Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest "Ernie" Cline
(Adapted From Goodreads)
|Ready Player One (RPO) is an action adventure that explores the scary prospect of a dystopian future where everyone is obsessively connected to one giant virtual reality world called the OASIS. It centers on a young and geeky protagonist named Wade Watts who enters the world to solve a complex treasure hunt based on pop culture references.|
To kick this review off, I have to say that RPO is one of best books I've read in years.
As a hardcore gamer and movie buff who was born in '84, it felt almost as if Cline wrote this book just for me. I finished RPO in less than a week and could literally not stop thinking about it the entire time I was reading it. Everything else in my life became secondary to reaching RPO's epic final chapter. Upon it's completion, I found myself telling everyone I knew about it and pestering them to start reading it. It's just that damn good!
While I usually offer up a bit of critical analysis about the author's writing, I cannot fault Cline's work in any way. Other critics might tell you that Cline over-explains everything, relies too heavily on pop culture references and, in doing so, lacks original thought... but to those critics I say "Have you forgotten how to have fun?" At it's core, RPO is supposed to be fun; the kind of fun you have as an adult when you rifle through your box of childhood toys and reminisce about the good times. It's the literary equivalent of jumping in Doc Brown's Delorean and heading back to the 80s. Cline HAS to over-explain the references for the sake of readers who were either not from that era or, quite simply, aren't geeks like me. He HAS to rely on references because that's what RPO is - it's a narrative that is held up by pop culture references like pegs. The way Cline weaves the references into the narrative is the main reason why I love this book and it's probably the reason why Spielberg fell in love with it and decided to make it into a movie.
Many of Cline's pop culture references are ones that only a a true 'gamer geek' will understand. To me, these felt like inside jokes and every time Cline cracked one, a smile spread across my face and I'd nod like "I see what you did there". To illustrate this, my favourite reference was: 'MTFBWYA'. If you can't work that acronym out by yourself in less than a few seconds without using Google, you probably won't enjoy RPO as much as I did.
Overall, it's no wonder Spielberg has picked this up as his next blockbuster movie. RPO is a ridiculous amount of fun and, if you're an adult, it'll make you feel like a kid again.
Who should read this book?
Anyone born in the 80s, freaks, geeks and gamers.
- Chris Gander