Tragedy. Groan groan. It’s a bummer, isn’t it? It’s all just so… inevitable. You read, weeping, as Anna Karenina goes for the train, as Lear enters with Cordelia dead in his arms. No choice: just turn the pages, sit back and grieve. And it’s the same old story every time. The train is never late. Cordelia never pops up and says: ‘Hi dad, I could murder a pizza.’ It’s all so unmodern, so uncool, just so friggin’ Greek. We moderns have moved on. We’re all free agents. We make choices. Choices are what make us. So give me tragedy with choice and give it to me now. Instead of just blubbing and crying out ‘NOoooo’ while what you don’t want to happen happens, why not just turn to page 394 and get a new ending? Cool. Indeed, totally friggin’ awesome.
So a comic book writer called Ryan North, the man behind the totally awesome Adventure Time series, has decided to bring the world of choice to Hamlet. You can pick which character you want to be. You can choose the outcome. You can fight with pirates. It will all be way WAY cooler than anything you’ve ever seen before, and WAY WAY WAY cooler than that Shakespeare guy. North will smile at you winsomely from his video and even show you a picture of his dog (who is awfully cute) called Noam Chompsky while he explains how totally, totally AWESOME it will be and how it will give choice choice choice and fun fun fun, with added adventures and loads of cool stuff:
unlike Shakespeare I didn’t skip over the pirate scene in Hamlet. You get to fight PIRATES. With SWORDS. And yes OF COURSE you can choose which body part you cut off. Why would you write a book where you can’t do that is my question.
The choosing isn’t free, though: in order to be able to choose choose choose these totally totally AWESOME adventures and enjoy DEATH SCENES by the BEST ARTISTS ALIVE TODAY (North likes capitals as much as he likes raising his eyebrows cutely) you have to give give GIVE. You can do it online. You can give as little as a dollar. Twenty dollars gets you a paperback. Five people have given $1000 each; you can do that too and be declared a ‘PATRON OF THE FRIGGIN’ ARTS’. Or you could give five grand. Go on. Make him happy. Make Noam Chompsky happy too. It’s all going swimmingly so far, since North has raised $164,576. But before I commit I want to know if the reader-driven Hamlet will have an early option to ‘KILL ME NOW’ (in caps). That would be totally friggin’ awesome.