Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “To Be or Not To Be: A Chooseable-Path Adventure” as Want to Read:
To Be or Not To Be: A Chooseable-Path Adventure
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

To Be or Not To Be: A Chooseable-Path Adventure (Chooseable-Path Adventures)

by
4.11  ·  Rating details ·  3,286 Ratings  ·  424 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 768 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Breadpig (first published July 16th 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about To Be or Not To Be, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Kelsey Choose to read the acknowledgements instead of choosing a character at the beginning. :)
PigeonSquid I think so. There's some (humorous) violence but nothing that would have bothered me when I was in middle school.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Kalin
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1. Upon discovering this review, you are offered your first choice.

Would you rather be reading this:

Witness this army of such mass and charge
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Whose spirit with divine ambition puff’d
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal and unsure
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour’s at the stake. How stand I then,
That h
...more
Sara
After joyfully frolicking through this hilarious book my only question is why the hell did it take someone so long to write a Shakespeare choose your own adventure?

I know, I know, I know if there was one thing missing from your life it was the chance to determine the fate of Shakespeare's Hamlet for yourself all while enjoying illustrations from a wide variety of super talented cartoonists and artists! Me too!!! Well Ryan North has answered our collective pleas and to this I say I am but mad nor
...more
Kevin Fanning
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Kickstarter books are always a gamble. That's part of the fun? Maybe? There's the whole "Is this book even going to get written and published like the author promised" thing NEVER EVEN MIND the "Will I even like it" thing.

Well this book got kickstarted and it really happened, right on schedule, and I really like it, it is the one of the most fun books in existence.

I don't know what exactly I was expecting. You hear Hamlet Choose Your Own Adventure and you think: A Fun New Take On Shakespeare.
...more
First Second Books
One of my friends and I endeavored to thoroughly read Ryan North's TO BE OR NOT TO BE: A Chooseable-Path Adventure over the weekend, and we were bemused to find that when we tried to make sensible decisions, TO BE OR NOT TO BE provided us with a very sensible ending (Hamlet Sr. didn't try to make his son into a murderer! Ophelia invents the barometer instead of dying!), which was great.

But! Even when we tried to make not-sensible decisions (yes, let's have pirates!), TO BE OR NOT TO BE seemed re
...more
Sunil
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, favorites, 2013
I am writing a review of this book even though I have not finished it. Well, I have finished it multiple times, but I have not read every page of the book. I don't know how to get to the chess game!

Welcome to To Be or Not to Be: A Chooseable-Path Adventure, Ryan North's amazingly brilliant interpretation of Hamlet. It is hard not to use hyperbole when describing this book, but it deserves it like Claudius deserves to die.

At a social gathering, I often pull out the book and ask, "Who wants to pla
...more
Kate O'Hanlon
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
I've played through several times, gotten a few grizzly deaths and even a couple of happy endings. Unlike the choose your own adventure books I read as a kid this seems to have inexhaustible options and endings to delight and amuse. I'm waiting for my physical book to arrive before going through everything because, though the ebooks are quality productions it's becoming a little tedious jumping around to find different endings. It's just going to be easier with real bookmarks.

The book is hilario
...more
Julia
Ryan North is probably still best-known for Dinosaur Comics, but he's branched out into publishing before with the Machine of Death anthologies (I'm halfway through the first one and have been for a couple of years, which is my typical approach to anthologies, but they're interesting!) and the Adventure Time comics. This book, which was Kickstarter-funded (Kickstarted?), is a choosable-path (choose-your-own-adventure is a copyrighted phrase, apparently) re-telling of Hamlet.

It's bananas. Ryan N
...more
Aya Hamza
Not my cup of tea.
I didn't find it that funny but the concept of it is brilliant. It is just not for me!
Although this book is humongous, I flew through it. I finished it in an hour.

This is a "Hamlet" adaptation but a very different experience. Here, you can choose which character you want to be. It also has illustrations.

If you are familiar with Hamlet, you will enjoy it.
David
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.25
These books are so clever and make Shakespeare so much more accessible. I also have a feeling that Shakespeare might have really approved of their tone. There is no doubt that this book will raise student's interest and understanding of Shakespeare. The one drawback is that Shakespeare's perversions that are typically veiled from many in his language are front and center in this format. It is reflective of Shakespeare, but it might be a little much for some. I know this book makes me want t
...more
Lara
OMG, hilarious. HILARIOUS!

My husband got this through the Kickstarter campaign and was sooo excited when it finally arrived. He's been reading it off and on for the last week or so, every now and then quoting parts at me, and I was kind of like, "Ha. That's amusing. Now back to whatever I was doing before you started reading this quote at me." Okay, not quite, but...I don't know. I wasn't totally convinced.

