Although I have read several amazing books this year, this is the one I really lost myself in. Ready Player One takes place on a dystopian Earth in the year 2044. Humans escape their hellish existences by immersing themselves in a virtual universe called OASIS, built by a billionaire named Halliday. When Halliday dies, in place of a will, he creates a quest based around his love of 1980’s pop culture. The first person to complete the quest will inherit Halliday’s fortune/Easter egg prize, a sum of around 250 billion dollars. As expected, this puts the planet in a frenzy trying to solve Halliday’s riddles and games. Regular every mans go up against trivia obsessed gamers (gunners) and corporations who will stop at nothing to amass more control and wealth.
Being an 80’s baby, I am completely fine with anything referencing movies like Better Off Dead, Short Circuit, and Monty Python. However, this book was published in 2011 and listed as teen fiction, so I am unsure how well a book full of 80s references will go over with 21st century teenagers. That said, I am also not a gamer, and even though I was not familiar with 2/3 of the video game references, I did not find it detracted from the story. In fact, I wouldn’t mind checking out a few of the games mentioned.
Yes, sometimes the book feels a little like the author’s excuse to mind dump all of his favourite things in one book, just so someone will listen. I mean, maybe he got tired of his girlfriend kicking him under the table every time he referenced War Games, or people checking their watches at the mention of Ms. PacMan, or friends rolling their eyes each time he put on a Rush record. Either way, I highly enjoyed the virtual world Cline created, as it allowed me to escape my own reality for a time.
SIDE NOTE: If you love arcade themed things, also check out Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. If you love 80’s themed things, check out the TV show The Goldbergs. SUPER SIDE NOTE: Spielberg is scheduled to film the movie version of this story within the next couple of years. I can’t even wait!
- “Arcades”- C2C, Listening to my own music library, I realize I have a lot of arcade, 80’s inspired dance music.
- “The Hit”- TWRP ft. Ninja Sex Party, If you haven’t checked out Tupper Ware Remix Party, now is the time.
- “Holiday”- Madonna, I feel Cline missed out on a solid 80s pun with “Halliday!”.
Books Read: 5