To Be or Not to Be

To Be or Not to Be

Book - 2013
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To Be or Not To Be is a choose-your-own-path version of Hamlet by New York Times best-selling author Ryan North. Play as Hamlet, Ophelia, or King Hamlet--if you want to die on the first page and play as a ghost. It's pretty awesome! Readers can follow Yorick skull markers to stick closely to Shakespeare's plot, or go off-script and explore alternative possibilities filled with puzzles and humor.

Each ending in the book is accompanied by a full-color, full-page illustration by one of the 65 most excellent artists working today, so each rereading yields new surprises and rewards. Ryan's prose is, as always, colloquial and familiar but full of clever references, vivid imagination, and only the most choice of jokes. Inventive devices like a book-within-a-book (to mirror Hamlet's play-within-a-play) take full advantage of the gamebook medium and liven up the original story for even the most disinterested of Shakespeare readers!

To Be or Not to Be became a sensation when it launched: over 15,000 people backed the book in just one month, and it remains the number-one most funded publishing project ever on

To be, or not to be: that is the adventure!
Publisher: New York, NY :, Breadpig,, 2013
ISBN: 9780982853740
Branch Call Number: FIC North
Characteristics: 740 pages :,some illustrations ;,23 cm
Additional Contributors: Shakespeare, William


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bkilfoy Sep 19, 2016

A riff on Hamlet and choose your own adventure books, North plays with Shakespeare's classic and makes it uproariously funny. Beginning with your initial choice of being Ophelia, Hamlet, or Hamlet's father, there's plenty of entertaining endings to explore. Whether it's Ophelia ditching Hamlet and fighting terrorists on her vacation or Hamlet actually killing Claudius instead of dithering or Hamlet Sr. figuring out just how to be a ghost, there's plenty of different ways to explore the plot that are more or less faithful to the original play. Fun and funny, this is a great book to flip through or to systematically explore every possible way of dying (or living) you can get. Honourable mention to the gorgeous illustration pages included on the end pages for every story arc as they're beautiful and done by a wide variety of artists (including personal favourites Kate Beaton and Noelle Stevenson).

Aug 29, 2016

The story is written at a junior high school level. The gimmick of the choose-your-own-path didn't have any value for me. A waste of time.

Jul 19, 2016

Just so charming. A delightful book. Especially for lovers of Shakespeare and choose your own adventure books.

Jul 05, 2014

A highly clever and comedic choose-your-own-adventure novel from the mind of Ryan North. The narrative of this book is extremely cheerful and hilarious, delivering biting and accurate commentary and criticism pertaining to Hamlet's plot and characters. The humor is intended for younger audiences, clearly, as is the same with almost all of Ryan North's books. I believe a young adult or teenager with a love of (or at least familiarity with) Hamlet could get the maximum enjoyment out of this novel.

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Aug 02, 2018

brookelan03 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 80

Jul 05, 2014

emmilee thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 35


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