Book Review: Ready Player One

Much of the Earth’s population are plugged into a virtual-reality game called OASIS. In the real world, the distance between rich and poor is much greater, and living conditions for the non-super rich have deteriorated.

The creator of OASIS kicks the proverbial bucket, and gifts his entire fortune to the winner of a contest, which involves finding a series of easter eggs hidden within the OASIS game environment.

Corporate groups, clans of regular users, and lone wolves, all compete in trying to decipher clues, solve riddles

Our hero, Wade IRL and Parzival in OASIS, is a lone wolf who is deeply immersed in the obsessions of Halliday, the deceased creator of OASIS. These mainly revolve around ’80s videogames, moves, TV shows, commercials, music, role-playing games, and culture. In 2044, this somewhat specialised knowledge becomes rather important to a lot of people.

I really enjoyed this book, I enjoyed the geekiness, I enjoyed the sci-fi, and the narrative holding it all together was very engaging. The latter part is very important, as when the story is geeking out over parts with which one is less familiar, you don’t want the unfamiliarity to disconnect you.

I picked up the book from a thrift store, thinking it looked interesting. I started reading it recently, after (but not because) I heard that Spielberg was going to direct the movie.

Thinking about a movie, there’s going to be so much that will look really cool, but they’re going to have to cut out so much to make it fit the running time. Also, licensing so many different elements from so many different properties could get expensive, and leaving anything out is bound to make someone irate.

A few nights ago, I was reading it after I went to bed (I think [hope?] I was more than halfway through at that point), thinking I’d read a bit, then stick the bookmark in and get some sleep. What actually happened was that I finished the book (bar the acknowledgements section at the back), and went to sleep somewhat later than I intended. To give you some idea of how engaging it was, or my enjoyment level, or something of that ilk.

Ready Player One is by Ernest Cline.

Ready Player One on Amazon

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