Hamilton -The Revolution – Lin-Manual Miranda and Jermey McCarter
I am not going to review this like one of my usual reviews. I am just going to do a quick take on what I thought about it and how it helped enhance the musical. (And also made me want to see it again!)
I had no idea this book existed until my brother’s boyfriend bought it for him for his birthday. He bought it before we saw the musical and as soon as the curtain fell, I knew I had to read this. I adored the play, thought it was enthralling, new and a pure work of genius.
This book goes into how the whole thing came about and the process that was taken to create this work of art. I loved how the book dove into certain sections which then related back to a song or a handful of songs. This way of tying it all together was perfect. You felt like you were there in the process.
I have a new appreciation for some of the songs, an appreciation I didn’t have before. I now understand the thought process and time that went into each song; the lyrics, the composition and the drafting process. It amazed me how many drafts there were, how it was constantly changing up until the last minute.
I also really liked how it reflected on the history of hip-hop and how the musical has opened up a new avenue for this type of music on broadway. I am not the biggest fan of hip-hop but the way these songs tell the story and connect you to the story are fantastic. Reading about the influences and how Lin-Manual Miranda used his favorites to help build this work, was great.
I also really enjoyed the way this reflected on the life of not only Hamilton but Burr. When I saw the production I came away realizing this was not just a story about Hamilton’s life but about everyone who touched his life. This book shed even more light on Burr and his tragic story. I do not see him as a villain, just a lost man.
The notes next to the songs were great. I read through the songs I have nearly memorized and learned so much about how they were created. While I am didn’t follow all the musical talk, I still understood the impact of certain elements.
Lin’s commentary was also witty and fun. You can feel his personality shine through. I loved the jokes and there were even a few Harry Potter references which were great.
All in all this book gave me an even greater appreciation for this musical. I knew it was a tough thing to write. I knew he took years to complete it but this showed just how much time, effort and thought went into this project. It just shows that sometimes things take years to complete but if you work at it and work hard, in the end it will all be worth it.