Ready Player One

by , Tuesday November 22, 2016
1 Like
 Ready Player One

The search for the new owner of Oasis begins

A veritable romp through geek culture by Ernest Cline

Sometimes you come across a book that is a delight to read. Ready Player One is one of these. Straight from the first page I was engaged by the words leading me blindly through the pages as a dog might guide a blind person along. Straight away I wanted to know more, wanted to be part of this world, totally immersed in the story the narrator was telling me. Add in a huge touch of geekiness as it's all based around gaming, online culture and cult films and I was hooked, transported to the online world. Already a cult hit in itself and a film from Spielberg around the corner and I had to read this.

So where to start and how much to give away, always tricky when writing a review of a book that you have such an intimate relationship with. Give too much away and the spoilers will make you angry, give away too little and are you persuaded to read it ? No of course not. However this book is something you should not miss. It's set in the near future where an invention by James Halliday called the OASIS changes the way the internet is viewed. It's virtual reality (VR) headsets mean that people can travel anywhere and meet anyone. Everyone has an avatar which they use to interact with each other. Years later this invention means that people even go to school in virtual classrooms. The world though is running out of raw materials and the gap between rich and poor is growing. Big business runs the world in a very dystopian way.

The story starts with the death of the founder of OASIS. He leaves a video where he explains he has left an easter egg hidden in the OASIS world and there are three gates to navigate. The first one that finds it inherits the entire OASIS company and it's money. Thousands of 'Grunters' spend their lives trying to solve the clues Halliday left. Wade, the main protagonist, is  one of these and sets out to win the prize.

It's a wonderful story full of all those references to 80's cult movies and games. The story flows extremely well and there are no flat spots to the story. Cline had done a remarkable job in creating this book, aimed squarely at geeks of whom I'm not afraid to admit to being. It's made me want to play and watch all the games and films featured in this incredible book.

Read the book before the film comes out. It's a real winner. Two thumbs way high for this one.

 

First blogged here as usual

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