But this afternoon he pushed it at me right before lying down for a nap, so I picked it up
...more
Dawn Livingston
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a choose-your-own adventure book like the kids books. You start with the first page than are given an option and the choice you make dictates which section you go to next so you can reach the end then start again making different choices and therefore having read multiple stories in just one book.

I rated Ryan North's other choose-your-own adventure book, Romeo and/or Juliet, five stars so I feel I can't rate this book any less. But with this 2nd book the amazement at such a fantastic for
...more
Trevor
Jun 03, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
This book is just one excessively long joke. And it's not a good joke.
Ana Mardoll
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ana-reviewed
To Be or Not To Be / B00ECJN7T6

How much do I like this book? I will tell you. I like this book so much that even though I participated in the Kickstarter for the book and got a paper copy AND an electronic copy in four different electronic formats, I still bought the Kindle version before writing this review just to make absolutely sure that this book will follow me around on my Kindle account for the rest of my life or until the heat death of the universe (whichever comes first).

If you like th
...more
Briana
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
To Be or Not To Be is—well, it’s the question—but it is also a supremely clever book, a success both in the choose-your-own-adventure genre and in the Shakespeare adaptation genre. Author Ryan North first gives readers (interactors? Actors?) three character choices, and they’re the good ones: Hamlet, Ophelia, and the ghost. North covers the main character, the female character, and the supernatural character, all tempting options. Sure, someone will always have wanted to be Horatio or Claudius, ...more
Jerzy
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a fun idea, especially the extended pirate scene that was glossed over in Shakespeare's version.

Shakespeare's act 4, scene 6:
"Ere we were two days old at sea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave us chase. Finding ourselves too slow of sail, we put on a compelled valour, and in the grapple I boarded them: on the instant they got clear of our ship; so I alone became their prisoner. They have dealt with me like thieves of mercy: but they knew what they did; I am to do a good turn for the
...more
Courtney H.
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The idea behind this book is fantastic. Hamlet is all about choices--or the decision not to make choices. And some of the characters--as North makes sure to point out--make really terrible choices that have, not unexpectedly, really bad consequences. Think about all the better choices these characters could have made! Or, you know, the worse choices they could have made. Then think about the terrible choice Shakespeare made--specifically his decision to whittle a fantastic sea battle with pirate ...more
orangerful
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is ridiculous and I love it!

Whether you know everything there is to know about Hamlet or you maybe read it once when you were in high school, there is plenty to love about this silly retelling.

North does give you little *clues* as to which choices match the original story, though that doesn't necessarily guarantee this book will take the same paths.

I was laughing out loud as I read this during my lunch break (note: this is a hard book to read during lunch break because you're flippi
...more
Jane
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor
Every English major should have a child who is an English major so that Christmas comes with gifts like this book. A choose-your-own-adventure Hamlet!

In truth, I've only "read" one adventure so far, and it wasn't as easy as you might think to make the choices Hamlet did in the Bard's story--partly because Ryan North's commentary on Hamlet's idiocies makes it hard to remember what originally happened. But no worries, whatever pages you turn to come with great illustrations, the sarcastic comments
...more
Eric Mesa
Apr 02, 2014 rated it liked it
The book was a fun read. I first did Hamlet Sr, then Ophelia, and then Hamlet. I decided to go with the Shakespeare option each time, essentially turning the book into a modern English version of Hamlet (with commentary). The main thing I learned is that Shakesspeare relies on a lot of silly tropes that only worked because they were new back then.

As I said, it was a fun read, but I have the feeling that 14 year old me probably would have loved this book and found it hilarious.
Brendan
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure I gave this book a fair read through, but I did try a handful of stories. The concept is brilliant. I love the concept. The implementation was bad. North tries too hard to be amusing. His constant jokes and parody of Choose Your Own Adventure stories just fell flat (and obnoxious). I only tried 3-4 stories because North's writing was so off-putting it made the experience tedious.
Scout
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read every single page but have been through a few different adventures and loved them all.
Kendra
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So many happy endings, man! Everyone gets one! Even the GHOST! I loved it :D
Tifany
3

LOL, seriously this was fun and obviously I didn't read the whole pages because this is a choosable-path adventure kind of book, but I pretty much enjoyed it.

So this is a retelling of Hamlet (I believe) and tbh I haven't read Hamlet yet so I didn't know what the original story was, but after some endings that I got through this book, I think I knew the main plot (at least).

I planned to play as each characters only once, but I ended up playing as Hamlet Sr. twice, just because he was the last ch
...more
Kristina
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll always go back to this book because there are so many possibilities - this is the BEST. And I freaking LOVE Hamlet.

Some storylines hysterically continued for a while jumping from page to page until characters like Ophelia killed everyone in the story as Fortinbras arrived. Others, end rather abruptly as you choose to play as King Hamlet convincing yourself your death was not foul play, but simply the result of a heart attack. The end.

