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

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 56 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted September 23, 2010

    Inspiring and Honest

    "Without You" by Anthony Rapp chronicles Rapp's experience while doing the smash-hit musical "Rent". Not only does it discuss the process of the show going from a workshop, to off Broadway, then eventually to Broadway and London, it also talks about all the experiences Rapp has while performing in the show. The trials of his Mother's illness is well documented throughout the book as well as his problems with significant others. There are a few flashbacks that chronicle his search for his true sexuality and difficult situations he and his family have faced. A major theme of this book is how life is unexpected and sometimes hard to handle. Rapp isn't afraid to be real and honest about his feelings. He's candid in this book and doesn't shy away from moments in his life that he's not proud of. What I liked about this book was that it was very real and honest. I think many people would dislike this book because it talks a lot about Rapp's sexuality, and that could make many people feel uncomfortable. I would recommend this book to fans of the musical Rent, as well as any actor, or anyone interested in acting or theatre. This book talks a lot about Rapp's experiences in the theatre, so if you don't know much about theatre, I wouldn't recommend reading this. If the musical Rent interests you, I suggest checking out the Rent coffee table book. It has a lot of information about the show as well as interviews with the creators, producers, director and original cast. "Without You" is a page turner. It's exciting and hard to put down. It's also a pretty simple read, even though it's not a short book. If you're interested in an amazing memoir, I'd definitely suggest this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Anyone who follows my Twitter account knows this book absolutely

    Anyone who follows my Twitter account knows this book absolutely devastated me. I read it on two legs of a cross-country flight and the people around me were absolutely giving me concerned looks as I teared up and sniffled and once even stopped reading, set the book down and closed my eyes to take deep breaths. It hit home.

    So much of Anthony Rapp's life parallels my own. Not perfectly, of course -- I'm not claiming to be the man's twin. There are some obvious differences -- the successful theater career being a biggie. But we're both gay. We both had teen experiences with that that our mothers didn't handle well upon discovery. We both struggled to gain our mother's (and in my case, father's) acceptance. We both lost our mothers to protracted battles with cancer that featured at least one "she's got this beat" rebound. And seeing these parallels woven around the story of RENT's journey from workshop to Pulitzer-winning Broadway hit was kind of surreal for me.

    "Seeing your life paralleled in a book isn't enough to give it five stars," you might say. Valid point, to which I'd respond first that there are plenty of technically proficient classics I've read that didn't resonate with me on an emotional level the way this book did (my fall-back example for this is always "The Catcher In The Rye," which left me cold). Outside of that, what works for me about this book is that Rapp writes with open and free emotion; he's not trying to recall these events from a cold disconnected distance, not trying to cast a critical eye on what happened. He wrote this book on the eve of the release of the movie version of RENT, and most likely that's what brought the context so sharply into focus -- maybe, just maybe, this book would not have been so emotional if he'd written it when he's 70 -- but whether Rapp carries these scars and triumphs with him daily or making the movie brought them back to the fore is irrelevant. The story Rapp has to tell is intensely personal for those of us who have dealt with coming out and the loss of a loved one to a horrible disease and just as intensely universal for anyone who has experienced loss and loss.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    Amazing

    Rapp tells of his life in a complelling way that made me never want to put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    Love

    So mich energy ran thourgh my body as i read this if only this was a series: (

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2011

    Great book,

    Amazing man. Very well written. I love the focus on the musical (my favorite movie of all time) as well as the way it affected his life. I often think about the story of the first time Anthony saved his family as an infant. For no real reason other than that both the story and its retelling struck me. I very much enjoyed the book, even when it made me bawl my eyes out. Which it did more than once.

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  • Posted February 24, 2011

    AWESOMENESS

    This was a great book! Anthony did a great job writting this. There was so much emotion in everyhing he wrote about. I laughed I cryed, it was truly a great book. I recomend this to any anthony fans or RENT fans. If your neither its still really iintresting. Anthony spares no detail on his life and really expresses everyhing he felt. Again i love this book and one word describes it: awesome!

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  • Posted May 30, 2009

    Rentheads dream.

    This book gives you kind of a behind the scenes look at how Rent came to happen while going behind in Anthony Rapps life. He writes so exquisitely. If you are a fan of any type of theatre or RENT in general you will love this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Beautiful, heartfelt novel from Anthony Rapp

    I am a big fan of Rent and wasn't at all disappointed with this book. First of all, Rapp shares a bunch of little tidbits about the show from the very beginning and Jonathan Larson, as well as his feelings about these events. Secondly, this is such an open and honest book about many things Rapp was going through at a very difficult time in his life. He really lets the reader in. It was very apparent to me after reading this book how talented and genuine Rapp is. Wonderfully written and overall a fantastic book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2009

    An Awesome Read!

    This book was absolutely absorbing, and I could barely wait to flip each page! This is a great book to read, and gives Rent fans much insight and background information about Rent. I loved reading it, and would recommend it to other Rent fans, definetely.

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  • Posted February 25, 2009

    Edgy and Inspiring

    A refreshing and brutally honest insight into the life of RENT star, Athony Rapp. It explores Rapp's success within the performance industry, paralleled with the reality of his experiences with AIDS,loss and a struggle for acceptance. This book is heartbreaking, inspiring and complimented by a new edgy and contemporary writing style. Possibly the most truthful Biography you will ever read and a reminder that we are surrounded by real-life Heros everyday.
    A must-have for musical fans.

