You probably know that a writer is born of being a reader (probably for a long time). I recently was recommended a novel by two good friends and I took them up on it. I’m really glad I did.
“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.
But 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.”
If you’ve heard any of the The Shelf Life podcast that I co-host with Michel Sabourin, you know that I tend to listen to audiobooks lately instead of reading them. Ready Player One is narrated by Will Wheaton and he does an excellent job of bringing all of the characters in the novel to life.
I’m not going to go into a long drawn out review. Anyone can do that. All I can say is that this book starts off a little slow-it introduces you to the world of Parzival and his friends- and then before you know it, the book takes off and you become fully invested in it.
It’s strong on nostalgia for old arcade / console gaming, the 1980’s pop culture (music, movies, games, comics, etc) and draws famous lines and scenes from them all. I can tell you, that if the book had been steeped in the 1990’s that I might have understood more of the gaming references, but that did not at all take away from my extreme enjoyment and entertainment that I got from experiencing this book.
If you’re into comic books, video games, or older movies you should check it out. It may not be for everyone, but it certainly was a grand slam with me and I plan on re-visiting it a lot in the near future.