Erica's Reviews > Ready Player One

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
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For realz: I am listening to this book because it is read by Wil Wheaton, who has a smug and douchey voice. For some reason, though, I always confuse him with one of my friends. Probably because we sort of grew up together (come on, he was in my home on a weekly basis as Ensign Crusher) and because a lot of my geekguy friends have been, are, and will always be just like him. Also, he looks vaguely like my cousin Charlie. So, really, I'm just supporting my pal...the one who doesn't actually know me. I think it's pretty cool that my imaginary friends are often real people.

I actually finished the book days and days before I got around to this review.
I would like to start with admitting that I 100% full-on understand that this story panders to its audience and is completely geeklitist. I feel it has the potential to alienate any reader who is not in love with 80's pop culture and/or the world of video games. In its own way, it's a pretty snotty and uppity book.
And now that I've said that, I will also admit that I was pulled right in and worked late several days just to keep listening. Mostly, I just loved it. I loved all the memories this story evoked (cuz I was born around the same time as the dead Halliday) and was surprised to understand so many of the references. I guess I'm more of a geek than I'd like to believe. Also, it helped that I'd just read The Golden Age of Video Games: The Birth of a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry by Roberto Dillon which I highly recommend to any non-video-game/non-techie who wants a better foundation to start from before reading this book.
Despite all that, though, I lost interest right around the time the third gate popped up. I felt the story lost steam and direction and I would have liked to have seen...MORE to the end, more of the initial drive, more of the initial suspense, just more. But that's ok. I didn't mind too much; by that time, I was jonzin' so hard for a hit of WoW. I haven't played in four years. I was wishing for the OASIS to hurry up and be invented so I could go there and do stuff.

I think this would make for excellent classroom material for junior or senior year high schoolers. There are so many questions to be discussed such as: Where are all the people who still live outside the OASIS from and why are they outside in the Real World? After all, someone has to be making deliveries and all the thugs that keep doing physical damage to people, they're out there in the real world. Why is that? Also, what does this book say about the state of our society? We're not full-on OASIS yet, but how many people essentially live tangled in the web and is is ok to let go of your physical surroundings if your happiness lies in a pixelated universe? I would love for these characters to be real because it would be incredibly fascinating to do a study on the youth raised in the OASIS - did they grow up like they're supposed to? Are their muscles all capable of doing what muscles should do? Are their brains bigger than that of their predecessors? So many fascinating questions.

So, yes, I really liked this story. I'd have given it that one last star had I not been disappointed with the end. It's not that it was wrong in any way, I just found it to be more lackluster and predictable (and in some parts, even preachy) than I felt a story of such magnitude warranted, if that makes any sense.
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