Wednesday, April 8, 2015

ready player one

ready player one
ernest cline
published 2011

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place.  The only time teenager Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS.  Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines - puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.  But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize.  The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win - and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

Ready Player One is like a geek version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory drenched in 80's nostalgia.  I read a review that said something about the book being 'sprinkled' with 80's references, but I really feel that no, it was drenched.  You cannot find a page in the book that does not bash you over the head with it.

Now, I love my 80's stuff and geek culture is where my heart is.  This book would have been lovely, but it was sooooooooo 'let me explain every reference to you'.  There was a part where two characters are looking at a scene and one says, 'It looks like Rivendell.' to which the other character responds, 'It looks like Rivendell, from Lord of the Rings.'  Oh, I'm sorry, was the first character talking about a Rivendell from another book?

It was stuff like that that began to get on my nerves.  I listened to the book because it was read by Wil Wheaton, and hello! Wil Wheaton.  But even he couldn't make me not want to scream out loud when 2 and a half hours into the book I've listened to listings of nearly every movie, tv show, band and book that existed in the 1980's.  I almost gave up on the book, but friends assured me that there was a story yet to come.

Once things did get going it was somewhat better.  I don't think I really got into the book until near the end at the final hunt and the epic battle that hopefully will translate to screen very well.  I think that this is one of those books that could possibly make a better movie than a book because it will be forced to edit down quite a bit and this book needed editing.

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