with poetry and drama in her bones....
Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations....
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When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic....
This new audio edition, authorized by Fitzgerald's estate, is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal....
Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it....
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Winner, 2017 APA Audie Awards - Audiobook of the Year
Lin-Manuel Miranda's groundbreaking musical, Hamilton, is as revolutionary as its subject: the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap, and claims our country's origins for a diverse new generation.
Hamilton: The Revolution gives listeners an unprecedented insight into both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages - "since before this was even a show," according to Miranda - traces its development from an improbable performance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Emmy and Gold Globe-winning actor Mariska Hargitay lends her voice to the audiobook, and Miranda reads more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is included in the PDF with this audiobook.
The audiobook does more than tell the surprising story of how a Broadway musical became a national phenomenon: It demonstrates that America has always been renewed by the brash upstarts and brilliant outsiders, the men and women who don't throw away their shots.
"Mariska, in addition to being the number-one fan of the show, represents, to me, much of what Hamilton is about - tough, smart, and New York. She's an essential part of this city; it feels only right for her to narrate the story." (Lin-Manuel Miranda)
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
If you are a fan of Hamilton the Musical, you own a copy of the soundtrack, you have read the Chernow biography, you are frustrated because you can’t get a copy of the tickets, you have watched all of the youtube clips you can find and you are still interested in the show, you should buy a copy of Hamilton: The Revolution.
Hamilton: The Revolution is two (or three) books in one. One book is written by Jeremy McCarter. McCarter is a theater critic and friend of Lin-Manuel Miranda. McCarter traces the development of the show, the background of all of the performers and collaborators. He talks about how the show developed from pre-production idea to early musical pieces to the initial trial run to the Broadway version. There is discussion of how musical pieces changed, motivation behind some of the writing of the pieces and other personal thoughts about the show and the actors.
The second aspect of the book is the lyrics of the show (the libretto) for the whole show, with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s annotations. I have read the lyrics that were available in Amazon’s version of the soundtrack, but that is only about half of the pieces. So this is the first time I have actually read the lyrics of the entire show.
The third aspect of the book, and the real reason you should purchase this in print is the photographs that make this a coffee table book. The libretto is filled with photographs. If you purchase this as an audiobook, a PDF of the libretto is included, but that is not as impressive as holding the whole book.
Initially I did not think I was going to buy the book. I did not pre-order the book because I wanted to see if the book was whisper-synced with the Kindle and Audiobook version. But when the Kindle edition was $17 I did not even consider it. So I purchased the audiobook. After I was half way through the audio, and had flipped through the PDF, I went out and purchased the hardcover.
I enjoyed listening to the audiobook, but I would recommend purchasing the hardcover. The audiobook is six hours. Nearly five hours is the main text of the making of the musical section. The rest of the audiobook is Miranda reading the annotations without the libretto text. So it sounds like reading footnotes and doesn’t make sense unless you are looking at the PDF. And if you are looking at the PDF, then there is no reason to listen to the narration.
Update: Re-reading the libretto and notes in full, and slowly, there is so much brilliance in the show. The annotations do not explain half of the references, but there are a lot of lines that I did not fully understand. And there are a number of the annotations that explain references, especially to hip-hop history or lyrics that I never would have understood in any other way. The biblical, literary, political and historical references I had a chance of understanding, I had no chance of understanding hip-hop history. The density of the rhyme scheme and lyrical content really does need to be read to be fully appreciated.
171 of 179 people found this review helpful
Mariska Hargitay's delivery was sort of like what first popped into your head when you heard there was a musical about Alexander Hamilton: why, though? And while learning more about Hamilton and its story and musical brilliance changed your mind, Hargitay's performance always left you wondering why.
Think Ben Stein as Ferris Bueller's economics teacher, but reading you a book.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
Mariska Hargitay was an odd choice for a majority of the book. I think it's misleading to list Lin-Manuel Miranda's name first as the narrator of this audiobook. Also, his section is simply reading the notes on the sides of the libretto portion of the book.
