Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?
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.
5+ of 5 Stars
I’d heard about this book quite a while ago and it kept popping up on my radar on occasion but it was perpetually pushed back on my TBR for other things (not that I remember why now). I admit I was a little hesitant because I’d heard SO much hype about the book and was a bit skeptical . Once I started, I devoured this book and it’s left me with book bliss. I really can’t express exactly how much I enjoyed this book. The things I liked about the book are some of the things that seem to have thrown other readers off.
- The book is full of massive trivia and info dump chunks of reading that got me reminiscing. I didn’t mind this because I knew quite a lot of it and the stuff I wasn’t as knowledgeable about was still interesting. That being said, I can see how it’s a turn off for some readers to get through some of the longer parts filled with endless trivia.
- The book is basically a massive treasure hunt but the reader doesn’t really get to take part in it. I personally didn’t mind this because I’m quite horrible at riddles and the types of puzzles that the hunt was focused on. I enjoyed following along with Wade as he figured things out without feeling like I needed to solve something myself.
- I’m not a massive fan of the 80’s and didn’t really experience them since I was born in ’84. The creator of Oasis, James Halliday, is completely obsessed with the 80’s era and culture to an extremely bizarre level. I can see how some people didn’t appreciate this because if you don’t understand or appreciate a good chunk of the references it will be hard to enjoy the book as it’s made up almost entirely with nostalgia from those years. I admit right up front, quite a lot of this wasn’t stuff I knew that well or at all. I didn’t mind it though because I felt like I got enough to still keep going through the book at a decent pace and it helped to understand some of the characters more. I think it also helped when I began to see Halliday as most likely somewhere on the autism spectrum due to his obsessive behavior and almost nonexistent social skills.
- Diversity is well featured in this book in a variety of ways. Not only are there multiple races featured but the reality of white male privilege is touched on as well. I also enjoyed the diversity with sexual orientation and the probable though unconfirmed autism on the part of James Halliday.
- Virtual reality has been something I’ve been interested in for years and I spent a lot of hours in a virtual world called Second Life which Oasis reminded me of in some ways. I’ve also spent quite a lot of time as an avid gamer. I’m definitely not as dedicated as any of the characters in this story but I could appreciate the thrill of a good quest as well as the rare prize drop at the end.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to everyone. I can’t say enough about it. I admit there are some that won’t enjoy it because of some of the things I mentioned above. No book is going to please all the people. I do think this one is worth trying to see if it’s right for you though. If like me, you can’t get enough of this book you are in luck as it’s being turned into a movie which according to IMDB will be released sometime in 2018! You can check those details here. You can also check out an assortment of photos and items found in the book at the tumblr page located here.