Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune–and remarkable power–to whoever can unlock them.
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready? – From Goodreads Description
I have had this book on my to-read list for over a year, ever since a few people raved about it to me. But being as I’m not a gamer and didn’t really get to experience pop culture in the ’80s, I wasn’t sure if I’d get all of it. I worried that it would go right over my head, or worse, end up making me feel sad and left out.
But once I got into it, I realized that even if I hadn’t gotten a single one of the references (which, thank goodness, wasn’t the case), it would have still been a very enjoyable read. Cline does a great job of drawing on a huge variety of references so that pretty much anyone who hasn’t lived under a rock for the past 30 years will find something they recognize. Usually something that will bring up a huge bout of nostalgia.
The story is that of a loner, but one who you immediately root for. His quest is noble, his search diligent and he’s just pathetic enough to qualify as the underdog. I was drawn into this story nearly immediately, and found myself having trouble putting the book down – even to go to sleep. It doesn’t take long for Wade to find the first key, and the story continues on at a quick pace from there.
He encounters a widely varied cast of characters – some of whom become virtual friends, others who become virtual and real life enemies. And, of course, there’s a girl. A really awesome, kickass one called Art3mis who is as smart, knowledgable and talented as Wade – if not more so.
So here’s my advice: Head to the bookstore on your way home from work, pick up Ready Player One, and clear your schedule for as long as it usually takes you to read a book from cover to cover. You won’t regret it.
Author: Ernest Cline
Published by: Broadway Books
Released: 2011 (This issue June 2012)
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video Games, 1980s
Date Read: September 7-13, 2013
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