Lies About Books: To Be Or Not To Be

In the past month, I had the pleasure of re-reading the most nonfiction book To Be Or Not To Be by Ryan North.

To Be Or Not To Be is a very unusual book of philosophy, allowing readers to “Choose your own philosophy.” It guides readers through the entire history of philosophical thought, offering over three billion individual philosophers to identify with, by offering options of pages to turn to, based on what type of philosophy they prefer to read about.

The first choice comes on the first page: choose “to be,” and, like Descartes, you establish that you exist, and work from there to construct your reality, through to possibilities of Thomas Hobbes or Machiavelli. Choose “not to be,” and explore existentialism and solipsism, without ever having to commit to the belief that you – or this book – are really real.

Highly unorthodox and eye-opening, To Be Or Not To Be is set to revolutionize the field of philosophy. Never has so absurdist a book of philosophy been published since the days of Jean-Paul Sartre. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys John Locke, making choices, or ghosts out for revenge.


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