Excerpts From The “Choose Your Own Adventure” Book ‘Journey Under The Sea,’ Presented Without Commentary

So apparently, there is going to be a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ movie, which is great if you haven’t had enough of recycled 80s retro-ness yet. Luckily for me, I had already started writing this essay when this news come out. I started writing this because I found three ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books in a thrift store for 25 cents each. But now, because of the movie, this essay is topical, which is great!
…’Journey Under the Sea’ is the best of the three books that I got — although ‘Space and Beyond’ also has its charms. (Space! And beyond!) Reading these books reminded me of all my lonely 10-year-old days of flipping through CYOA books. It also reminded me of how weird — and oddly beautiful and existential — these books really are. I mean, how can you not love a book with the line: “Your closest neighbor is a horse who looks at you with sorrow and understanding.” See? You can’t not love that.
So here are selected excerpts from the truly awesome ‘Journey Under the Sea,’ presented without commentary, because that would only ruin things.
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_____

…You are a deep sea explorer searching for the famed lost city of Atlantis. This is your most challenging and dangerous mission. Fear and excitement are now your companions.

* * *

The sea is calm. You climb into the narrow pilot’s compartment of the underwater vessel Seeker with your special gear.

* * *

You peer out the thick glass porthole and see strange white fish drifting past, sometimes stopping to look at you — an intruder from another world.

* * *

“All systems GO. It’s awesome down here.”

* * *

“Who knows where this hole might lead?”

* * *

If you decide to fight the squid with your spear gun, hoping to scare it off, turn to page 17.

If you decide to signal Maray to pull you up at top speed, knowing you will get the bends, turn to page 19.

* * *

“Farewell, brave one!”

* * *

There is no escape! The largest shark, jaws gaping, strikes!!!

* * *

Can you do it? Do you have the nerve?

* * *

This is the final voyage.

* * *

IT IS TOO LATE! You did the wrong thing. There is no turning back.

* * *

Rocks along its side look like old Roman distance markers. Could this be the path that leads to the lost city of Atlantis?

* * *

“Come join us,” the voice says. “You can use the secret passageway to Atlantis.”

* * *

“They live in the center of the old volcano. If you wish, I can take you there.”

* * *

Adventure into the unknown is what you like.

* * *

If you decide to retire and lead a life of ease, turn to page 75.

* * *

If you try to swim out of the whirlpool, turn to page 69. Kick like crazy!

* * *

You refused their offer and now you are a prisoner in a zoo.

* * *

“I will go with you. I want to see other parts of the universe.” “Congratulations. You will not regret this.”

* * *

If you decide to stay in your body form, turn to page 100.

* * *

You master this new art form. You become their greatest musician.

* * *

If you use your laser pistol to blast a hole in the whirlpool wall, turn to page 96.

* * *

Then you notice that the main hatch is free of algae!

* * *

If you try to get help from the dolphin, turn to page 34.

* * *

Nothing is hard or sharp. Everything is light. You see no people, just forms of brighter light that move.

* * *

If you try to hitch a ride on the whale, turn to page 83. If you don’t know what to do, turn to page 86.

* * *

“I wish to join the Nodoors,” you tell your guide.

* * *

You find yourself standing on the ocean floor. You can look up through the center of the whirlpool and see the sky more than 2000 feet above you. It is a tiny patch of blue.

* * *

“You see our secret. We landed on this planet 3000 years ago.”

* * *

If you submit to the injection, turn to page 71.

* * *

Caution is your approach.

* * *

If you decide to become an underwater farmer, turn to page 101.

* * *

They seek light and friendship. It sounds simple, but nothing is easy.

* * *

“So, my young friend,” the leader of the group says, “you may have the gill silt operation and live like one of us, or you can refuse and join the other animals in the zoo.”

* * *

It’s no use. The whirlpool has you in its grip.

* * *

If you continue to struggle, turn to page 97.

* * *

The Seeker is torn loose and lost overboard. The computers aboard the Maray are damaged by a surge of electricity caused by the lightening strike. The money has run out. The expedition to Atlantis is over.

* * *

Danger lurks, though, in the form of stingrays and slender sea snakes.

* * *

What a world you’re living in!

* * *

If you decide to descend into the shaft, turn to page 63.

* * *

A messenger from the king runs into the theater announcing that the king has had a serious attack of brain fever. He may not live.

* * *

If you allow them to capture you, turn to page 116.

* * *

Your closest neighbor is a horse who looks at you with sorrow and understanding.

* * *

If you decide to escape, turn to page 79.

* * *

You feel a rush of speed, and yet you are not moving. You feel as though you have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles in space.

* * *

“Be patient,” they say. “All in good time.”

* * *

You feel a sense of freedom and happiness that you have never known before. No walls stop you; you melt through them. You don’t need food or rest, you can travel through time, and you can travel instantly back to earth in your energy form.

You feel that this is the way you were meant to be. TC mark

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