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The greatest work IN English literature, now in the greatest format OF English literature: a chooseable-path adventure!
The greatest work IN English literature, now in the greatest format OF English literature: a chooseable-path adventure!
The greatest work IN English literature, now in the greatest format OF English literature: a chooseable-path adventure!
15,352 backers pledged $580,905 to help bring this project to life.

More books sent to schools, some amazing media coverage, and the final 24 hours

The Final 24 Hours!

This is it! If you ever felt like pulling someone off the street, staring wildly into their eyes, and whispering "have you checked out" - NOW IS THE TIME. Yesterday we'd just broken $400k but after an incredible day we're now at $466k! Will we reach the $500k threshold at which I explode? THERE IS BUT ONE WAY TO FIND OUT??

Just this morning Cory Doctorow posted a story about us in Boing Boing (amazing!) and Laura Hudson wrote an in-depth look at this project and how it compares to traditional publishing models that's the top story on Wired this morning! Super amazing. You all made this happen, probably because you are all the best ever.

In other news, I got a message from someone who read the Wired article didn't know that we were offering Squishable Yorick skulls at certain tier levels: we totally are and it rad! So be sure to check out the illustrated list of Kickstarter reward tiers to see what your options are - and remember, if you're pledging as a gift, fill out this form so you can get your special Holiday Hamlet ecard! And if you'd like to combine tiers (like, "I want both AMAZINGLY RAD and TOTALLY SWEET") just be sure to pledge the total of whichever tiers you want added together, and then contact me with your Kickstarter account email address and let me know what's going on. You can adjust your pledge on the project page - just click on "Manage Pledge"!

So! The $450k threshold was "Another 25 books sent to schools and libraries! Also I will... create a pizza that looks like Hamlet and... eat it?"

And again I will sweeten this-here pot. First off, yes, I will certainly share HIGH-RES PHOTOS of this Hamlet pizza so you can all see how well I did and how tasty it probably is. And with this added set of 25 books we're at 225 free books being mailed to schools, universities, and libraries worldwide. At the $475k level it's another fifty books, so let's say if we unlock that (which it seems like we will in - a few hours? You are amazing), I'll bump the total up to 400 books total sent to educational institutions. At current levels it means every institution that's contacted us will get at least two copies!

If you'd like your school or library to be on the list, again all we need is the name of the school, its address, and contact name and contact email there. Send that to ryan [at] qwantz [dot] com and we'll be set!

For our final story update (no longer will you get daily emails from me distracting you each morning - we've all grown and changed and I thank you) the choice was OPTION EXEUNT (Kill Claudius!) (actually it was "EXUNT" but let's pretend I never make typos okay) and OPTION DON'T EXEUNT YET (let him live!). And if you'd like to let Claudius live well you're going to have to do that in person when your books arrive because you voted and THIS IS OUR LAST UPDATE and THIS IS WHERE CLAUDIUS' STORY ENDS.

Kill Claudius! FINALLY

You sneak up behind Claudius as he's praying and are about to snap his neck when Hamlet puts his hand in yours and uses secret awesome spy code to quickly tap out the message "NO, I'LL DO 'T. AND SO HE GOES TO HEAVEN, AND SO AM I REVENGED. THAT WOULD BE SCANNED: A VILLAIN KILLS MY FATHER, AND FOR THAT, I, HIS SOLE SON, DO THIS SAME VILLAIN SEND TO HEAVEN."

"OKAY COOL" you tap in reply.

Hamlet draws his sword, and in one massive blow, cleaves the top of Claudius' head, including most of his brain, from the remainder of his body.

Using your get away with things skill, you put the sword in Claudius' hand, and the two of you confidently walk out of the chapel. "Oh no!" you shout to some passers-by. "I think Claudius just committed suicide in there! Wow, it really looks like he meant it!!"

You get away with it due to your insanely overloaded getting away with it stat, and when Hamlet becomes King of Denmark, you become Queen. And under your enlightened leadership, every single citizen of Denmark becomes a philosopher scientist karate inventor with a really satisfying personal life.


ps: Claudius comes back as a ghost but he's missing a lot of his brains so it's more pathetic than scary

pps: It is kinda really awful though

This illustration (which we saw earlier on but here we are at this ending anyway!) is by Chris Hastings and take a good look at it now because in the final book it will be in glorious colour - again, all thanks to you!

