A man whom I’ve never met but to whom I owe a debt has passed away: R.A. Montgomery, pioneer of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” kid’s book series that is at least partially to blame for my own adult zombie choose-your-own-adventure-style book, Undead Rising. Like just about every other kid who has run across them, I loved those books, and his career–and the way he was heavily involved in his work, even having a stake in all of the 230 books published in the line.
While I and a great many other child readers were sad to hear of Mr. Montgomery’s passing, we were also a little disappointed in his official obituary, because it isn’t in the iconic format he pioneered. Seeing as I have experience both in writing obituaries (which are, by the way, strangely pleasant to write: it’s all the best parts of a person’s life) and in writing gamebooks, I thought I’d give it a shot in revising it.
With complete respect and gratitude for this innovator, I present a revised Choose Your Own Obituary.
Raymond Almiran Montgomery, original publisher and author of the incredibly popular Choose Your Own Adventure book series for children, died in his home in Warren, Vermont, on Sunday, November 9. He was 78 years old. But Mr. Montgomery had a life full of adventures, including:
an illustrious educational career
solving challenging puzzles
Jump ahead to the parts about CYOA, because you don’t like reading much about obituaries, even Choose-Your-Own-Adventure ones.