Wade Watts has a horrible life in the “stacks” near Oklahoma City, virtual slums that were created by literally stacking trailers, cargo containers and RVs atop one another. His only escape is The OASIS, a virtual reality MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online Game) that has replaced all of the Internet, and the quest to find James Halliday’s Easter Egg hidden inside. After Halliday’s, creator of The OASIS, death, it was announced that the hidden Easter Egg would give the one person that found it his vast fortune, control of his company, and of course, control of The OASIS itself.
80s Geek’s Dream Book
Ernest Cline is a giant geek, one who also happens to be an excellent writer. Ready Player One is an epic treasure hunt combined with a coming of age story and just about every obscure pop cultural reference to the 80s that any geek could want. The quest for the Easter Egg is built around Halliday’s obsession with his youth spent playing classic arcade games, watching sci-fi and fantasy novels, and playing D&D with his friends. The gunters, people that have dedicated themselves to the search for the egg, spend their time devouring as much geek culture as they can get their hands on.
If it wasn’t for the fact that the characters are so well written and the adventure’s trials and lessons weren’t so poignant in the generation y world, you might be tempted to claim that Cline only wrote Ready Player One to out-geek everyone in the way his characters do.
The truth is, though, Cline has given us a novel that expertly shows us simultaneously the horrors of the culture we are headed towards and the virtual utopia that so many of my friends long for on a regular basis. On the one hand, the OASIS represents an escape from the crapsack world of the Post Energy Crisis Earth, where the American Great Recession has entered it’s fourth decade, and yet it also, in the word’s of it’s co-creator is “…a prison we have built for ourselves.”
Read This Book
Bottom line, this is one of the best books I’ve read… ever. I don’t think I can do it nearly enough justice in a short book review, so I’m telling you to go out and read it yourself. I’m sure you will not be disappointed. Or, for the full experience, you can give it an Audible listen and sedate yourself with the sexy, geeky voice of Mr. Wheaton.
|Ready Player One (9780307887436): Ernest Cline: Books