This Kickstarter will end a little over 23 hours from now, at 8:49am EST in the morning of December 21st, which is notable as being the date when (pseudoscientific hacks have misrepresented the Mayans as believing) THE WORLD WILL END. I've said that if we reach $500k, I will literally explode. This kinda makes it sound like we have the fate of the entire world in our hands. WIERD HUH??

Wait that implies you shouldn't keep pledging forget I said that


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    1. Randi Mason on December 20, 2012

      Ryan, PLEASE tell us you're going to collect these updates into at least the digital copy? I would have pledged WEEKS ago if I'd been able to read these!

    2. Randi Mason on December 20, 2012

      Ryan, PLEASE tell us you're going to collect these updates into at least the digital copy? I would have pledged WEEKS ago if I'd been able to read these!

    3. Nupur Maheshwari on December 20, 2012

      @T. J. Brumfield
      You win all the internets. All of them.

    4. Terence Chandler on December 20, 2012

      As Ryan pointed out, this is just about as awesome as it can get!! There's no more stretching's now just everybody realizing what a great project this is and continuing to throw money at it. What else can he do? Just sit back and watch the dough roll in.

    5. Missing avatar

      Thomas on December 20, 2012

      Do we need another four stretch goals to $600k now?

    6. Missing avatar

      Eliza on December 20, 2012

      Intransitively, Ryan North is stuck
      by way of promise made to voting horde:
      with violence to burst, expel his luck
      and splatter pizza with the clock's next chord.
      But hark! a vagrant Latin teacher's claim -
      a loophole can be etym'logic'ly seen:
      an early usage, prior to Globe's fame.
      And though archaic - prehistoric, e'en -
      we only need to show we disapprove
      by noise and ruckus from the groundlings' pit.
      Since author's pow'r he gives to us to move
      the plot, we'll make now transitive his wit:

      With much applause, we'll drive him from the stage -
      The end of voting mixes love with rage.

    7. T.J. Brumfield on December 20, 2012

      Alas, poor Ryan! I knew him, Kickstarter: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his site a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims at it. Here hosted those gifs that I have viewed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the forums on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? quite head-asploded? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come; make her laugh at that.

    8. Liav Lewitt on December 20, 2012

      The clock does tick, to eighteen hours,
      Heralding the imm'nent powers,
      That wish the mighty Ryan to be gone.

      "Explode" means more than blown apart,
      Than ending beating of a heart -
      It also means to burst out into song.

      So into song he will explode,
      As we've reach the dead-end road
      Of five-hundred-thousand Hamlet-funding moneys.

      I hope that song he does record,
      About how Claudius, he's been gored,
      Including all the countless, elab'rate funnies.

      That goal o' stretch is what we want -
      Not for Ryan's ghost to haunt,
      So we do request the lovely tune.

      Instead of TNT and bombs,
      Not received with much aplomb -
      A melody of trav'ling to the moon.

      - Thank you, Ryan, for this amazing book, and all else.

    9. Missing avatar

      Jim Ottaviani on December 20, 2012

      Do the exploding via CGI please.
      Otherwise we'll all be quite ill at ease.

      p.s. Here's to outrageous fortune!

    10. Missing avatar

      Risa on December 20, 2012

      I swear, I'm watching this with more intensity than I did the Olympics...

    11. T.J. Brumfield on December 20, 2012

      There is a monster at the end of this Kickstarter, and it will asplode the kindly Mr. North.

      But when we get to the end of the Kickstarter, we discover that he is merely asploding with joy.

    12. Juan Miguel Expósito on December 20, 2012

      I'm so scared right now.... 491.000!! I don't want Mr. North to explode... SADFACE!! Is there a way of stopping this diabolical Kickstarter from actually enforcing that 500k stretch goal? It kind of screws the rest of the project, also...

      Mr. North, I was wrong
      in writing with such haste,
      your efforts, oh so strong
      would be sad to go to waste.

      PS: Don't die, we love you.

