Ready Player One Synopsis: In 2044, life sucks, and the only way to escape it is via OASIS (the ultimate VR system). Wade Watts is a full-fledged member of the “I’m poor, life sucks, but VR is the ultimate escape” club. He also gives new meaning to the word ‘obsessed’ as he devotes pretty much his whole life to finding an easter egg left within the OASIS system by its creator. If he finds it, life is good, so enter the EPIC quest. But, you know, no one has ever even found the first key/clue. So, there’s that. There’s also a dash of unscrupulous toe-rags, competitive uber-geeks, and did I mention the endless lists of 80’s trivia and your typical teenage heartache?
Ready Player One Review
The premise IS interesting, and the story is good. Wayne is an realistic character, and I think his obsession is more of a symptom of his extreme desire to Be Someone Important and NOT be dirt poor than anything.
Okay, so there are 2 cool happenings to point out: 1. MechaGodzilla makes an appearance (which, out of everything, made me giggle) and 2. There’s a really, really cool one sentence mention where the main character calmly accepts gender-bending without even batting an eyelash. Both of these occurred after I’d pretty much given up on the book, so it definitely brought forth an surge of affection that had been missing up until this point.
When I first heard about Ready Player One, of course one of the first things I heard about was the 80’s trivia. Here’s the thing, trivia is cool but literal lists of one 80’s game or movie after another is NOT. Actually, toward the end of the book I found myself wondering if this, along with his penchant for being way, way too descriptive where its not needed was the author trying to reach a magical word-count. (Have no way of knowing, not interested in really finding out. Just what I thought.)
Cline nails the annoying emo-drama of the teenage male. Circe, does he ever. So this is not a fault of the author as it is just a trait of an extremely annoying character!
Final Thoughts: There are definite elements of Fahreneit 451/1984 prophetic elements of dystopian futures, but I don’t read this as almost prophetic powers of extrapolation (as Bradbury,Orwell) but simply above-average keen observation. I do have to give him this, though, in many ways his dystopian future is more believable (I mean, consider our obsession with technology) than the dystopian futures laid out by authors like Suzanne Collins.
One of the things I heard about this book was: If you’re a child of the 80’s, or a gamer, you’ll love this book! I’m a child of the 80’s. I’m a gamer. I’m very far from ‘loving’ this book.
I believe I made a mistake in getting this as an audio book. Given the lists, the texting, etc, it would normally be hard to carry over, but when you add a narrator like Will Wheaton in – who has very little ability to do different voices – it makes the experience a bit worse. The man reads with enthusiasm, but as an audio book narrator, he’s low on my list.