karen's Reviews > Ready Player One

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
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Jun 02, 2011

really liked it
Read from June 02 to 06, 2011

let me get the gripes out of the way first, because despite overall being a fun, escapist book, there are things that rankle.

i have a crush on the 80's (not an obsession, mind you, but a crush. when i was little i managed to simultaneously want to make out with both jon cryer and molly ringwald and to this day depeche mode's album black celebration soothes many sorrows.



so a book that revolves around 80's pop culture sounded like my kind of thing, even if a lot of the references are video game related, and the minutiae, while impressive, could have been made up for all i knew because i enjoyed the atari back in the day, but i wasn't a serious video game geek. (although i did take my atari 2600 to college in 1995 - i was the original ironic hipster - recognize!)



i am getting to the gripes now after one more brief personal anecdote. i used to go to a lot of new wave dance nights. (if i am being honest, most of them were "dark" new wave, bordering on goth: camouflage, wolfsheim, anything box, the normal, soft cell) and towards the end of my going to this one particular club, they used to frequently slip sit down by james in there. and i used to get so irate. because 1) you cannot dance to that song. 2) you cannot go from the sun always shines on TV to jaunty britpop and 3) (but i just consulted queen wikipedia and learned i was absolutely wrong) it is not an 80's song. as it turns out, it is. 1989. and this undermines my entire argument so let's pretend my initial misconception was correct and i am not just wrong in everything i do.

but that was my problem with this book. if we take as fact that james halliday's obsession was the eighties, than how is quentin tarantino among his favorite directors?? or neal stephenson among his favorite writers?? and unless he really loves the meaning of life, what the hell is monty python doing in there? there is a long pivotal scene involving the acting-out of scenes from the holy grail. i don't even need queen wikipedia to know that that movie came out in 1975. and don't give me attitude about geek culture and how integral that movie is to geeks everywhere because trust me, i am aware. and "well, the seventies were really the eighties..." no. this is a novel. the character has built an entire life around being obsessed with the pop culture of the 80's. commit to your premise!! you wrote this - stick to it! it's not like there is a dearth of source material, that's kind of what the 80's were for.it was ALL pop culture.

but that aside - this is definitely a lot of fun. if there was such a thing, i would call this a popcorn book. it is fun and fast-paced, and if you are old enough, you will chuckle, and if you are younger, you will probably be baffled and miss a lot of the slyly inserted references, but that's okay because you have your whole life ahead of you, so it's a trade off for those of us in our dotage. he gets points for having an oingo boingo reference on page two - that pretty much cemented my engagement in the book, so smart move there. and i loved all the swordquest references. because i know i have gone off about this in another review somewhere, but seriously, doubleyoo tee eff??

.

i am also glad that he realized he was just writing a tech version of charlie and the chocolate factory. that's all i was thinking of at the beginning, and when he finally references it, it is just to say "nooooo this is different." but it is pretty much the same premise. but he is wise to distance himself from c.a.t.c.f., because, hello?? 1964. not 1984.

dunno - this is going to be a huge hit when it comes out, mark my words. and i expect it will eventually be adapted into a movie. and i will buy the soundtrack to that movie.
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Comments (showing 51-100 of 105) (105 new)


Micha *Like.*


Micha You are a material girl in a material world~!


karen ahhh - she was my style icon growing up.


message 54: by Sean (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sean as i made an exceptionally nerdy point of pointing out in my review, sure he brings up Oingo Boingo on page 2, but then he misdescribes the song. that's some serious '80s trivia fail right there.


karen poor boingo.


Susana Love the term "popcorn book". Think I´ll use it a lot from now on.


message 57: by Alex (new) - rated it 5 stars

Alex You had me at "i used to go to a lot of new wave dance nights."


karen hahahaaha and, oh, the memories...


message 59: by SweetCheeses (new) - added it

SweetCheeses And Coffee Dreams I used to go to a lot of new wave dance clubs too...tending to the darker side. The only thing I can say about Monty Python is that, although the movies came out in the 70's, they were still very big, and well quoted in the 80's. As a teen, EVERYONE I knew quoted from it, and at every sleepover I attended, at least one of those movies were rented on Beta or VHS, along with Revenge of the Nerds, and the Kentucky Fried Movie.


message 60: by SweetCheeses (new) - added it

SweetCheeses And Coffee Dreams I should say as a "tween", early 80's.


karen yeah, i guess i didn't think that through. my reviews are more plopped-out-quickly than considered.


Tabitha (Pabkins) Totally a crush, looking forward to the movie someday


Torben Opperud You made me laugh out loud. From behind the counter. Every costumer is now looking...


karen oh, no! i hope you don't work in a funeral parlor!


