my wonderful adorable perfectest cats ate through two laptop cords (the back-up cord lasted all of two days), which I wasn’t able to replace until late this afternoon. So I ended up with some time in the evenings to read more than usual and started in on Ryan North’s To Be or Not to Be, (‘a chooseable-path adventure by Ryan North, William Shakespeare, and YOU’). It’s the most fun I’ve had reading Hamlet in years. Being a ‘choosable-path adventure’ novel, there’s obviously much more text than in Hamlet itself — we can progress through the main story, of course, or we can deviate from it by choosing North’s alternative storylines and ‘side quests’. I haven’t gotten all the way through all the storylines so far (I haven’t even tried to play as Ophelia yet!), but the alternate story paths provide some hilarious and thought-provoking hypotheticals (like, what if Hamlet just told Ophelia what he was up to instead of acting mad and making misogynist assumptions about her based on Gertrude’s remarriage).
A lot of the endings are charmingly absurd. And there’s a lot of marine biology and dinosaurs so far. And perfect art by people like Kate Beaton, and Vera Brosgol, and Jess Fink, and John Allison, and arghhh, so many of my favourite comics artists.
So I’m off to read that now.
17 December 2014
North, Ryan. To Be or Not to Be. Breadpig, 2013.