Mike (the Paladin)'s Reviews > Ready Player One

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
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Apr 09, 12

bookshelves: science-fiction

I finished this a few days ago and thought I'd let my thoughts about it, percolate. There were times when I found this book annoying. I'm tired of authors who feel obligated to send me a message about all the politically correct claptrap they have to peddle. This book does have it's share of said claptrap. Other than that however there are parts of this book that I like greatly.

I wasn't a teen in the '80s...my kids were. BUT I am a nerd...maybe I'm a proto-nerd? How far back can you go and still be a nerd? (actually it seems Dr. Seuss may have come up the word in If I Ran the Zoo in the 1950s.) Anyway, while the music of the '80s isn't my choice for fun and favorites I am a huge fan of RPGs (table top and electronic), vintage video games, science fiction and fantasy books and movies. In 1978 I was the one who organized our Dungeon and Dragons game... I bought the books, dice and other accoutrements. I've been a DM since 1978. I (and a couple of friends) played Galaga, Space Invaders, Joust...I wasted err, I mean spent, yah spent many hours in arcades (though I was never really into any of the Pac Mans (Pac Men??? no I'm pretty sure Ms. Pac Man wouldn't be one of the Pac "Men", so Pac Mans...whatever). Moving on, I saw Star Wars (you know the first one that is actually the fourth one, but is actually the first of the only 3 that are worth seeing) at a drive in movie...3 times (and now own the DVDs of the first 3....that are really the last 3 but are really the only ones...oh, you get the idea). Of course I'm also a fan of older science fiction movies, not to mention the Indiana Jones flicks and tons of other fantasy/adventure movies. What I'm saying is, the book allowed me to "renew and check my nerd credentials".

In other words, aside from the music everything else in the book is a nostalgia trip for anyone who's into the pass times, hobbies, interests and whatnot that also appeal to the guys on Big Bang Theory.

I found the book's story interesting and all the vintage gaming and fiction references great. There were some things that were pretty predictable and I while I wouldn't call this story the worlds most original, the setting is one that I haven't seen done more than a couple of times before...and this one does it better than the others that come to mind. (view spoiler)

So, if you're a gamer, a fantasy or science fiction fan (books, movies graphics or whatever), an '80s music enthusiast...in other words a nerd (and proud of it) this book's for you. If you're like me, you can side step the annoying crap and enjoy the nostalgic fun. I settled on 4 stars. Enjoy.
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Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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message 1: by Chompa (new) - added it

Chompa As a long time gamer/nerd/geek, I am moved to read this from your review, Mike.


Mike (the Paladin) It's geared to my kids' generation, but I figure you're like me. If you really got into the music of the '80s you'll enjoy the whole package here. I had a couple of friends who were in my D&D group with whom I'd also go to the arcade and burn quarters. As my son got older we got the early Nintindos, Segas and so on.


message 3: by Chompa (new) - added it

Chompa Mike (the Paladin) wrote: "It's geared to my kids' generation, but I figure you're like me. If you really got into the music of the '80s you'll enjoy the whole package here. I had a couple of friends who were in my D&D group..."

Well, the music of the 80's never appealed to me at all, but the rest should be good!


Angrymog You sound like quite an awesome dad! ^_^


Mike (the Paladin) ...you'd probably have to ask my kids, LOL.


Phil Meadows Chompa, beware that the fun parts of this book are intensely fun. The plot however is pretty thin. I reccommend the audiobook narrated by Wil Wheaton, because you can hear him smile when he gets to say his own name in the text of the book.


Mike (the Paladin) Yeah, I had that version and it cracked me up to have Wheaton reading a story where he's mentioned.


message 8: by Travis (new) - added it

Travis Mike,
I have a question about the book. I heard so many good things about the book (and the 80's was definitely my generation), so I downloaded the sample on my Kindle. While I was reading it, there were times when I got a very definite Christians-not-welcome-here vibe. Was that just a blunt statement that happened to be at the beginning of the story or does it continue throughout?

I'm willing to give the book a shot if it was a quick punch to the gut, but if it pervades throughout, maybe this book's not for me. What do you think? (BTW, I'm not an over zealous right-winger nut, but I don't want to force my way through a book if an author is constantly shoving their beliefs down my throat either.)

Thanks for any input.


Mike (the Paladin) It's definitely told from a secularist and politically left wing view point. I've read so many books that take that attitude I sort of put it off to one side in my mind with a "yeah I get it, you're not a Christian" or possibly "yeah I get it you have no respect for Christians".

The book tells a good story. It can be a bit insulting to Christian believers (and I am one) but it can't force it's views on anyone. I just read another book I though very well written and a good story, but it was definitely not Christian. I'd suggest a library read if you can do it. Thus you don't spend money up front and can put it down if it really annoys you. Everyone has to decide these things for themselves.

I don't recall a lot of actual attacks on Christianity but there are a lot of "unChristian" parts. All I can recommend is be aware.

If this helps, my pastor is reading it and likes it so far...not it's belief system, but it's story. Let me know what you think.


message 10: by Travis (new) - added it

Travis Thanks for the helpful (and quick!) reply. I really appreciate your take on it. Looks like I may take a little trip to the library before heading off for our Florida vacation.


message 11: by Don (new) - rated it 5 stars

Don Mike, I've been following your reviews for some time now. I'm not a geek, at least I don't think so, but I am a huge fan of sci-fi fantasy, adventure games and virtual reality (i.e. Second Life). And I went to college during the 80's, so I get the pop culture references of that era. Your review sounds like just the kind of book I would enjoy. As a born again believer, I also appreciate the forewarning about the secularist sentiments. I'll certainly keep it in mind. I look forward to the read. Thanks for the review.


Mike (the Paladin) Cool Don, thanks.

By the way....geek, nerd, whatever....not sure. Since I was a kid in the '50s I may be a "proto-nerd" or something, LOL.


message 13: by Don (new) - rated it 5 stars

Don Mike, I finished the book and it was everything you said it would be. I absolutely loved it. It was a great read. I couldn't put it down. Stayed up till 1:00 in the morning to finish it. Thanks for the recommendation.


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