Saturday, December 27, 2014

'Ready Player One' by Ernest Cline

Official Summary:

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.  

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.


I've been holding off on this review for a little while now. To be fair, I probably should have posted something immediately after finishing it in the vain of "OMG OMG This book is AMAHSZING! Ahhhhh!" but I really do try to keep that kind of commentary for in-person, arm waving, full on animated, recommendations only. When writing for TTP, I try to keep it a bit more, um, sedated. And that is where I have failed you.

Because this book is absolutely worth picking up and you should have read it two months ago. Love, loss, science fiction, bad 80's pop culture references - it's got it all in spades.

Bottom Line: Sometimes I should just jump on and write the review, arm-waving OMG's and all. If you like video game culture, weird potential future scenarios, or science fiction written in the style of Stephenson (Snow Crash), you'll love Ready Player One: A Novel

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