    13. Christina Squitieri on December 20, 2012

      Wahoo! Congrats! As for Ophelia being a badass, she totally is (it's just smothered by the men in the play). She gets all of Hamlet's bawdy jokes during the Mousetrap and calls Laertes out on his bullshit when we first meet her in 1.3 ("But, good my brother,/Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,/Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;/Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,/Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,/And recks not his own rede.") aka--don't tell me I'm being too free with Hamlet when you're sleeping with whores in France.

      So your initial reaction was at least partially right :-). Plus, she commands a court in her mad scenes!

    14. KevinR
      on December 20, 2012

      @Liav -- ""Twas metaphor when he said "explode," ""
      Let's hope, since "literally" wasn't metaphoric (…).

    15. Liav Lewitt on December 20, 2012

      The hours left, they number twenty,
      As all involved do hold their breath.
      For if is pledged a tad more money
      Ryan North explodes to death.

      This he promised, as a goal,
      If five-hundred thousand moneys was reached.
      But yet, there is a loop and a hole,
      With which the 'contract' can be breached.

      Twas metaphor when he said "explode,"
      As many say when overjoyed.
      And this is why I pen this ode -
      So Ryan North is not destroyed.

    16. Terence Chandler on December 20, 2012

      With nearly 13,000 backers, the administration of that would be ridiculous! I mean, he's about to explode already, let's not give him an anuerysm as well. And by the way, Ryan - what is your MOD prediction?

    17. Missing avatar

      bluedyn on December 20, 2012

      I'm with Lisa Goldstein. We need a price per item chart so we can add on the things we want and throw more money at this.

      Here's a poem as a bribe:

      Mornings have always been lame.
      I’d rather be asleep dreaming of fame.
      Instead I drag myself into work.
      But lately, there’s been a perk.
      Daily updates await me.
      Offering options to be or not be.
      Yet now it comes to a close.
      It’s been fun but everyone knows,
      Good things don’t last forever.
      But while we had this one, it sure was clever.

    18. Alison Schommer on December 20, 2012

      in the time it took me to read this post, the pledge total increased by almost $300. :O

    19. Missing avatar

      dora on December 20, 2012

      There once was a fellow named Ryan
      Who let us choose royal folks' dyin'.
      Will he 'splode at $500k?
      If that happens today
      We'll know that he wasn't lyin'.

    20. Lisa Goldstein on December 20, 2012

      Is it possible to arrange for a custom reward package? I can't figure out how to get the swag I need!

    21. Juan Miguel Expósito on December 20, 2012

      No need to worry,
      your suffering won't last,
      just a little more money
      and you'll die pretty fast.

    22. Andrew Lieffring on December 20, 2012

      The goals are met, the money pledged
      The book is full of all the arts
      And in full color, 'tis alleged
      but no more voting, which is FARTS.

    23. Liav Lewitt on December 20, 2012

      Alas, it's over, for he is dead
      And nothing more is left to choose.
      We've cleaved from his body his traitorous head,
      For there was no option for us to lose.

      Yet now, with naught but hours left
      The author pines for votes in rhyme.
      The comments, though, they are bereft,
      As we're left behind by Time.

    24. Ryan North Creator on December 20, 2012

      Guys I'm already missing the rhyming votes. I keep wanting to check to see how the voting is going!

    25. Emma Barnes
      on December 20, 2012

      OK, I can't live without the physical Poor Yorick - have more money.

    26. Missing avatar

      alejandor on December 20, 2012

      My, I'm going to miss these notifications in my inbox...

    27. Unclever title on December 20, 2012


    28. Terence Chandler on December 20, 2012

      Last update? But sir you promised an update for every $5,000. By my calculations we are owed another 64 (as of current pledge levels) =(

    29. Missing avatar

      Wymar on December 20, 2012

      Somebody get this ghost a hat.

    30. Ryan North Creator on December 20, 2012

      Well, Ophelia and Hamlet were in the room, and they left after the murder so TECHNICAL LOOPHOLES save me again!

    31. Gunther Schmidl on December 20, 2012

      But Ryan, "EXEUNT" is plural and thus wrong no matter what! Unless we are a collective entity, which is pretty scary.