So, to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure this is going to fit in our normal review format. I’m pretty sure that anyone who has clicked on this particular post is already going to be a fan of Hamilton, so there’s no point in hiding spoilers (and to be fair, any spoilers are technically more than 200 years old so I think we’re past the point where we need to “hide” the more titilating moments.
This book takes all of the songs, adds Lin Manuel Miranda’s footnoetes (which are amazing if you care about rap, hip-hop, fun facts or joy), as well as sections taht explain how the show was written. Obviously, the songs are what you would expect (I cried while reading some of them, the same way I do when I listen to them…), the footnotes give you a small insight into Lin Mauel Miranda’s writing process which was phenomenal. He covers everything from his musical inspirations to the original lyrics, to just general fun facts.
The more memorable parts were actually the section before each song. The sections focus more on how the show was made: the process of writing the songs, finding the right actors, adjusting sections to make them more powerful, figuring out the choreography. Basically the sections focus on the magic of storytelling on stage.
This is the point where I fully admit that I have listened to the soundtrack more times than I can count, and that Sam and I occasionally text each other segments of songs to keep each other interested at work. This is a book that should only be picked up by people who are in love with the show, or are interested in the process of getting a show on Broadway.
It doesn’t change the fact that learning about cast dynamics and how the techies worked together was endlessly fascinating (again, I must admit I did theater when I was younger so yet again this hit every happy bone in my body), but there were also sections that were a little bit heartbreaking (of course, at the end of the book, surrounded by songs about losing children and having trouble with dealing with teh life after that). I cried so many actual tears.
This book is 4 out of 5 shots, mostly becuase while I unabashedly love this, it doesn’t change the fact that this is definitely a book meant for people who already love Hamilton, (and I can’t believe that I forgot to mention the pictures. They were AMAZING. For anyone who can’t imagine the show and want a very basic framework for what it looks like, holy shit get this book.).
To read this book, go for a Sam Adams. Because it’s literally referenced in the show, also Sam Adams is a founding father so BAM.