Book: Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent by Anthony Rapp


OK, so since I read a fair bit on the train to and from work, I’ve decided to start publishing reviews on JonWestfall.Com for a variety of reasons. First, so I remember later what I thought of a book. Second, so perhaps others get a sense of books they might want to read. And Third, it’s a cheap source of material to keep new content flowing. So here’s the first review, of a book I finished this morning.

Title: Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent
Author: Anthony Rapp
Started: 11/3/09
Finished: 11/11/09
Jon’s Summary:
The author examines a period in his life between 1994-1998 which found him staring in a Broadway production and simultaneously dealing with the prolonged illness and death of his mother. The book follows a progressive path from showing the author’s general numbness to the concepts of grief and shared sorrow to an understanding and acceptance. A running sub-plot is the author’s romantic relationships during this time and the effects the relationships had on the central story.

This book was another Kindle recommendation that turned out to be pretty good. I enjoyed reading it, found it engaging, funny, and a unique perspective into the soul of someone dealing with quite a lot at one time. As a fan of Rent and generally intrigued by the self-analysis provided by anyone (Why do you think I have a degree in psychology?), I found it to be a good and quick read. In a few spots it did seem to drag, especially in the late stages of his mother’s illness – however thankfully those “dragging” moments were few. If you’re somewhat empathetic, be prepared to be moved by some of the content in the last quarter of the book. Also knowing the music of Rent will help understand the connections the author makes to it (Although limited lyric excerpts are provided). Overall a good book, 4 out of 5 stars.

Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent

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