Book Review: Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

Ready_Player_One_coverYou may remember Ready Player One from when I mentioned it in my Summer Reading Preview, and again in the “What I didn’t read” section of my Summer Reading Recap. You may also notice that it is March, and rather closer to Summer ’14 than Summer ’13.

It gets worse. When I opened my copy last week, I found that the place where I’d left off was marked with  plane ticket. From October 2012.

Dear past self: What were you waiting for?

I read Ready Player One in 2 nights: one to reread the first third, which I obviously needed a refresher on, and one to finish it.  I raced through it like Indiana Jones through a lost temple. It is, at its heart, a treasure hunt. An incredibly rich game developer has died, leaving his fortune  and company to the first person who can solve his clues and find the prize hidden in a giant, immersive video game. The man was obsessed with 80’s pop culture, and to solve his puzzles you need an encyclopedic knowledge of movies, music, tv shows, and – most of all – video games. Ready Player One pits one teenager and his friends against a huge corporation with less than altruistic motives and zero scruples. But this is also a story about escapism: if your real life sucks, and a tangible fantasy world was only a keyboard and monitor away, where would you spend most of your time?

Video games, 80’s references, taking on The Man – what’s not to love?

Wil Wheaton reads the audiobook. I’ll be picking that up, too.

If you like Ready Player one, you might like:

Reamde, by Neal Stephenson

Halting State, by Charles Stross

For the Win, by Cory Doctorow

– Signing off, Mr Gette (who is walking on sunshine).

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