To Be or Not To Be: That Is still a book by Ryan North

Okay, before I go through my impressions of TBONTB, which I’m just gonna call To Be because I always be, I want to mention how it’s kind of difficult to read a lot at once, largely because going through it multiple times inevitably leads to rereading portions, which leads to skipping already-read stuff. Which leads to flipping through pages to get to new stuff. I could use bookmarks but pfft, whatever. Thus I’m planning to just go through 2 or 3 times a day. So, hey, it should last some time for me!

Anyway, of COURSE I started by reading acknowledgements. What’s wrong with reading about cool people first?? After that, it was time to BE RYAN NORTH YEEAH

AND THEN IT WAS TIME TO BE RYAN NORTH BEING HALMET YEEAH

AND THEN I WAS HAMLET SR. AND died. then ghost died. I’m terrible at being Hamlet Sr.

Later, I decided to try making the Conservative options. Or, as the book put them, the stupid options. It’s, um. This part oddly enough worked as a pretty good metaphor for a lot of male US politicians making rulings on women’s health issues. That’s right, Shakespeare is relevant to the politics of today, especially when it’s in a chooseable-path adventure format!

Anyway, I really like the nonstandard writing techniques, which is something I’m interested in for my own writing! I mean, chopping up the story and throwing it everywhere and doing this with a bunch of versions with the story to make a story salad is as nonstandard as it can get, but even the little things like repeating a letter to signify it’s being extended: “Yayyyy.” THE AUTHOR IS NOT AFRAID TO DO THINGS THAT WOULD BE IMPROPER FOR MOST BOOKS AND WHATNOT

Adding to that, author participation (it may be a deus ex machina, but it was SHAKESPEARE’S FAULT) and narration that really gets off-track. It’s like, even at points the narrator admits that he is totally getting off-track. Basically, this is the best possible way to write this type of book: the narrator actively chastising you for making awful decisions. “You know what? No. Just no.” And at one point you can actually attempt to lie to the book.

All in all, amazing book, still a lot for me to read through, can’t wait for the sequel, this should become a new common type of book. It’s quite a feat, of course, even without the illustrated endings, but so what?? It’s amazing. I’m even considering what I would do if I wrote one.

That’s about it , I think. Just wanted to make a follow-up post after I’ve read some of the book. Most of this post was written as I was reading it, just jotting down thoughts, and then organized in a way that’s not just a smattering of thoughts like I usually do.

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