Monday, September 21, 2015

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - Book Report #144

This novel has been on my radar for a while.  When I heard Steven Spielberg was set to direct the movie version (2017) I decided it was time to read it.

The story takes place in the near future (2044) where climate change has destroyed the economy as we know it today.  There is more poverty than North America is used to and people escape their unhappy lives through a virtual reality version of Second Life, known as the OASIS.

That time period's Steve Jobs, who created the OASIS, falls ill.  Upon his death it is revealed that he has left his vast fortune hidden somewhere in the OASIS.  But it's not THAT easy, whoever is lucky enough to find it has first to find three hidden keys to unlock three hidden gates where he or she will be challenged solve the various puzzles and tasks within the gates.

The story begins five years after the "game" was revealed and no one has found the first key.  Our narrator is Wade Watts, a teenager who lives in "the stacks", poverty stricken and living without his parents in an aunt's trailer.  Life is not pleasant for Wade and he spends as much time as he can in OASIS within the relative safety of his secret lair buried deep within a pile of junked cars.

The story leaps off the page in a very cinematic way making it easy to envision Spielberg's touch.  The novel is steeped in 1980's pop culture and video game history.  What I found interesting is that the book is considered YA making me wonder what the appeal could be to Millennials with such a dense reference to those days.  It felt like it was written for me by an author who is only 7 years younger than me.

And yes, I got almost all the references and enjoyed this story very much.

I certainly recommend it.  It is an easy read and flows quickly.  There is not a lot of dialog but the narration is effortless.

The author's website is here:

Ernest Cline

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