One of my favorites of the year!!! (And those of you who have been reading my book blog for a while know that I don't say that lightly!)
Any child of the 80's who loved movies like WarGames, Real Genius, and Tron, listened to music by Rush, Pink Floyd or Devo, or played Atari video games like PacMan, Space Invaders or Pitfall, must read READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline.
The book takes place in the year 2044. Most people around the world spend
most of their time in the Oasis, a virtual reality space where people can go to
school, play games, chat, work, shop, and anything else you can do it the "real"
world. When James Halliday, the creator of the Oasis, died he was a multi-billlionaire, but had no
heir, so he planted an "easter egg" in the Oasis. The first person's avatar to complete three virtual quests and find Halliday's egg wins the inheritance.
The creator of the Oasis grew up in the
80s, so the game involves a lot of 80s references - movies, tv, music, and, of
course, video games. The game also spawned an 80s revival of sorts - fashions,
cars, etc. Serious egg hunters also spent most of their time studying 80s pop
culture in hopes of it leading them to clues about the egg's
Wade Watts is your typical geeky teenage gamer. He goes to virtual high school, where he can mute the a-holes and go on virtual field trips to the Middle Ages. He is also a "Gunter" - a serious Egg Hunter. Wade, in preparation for his quest, loads up on as many John Hughes films, Def Leopard singles, and Atari games he can, which is pretty easy considering Halliday made access to the entire library of pop culture available for free in the Oasis.
Aside from the 80s references, which are so much fun for those of us who knows exactly how to say, "Answer the question, Claire!" I thought
the book in itself was amazing. The storyline was exciting, the virtual
reality itself was really interesting, and world of 2044 was extremely
I loved it! I have never read a book so obsessively. From my fellow book bloggers, I learned that listening to the audiobook version, read by the brilliant Wil Wheaton, was a must, but I also had a print copy.
For two days, I either read or listened to READY PLAYER ONE with every free moment I could. When I was in my car, or putting on my make-up, I listened to Wil, but when I was eating breakfast or whatever, I read the print version.
Funny aside: I read about 3x faster to myself than a narrator does aloud. I did
a little experiment on page numbers per minute. I completely geeked out over this book!!
Publisher: Crown; First Edition edition (August 16, 2011)
About the Author: In June 2010 Cline sold his first novel Ready Player One in a bidding war to the Crown Publishing Group (a division of Random House). The film rights to the novel were sold the following day to Warner Bros. with Cline attached to write the screenplay. Like the hero of Ready Player One, Ernest Cline spent much of his young adulthood working a series of low-paying tech support jobs that allowed him to surf the Internet while on the clock and research his many pop-culture obsessions. Cline, a huge fan of Back to the Future, owns a 1982 DeLorean that has been modified to look like the time-traveling vehicle from the films.
*Disclosure: I won a copy of this book from a contest hosted by the publisher.