Jennifer's Reviews > Ready Player One

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
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's review
Dec 09, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: audio-books, fiction, action, adventure
Read from December 09 to 14, 2011

Wow! What an adventure! "Ready Player One" takes place in 2044. In this future world, the real world is a depressing place where gas prices have driven people to abandon their vehicles right where their tanks emptied, live in crazy contraptions called "Stacks", which as the name implies is trailer homes stacked on top of each other to unthinkable heights, and there are waiting lists 2 years long to get a job at McDonald's.

Everyone escapes this depressing reality by logging into a virtual world called the OASIS where they can become anyone they want to be and go just about anywhere if they can come up with the credits to get there. The OASIS is filled with many different planets, some which are pure fantasy like MiddleEarth from J.R.R Tolkien's books to Vulcan from Star Trek, and others that are for the soul purpose of either business or education. The main character is Wade Watts, a young man about to graduate high school, who has lost both of his parents and now has to live with his Aunt who only pays attention to Wade when he brings home food vouchers or anything valuable she can sell. Each day, Wade carefully leaves the "Stacks" as quietly as he can and gets to his secret hiding place where he keeps his OASIS equipment issued by his school, logs in and attends class. After school, he stays in the OASIS and visits with friends in virtual chat rooms, plays games, reads books, or just keeps up with the news feeds. Then one day James Halliday, one of the OASIS creators, dies and leaves in his will the adventure of a lifetime. Mr. Halliday has created a game of riddles to be solved that lead to the ultimate prize of $240 billion. Everyone starts dreaming of what they can do with all that dough, but it turns out figuring out the clues is definitely not easy. James Halliday had an obsession with the late 20th century, particularly the 80's. He loved all the great movies, music, and TV shows, but most of all the computer and video games. In order to figure out the clues in Mr. Halliday's game, everyone starts researching Mr. Halliday's life. Which were his favorite John Hughes films? What games did he play the most? What comic books did he have in his room? Anything and everything basically. Wade jumped in on the action. His dream was to win the money and finally get away from his Aunt. He downloaded, played and mastered every game he could. He watched Mr. Halliday's favorite movies over and over until he had them memorized word for word. He did everything he could to figure out the first clue along with everyone else, but for 5 years no one found anything. The games appeal was wearing off until by a happy accident, Wade figures out the first clue and is the first to claim a spot on the "High Score" Screen. The adventure begins, but so does the danger that goes along with it. To some, $240 billion is an amount worth killing for, so Wade must figure out not only where the next clue leads, but who he can trust and who he has to hide from.

I was a teenager in the 80's and so many of references in this book brought back some great memories of my Dad. He was the one who introduced me to the world of computer games such as "Zork" and "The Mist." He took my sister and I to play for hours in arcades, spending quarter after quarter to master games like PacMan, DigDug, Frogger, Pole Position, and Galaga. He also loved movies and took us to just about any movie we wanted to see. I still remember getting HBO and the that thrilling feeling of being able to have movie nights at home or when we got a VHS player and would go to Captain Video to pick something out that we would watch over and over until the video was due back. My Dad also introduced us to MTV and would watch the "Top Ten Videos" with us every weekday afternoon at 3pm. All these memories came flooding back as I read page after page. I know these memories probably played a part in my enjoyment of this book, but that's not all. This is a truly wonderful story worth reading or if you can, listen to it. Wil Wheaton is the reader and is surprisingly quite good. If you need an escape, this is the book for you. This is one of those books that you can't wait to get to the end, but when you finally do, you wish there was more.
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Reading Progress

30.0% "I love this book so many great references to my childhood...great characters and Wil Wheaton is a Wonderful narrator...can't wait to listen to more"
50.0% "It's getting exciting...I'm thinkin' I'm gonna have to have an 80's movie weekend when this is all done and break out the nintendo with the old school game cartridge...I frickin'love this bookso far!!!"
65.0% "I wish my Dad were still alive...I think he would've gotten a kick out of this book especially since many of his most favorite games are used as key pieces of the book..." 1 comment

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