It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
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.
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
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
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
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