Man, what a fun ride! Dystopia, coming of age, nerd stuff, and every 80's reference possible.
Cline has created a near-future world that impresses me more than most bleak visions of society because it feels so much like it could actually happen. This isn't "one day everyone decided freedom of press was a bad thing so fire fighters started burning books and everyone went 'yay!'" This isn't "one day everyone decided that we all had to have one personality trait, and if you had more, you'd be killed." Or "one day America fractured into 13 regions that all started revolting against the capital or whatever happened so we had 13 district and the capital and sacrificed two kids a year from each district."
This is "fossil fuels are so scarce they are prohibitively expensive, and climate change has made the environment really harsh, and people spend vast amounts of time online, but technology has improved enough so that with gloves and a visor, you can be in a virtual space online. Oh, and the economy is super horrible and a few corporations control most of it and are evil. #ThanksObama."
This future could happen. Against this backdrop, our hero engages in a gargantuan contest to win an eccentric computer genius's inheritance. And that eccentric computer genius, who was a child in the 1980's, is obsessed with the 80's - so the book throws in every movie and early video game from the period as part of the virtual adventure.
And here's one instance where the audio book may be better than the print or kindle editions - the narrator is Wil Wheaton (who, besides being the perfect geek to read all this to us, gets to name check himself as an elderly virtual politician in the virtual world. He plays it straight).
There are only a few very minor quibbles I had with the story. One is a plot hole, and the other is the hero's love interest and her big 'secret.'
It's fun, it's feel-good, and it's pretty tight. Read it before the movie comes out (Spielberg directing).
Calling all nerds, geeks and dorks . . .
If you are a child of 1980s or even if you arent, but are a fan, youll love Ready Player One. This novel, set in the future dystopian world of 2044, relies upon all things eighties pop culture: movies, television shows, music and yes, video games.
Wade Watts is a poverty-stricken video game geek that ends up in a reality-simulation universe called the OASIS. The creator of the OASIS, James Hallidaywho seems to be a combination of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Mark Zuckerberg (all those in that category) has died and left his billions to whoever can solve the riddles in a huge video game race throughout the OASIS. Everyone is out to get the prize, especially an evil corporation named Innovative Online Industries which will go at any length to gain the prize, which includes control of the OASIS.
RPO is not just a nostalgia feast for those of us from that 80's era, but the story actually contains characters youll root for and a plot that keeps throwing them out of the frying pan and into the fire.
I listened to the audio book. Im glad I did because its narrated by current pop culture nerd, Wil Wheaton who is the perfect choice. More than once, Wheaton actually has to mention himself since he was a part of the Star Trek, The Next Generation lore from the 80s time period. Even if youre not familiar with every movie or video game mentioned youll enjoy the novels frenetic pace as the protagonist races to find the prize. And there is an actually love story in the middle of it all, one of the best Ive read in ages.
I knew I was a nerd before reading RPO, but now I know how much of a nerd I truly am. I can already tell this is going to be my favorite read of the year. Love it.
This is the best book I've read in a long time! It's got so much of everything that gets me really into books - the future, an alternate universe, nerd facts, virtual reality, love, action, war, intrigue. It takes place in 2044 where virtual reality, the Oasis, has become the world's escape to the horrible economic crisis plaguing everyone. The vastly wealthy inventor of Oasis dies without any family and sets up a cut-throat competition in Oasis, find the easter eggs he's hidden and his company and wealth is your's!