Monday, July 6, 2015

Ready Player One

Ready Player One
Ernest Cline

Ready Player One

Genre:  Dystopian Fiction

Summary (from Goodreads): 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.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

Review:  I suspect that this will be my favorite book from 2015.  In fact, I wish I hadn't read it, so I could go back and have the pleasure of reading it for the first time all over again.  This book was just FUN.

Most reviewers say this book will be a hit for anyone who was a teenager in the 1980s or anyone who plays video games or anyone who is a huge pop culture fan.  And I can see why people would say that; this book is about a dorky boy who spends most of his time in a video game obsessing about the video game and movie culture of the 1980s.  But I don't fit in any of those categories, and I still loved it.  It would certainly help to know what video games are, and to have seen some of the popular 1980s era movies, but you don't have to be a 40 year old video game addicted man to enjoy this book.

There were a few sections that were a little preachy and a few sections that were a little slow and included too much detail.  But for the most part, the story moved quickly, the characters were delightful, and the plot was engaging.

Becky, I don't know if it's your kind of book, but Brian might like it.

Rating: 5 stars

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