Friday, January 20, 2012
Friday Features - Ready Player One - a Book Review
I first heard about “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline from the members of my online book group. It sounded really interesting, and after hearing my Elf-sister geek out over it I knew I had to read it! It took me awhile to get my hands on it (it’s a popular book based on how many holds the library had!), and when I did I couldn’t put it down. The synopsis on Amazon is really long, so I’ll give you my own summary.
“Ready Player One” is set in the year 2044, a bleak future where the world is overcrowded, and trailer parks now rise twelve levels or higher. All the trash, just with a higher population density.
There is one escape from the stark pain of daily life, OASIS, virtual reality at its best. In fact its taken over real life in many ways, business meetings take place there virtually, its full of shopping malls, and kids can even go to virtual schools via OASIS! Wade Watts is one of those kids, although he goes by Parzival everywhere but at school, where he’s not allowed to.
For years OASIS had provided not just an escape, it’s provided people with purpose. When OASIS creator James Halliday died, he left the world with the opportunity to win his vast fortune, all they had to do was participate in a vast and difficult quest. Now thousands have spent years trying to even figure out the first puzzle. Parzival is not only one of these kids - he is the first to find his way through that first challenge.
This book is a riotous geek-fest for anyone who has fond memories of the 80’s. Halliday was obsessed with the 80’s (and some with the 70’s and 90’s) and the quest is all based on obscure facts from that era. Video games, movies, music, you name it, it’s there!
I have to admit that I was pretty young in the 80’s, and I didn’t have much exposure to the popular culture of the era until long after it was over, but there was still more than enough in here that I did remember. And I loved every minute of it!
I give this book 5 out of 5 cups of coffee. (really need to get the graphic figured out lol) Not only is it a ton of fun for the nostalgia, it’s incredibly well written. The quest is compelling, and there is a lot of character growth, both in the main character and in his friends. If you remember the 80’s, or are a video game geek, go read this book!