Romeo and/or Juliet

by Ryan North | Humor |
ISBN: 9781101983300 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 2/9/2019
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, February 09, 2019
I got this slightly-battered softcover at a Goodwill thrift shop, and was delighted to have another release copy of this clever and funny book.

There's a lot of fun to be had here, starting with the title page and acknowledgements ("...way to go reading all this small print! Lots of readers just skip over it..."). The premise here is that this is the actual original story from which Shakespeare stole his version, but the manuscript was lost until recently, when North found it. ("It was just over there. Someone had put a coat over it...") This bit explains the notations - the use of little heart icons to show which option is the one Shakespeare chose, in case you want to walk through that version. (Try it, it's fun!)

Another fun thing: if you adhere too closely to the original, eventually you'll get stuck as Juliet, sitting in your room doing whatever your parents tell you, and the story will get bored and make you be Romeo for a while. Makes perfect sense, when you think about it!

Entertaining quips abound, as well as some procedural fun and games such as the "Virtual Reality Dark Basement simulator". The name of Romeo's horse made me laugh out loud, though it ranks as sophomoric humor at best. And when a key-but-minor character from the original play turns out to have her very own plot-thread in this one, I practically stood up and cheered: "Name's Rosaline. Rosaline Catling. And this week has given me more than enough of Verona." Hard-boiled-detective Rosaline rocks! (And the way you get to her thread rocks, too - very nicely sneaky, though one could cheat and simply read the book straight through to find the hidden bits.)

Among the many, many non-canon variations of the story, there are some dandies, such as Romeo and Juliet dying together and becoming ghosts who watch time pass for centuries before working out how to make a time machine - but where will they take it? Then there's the one where they fight the ninjas (because of course ninjas), and then... oh, never mind, just play the book!

There are, of course, lots of tragic/bad/sad endings, and a few good ones - with one spectacularly good one that has further options available if you don't want to end on a high note {wry grin}.

And one of my favorite parts of the entire book: Nurse Quest! This covers the part of the story where Juliet's old nurse is sent to take a message to Romeo, and has to make her way through the streets and past Romeo's irreverent and rude friends. In the play it's a pretty short sequence; here, it's an entire sub-quest, framed as an early text-based computer game complete with font-change, limited instruction set, and clever reactions, and is an unmitigated delight!

The illustrations are provided by a large number of artists, who all seem to have had a wonderful time. The styles range from very cartoony to quite artistic, with my favorite being the dreamy image on page 219. (The artists' credits are themselves part of the story - see entry 475!)

I loved this one and the Hamlet version, To Be or Not To Be, and now I just hope that North hasn't become jaded and is planning to do another one some time soon...

[There's a TV Tropes page on the book, with some entertaining tidbits.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, February 14, 2019

Released 2 mos ago (2/13/2019 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I'm sending this to BCer FeistyPom2Love in California, to fill a wish; enjoy!

*** Released for the 2019 Valentine release challenge. ***

Journal Entry 3 by FeistyPom2Love at San Ramon, California USA on Sunday, March 03, 2019
Thank you for the wishlist book!!

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