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  • Posted February 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Perfect Book for just about anyone

    Anthony Rapp takes the reader on a path that many, if not all, have been on. He talks about his family, his friends, RENT, and his passion. Its a true inspirational book for anyone and everyone who has read it. He is not only a talented actor and singer, but he is a remarkable writer. He bring you into his life as if you have been friends forever. You get to know the real him and not just the him you see on movies and on broadway. I knew the moment I read about it it was going to be one of my favorite books. It makes a perfect gift for anyone for any occasion. It teaches you that there truly is "No day but today." It makes you reexamine your life and want to do something bigger and better with it. There are very few books out there that are able to do that, and this does it. I tell all my friends and family about this book and have a list of people that I want to buy it for. Its soul lifting, and is a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2008

    Poignant

    Great book. Some real heartwrenching moments. Red it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2008

    This was...truly amazing...

    I am almost speechless when I talk about this book. It was so powerful...and Mr. Rapp wrote a lot of things that people would be ashamed to write (swearing, his love life, etc.). I was just completely blown away by this book. I hope that people will get a chance to discover how truly amazing this book is and how completely empowering Mr. Rapp's words are. All I can say is: Mr. Rapp, you are an amazing person...and you ROCK!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2007

    Without You is Timeless

    This project began in the early nineties when Anthony Rapp embarked on his long journey with Rent, and I am very pleased to say that his writing makes it feel like all this happened just in the last few years. His novel is captivating and priceless at times. Without You is a real work of art. On a personal level, reading about Anthony's own experiences in coming to terms with his sexuality, the loss of Jonathan Larson, and particularly the loss of his mother stopped me in my tracks. His novel was compelling and evoked tears, even in the most undesireable of places (say, play practice, school, yeah, you get the picture). This is possibly one of the best books on my shelf, and it is definately a must for adorers of Broadway, Rent, Jonathan Larson, and of course, the unmistakeable character of Anthony Rapp.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2007

    A reviewer

    Being not only a 'RentHead' but also a personal fan of Anthony Rapp, I knew I had to purchase this book. Although I am a fan of Anthony's, I was expecting for him to talk about the success of RENT and maybe dabble a little bit in his family life and his own romantic relationships. Excuse the pun, but I definately judged a book by its cover. His skill for description and story telling opened my eyes to a frenzied, evolved world. The story jumps from one emotion to the next without pause. It feels as if you are right next to him as these life changing events take place. As he bleeds his heart all over yours the only thing you regret is not being able to console him. Yes, the story does follow the success of RENT but that is just a fraction of what takes place in this tear jerking and moving piece of literature. It will ultimately make you question your views, your feelings and just how deep grief and loss can go before your sanity wears thin. As heart-wrenching as it is there are the occasional light-hearted moments where the reader can break to chuckle or even let out a sigh of relief for Anthony. I know I smirked when Jonathan Larson told Anthony that 'Dazed and Confused' was one of his favorite movies. If you have seen him onstage as I have but want to know what's behind the character and what lies inside the actor, I HIGHLY suggest this book ripe and full of surprising and fierce emotion. I mostly loved it because it shows that Anthony is so unapologeticly raw! I admire and respect Anthony for telling his story not with pride or fear...but just with the intent to educate fans and readers of what went on behind the curtain. This is an amazing read for any 'RentHead' OR general reader, as i am both! Congratulations Anthony Rapp, you are officially my favorite actor, singer, and now...favorite author. You've covered all bases.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    In Without You, written by Anthony Rapp, the author writes with heart wrenching honesty. As he describes his life experiences, some that happened as he was in the Broadway production Rent, I came to really respect him as a person who has gone through many rough times as well as good times, made good decisions and some really bad ones. Through it all, he still managed to perform amazingly on stage and honestly writes about not only events but also how they effected him emotionally, spiritually, and physically. He leaves nothing out. When I was finished reading the book, I felt as if I knew him personally. It is also an excellent book for fans of Rent, either the movie or the play.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2007

    RENThead and Anthony's unoffical stalker

    Anthony Rapp is absolutly amazing and being able to get inside his head and hear his story is swell. I hope he writes more about other musicals he takes part in.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2006

    A Definite Must Read!!

    I must say this book is amazing. I am quite a RENThead, i have seen both the movie and play and when i heard Anthony was writing a novel i was estactic. Anyone who has seen the movie knows what a great character Anthony plays. This book is a completely open and honest look into the man behind Mark Cohen. It was a truly touching story. You'll laugh, cry, and possibly sing but most of all, you will truly remember to measure your life in live. You will most definitely not be disappointed, this book is totally worth it. I love it and am sure you will too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2007

    Without You Is amazing

    Without you is an amazing story of a great actor, an awesome Broadway show, love,and loss. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2006

    A BOOK THAT ISN'T JUST FOR RENTHEADS!

    I had been waiting for this book since the moment I heard Anthony was writing. Before the book, I thought I knew everything there was to know about RENT but i was clearly wrong. What I enjoyed most about this book was that it wasn't entirely about RENT which is great for those who aren't that into it. It's a powerful and moving book and I suggest it for everyone. And remember, 'Measure your life in love!'

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