I'll forever appreciate that no matter how many times I
...more
Rob
Mar 16, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for this book. A Choose Your Own Adventure story around Hamlet is a great premise. However the book is sophomoric and patronizing. I wouldn't be surprised if the author read the play via Cliff Notes. It is written by a politically correct frat boy who can't see beyond his own time. He spends his time mocking Shakespeare in the most juvenile and ignorant fashion, all the while writing literally how great he, the author, is and how amazing his story is.

If you enjoy Shakespeare an
...more
Arra LeBlanc
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
What a wonderfully delightful book. I miss the days of choose your own adventure (my childhood was filled with them, especially the Goosebumps ones). This one is hilarious, witty, Ophelia is a badass, there's a reference to asexuality... It's everything I needed out of a Shakespeare choose your own adventure book. And the art is wonderful. I look forward to rereading and finding more endings than the many I've already found.
Justin
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Is any given story arc a perfect 5? No, but the whole is. And given how brilliantly it parodies and closely (can) follow such an indispensable piece of literature, it should be no surprise. Highly recommended...but for God's sake, read Hamlet first.
Isabella Childers
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Finally finished one adventure. Enjoyed the little skulls 😅😅👌🏻
Laura (bbliophile)
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Oooh this was so much fun! Review to come (:
Cary S
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspired, and absolutely hilarious!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Around the Year i...: To Be or Not To Be: A Chooseable-Path Adventure, by Ryan North (and Shakespeare) 3 38 Apr 16, 2017 07:18PM  
Other CYOA 1 6 Sep 22, 2014 04:06AM  
  • Arcanum 101  (Diana Tregarde, #0.3)
  • The Happiest Days of Our Lives
  • The Sword & Sorcery Anthology
  • From Hell Companion
  • Wizzywig: Portrait of a Serial Hacker
  • Mogworld
  • The Most Dangerous Game: A Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal Collection
  • Epic Legends of the Magic Sword Kings (Penny Arcade, #2)
  • Too Cool to Be Forgotten
  • The Festival of Bones (Mythworld, #1)
  • Hopeful Monsters
  • The Jack Vance Treasury
  • The God Engines
  • Code Monkey Save World
  • The Ape's Wife and Other Stories
  • Budayeen Nights
  • The Executioness
  • Freehold
610 followers
Hi, I'm Ryan! I was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 1980 and since then have written several books. You can read my Wikipedia page for more, or check out my author site at RyanNorth.ca!

I'm the author of the webcomic Dinosaur Comics (that's the comic where the pictures don't change but the words do, it's better than it sounds and I've also done crazy things like turn Shakespeare into a choose-yo
...more
More about Ryan North

Other books in the series

Chooseable-Path Adventures (2 books)
  • Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • West of the Tularosa
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Love and Ruin
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Siddhartha
    $10.95 $2.99
  • The Orphan Daughter
    $4.99 $1.99
  • When We Were Worthy
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Somebody's Daughter
    $5.99 $2.99
  • A Night Divided
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Book of Disquiet: The Complete Edition
    $24.95 $2.99
  • The Cherished Quilt
    $8.99 $2.99
  • To Find a Mountain
    $3.99 $1.99
  • I'll Be Your Blue Sky
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Lotterys Plus One
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Buddha
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Falls (P.S.)
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Broken Pieces
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Love Held Captive (A Lone Star Hero's Love Story)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Girl Who Came Home
    $11.99 $1.99
  • When Jesus Wept (The Jerusalem Chronicles, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • In the Name of the Family
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Man He Never Was: A Modern Reimagining of Jekyll and Hyde
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Hired Man
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Crimes Against a Book Club
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Girls of the Great War
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Map of Love: A Novel
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Wish Me Home
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Every Tongue Got to Confess
    $10.24 $1.99
  • A Golden Age
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Serena
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Dreamland
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Holy Fools
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Tampa
    $11.49 $1.99
  • The Beloved Hope Chest
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Fifth Avenue Artists Society
    $11.99 $1.99
  • All That's Left of Me
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Labyrinths (New Directions Paperbook)
    $15.95 $2.99
  • Palm Trees in the Snow
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Tell The Wolves I'm Home
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Mary
    $14.99 $1.99
  • A Map of the World
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Chemistry Lessons
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Last Flight of Poxl West: A Novel
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Come Home to Me
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Year We Left Home
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Whip
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Touching Spirit Bear (Spirit Bear, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Written on the Body
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Dragon's Teeth (The Lanny Budd Novels)
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Journey's End (Gilded Promises)
    $3.99 $1.99
“Chicks, man, am I right? They crazy," you say.
"Yes, what IS the deal with over half the human population of the planet? They're definitely all 100% insane," Horatio replies sarcastically.”
1 likes
“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 crazy 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.” 0 likes
More quotes…