As the chill of winter sets in all around us, the time has come around once more for a completely erroneous report on something I recently read and enjoyed! This month, I had the pleasure of reading Ryan North’s William Shakespeare Punches a Friggin Shark, And/Or Other Stories.
Although the byline is credited, bafflingly, to the renowned Ryan North, the book is actually an autobiography, written by the titular William Shakespeare – not the infamous playwright William Shakespeare, but rather an entirely different individual, also a writer of infamous plays, also coincidentally named William Shakespeare.
If this is not confusing enough, the book’s story is told through an additional confusing gimmick: 3-D. Equipped with 3-D glasses from the volume’s inside cover, the reader is taken on a three-dimensional journey through the harrowed life of this particular William Shakespeare. We feel his desperation as he takes out loan after loan that he will not be able to pay back, all to finance the ill-fated 3-D theatre in which he had wanted his plays to be performed; we feel his fury as he confronts the cruellest of his loan sharks; and we feel the sting on our knuckles as he shakes out his hand after finally punching out that evil shark.
Rife with adventure, difficult choices that we feel we are making alongside the narrator, and theatrical dreams that all amount to naught, this book was serious and moving. I recommend it to any and all fans of three-dimensional reading, Williams Shakespeare, or chooseable-path adventures.