I can’t recall ever being in this kind of “bookish crisis”.
I have been interested in the book “Hamilton” since the whole Hamilton hysteria began. While I haven’t had the pleasure of attending a theatre production I certainly am familiar with the songs, the storyline and know a lot about the musical.
When the book actually landed on my table, I eyed it worriedly for several weeks. It’s a HUGE paperback edition. There are 820 pages though the actual text is only 731 pages. Believe me, the length of the book isn’t the issue, I have read longer books. It is simply physically unwieldy. I assume this is the result of publishers wanting the print to be of a size that people over 50 would be able to read (I do appreciate that!) but try holding that in bed, or curled up on the sofa, or over lunch at a safe distance from your plate (in an upright position).
As someone who always says that a book is about the words, the story, the feeling and the message, irrelevant of t the physical form in which you enjoy it (printed, digital, audio) I felt very guilty about being dismayed at the shape of the book. I even considered buying a digital version but it did seem a waste of money considering that I actually have a printed copy on my table.
My bookish crises continued in the strangest manner after I began reading the book.
The book is really interesting and very well written. I loved it that the author chose to begin his book with the character of Hamilton’s wife, Eliza. In fact, the author pays a lot of attention and respect to women and their role in Hamilton’s life and in the American Revolution.
I found the part about Hamilton’s early life in the Caribbean (and his parents’ lives) fascinating as I really knew very little about those islands at that time, not to mention the slave trade related to the sugar commerce on those islands. It was mind-boggling to read how quickly the brilliant Hamilton reached the epicenter of things within a fairly short time after arriving in the US.
As someone who is interested in geneology, I was also very interested in how the author presented family information with incomplete data – relying on sources from the period but clearly stating what is known for sure and what is an “educated guess”.
The American revolution was a lot messier and precarious than what I remembered from my school days in Massachusetts and I have to admit (or confess?) that there is a great deal I didn’t know or didn’t remember – the initial goal of the revolution wasn’t complete independence as a new country, the assistance of the French was extremely significant or the story of the Benedict Arnold’s wife.
It was also a revolution that spanned 8 years.
At page 151 the end of the revolution is not in sight.
I found myself interested in the book while I was reading it, but reading it less and less.
And less and less.
And then not reading Hamilton but not reading anything else because I’m reading Hamilton.
Naomi not reading any books?
So, on August 1st I officially stopped reading Hamilton and am now close to completing another book.
I admitted it.
May you be more patient than me, it really is a good book.