Audiobook Review: Hamilton the Revolution

Audiobook Review: Hamilton the RevolutionHamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter
Narrator: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter, Mariska Hargitay
Published by Hachette Audio on April 12th 2016
Genres: Performing Arts, Theater, Broadway & Musicals, Broadway & Musical Revue
Format: Audiobook
Length: 6 hrs.
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars

Lin-Manuel Miranda's groundbreaking musical, Hamilton, is as revolutionary as its subject: the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap, and claims our country's origins for a diverse new generation.

Hamilton: The Revolution gives listeners an unprecedented insight into both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages - "since before this was even a show," according to Miranda - traces its development from an improbable performance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Emmy and Gold Globe-winning actor Mariska Hargitay lends her voice to the audiobook, and Miranda reads more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is included in the PDF with this audiobook.

The audiobook does more than tell the surprising story of how a Broadway musical became a national phenomenon: It demonstrates that America has always been renewed by the brash upstarts and brilliant outsiders, the men and women who don't throw away their shots.

"Mariska, in addition to being the number-one fan of the show, represents, to me, much of what Hamilton is about - tough, smart, and New York. She's an essential part of this city; it feels only right for her to narrate the story." (Lin-Manuel Miranda)

The musical Hamilton is a Broadway sensation and worldwide phenomenon about the life of American founding father Alexander Hamilton. Surprising no one, it’s expected to sweep at this year’s Tony Awards. I haven’t seen the show (and can’t even get tickets to the national tour in Los Angeles) but we are still caught up in the madness by listening to the soundtrack, reading Ron Chernow’s Hamilton biography, and now experiencing the Hamilton: The Revolution book and audiobook. Thanks to the cast album my kid excelled in US History this year and is engaged in the political process. If you want to see what the fuss is all about Hamilton: The Revolution is a good place to start.

Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order actress, and Hamilton superfan) reads the bulk of the Hamilton: The Revolution audiobook. This “Hamiltome” covers the origin of the musical, the key players involved, the casting, the White House performances, the Broadway debut, basically everything that you’d want to know about Hamilton. The bulk of this information was new to me and I found this book fascinating. In terms of the narration, Hargitay’s voice has a rich, warm tone and it’s obvious when you listen that she’s passionate about the project. I can see myself listening to this audiobook again, and I hope Hargitay narrates more audiobooks.

Lin-Manuel Miranda reads the footnotes portion of the Hamilton libretto, a small portion of the audiobook. (Also, did you know this is not Miranda’s first narration credit? He also reads the Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe audiobook) It’s a fun treat to hear him read his annotations. The audiobook comes with a PDF of the full libretto with full color pictures, which you’ll definitely want to refer to as you follow along, otherwise the footnotes don’t make much sense. Better yet, just buy or borrow the gorgeous Hamilton: The Revolution hardcover book for the ultimate audiobook companion, and of course have the cast album on hand as well.

Here’s our Hamilton collection:

hamilton the revolution collection

Hamilton: The Revolution is a perfect introduction for Hamilton newbies and a must-read/listen for die-hard fans.

Mariska Hargitay narrates Hamilton the Revolution in this audio clip:

Ornament

One thought on “Audiobook Review: Hamilton the Revolution

  1. fishgirl182 says:

    Seriously Hamilton is everyone. I’ve actually been waiting to listen to it until after I see the show, but that might be years from now. I’ll probably break down before then. Thanks for the audiobook review. I actually had no idea what was in the Hamiltome and just knew that a lot of my friends bought it. Cross fingers that at least one of us get to see it when it comes to LA.

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