THE HAMILTON SOUNDTRACK has been in my car’s CD player for 108 days. It arrived from Amazon on December 22, when I plucked it from the mailbox right before I went out to do one last round of Christmas shopping. I was hooked by the end of the block. Ten minutes later I pulled over in the Presidio to text about twenty people about whether they had heard it yet. The only time I removed it – other than to switch disks, of course – was to play it for a friend in her home. Even after 108 days (that’s almost three Noah’s floods, people!) I can’t quite imagine listening to anything else.
I ordered Hamilton: The Revolution – which one is supposed to call the #Hamiltome when one mentions it on Twitter and which is sort of a Hamilton yearbook, with annotated lyrics for every song, plus short essays on the actors, the behind-the-scenes elements of the show like the set designs and costumes, and information on the history behind the show – on the day it was released. It didn’t arrive until yesterday, though, because Amazon was already sold out on the day it released (I’m pretty sure Amazon being sold out of things on the day they’re released is one of the signs of the Apocalypse, so watch out for horsemen and brimstone). But it’s here now, and it’s beautiful. It’s the most beautiful book I’ve ever owned.
Like the musical itself, the #Hamiltome is part retro and part hyper-modern. The paper is thick and made to last (it even smells old!), with a letterpressy sort of font that leaves a palpable imprint on the paper.
And the photography is so good that sometimes Aaron Burr jumps out and shoots you in the ribs in your living room:
Even the deckle edges are beautiful (and I don’t usually like deckle edges).
If all this book contained was this shade of red, it would still be a contender for the most beautiful book in my collection (though I’m glad it contains much more):
I love that I share the world with this play. And with this book that promises to be just as great.