Ready Player One is Like a Geek High
Ready Player One is a fantastic book, but its not for everyone.
Ready Player One
Writer: Ernest Cline
There’s a fair chance that if you’re on this site, that this book is for you though. Ready Player One follows Wade, a teenager in his quest to complete a huge digital scavenger hunt. Sounds weird right? But the book is also chock full of obscure 80’s trivia which is sometimes reason for the book to get a little wonky in parts.
So Wade, living in a dystopian future where the government has fallen apart, and things have just generally gone bad joins a good portion of the world in the “egg hunt”. The “egg hunt” is the hunt for Halliday’s fortune, some trillion dollars. However this hunt takes place inside Halliday’s creation the Oasis, a virtual reality/mmo that most of the world is connected to. Think World of Warcraft except to the power of 10. Now Halliday was a huge nerd who grew up in the 80’s, meaning that anyone who wants to be able to follow his clues and find the egg also has to know about 80’s pop culture. This has created a weird sort of backwards culture, and its exactly what makes Ready Player One unique.
Aside from having to compete with each other, the “gunthers” as they call themselves have to compete with the “sixers”, an evil corporation that wants to use the money to take over the Oasis and you know, do bad shit. The one part of the setting that annoys me is that if your avatar in the Oasis dies, he doesn’t respawn. This makes sense in the construct of a dramatic story, but in terms of a game that anyone would actually play, and one that’s supposed to be made from a master game designer, it just doesn’t make sense to me.
The book succeeds at dolling out tons of geeky items that we can all grin at, and a lot of the fun is seeing all of the ways stuff is incorporated in however it does sometimes come off as too much. I’m sure some will love just how far it goes, but I could have done without so much. The setting is wonderful its one of a few that I would actually love to go to. The Oasis is just so fantastic and magnificent in scope its impossible not to imagine what you would do inside.
The story is pulled off so elegantly its easy to forget your reading a book. That said sometimes it does read a bit like a screenplay, not that I think that’s a bad thing, but its something to keep in mind, if you aren’t up for lots of dialogue. All the main characters are fun, and at no point did I hate them, so that’s a huge difference from most books for me.
Only if you can’t stand it when people reference books, or quote Python lines, or tell you about an anime their watching will you not enjoy this book. It’s a fun read that will keep you on your toes throughout, guessing yourself about how the next riddle will be solved. All too often the books we read, have dark tones, and a nasty setting, but Ready Player One should remind you that sometimes you want to escape to a nice place. And that’s what Ready Player One will give you.