Probably better to just but the book.
58 of 64 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter and/or the narrators?
As a Hamilton junkie, I knew I should have read this book in print, but I went with the audio book and was disappointed. As incredible as it is to hear Lin read his own footnotes with explanations about what was going through his mind when he wrote specific lines or songs, he only reads the notes! So, it is hard, in most cases, to know what line in the song he is referring too! I really wish he had read (or sung :-) the line in the song to which the note referred before each note! Knowing the show so well, I was able to figure out some of them but most elude me in this audio version so I will have to go and read it again in print. The other disappointment was the reader. She has a lovely voice and I'd be happy to have her read any novel to me, but she seems to have no connection to or passion for the show. This whole book is about making a more personal connection to this masterpiece and she doesn't add anything to it for me. I wish Lin (or others in his cabinet or in the cast!) had recorded the whole audio book. The excitement in his voice, even after so many years of working on and being interviewed about this, is palpable with every word...of course it is...it's Lin! Lastly, I didn't get many (most) of the hip hop or rap references which are abundant in this book. I am more familiar with the broadway references of which there seem to be fewer. I gave the audio book 3 stars because of the subject matter! Anyone who is a Hamilton fan will find something to enjoy in here, despite the audio book drawbacks.
Would you ever listen to anything by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter again?
I will listen to every word written or spoken by Lin!
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
Was Hamilton worth the listening time?
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
"Sometimes the right person tells the right story at the right moment, and though a combination of luck and design, a creative expression gains new force. Spark, tinder, breeze."
― Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy MCarter
I remember watching Lin-Manuel Miranda perform at the White House Poetry Jam back in 2009 on YouTube. I know it sounds cliched and probably a bit overplayed to say I knew from 2009 that something great was going to be made from this magical moment. There was an energy in this son of Puerto Rican-born parents singing a rap/hymn/ode to Alexander Hamilton that was both new and old.
Anyway, fast forward a couple years. I read the Chernow book, and loved it. Fast forward a couple more years and the musical came out. I got my daughter and wife into the musical. Bought my daughter the Chernow book, the CDs. She wants a Twitter account just so she can follow #ham4ham and @lin_miranda. Finally, I couldn't handle it all, so I figured the best way to extinguish a fire is sometimes to just set another. I bought our family tickets to go see the Musical in NY in July.
It is now less than 2 months until we see Hamilton. It will be about 1 year after they moved into the Rogers Theatre and most likely right after Hamilton cleans up at the Tony Awards. I bought this book which, btw, is beautifully made and organized and a sort of cheat-sheet, uber playbill for the musical. It is organized into 32 chapters and two acts. It roughly follows the Musical and history of the musical. It tells the story of the production. Each chapter contains a detail about the musical, written like a review or online article. One chapter discusses the choreography, another discusses the album, another discusses Daveed Diggs, another Ron Chernow. Each of these chapters gives a little bit more insight into the development of the Musical from one song played at the White House, to a Mix Tape of songs, to the Public Theatre, to the Richard Rogers Theatre. This is a book definitely for fans.
Each chapter also contains a libretto from one of the musical's songs AND Lin-Maneul Miranda's notes on the song/lyrics/music.
Anyway, the book is both a tribute to the musical and a tribute to the fact that Miranda seriously has more energy than anyone I can think of. His finger is in so many pies he must have stolen a couple extra hands. So, here is my recommendation. If you are a fan (and fans know who they are) you should probably buy this book. If not, do the following in something like this order:
1. Google/watch Miranda perform at the White House in 2009
2. Buy/Borrow/Download - Hamilton the Musical and listen to it. Then listen again.
3. Buy Chernow's book and read it cover to cover.
4. Buy This book.
5. Mortgage you home and go to NYC to see the musical.
I did deduct one star just because there were several points in this book where Jeremy MCarter's writing jumps deep into the pool of hagiography and propaganda. I expected with each new rough-cut page to discover that secretly Miranda and Hamilton the Musical had solved world hunger, AIDs, and America's race problems. It is clearly meant to be another piece for super-fans, but sometimes it just seemed to go a couple steps too far.
