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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline– Audio

Book Blurb:

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

My Review: 4 stars

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Ready Player One is one of the most imaginative novels I’ve ever read. I’m not a big sci-fi reader; never enjoyed video games and can count on one hand the amount of futuristic books I’ve ever read. So why did I read this? First, many of my followers on Facebook encouraged me to read this ride through the future and second, it’s soon to be a Steven Spielberg movie.

It’s fun; it’s suspenseful and has a wonderful message about friendship. The immense amount of 80’s flashbacks was a hoot. War Games, The Princess Bride, Pac Man, Monty Python and the music mentioned were just a few. The plot serves up so much more than the whirlwind of memories. It’s set in Oklahoma, in the year 2045, where the earth is so broken that everyone lives in a virtual world called the Oasis. It’s hard to imagine; yet the schools, dating, shopping and sex are all done virtually. How Ernest Cline made this seem so real is mere genius.

Wade Watts is the main protagonist, underdog and hero all at once. He’s in a race against the virtual world, prompted by James Halliday, inventor of the Oasis, to solve clues that will ultimately unearth an Easter egg. Whoever finds this Easter egg, becomes the sole heir to Halliday and successor of the Oasis. There are good guys and bad guys, bonds that are made and broken and a whole lot of action. I listened to the audio version by Will Wheaton, which I highly recommend. He’s best known for his roles in Stand By Me, Star Trek and The Big Bang Theory. I will admit that if I’d read this book, and not listened to it, I probably would’ve grazed over the details during the video game playing. So this was a win-win for me as I listened to and immensely enjoyed a book so far out of my comfort zone.

Quotes I liked:

That was when I realized, as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality is real.”

-“People who live in glass houses should shut the fuck up.”

-“For a bunch of hairless apes, we’ve actually managed to invent some pretty incredible things.”

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