Torben Opperud I don't think I do. So we are good!


karen phew. resume levity!


Jenna It sort of reminded me of Goonies...sort of


karen yeah - good geeky fun!


Jenna karen wrote: "yeah - good geeky fun!"

I could totally see your point on staying in the 80s as it implies. He also spoke of HR Pufnstuf, Captain Kangaroo, and even the Matrix (a mix of 70's and 00's). Great review.


karen thanks!! yeah, i didn't mind the straying too much - it was still really fun.


message 71: by S. (new) - rated it 5 stars

S. nice writeup. you captured it


karen thank god for google image search!


message 73: by S. (new) - rated it 5 stars

S. I'm glad to know there was a dark gothy karen. i keep having this idea you're a union square spastic. dark gothic pasts impressive


karen what on earth is a union square spastic??? is that a thing?


message 75: by S. (new) - rated it 5 stars

S. its like a nervous jittery over-caffeinated new yorker. such a thing can't get to the depth analysis because they're so busy tossing out jargon ha


karen oh, i hate jargon, though!!


Kristin ❋extols death with luminescent brilliance❋ "when i was little i managed to simultaneously want to make out with both jon cryer and molly ringwald " Ha! Me too! ...and Blane too. Can't help it, I had a huge crush on McCarthy bk then


karen i crushed on him, but not in THAT movie. no prom for you!!


Kristin ❋extols death with luminescent brilliance❋ Fair enough. He rather sucked. But my crush ran deep.


Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)* You are- were- in my brain will always be ADORABLE as shit, Karen!!


karen YOU are adorable as shit! but much more adorable than actual shit, because ew


Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)* karen wrote: "YOU are adorable as shit! but much more adorable than actual shit, because ew"

Awwwww, you are the sweetest!! (and I agree you are MUCH cuter than actual shit because GROSS...)

That picture is adorable, like you.... always super adorable. Also, you kinda look like Molly Ringwald in that fancy 90's picture.... which I hope you will take as the compliment intended


karen oh, man - i had the red hair one time. it was unflattering.


Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)* karen wrote: "oh, man - i had the red hair one time. it was unflattering."

I have red hair most of the time .... well auburn, to be fair, bright red doesn't suit me AT ALL!!

Red hair is to you what dark brown/black hair is to me......

I will never... again, do that.


Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)* I'm just going to put this HERE......




so you will understand what I mean... you're welcome.


karen oh, the adventures in hair color.... all the mistakes....


Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)* karen wrote: "oh, the adventures in hair color.... all the mistakes...."

Also... hair cuts.... I have those mistakes too.


karen ack - i commented before you posted that - i didn't even see it until now! it actually looks cute! except for how roofied you appear to be


Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)* karen wrote: "ack - i commented before you posted that - i didn't even see it until now! it actually looks cute! except for how roofied you appear to be"

Not roofied... just drunk. I look like a gothic whale.... what picture are YOU looking at :P (also, those eyebrows O.o)


karen i think you look cute. I'D roofie you! ♥


Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)* karen wrote: "i think you look cute. I'D roofie you! ♥"

bahahaha, you are the sweetest ;)


Kristin ❋extols death with luminescent brilliance❋ karen wrote: "ack - i commented before you posted that - i didn't even see it until now! it actually looks cute! except for how roofied you appear to be"

I concur! On both counts!


I have that same problem with blonde....awful


Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)* Kristin wrote: "karen wrote: "ack - i commented before you posted that - i didn't even see it until now! it actually looks cute! except for how roofied you appear to be"

I concur! On both counts!


I have that sa..."


I don't enjoy mine blonde either.... and I am naturally blonde... horrible!


message 94: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim I enjoyed the book and your review. It's far from a perfect book, but "popcorn" book is PERFECT! Another reader totally did an English 400 thesis on why this book is terrible and got no enjoyment out of it. I bet she's fun at parties.


karen yeah, sometimes you just need to play along with a book and not stop to ask questions


message 96: by Cici (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cici Yes, Holy Grail was from the 70's, but being someone who was in high school in the 80's, I can tell you it was very much a part of 80's culture. Stephenson's first novel was published in 1984 and Tarantino's first film was also in the 80's (granted that is not when he became popular).


karen yeah, i suppose i'm more focusing on the time period in which they "made it." and holy grail is kinda perennial. there will always be high school band geeks getting together and quoting that shit. as a former band geek, i can be trusted on this. but i take your point - i just have my own wishes for things.


message 98: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! Man, such a yellow cutie!


karen oh, YOU!


Paul Dorrian Try the audiobook edition of this. Will Wheaton narrates and he does it brilliantly. If you close your eyes you can imagine yourself in the scene from Stand By Me when the boys are being told the Lardass story from Gordie. Only he's reading you this.


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