62 of 73 people found this review helpful
The story of the creation of Hamilton: An American Musical is a fascinating one, in that despite the number of interviews, articles, and other pieces about the show that already exist, there is so much more for us to learn. This audiobook not only provides insight into each of the songs in and of themselves, but gives us perspective on when and how they were each written, as well as how the chreographer, director, producer, etc. had an impact on what we see on the stage. The #Hamiltome, as Lin calls it, is so much more than just annotated lyrics. We begin to understand the way not only Lin's background brought him to this point, but how the experiences of the lives of everyone on the team changed the show and brought it to life. There's insider info on what the cast was thinking and how they got into the show in the first place, as well as what writer Ron Chernow, the biographer, brought to discussions of the show, and what he felt made Lin's portrayal of Hamilton and Eliza in particular so brilliant. The book is one full of laughter and tears, heartache and exhilaration, and Mariska Hargitay's reading of it is masterful. I cannot recommend the book more highly. If you loved Hamilton before, this book will broaden that love. As a person who has been lucky enough to see the show, this book makes that experience far more meaningful in the context both of how the show came to be and of how much impact this show is having and will have on the future of the theater. If you're wondering what this Hamilton thing is even all about...this is such a great entry point to the show! If you have any interest at all in the making of a broadway production, much less of a broadway revolution, there is no better source than this book. Amazing, utterly satisfying, and the PDF provided alongside the audio with the lyrics and annotations is an absolute treasure. Absolute five stars on all accounts, must listen.
41 of 49 people found this review helpful
The narration of the book was fine for the purpose, but the book itself was largely how "amazing" the writers are and self-promoting. If you are obsessed with the actual author of the soundtrack or musical then this might be for you.
17 of 20 people found this review helpful
I love the show, I love the soundtrack, but the production quality of this recording is quite poor.
I think Mariska Hargitay does an admirable job, but I don't know if she is the most trained narrator? There are edits where her voice changes very noticeably between cuts and it's distracting. I think she does a very good job of capturing Lin's tone when giving quotes, and her over-all quality of reading is good, but it sounds too much like a rush job.
The last two chapters of this recording are Lin's notes on the show's lyrics themselves. This format doesn't work very well at all. He only reads the notes, and starts every one with the number, ala "One, bla bla bla. Two, bla bla bla", which I imagine can become pretty tiring when the notes stretch on towards the 100. Furthermore, as only the notes are read aloud and not the lyric the note is about, the over-all impression is confusion. Even though I've listened to the show umpteen times by now, I can't actually guess what each note refers to.
Overall, I don't think this recording works very well as a stand-alone work, and I would only listen to it as accompaniment while leafing through the physical book, or as a last resort, or perhaps for an easy recap once I've finished reading the physical book first.
28 of 35 people found this review helpful
I'm so glad I purchased this book. Miranda is a genius and I loved hearing exactly what was on his head.
14 of 20 people found this review helpful
This story about the making of Hamilton (the musical) is inspiring to all Americans. It unites us through our dreams of a better life, a better government, and a stronger country. It reminds us we were all immigrants at one time. It is our blend of past and present, our diversity that gives the United States a richness unattainable anywhere else in the world. It reminds us of our similarities, no matter our race, religion or country of origin, or even how many generations we've been Americans, we are all Americans!
As a writer, the making of Hamilton inspires me to believe in the dream. It shows me that hard work and commitment to a project can see it succeed! Lin-Manuel Miranda kept working on the play and the music even after it was in production. He was determined to make it better, stronger and more life-altering. If I can give as much to my dreams, then they too can come true.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful