Book review – To Be or Not To Be: A Chooseable-Path Adventure (Spoiler Free)

“This was a really amazing part of your adventure, Hamlet. You’re sure that, should you ever one day write a book about this story or perhaps a stage production, you’d DEFINITELY include this scene. Why, you’d have to be literally [ridiculous] to write a story where you journey to England, get attacked by pirates—actual pirates!—but then just sum up that whole adventure in a single sentence. Hah! That’d be the worst. Who puts a pirate-attack scene in their story and doesn’t show it to the audience? Hopefully nobody, that’s who! Even from a purely structural viewpoint, you’ve got to give the audience something awesome to make up for all the introspection you’ve been doing; that just seems pretty obvious is all.”

  • Title: To Be or Not To Be: A Chooseable-Path Adventure
  • Author: Ryan North
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Pages: 740 pages
  • Publication date: September 10, 2013
  • Publisher: Breadpig

I’ve talked about how I’m not a big fan of old literature before and about how my class debated making Shakespeare not a college requirement. So, I got a modern Shakespeare with a twist book.

It’s not like any you’ve ever read. For most of it, you choose between many endings to see what the Hamlet in this story would do. I have gotten about 50ish endings (lost count), but I bet I’ve only reached half of them. There are so many new directions the story goes. But I did find the true ending.

My only major critique was how difficult it was to navigate this book. Sometimes I’d have many tabs to keep track of where I came from incase I wanted to choose a different path. I also tried to get as many endings as possible, which ended up with me losing track of the pages and using many sticky notes. Sometimes I’d try to flip to the next part, went to the wrong number, but then forgot what number I came from. In that sense, it got a bit difficult.

Even though it’s 720 pages (which sounds like a Cassandra Clare novel), it doesn’t take long at all. Give it less than 15 minutes to find an ending for some. Every ending has its own illustrated page, so you can see what happens. That takes off about 100 pages there. Each section is only about one sentence to a paragraph. A page at most. The options at the end take you to another page, which is usually on the other side of the book.

If I’m being honest, you can die on the first page. You can ignore the whole plot and end the story by like page three. It’s all up to you. I enjoyed playing as Ophelia the most.

Depending on how many endings you want, this book is a short read. It’s also entertaining with sarcasm and humor throughout all the pages. I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants a laugh with Shakespearean twists.

Score: 8/10
Average rating on Goodreads: 4.11/5

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