I have to sit down and write my review for The Screaming Staircase, by Jonathan Stroud, but this other review, for the book I just received in the mail less than an hour ago, couldn't wait. I need everyone to know about this book and to want to read this book and to go out and buy this book, because it's amazing.When I sent a friend a text stating that this is was probably the best thing I had ever spent money on, in the history of all of the things I've spent money on, I wasn't being over dramatic.
As previously mentioned, I love me some Shakespeare and I especially love new and creative iterations of Shakespeare. Killing Shakespeare is top on my Christmas wishlist, but To Be Or Not To Be may top a different list as my favorite Shakespeare spin off ever (and would totally top the Christmas wishlist, also, if I didn't already have a copy).
Original Kickstarter Page: So you can see just how much awesome you missed by not pledging to this Kickstarter. You can also see all of the artists that contributed to the awesome art pages within the book.
In addition to loving Shakespeare, I also loved the choose-your-own adventure books while I was growing up. The books of my youth were not very big and usually only good for an hour or two of reading. To Be Or Not To Be clocks in just shy of 800 pages and after 45 minutes, I had only achieved 5 out of 100 endings. This is true value for your money, folks.
I started my adventures with Claudius, because he had the least screen time in the play and I really, really wanted to see what shenanigans he would get up to. Without ruining any of the handful of endings I found, let's just say I was not disappointed in the least. The writing is funny, intelligent, and fast-paced. Claudius gets up to my expected shenanigans, and more, and is allowed to be as smart or as thick-headed as you, the reader, want him to be. Or as much as you want you to be, since it's your adventure and - right. Ophelia gets a much needed boost in not only back story, but brains, and I can't wait to read more of her adventures next.
If you've looked at the artist list on the Kickstarter page, you probably started drooling, and let me tell you - drool away, my friend, drool away. All of the art that I have seen is well done and beautiful. As soon as this review is done, I'm committing the ultimate sin and going through the book from start to finish, just to look at the purdy pictures and sigh.
For the unfortunate people who weren't able to spend all their pennies on the Kickstarter, To Be Or Not To Be releases August 27 and is available on Amazon. Go pre-order you're copy right now, before you start thinking about budgets or other silly things. Go go!