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Summary

Anthony Rapp captures the passion and grit of the theater world as he recounts his life-changing experience in the original cast of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Rent.

When Rent opened to thunderous acclaim off-Broadway, Rapp knew that something truly extraordinary had taken shape. But even as people celebrated the show's success, they were also mourning the sudden death of the show's creator.

When Anthony's mom began to lose her battle with cancer, he struggled to balance his theater career with his responsibility to his family. Here, Anthony recounts both the show's huge success and his overwhelming loss. He also shares his experiences discovering his sexuality, the tension it created with his mother, and his struggle to gain her acceptance.

©2006 Anthony Rapp; Published by arrangement with Irene Skolnick Literary Agency
"Add It Up" written by Gordon Gano ©1980, Gorno Music (ASCAP). Used with permission from Gorno Music (Administered by Alan N. Skiena, Esq.)
"Waitin' for the Light to Shine" written by Roger Miller ©1985, All rights administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
(P)2006 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"Absorbing, warm, and hopeful, the book celebrates a man, his work, and a generation struggling with AIDS but determined to survive." ( Publishers Weekly)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Anthony Rapp made me cry.

Heartwrenching and moving chain of events narrated through the voice and words of the author who brings the honesty of the present moment in his recurring of events and important people in his life and feelings that shaped his memories of them.

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  • United States of Geekdom
  • 01-10-17

Surprisingly Meh...

I wanted more of the production process of the musical RENT. Did not get that. Great performance reading by Anthony Rapp though.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James Gordon
  • 24-05-06

Sensibly Sentimental

I'm not a Renthead, although I did see the show twice and have seen the movie version as well. But I am affected by AIDS and have attended Friends In Deed meetings in New York (Rapp speaks of his association with this organization and its founder Cy O'Neal). And now, I must admit, I've fallen in "love" with Anthony Rapp. I expected a shallow but gossipy read when I purchased this book, not the beautifully written, emotion-packed memoir, narrated honestly by the author.

From its first page I was enveloped in a story that has implications for all of us. Anthony Rapp is a wonderful actor and a marvelous author. You don't have to be a musical theater afficiando or even an admirer of the arts to get swept away in this edgy and honest story. Kudos to Mr. Rapp who should write more often. He has more than one gift.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mike
  • 19-05-10

Touching stories of loss

Some reviews here complain about Anthony Rapp being self-centered and shallow. I find this couldn't be further from the truth.
This book is the story about one man's experience with loss. The loss of a grandfather he barely knew. The loss of Jonathan Larson, friend and creator of the musical that Anthony had seen come to fruition. His own mother's cancer.
While he is very concerned with his own feelings through many points in this book, he displays remarkable honesty. Showing his anger at himself, at those around him. He talks about the kinds of things that we all go through when we suffer great loss, but are afraid to admit to.
He isn't always portrayed in the best light, but it is truly an honest look at the emotions and questions the author has through times that are both exciting and difficult.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kenneth
  • 24-08-09

nice story and well narrated

I really felt Anthony Rapp did a great job telling his story and bring emotion to his words. I found myself in tears several times!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Frank Donnellan
  • 16-05-06

Not your usual biography.

I read the book when it was first available and knew in the first chapter that this would be a great read and it was. Last week I got the audio version with Anthony reading his book (unabridged) and it was an experience I'll never forget. Just blew me away to not just hear the words read by him but to experience the all his emotions was fantastic. You truly feel the love, anger, confusion, energy; it's very powerful. Hope he writes again soon.

I will say it may not be for everyone. It can be emotionally heavy and may feel too personal at times. It really is his life offered to the reader in a way I can't remember having experienced in a book before.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-02-12

Exactly what the title says...

This book was well read by Rapp who really gets you in to the story with his emotion. Also the book is exactly what the title says, Rapp's experience of loss, love, and Rent. Rapp really lets you inside his mind as he deals with his own homosexuality and the loss of many great friends and family members throughout his life. There are very graphic scenes in this book that may not be for everyone, but the passion that Rapp feels is obvious throughout the reading.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew Spinola
  • 30-07-18

Emotional.

I'm not sure why I didn't think I'd be listening to something that wouldn't make me cry...Ether way. I couldn't stop listening to it. Very emotional roller coaster for Anthony and makes me respect him more for everything that he went through during his time with Rent. Loved his narration and hope he decides to do more books. Glad that he was able to share his story with all of us.

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  • AR
  • 13-07-18

So heartfelt and natural

As someone who holds the musical RENT near and dear to her heart, it was a true joy to hear Anthony Rapp narrate his own experience. His heartache through his own life alongside the musical was eloquently written and spoken.

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  • Alexa Diehl
  • 15-07-17

Brought me to tears, must read!

I highly recommend this audiobook. Anthony's inspiring and heartbreaking story touched me right at the core and brought me to tears multiple times while reading.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hunter Gilstrap
  • 28-05-16

Amazing story

This book was so incredible. The emotion behind Anthony's words and voice was so heart wrenching. I also loved the care and pride of his Rent memories. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. I loved it!