Richard Radgoski's Reviews > Ready Player One

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
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Sep 29, 11

bookshelves: sci-fi, fantasy, fiction
Read from September 24 to 29, 2011

What can you say about a book that you finish in about 4 days of reading? I loved it, of course! Why?? For everything!

First off, this is about a near future world where everything we currently fear (within reason) is happening. Famine, No Oil, Poverty, Big Corporations, and the ever increasing retreat of our society to being more Online than off. We meet Wade, a young man who has lived in the 'Stacks' all his life. The Stacks are Mobile homes...STACKED 10+ high. Can you imagine that? How about a world that would make that a necessity?? Wade tells us about his world, and then about the second life he lives - online.

This world has OASIS - A massive program that has solved all the normal issues of an online world (drops, frame rate, cost, etc) and provides the real world with an outlet. Are you poor, unsightly and need a bath (but can't actually find one?) in the real world? Well, in OASIS, your avatar is trim, well dressed and well groomed. OASIS has taken over many facets of life - Business meetings, Hangouts, Gaming - even the Schools have virtual classrooms, teachers and other students.

OASIS is free to everyone to access, with only transportation costs from one location to another as an issue. But it has hundreds of thousands of worlds within it...some worlds, like the world dedicated to the students, are free to access and travel to. Others, focused on Games or other recreation, have costs associated to going there. If you find money (by doing quests) wihin OASIS - you can buy virtual OR real items... It has it's own booming economy.

Throughout the worlds are homages to all the past great books, computer games, bands, and a myriad other things under the sun. Want a famous D&D module - it's replicated somewhere in virtual reality. Want to go to an arcade and play co-operated video games - its there somewhere. Want to play WOW or Everquest - those worlds are now within Oasis...and your avatar levels up just like those in an MMO.

All of this would be enough for me to want to read this book. (Although, it should be noted, I might never have found it if not for references/reviews of it on Good read. The cover is terrible...even though I understand it now. Cover art is a big seller for me - I would never have picked this book up to read the dust Jacket had I not heard about it prior). Still, none of the above are why this got 5 stars (would have been 6 if I could!

The real thrust of the story is the Egg Hunt. The creator of OASIS has passed away and left, as his legacy, his entire fortune and the ownership of OASIS to the winner of his last adventure. The person who finds three keyes, finds three gates and defeats the challenges within will win this ultimate prize. Standing in their way is one of the evil corporations, built specifically to find and win this ultimate prize.

I still haven't gotten to why this is a 6 on a scale of 5. Did you live through the eighties?? Do you love it's movies, novels, games, and heroes? I know I did. I was in High School and College during the eighties, so this book was targetted right at me. Why?? It seems the creator of OASIS loved the eighties as well and everything about the 80's was litererly woven throughout the plot. Most of it worked like an absolute charm too.

As the players who searched for the Egg, called Egg Hunters or Gunters for short tried to figure out the clues to the quest, they devoured all things eighties. They watched TV's shows, Movies & Cartoons, listened to Music, read the era's novels - everything based upon a list of 'favorite 80's stuff' the creator left behind. The book doesn't go a page without more than one reference. There were references to Muppits, Gygax, Monty Python, Godzilla, Family Ties, Galaga, Rush, ah hell, I cannot possibly list even a 100'th of the references. They are ALL there. All your favorites from the era (and from a few earlier moves as well).

When the final battle commenses between the gunters and the bad corporation (called the sixers), one o the characters says "I've got a bad feeling about this" and I smiled silly. I haven't had a book make me laugh out loud this much since...Well, I'm not sure any book has ever done it.

The book defies some catorization as it has fantasy elements, Science Fiction Elements, Dystopia elements and other fiction. But, ultimately, it's a great big o mix of Awesome. I urge those of you who like this mix and lived through the eighties with fondness for it to READ THIS BOOK. Move it UP to the TOP of our List! Now! :)
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Reading Progress

09/24/2011 page 10
3.0% "I read 10 pages of this...and counted more than 10 references to the 80's already... :)"
09/27/2011 page 132
34.0% "Truly wicked awesome so far..." 1 comment
09/29/2011 page 302
79.0% "Folks who grew up in the 80's, love Sci/fi / Fantasy, play computer games and a good story - this is a must read!"
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Richard Radgoski I'll post a more complete review soon. Suffice to say, I read this book in just a few days - it is made of pure win...A must for folks who like gaming, books, fantasy, sci fi and a bunch else besides.


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